All you need to know about the world of ‘Science’ this week!

27th January- 2nd February

1- Scientists are now able to regenerate a frog’s lost leg

Unbelievable, right? Well, now you know there is everything possible in the world of scientific creation. Re-growing the limbs was something in the ambit of salamanders, superheroes, and flatworms (who can actually grow into an entire organism from different cut pieces), but the study published in the journal ‘Science Advances’ at Tufts University and Harvard University’s Wyss Institute has proved otherwise. Using a five-drug cocktail, the researchers were actually able to re-grow the lost limbs of the adult frog by applying it in a silicone wearable bio-reactor dome that seals in the elixir over the stump for just 24 hours.

2- Knee surgery and reduced long-term pain

With one in five people experiencing prolonged knee issues, this news comes as a relief for everyone. Surgery led by the University of Bristol and North Bristol Trust and the report published on 27th January in ‘’The Lancet Rheumatology’’ has confirmed a way which can actually help and reduce people’s pain which is a relief to both time and money. Most of the operations among the one-hundred thousand knee replacement surgeries carried out in the U.K. are for pain related to osteoarthritis. The study found that the STAR care pathway, or Support Treatment after Joint Replacement reduces the prolonged pain-severity in a cost-effective manner. The patients who received the STAR care pathway also experienced a reduced number of hospital re-admissions, and less unpaid time off work.

3- Scientists developed artificial muscles out of protein

University of Freiburg’s, Dr Stefan Schiller, and Dr Matthias Huber have succeeded in making muscles out of protein. In the past too, scientists have used natural proteins as a medium to develop artificial muscle systems. However, it was impossible to make an artificial functional muscle that is fully bio-based and moves autonomously with the help of chemical energy. Freiburg’s scientists used ‘Elastin’, which is a natural fibrous protein that is also found in humans and gives elasticity to the skin and blood vessels. The researchers were able to induce the rhythmic contractions by using sodium sulphate as a source of fuel. In a changing chemical reaction in which p.H changes because of several reactions, the added energy was able to be converted into mechanical energy. In this way, the material actually contracted autonomously in a cyclical manner. Thus, scientists were able to achieve a simple system of developing artificial muscles.

4- The live cells in human breast milk could aid breast cancer

This new discovery is absolutely brilliant for humankind. This study was conducted by the Wellcome- MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute[CSMI] and the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Cambridge. Breast tissues are dynamic and show changes over time, during puberty, pregnancy, breastfeeding, and aging. The latest research focuses on the changes that take place during lactation by checking cells found in human milk. According to it, the cells in milk, which were once thought to be dead, were alive. This change allowed the researchers to study the changes during lactation and also shed light on the indicators of future breast cancer development. By studying milk cells, questions like, ‘How is milk in humans produced?’ or ‘Why do some women struggle to make milk?’ are answered.

5- First laparoscopic surgery by a robot without human help

Now, this is really mind-boggling. Laparoscopic surgery or the delicate surgery involving the reconnection of two ends of the intestine was performed by the STAR in four animals, and it gave better results than humans performing the same work. The robot was excellent at intestinal anastomosis, which requires motion and certain precision. Connecting the two ends of the intestine is one of the most difficult and highly significant parts of gastrointestinal surgery. Even the slightest mishandling can be fatal. Dr Jin Kang (a John Hopkins professor) collaborating with the Children’s National Hospital in Washington helped create this vision-guided robot, mainly to suture soft tissue. This current invention advances the previous 2016 model that repaired a pig’s intestine but required more precision to perform the task on humans. While soft-tissue surgery is especially hard for robots because of its unpredictability, the STAR has a control system that can adjust the surgical plan just as a human surgeon would.