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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 Kottke.org, via @delfuego.)

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How to Spot the Convincing New Phishing Scam Targeting Netflix Users
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iStock

Netflix may send customers the occasional email, but these messages will never ask you to provide them with personal or payment info. You'll want to keep this in mind if you encounter a new phishing scam that The Daily Dot reports is targeting the video streaming service's subscribers in Australia and the UK.

MailGuard, an Australian email security company, was the first to take notice of the fraudulent emails. While similar scams have targeted Netflix users in the past, this current iteration appears to be more convincing than most. At first (and perhaps even second) glance, the messages appear to be legitimate messages from Netflix, with an authentic-looking sender email and the company’s signature red-and-white branding. The fake emails don’t contain telltale signs of a phishing attempt like misspelled words, irregular spacing, or urgent phrasing.

The subject line of the email informs recipients that their credit card info has been declined, and the body requests that customers click on a link to update their card's expiration date and CVV. Clicking leads to a portal where, in addition to the aforementioned details, individuals are prompted to provide their email address and full credit card number. After submitting this valuable info, they’re redirected to Netflix’s homepage.

So far, it’s unclear whether this phishing scheme has widely affected Netflix customers in the U.S., but thousands of people in both Australia and the U.K. have reportedly fallen prey to the effort.

To stay safe from phishing scams—Netflix-related or otherwise—remember to never, ever click on an email link unless you’re 100 percent sure it’s valid. And if you do end up getting duped, use this checklist as a guide to safeguard your compromised data.

[h/t The Daily Dot]

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Weather Watch
Heated Mats Keep Steps Ice-Free in the Winter
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Amazon

The first snow of the season is always exciting, but the magic can quickly run out when you remember all the hazards that come with icy conditions. Along with heating bills, frosted cars, and other pains, the ground develops a coat of ice that can be dangerous for pedestrians and drivers alike. Outdoor steps become particularly treacherous and many people find themselves clutching their railings for fear of making it to the bottom headfirst. Instead of putting salt down the next time it snows, consider a less messy approach: heated mats that quickly melt the ice away.

The handy devices are made with a thermoplastic material and can melt two inches of snow per hour. They're designed to be left outside, so you can keep them ready to go for the whole winter. The 10-by-30-inch mats fit on most standard steps and come with grips to help prevent slipping. A waterproof connector cable connects to additional mats so up to 15 steps can be covered.

Unfortunately, this convenience comes at a price: You need to buy a 120-volt power unit for them to work, and each mat is sold separately. Running at $60 a mat, the price can add up pretty quickly. Still, if you live in a colder place where it's pretty much always snowing, it might be worth it.

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