Scientists 3D Print Mini Arteries and Hearts

You can make a lot of crazy things with a 3D printer: buildings, teeth, animal models. A new technological advance suggests that even organs could be 3D printed. In the latest issue of the journal Science Advances, Carnegie Mellon University researchers report that they are able to 3D print soft biological structures, like arteries and hearts. 

While it’s fairly easy to 3D print something out of hard plastic, it’s much harder to create a stable 3D-printed object from softer materials. Things printed with gel, for instance, tend to collapse under their own weight. 

The Carnegie Mellon researchers used soft protein and carbohydrate hydrogels to create structures based on femur bones, arteries, embryonic hearts, and brains. The printed material is suspended in a second hydrogel made with gelatin, kind of like a supportive Jell-O. This gelatinous support bath is thermoreversible, meaning that it can be melted away with heat after the gel artery or heart structure sets. 

The researchers tested their concept on small-scale models of arteries, hearts, and other organs, but they’re not quite ready to print working organs just yet. The tests proved that the technique is capable of producing complex, hollow biological structures, but they’ll still need to work on growing living heart cells, for instance, on the 3D-printed gel scaffold to create working tissue. 

[h/t: Livescience via Stat]

Banner image from Hinton et al., Science Advances (2015)

Afternoon Map
The Richest Person of All Time From Each State

Looking for inspiration in your quest to become a billionaire? This map from cost information website, spotted by Digg, highlights the richest person in history who hails from each of the 50 states.

More billionaires live in the U.S. than in any other country, but not every state has produced a member of the Three Comma Club (seven states can only lay claim to millionaires). The map spans U.S. history, with numbers adjusted for inflation. One key finding: The group is overwhelmingly male, with only three women represented.

The richest American by far was John D. Rockefeller, repping New York with $257.25 billion to his name. Amazon's Jeff Bezos and Microsoft's Bill Gates clock in at the third and fifth richest, respectively. While today they both make their homes in the exclusive waterfront city of Medina, Washington, this map is all about birthplace. Since Gates, who is worth $90.54 billion, was born in Seattle, he wins top billing in the Evergreen State, while Albuquerque-born Bezos's $116.57 billion fortune puts New Mexico on the map.

The richest woman is South Carolina's Anita Zucker ($3.83 billion), the CEO of InterTech Group, a private, family-owned chemicals manufacturer based in Charleston. Clocking in at number 50 is the late, great socialite Brooke Astor—who, though a legend of the New York City social scene, was a native of New Hampshire—with $150 million.

[h/t Digg]

Gergely Dudás - Dudolf, Facebook
There’s a Ghost Hiding in This Illustration—Can You Find It?
Gergely Dudás - Dudolf, Facebook
Gergely Dudás - Dudolf, Facebook

A hidden image illustration by Gergely Dudás, a.k.a. Dudolf
Gergely Dudás - Dudolf, Facebook

Gergely Dudás is at it again. The Hungarian illustrator, who is known to his fans as “Dudolf,” has spent the past several years delighting the internet with his hidden image illustrations, going back to the time he hid a single panda bear in a sea of snowmen in 2015. In the years since, he has played optical tricks with a variety of other figures, including sheep and Santa Claus and hearts and snails. For his latest brainteaser, which he posted to both his Facebook page and his blog, Dudolf is asking fans to find a pet ghost named Sheet in a field of white bunny rabbits.

As we’ve learned from his past creations, what makes this hidden image difficult to find is that it looks so similar to the objects surrounding it that our brains just sort of group it in as being “the same.” So you’d better concentrate.

If you’ve scanned the landscape again and again and can’t find Sheet to save your life, go ahead and click here to see where he’s hiding.


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