SCIENCE IN THE NEWS DAILY
Why Is That Undulating Blob Of Flesh Inspecting My Oil Rig?
Every so often, the Internet astonishes. Things I wouldn't, couldn't, shouldn't expect, sometimes happen. On April 25, somewhere in the ocean off Great Britain, a remotely operated video camera near a deep sea oil rig caught a glimpse--at first it was just a glimpse--of an astonishing looking sea creature. It was a green-gray blob of gelatinous muscle, covered with a finely mesh-like textured skin, no eyes, no tentacles, no front, no back. It moved constantly, floating up to the camera, then it backed off and disappeared. The camera operator tried to find it, and then, suddenly, out of the darkness, back it came.
What was this thing? It had no mouth. It seemed to be undulating, or at least moving with intention. It looked like it was coming back to the drill to ... to do what? Or maybe it was dead. Just a floating bit of tissue, a whale placenta, perhaps?
You'd figure a video like this, once it went on the Internet (which it did last month) would produce the usual wild explanations from people who know little but post madly, rumors masquerading as knowledge, a great riot of misinformation and silliness. But not this time.
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PODCAST & VIDEO: 3D Printing Replacement Body Parts
Regenerative medicine, a fledgling field with the aim of regrowing parts from a person’s own cells, is being amplified with 3D-printing technology, which can now use organic materials to create scaffolds that cells need to grow into their final forms. Richard Wysk, a professor of industrial and systems engineering at North Carolina State University, discusses the latest successes with this research, and the timeline for creating more complicated structures.
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