Smart Bandages that can Detect Infection…

Research at the University of Rhode Island, which was funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation, has developed a bandage that can detect whether a covered wound is becoming infected. What they did was embed nano sensors into the fibers of the bandage. When a wound is covered with a bandage there is always the possibility of it becoming infected. The carbon nanotubes will identify an infection by detecting concentrations of hydrogen peroxide produced in the wound when bacteria are present. This “Smart Bandage” will be monitored by a small, wearable device that will transmit a signal to a smartphone which the patient or caregiver will receive. Hope is that by early detection of an infection there will be less need for antibiotics and even more drastic occurrences such as limb removal. This could be life saving especially for patients with diabetes who have difficulty with wound healing and for those living in remote rural areas. Verification of the product still needs to be done with live culture cells found in wounds via a petri dish.

 

https://beta.nsf.gov/news/smart-bandage-detects-may-prevent-infections#:~:text=By%20embedding%20nanosensors%20in%20the,an%20infection%20in%20a%20wound.

How Chimpanzees Deal with Injuries…

In a new report from the Loango National Park in West Africa, researchers found that chimpanzees have the capability and understanding of not only making tools but also treating injuries of friends and family members. The study consisted of 45 chimpanzees and was conducted between 2019 to 2021. They observed 76 open wounds on 22 of the apes. In 19 different instances they observed a member of the family catching a flying insect, pressing it between their lips to make a salve and then pressing it into the wound. This action was repeated several times either to the injured chimp by themselves or to another member. The scientists are not sure what the little dark insect was, but they are sure that the chimps were not eating them. The results were published in “The Journal of Current Biology”.

 

https://www.kktv.com/2022/02/09/chimps-spotted-using-insects-medicine-treat-wounds/

Umbilical Cord Blood as a cure for H.I.V…

Three people have been cured of H.I.V. The first 2 received Stem cells taken from bone marrow. The third was cured using a new transplant method of umbilical cord blood. This new method does not require that the recipient be closely matched as does the bone marrow transplants to the donor. Most registered donors are of Caucasian origin which has made those receiving bone marrow transplants available to specific recipients. This is not the case with this new method. Results were presented at a conference for Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections held in Denver, Colorado. Bone marrow transplant donors need to carry a mutation that can block H.I.V. Most are of northern European descent and are numbered at about 20,000. Side effects as well as the treatment can be taxing on the immune system of the recipient. The woman who received the umbilical cord treatment was biracial and was being treated for leukemia. She was able to leave the hospital after 17 days with minimal side effects. A small amount of blood cells from a close relative were also given to speed the process. The woman was able to discontinue antiviral therapy 37 months after the transplant and is now H.I.V. free. One theory is that Umbilical cord cells can adapt to a change in environment quickly since they are the cells of a newborn.

 

https://www.fredhutch.org/en/news/center-news/2022/03/hiv-cure-cord-blood.html

Detachable tails aid in Lizard’s survival…

It is not unusual for some to sacrifice a body part when under attack. Spiders will lose a leg. Crabs will give up a claw, and some rodents are known to shed skin in order to survive. Why is it so easy for a lizard to lose its tail when threatened and yet it remains so strongly attached when under normal conditions? The bones and muscles in the tail are so important for movement and balance and yet can be separated so easily. The vertebrae which extend down the tail is constructed in a way that it has weak areas known as fracture planes. When threatened the muscles along these planes will pull apart and release the tail. There is no blood loss during this process. Since an average lizard will live for four years and it takes 4 months to grow a new tail, it is estimated that they can perform this feat at least 12 times. Unfortunately, we have not yet evolved to mimic this process.