Skin Cell Regeneration from a Bioreactor

Here's a clip from National Geographic Explorer, showing Dr. Jörg Gerlach's experimental "skin gun," a tool used in regenerating burned skin using the patient's own skin cells from other parts of the body. This technique, though experimental, can heal in a matter of days, rather than the weeks (and the associated scarring caused in that time) typically necessary for other techniques like skin grafts.

Gerlach: "We isolate cells from the healthy part of the skin -- the patient's own cells -- which can be taken in a water solution, and that solution is prepared for cell spraying."

The whole approach is part of Gerlach's work on bioreactors; his approach involves not just the applicator gun, but also a system for growing cells and a special wound dressing that helps with healing. In the video below, we see one example of a man who had second-degree burns over much of his face, right arm, and right shoulder which was treated with the experimental technique -- and to my eye there's virtually no scarring. Let's hope this works for others!

Warning: there are a few images of second-degree skin burns in this video, though they are not shown with the intent to gross you out. If you're not cool with seeing a bit of post-burn flesh, don't watch. Just in case, I put the video (with its poster frame of a second-degree-burned hand) after the jump:

(Via, via @delfuego.)

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Make Spreadsheets a Whole Lot Easier With This Excel Trick
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While data nerds may love a good spreadsheet, many office workers open Microsoft Excel with a certain amount of resistance. Inputting data can be a monotonous task. But a few tricks can make it a whole lot easier. Business Insider has a new video highlighting one of those shortcuts—a way to create a range that changes with the data you input.

Dynamic named ranges change and grow with your data, so, for instance, if one column is time and another is, say, dollar value, the value can change automatically as time goes on. If you do this, it's relatively easy to create a chart using this data, by simply inserting your named ranges as your X and Y values. The chart will automatically update as your range expands.

It's easier to see in the program itself, so watch the full video on Business Insider. Microsoft also has its own instructions here, or you can check out this video from the YouTube channel Excel Tip, which also has dozens of other useful tutorials for making Microsoft Excel your hardworking assistant.

[h/t Business Insider]

Marshall McLuhan, the Man Who Predicted the Internet in 1962

Futurists of the 20th century were prone to some highly optimistic predictions. Theorists thought we might be extending our life spans to 150, working fewer hours, and operating private aircrafts from our homes. No one seemed to imagine we’d be communicating with smiley faces and poop emojis in place of words.

Marshall McLuhan didn’t call that either, but he did come closer than most to imagining our current technology-led environment. In 1962, the author and media theorist (who is the subject of today's Google Doodle) predicted we’d have an internet.

That was the year McLuhan, a professor of English born in Edmonton, Canada on this day in 1911, wrote a book called The Gutenberg Galaxy. In it, he observed that human history could be partitioned into four distinct chapters: The acoustic age, the literary age, the print age, and the then-emerging electronic age. McLuhan believed this new frontier would be home to what he dubbed a “global village”—a space where technology spread information to anyone and everyone.

Computers, McLuhan said, “could enhance retrieval, obsolesce mass library organization,” and offer “speedily tailored data.”

McLuhan elaborated on the idea in his 1962 book, Understanding Media, writing:

"Since the inception of the telegraph and radio, the globe has contracted, spatially, into a single large village. Tribalism is our only resource since the electro-magnetic discovery. Moving from print to electronic media we have given up an eye for an ear."

But McLuhan didn’t concern himself solely with the advantages of a network. He cautioned that a surrender to “private manipulation” would limit the scope of our information based on what advertisers and others choose for users to see.

Marshall McLuhan died on December 31, 1980, several years before he was able to witness first-hand how his predictions were coming to fruition.


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