Science and Medicine

Exhibition in New Zealand Gets New Set of Tiger Teeth



A special Sand Tiger shark-themed exhibition opens at the Mission Bay attraction on December 18.

Kelly Tarlton’s is set to welcome a whole new set of teeth to its repertoire, with five Sand Tiger sharks on their way from Maryland.

Kelly Tarlton’s head curator Andrew Christie says transporting the five predators is a meticulous process.

“As you could imagine, transporting five, live sharks—who weigh an average of 40 kg (88 lbs) and measure up to 2 meters (6.5 ft)—is not as simple as checking in oversized baggage or even relocating the family pooch,” he said. “The health and well-being of the animals has been our top priority throughout the entire operation.”

Following a month-long quarantine period, the sharks were introduced into special freight tanks and loaded aboard a commercial airliner in New York.

“The safe arrival of these wonderful Sand Tiger sharks is thanks to months of careful planning here and in the United States,” Christie said. “We are thrilled that visitors will now have the opportunity to see these fearsome looking predators up close.”

Read more: Exhibition in New Zealand Gets New Set of Tiger Teeth

 

Stem Cells: A ‘Stitch in Time’ Could Help Damaged Hearts



“So we believe these results are proof-of-principle—that we can now deliver these cells anywhere a surgeon can place a suture. That’s exciting.”

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has demonstrated the feasibility of a novel technology that a surgeon could use to deliver stem cells to targeted areas of the body to repair diseased or damaged tissue, including cardiac muscle damaged by a heart attack. The technique involves bundling biopolymer microthreads into biological sutures and seeding the sutures with stem cells. The team has shown that the adult bone-marrow-derived stem cells will multiply while attached to the threads and retain their ability to differentiate and grow into other cell types.

The results are reported in the Journal of Biomedical Materials Research.

“We’re pleased with the progress of this work,” said Glenn Gaudette, assistant professor of biomedical engineering at WPI and lead author on the paper. “This technology is developing into a potentially powerful system for delivering therapeutic cells right to where they are needed, whether that’s a damaged heart or other tissues.”

Gaudette’s lab is focused on cardiac function, exploring ways to heal damaged heart muscle and to develop cell-based methods to treat cardiac arrhythmias. Much of this work uses human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs), which come from the bone marrow and can grow into a range of other tissues in the body, including muscle, bone, and fat. Studies by Gaudette and others have shown that when hMSCs are delivered to damaged hearts, they moderately improve cardiac function. A major challenge in these studies, however, is getting sufficient numbers of the hMSCs to engraft into the damaged heart tissue. Prior methods of injecting the cells into the bloodstream, or directly into the heart muscle, have yielded low results, with 15 percent or less of the cells injected actually surviving and attaching to the heart muscle. Most of the hMSCs delivered by injection are washed away by the bloodstream.

Read more: Stem Cells: A ‘Stitch in Time’ Could Help Damaged Hearts

   

Medicines and Drugs that can Destroy Your Teeth



There are some medications, such as the antibiotics tetracycline, that may result in internal staining of the teeth.

The production and use of methamphetamines, which is a strong stimulant drug, is an increasing problem in the United States.

The common street names for this highly addictive and legal street drug are crystal, quartz, crank, speed, meth, and ice.

It is also known as poor man’s cocaine. Methamphetamine use will result is serious problems to your teeth and mouth.

The mouth of a methamphetamine user is often called meth mouth because of the tooth decay that it represents. The users of this dangerous drug often have decay that is so terrible that the teeth must be extracted because they can’t be saved.

The users of methamphetamines suffer considerable damage to their dental health in many different ways. Methamphetamines dry the protective saliva up from around the teeth.

Methamphetamines users will usually grind and/or clinch their teeth. The acidic contents of methamphetamines sometimes contain ingredients such as over-the-counter cold medicines that contain ephedrine, lye, hydrochloric acidic, drain cleaner, antifreeze, lantern fuel, and battery acid, all of which can damage teeth.

Read more: Medicines and Drugs that can Destroy Your Teeth

   

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