Custom Printed Organs
Week of July 29

Custom Printed OrgansThere are some exclusive waiting lists no one would choose to be on and those are the ones for organ transplants. Even though 2015 was a record year for organs transplanted, the gap between need and supply continues to be huge. That’s why scientists continue to look to 3D printing as a solution.

Bioprinting uses inkjet-like technology to build layer upon layer of biocompatible material that will provide a scaffolding to which cells adhere. This printed scaffolding provides the shape and structure for the tissue or organ based on location and need. For example, a bioprinted trachea would be printed to the specific dimensions required by the recipient. Eventually the biocompatible structural materials degrade, leaving the tissue intact... More »

Cocaine and HIV Infection
Week of July 22

Cocaine and HIV InfectionWe’ve known that cocaine use can increase someone’s chances of getting HIV, mostly through needle sharing and other risky behaviors. Now a study further shows cocaine use fundamentally changes our immune cells, making them more susceptible to HIV infection.

Researchers used special mice engineered with a human immune system. They wanted to prove in a living organism their earlier findings which showed in petri dishes that the CD4 T cell becomes more vulnerable to HIV infection when exposed to cocaine. This is significant because CD4 T cells are a type of human immune cell that’s normally resistant to HIV when it’s not active. Would these resting T cells in the engineered mice be susceptible to HIV infection as they were in petri dish tests? More »

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