Monday, April 13, 2009


Site of the day:

I think the only real charity now is investment into scientific research, especially in Space Program. Because it is the only real way to make life of future generations easier. Other ways to make a life bit easier can be funding research on automatization and molecular biology.
Space Program can, no doubts, open for humanity new resources in geology and energetics, so does molecular biology. Automatization can optimize our everyday processes, which now produce significant losses of energy and resources. Not to mention all that this sciences do to humanity today.
Oh wait, I just forgot about education. Funding education is also good charity. For most of our problems in the world today, are the result of total ignorance.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Ultrasound Regrows Damaged Teeth

Site of the day:

University of Alberta scientists have developed a wearable microminiature ultrasound generator that causes damaged teeth to generate more tooth material.

Hockey players, rejoice! A team of University of Alberta researchers has created technology to regrow teeth--the first time scientists have been able to reform human dental tissue.

Using low-intensity pulsed ultrasound (LIPUS), Dr. Tarak El-Bialy from the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry and Dr. Jie Chen and Dr. Ying Tsui from the Faculty of Engineering have created a miniaturized system-on-a-chip that offers a non-invasive and novel way to stimulate jaw growth and dental tissue healing.

"It's very exciting because we have shown the results and actually have something you can touch and feel that will impact the health of people in Canada and throughout the world," said Chen, who works out of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the National Institute for Nanotechnology.

The wireless design of the ultrasound transducer means the miniscule device will be able to fit comfortably inside a patient's mouth while packed in biocompatible materials. The unit will be easily mounted on an orthodontic or "braces" bracket or even a plastic removable crown. The team also designed an energy sensor that will ensure the LIPUS power is reaching the target area of the teeth roots within the bone. TEC Edmonton, the U of A's exclusive tech transfer service provider, filed the first patent recently in the U.S. Currently, the research team is finishing the system-on-a-chip and hopes to complete the miniaturized device by next year.
"If the root is broken, it can now be fixed," said El-Bialy. "And because we can regrow the teeth root, a patient could have his own tooth rather than foreign objects in his mouth."

The device is aimed at those experiencing dental root resorption, a common effect of mechanical or chemical injury to dental tissue caused by diseases and endocrine disturbances. Mechanical injury from wearing orthodontic braces causes progressive root resorption, limiting the duration that braces can be worn. This new device will work to counteract the destructive resorptive process while allowing for the continued wearing of corrective braces. With approximately five million people in North America presently wearing orthodontic braces, the market size for the device would be 1.4 million users.

This would allow more rapid realignment of teeth for those undergoing orthodontic therapy.
El-Bialy had previously demonstrated this effect using a larger ultrasound generator. He teamed up with other faculty and developed a wearable device so that the benefit could be had more easily. His previous research showed that the ultrasound also helped cause damaged bones to repair.

El-Bialy has shown in earlier research that ultrasound waves, the high frequency sound waves normally used for diagnostic imaging, help bones heal and tooth material grow.
"I was using ultrasound to stimulate bone formation after lower-jaw lengthening in rabbits," El-Bialy said in an interview Tuesday.

To his surprise, not only did he help heal the rabbits' jaws after the surgery, but their teeth started to grow as well.
He foresees the day when people with broken bones will wear ultrasound emittters wrapped into the bandages.

This approach by itself probably can't solve the problem of growing replacements for entirely missing teeth. However, ultrasound might help stimulate tooth building cells once scientists develop techniques for creating suitable cells. Still, additional problems must be solved to get tooth building cells to produce the particular tooth shape desired.

By Randall Parker

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

New genetic discovery may help people to regrow teeth

Site of the day:

Geneticists at the University of Rochester said Thursday their discovery could spur work to help adults one day grow new teeth when theirs wear out.

The researchers said people and most other mammals have a gene that prevents additional tooth formation.

When the scientists bred mice that lacked that gene, the rodents developed extra teeth next to their first molars - backups like sharks and other nonmammals grow.

If wondering about shark teeth seems rather wonky, consider: Tooth loss from gum disease is a major problem, and dentures or dental implants are far from perfect treatments.

If scientists knew what triggers a new tooth to grow, it's possible they could switch that early-in-life process on again during adulthood to regenerate teeth.

"It's exciting. We've got a clue what to do," said Dr. Songtao Shi of the University of Southern California School of Dentistry, who said the Rochester discovery will help his research into how to grow a new tooth from scratch.

Also intriguing: All mice born without this gene, called Osr2, had cleft palates severe enough to kill. A better understanding of this gene might play a role in efforts to prevent that birth defect.

From Daily News:

I also decided to put it here, because this is important news: