Category Archives: MPF Eye on Health

MPF Eye on Technology – 3D Bioprinter Creates Bone, Muscle, And Cartilage

3D Bioprinter

Technology in today’s world is fascinating, we seem to be making great strides in so many areas. 3D printing is creating incredible possibilities in numerous fields, but this is truly an exciting development that will make a huge difference in countless peoples lives.

3D Bioprinter Creates Bone, Muscle–And Cartilage For This Ear

Almost good enough to be transplanted into humans

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3D printer created this synthetic tissue
Synthetic cartilage printed in the form of an ear by the Integrated Tissue-Organ Printing System at Wake Forest UniversityBecause the demand for donors’ organs and tissues is so high, researchers have spent years engineering synthetic tissues that could be transplanted into humans. But that’s not very easy to do—many of the gel-like tissues have been too mushy to be moved into a living organism, and without the intricate pathways in the tissue through which oxygen and other nutrients can travel, the living cells inside don’t survive long.

Now a team of researchers from Wake Forest University has created a 3D bioprinter that creates large synthetic bone, cartilage, and muscle tissue that is viable for weeks or months at a time when implanted in animals. With a bit more work, the researchers believe these 3D printed tissues could be transplanted into humans, according to a study published today in Nature Biotechology.

The tool, called the Integrated Tissue-Organ Printing System, creates synthetic tissues out of a biodegradable polymer that contains living cells. This mixture is dabbed into the desired shape through nozzles that are fractions of an inch wide. The printer simultaneously creates an outer mold that dissolves once the tissue has hardened, leaving behind a tissue lattice that is structurally sound but also contains tiny channels through which oxygen can reach the living cells. With CT scans taken before the printing begins, the tissue can be printed into the exact shape needed in the patient’s body.

The researchers printed a human-size piece of jawbone, the cartilage of an ear (complete with complex folds), and soft muscle tissue. They then took small samples of these synthetic tissues and implanted them: the bone and muscle went in rats, and the cartilage in mice. When they checked on the implants after a number of weeks, they found that each of the synthetic tissues had been integrated with the rat’s own tissues. The synthetic ones were healthy and working well.

While the 3D bioprinter method takes longer than other techniques that make viable synthetic tissues, the tissues it produces are larger. To work around the structural challenge presented by larger synthetic tissues, researchers had previously been working on the tiniest scales.

The researchers haven’t yet tested these tissues on humans. Before doing that, they intend to make synthetic tissues with different types of cells from the body. If they can do that, they would want to extract some of the human’s own cells to put into the synthetic tissue. That would help the tissue integrate better, making the body less like to reject the transplant.

Posted in Popular Science Online

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MPF Eye on Health – The Darkness and The Light

The Darkness and The Light

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This post is for a dear friend that is caught in the depths of deep depression. I’m hoping she will be able to find her way out of the darkness into the light.

The Darkness and The Light ∼ For those who have never really known depression, it’s akin to residing in darkness where form is barely visible, but depth and detail are not. You sense that there is light around you, but you can’t find your way to it, and the fear of falling further into that darkness paralyzes you from any movement at all. As the cold and dampness envelope you, you start finding an uneasy level of familiarity, then acceptance, and finally comfort. This must be where you belong, for certainly you would not be here otherwise. The thought, the deed, or the experience that brought you here, have made you unworthy for anything else. From a distance you hear the voices of your family and friends trying to tell you otherwise, but you know better, as would they, if they really knew the truth. You soon begin setting roots into the core of this place of solitude and despair, because the effort needed to remove yourself seems overwhelming.

There are times, you hear a few words that pierce the gloom to remind you of the world you left behind, and when you look for their origin, you find a match that for a few brief moments shines light into the darkness. The light brings warmth and sight, and you hold on tight until it burns itself out and you are once again surrounded by blackness. At some point, one of those matches illuminates the smallest amount of kindling material, which you carefully use to start a fire before the power of the match is gone. A hope stirs in your heart, which is at once both frightening and exciting, but you hesitate and forget to protect the small burgeoning flame from the unpredictable wind, and in an instant, it’s gone. But now your world has become even darker, for you were in the presence of the light that has once again been lost.

Time has no meaning in this place, and the hours and days pass without notice. There is no love, no hate, no laughter, and at some point, no tears, for you are being absorbed by the abyss. Your mind has lost the will to fight, for it sees no escape, and therefore no reason to try.

But when the mind retreats, the spirit awakens, for in it, lies our will to live, and it rails against the darkness. It desperately searches for the means to start and protect that little fire so that it can burn bright until the suns first rays arrive. As the flames leap and dance, what had just seemed flat and lifeless now shows it’s depth and dimension, and we begin to again see the beauty that surrounds us. The cold and dampness that had enshrouded us, is replaced with warmth, and the relief that comes from knowing the night is finally ending.

Soon the glow of the fire gives way to our new dawn, and the loving words of our friends and family can again be heard. We have found our way back to the light, and for a time, we see the true glory of the colors that are in Natures palette, we smell the rich aromas that come from this window or that garden, feel the light breezes that caress the skin, and hear the sweetness of the music that is life. Our senses seem reborn for we have been in darkness without them for far too long, and even though it almost overwhelms us, we pray that it never ends. We have survived. ∼

If you have a loved one that is suffering from depression, please do what you can to support them, and never give up hope.

The Darkness and The Light

Heather M Spencer

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MPF Eye on Health – Green Tea and Cancer Cells – by Catharine Paddock PhD

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MPF Eye on Health – Save That Avocado Seed – An Article by Heidi Kristoffer

The Health Benefits of the Avocado Seed

This is a very interesting article on the health benefits of the Avocado Seed, which I’ve always thrown away. Looks like I won’t be doing that anymore. Hope you enjoy the read.


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The writer Alex Jordon showed us several benefits of eating avocado seeds, while many people still ignore its seed, what people have realized is that avocados are delicious fruits and provide tons of health benefits.

I have to say, consider well before you throw the seeds when eating avocados, as it may contain the key to combating a kind of cancer – Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML).

What’s Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) And How Avocado Seeds May Help

Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) is a form of cancer that affects the bone narrow, it causes bone narrow cells to malfunction, which will creat an influx of non-mature myeloid cells to crowd the bloodstream, thus leading to leukemia cancer. People who’re suffering from this cancer may have uncomfortable symptoms, such as difficult breathing, serious joint pain, bleeding disorders and lack of energy. It’s essential treat it in time, and the avocado seeds may help!


A 2015 study (S1) of the Cancer Research Journal showed that avocados could hold the key to helping beat rare form of leukaemia, and also noted that the compound was extracted from the seed of avocado and not from the flesh.

Scientists (S2) from the University of Waterloo and Mount Sinai Hospital in Canada and the University of Perugia in Italy have found that a simple compound in avocado seeds could kill cancer cells without any negative effects when compared with the traditional treatments.

Another study (S3) also found that a compound that exsited in the avocado seed may lead to a new treatment for AML without any harsh side effect. Means the part often tossed when you’re eating avocados could provide better surival outcomes for people who’re suffering from AML.

So, rethink about this next time. And the seeds,not only have the ability to help the patients with AML, also can help your health in other ways as well:

1. Actually avocado seed has 70% of the antioxidants found in the whole avocado, which is essential to prevent heart disease, lower cholesterol and prevent other types of disease.

2. Avocado seed has insecticidal, fungicidal, and anti-microbial properties.

3. The seed has more soluble fiber than almost any other food, which plays an important role in controlling high cholesterol.

4. The seed is very high in potassium.

5. Avocado seed also has a good anti-inflammatory ability to help relieve joints pain and arthritis.

6. The oil form of avocado seed has been shown to keep your skin youthful and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. It also helps get rid of dry dead skin as a simple skin care remedy.

7. Make tea with grated avocado seeds is great for stomach ache. Halve the seed and put it into a cup of hot water, leave it for 10-15 minutes and drink the tea.

8. It makes your smoothie more tasty and healthy. Make a delicious combination of avocado(fruit and seed), green apple,pineapple and cucumber.

Save the avocado seed, it’s good for your health!

Additional Sources: S1, S2, S3,

Source: Save That Avocado Seed – It’s Good For Your Health!


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MPF Eye on Health – The Impact of Dancing on People With Parkinson’s

This is a very interesting story from NPR on the positive impact dance is having on those suffering from Parkinson’s Disease. At the end of the article, there is a link to the NPR website that includes an audio version as well. Enjoy.

Dance Returns The ‘Joy Of Movement’ To People With Parkinson’s

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The routines that students learn at Dance for PD classes in Venice, Calif., can be quite challenging, instructors say.

Courtesy of Joe Lambie and Laura Karlin

If you pictured a dancer, you probably wouldn’t imagine someone with Parkinson’s disease. Worldwide, there are 10 million people with the progressive movement disorder, and they struggle with stiff limbs, tremors and poor balance.

But over the past 15 years or so, a few thousand have taken dance classes that are part of a program called Dance for PD. It began in Brooklyn and has spread throughout the country and around the world. It has also attracted the attention of scientists interested in the ways dance might ease symptoms.

The program in Venice, Calif., is in its fifth year. One recent afternoon, “Broadway Baby” blasted from the sound system as nearly two dozen people tried to imitate the movements of instructor Linda Berghoff. The students are people with Parkinson’s and their spouses or caregivers. For the moment, everyone was seated, but with bodies pulled upright, arms stretched and fists pumping in time to the music.

It was a challenging routine, keeping a one-two beat with one arm, and a three-part rhythm with the other. Berghoff shouted encouragement over the music. She’s lean and fit and looks younger than her 65 years. Though never a professional dancer, she’s danced all her life — even after her own diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease 10 years ago.

“When I was diagnosed, the thought that I would no longer dance again terrified me,” she tells Shots. “I’d be stripped of the thing I love the most.”

The diagnosis was also a blow to Laura Karlin, a long-time friend who describes Berghoff as her second mother.

Karlin was looking for something she could do to support her friend. She asked Berghoff, “Do you want to do yoga together? Do you want to dance together? Do you want to start a dance class together?”

The dance class was the winner. And a reasonable choice, considering that Karlin is the artistic director of the Invertigo Dance Theatre, which has a performing company and also offers classes. Invertigo’s dance class tailored to people with Parkinson’s disease began in 2011; the company now sponsors five such courses around the L.A. area.

Dance students and teachers strike a pose at Invertigo Dance Theatre's class for people with Parkinson's.

Dance students and teachers strike a pose at Invertigo Dance Theatre’s class for people with Parkinson’s.

Ina Jaffe/NPR

And each one is a real dance class, Karlin says.

“We don’t dumb it down. I believe very much in making this a really joyful and challenging experience,” she says. “But it has to be both challenging and kind of satisfying.”

Karlin learned what she needed to know to start her Parkinson’s program at the Mark Morris Dance Center in Brooklyn, where Dance for PD began about 15 years ago. David Leventhal is the director of the Mark Morris program. At the beginning, he says, it was trial and error because “there’s no one type of Parkinson’s, no one set of symptoms.”

There are some small, short-term studies that suggest dance might improve some of those symptoms, especially ease of walking. But Leventhal says the class was never intended as just physical therapy.

“There’s also an artistic quality,” he says, “where we’re hoping people are able to say something with those gestures.” This is particularly relevant to people with Parkinson’s, who start to lose their expressive ability and “feel themselves pull away from who they thought they were.”

The program at the Mark Morris Dance Center began as a partnership with the Brooklyn Parkinson Group. But for the past eight years, Mark Morris instructors have been training other dance companies — like L.A.’s Invertigo Dance Theatre — to conduct classes of their own. There are now programs in 40 states and 13 other countries.

“It’s such a natural, intuitive idea that dance should be a good thing for Parkinson’s, that people have just gone ahead and done it” without scientific verification that it actually helps, says Dr. Pietro Mazzoni. He teaches neurology at Columbia University Medical Center and heads the Motor Performance Laboratory there.

Mazzoni says the few small studies that have been done don’t explain why dancing can help people with Parkinson’s, or what routine might be better than another, or how long the effects last. So he’s beginning a larger study that may answer those questions.

Scientists are only beginning to study whether dance does something for people with Parkinson's that more typical physical therapy can't achieve.

Scientists are only beginning to study whether dance does something for people with Parkinson’s that more typical physical therapy can’t achieve.

Courtesy of Joe Lambie and Laura Karlin

One of the theories he’ll be testing is that people with Parkinson’s move less because the disease triggers more than tremors and other physical symptoms — it also robs them of their ability to enjoy moving.

“I’ve heard patients spontaneously describe the beginning of their symptoms using language like, ‘I didn’t enjoy walking with my husband anymore,’ ” Mazzoni says. ” ‘I could do it; it just wasn’t fun.’ ”

So Mazzoni’s work will look at psychological factors as well as physical ones. Then he’ll compare the dancers to people getting traditional physical therapy.

“It may be that dance is not just a nicer form of physical therapy,” he says. “It may be that it has the key to producing long lasting changes.”

It seems to be helping 76-year-old Willie Marquez. He and his wife Lenore heard about the dance class from his doctor, when Marquez got his Parkinson’s diagnosis three years ago.

“We got in the car and ran over here,” he says.

Marquez says taking the class is a “no brainer” because he and his wife have been dancing together since they met — 52 years ago. Willie Marquez was teaching salsa in those days. The couple still moves confidently across the floor, now side by side, surrounded by fellow students.

They’re all trying out a new routine and it looks pretty rough. But they throw themselves into it. As Laura Karlin always reminds them, there are no mistakes in dance — just solos.

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MPF Eye On Health – The Value Of Being Able To Walk

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The Value Of Being Able To Walk

A new friend posted a great article on the health benefits of gratitude, and the importance of recognizing daily the good things that affect our lives. Of course that got me thinking about the many simple things I just take for granted without realizing how different my life would be without them. That in turn led me to think about the lovely man who is facing terminal cancer, and is rapidly losing his ability to walk. The reach of that change is staggering, and it impacts every moment of his waking hours.

Most of us that are lucky enough to be able to walk, go through our routine without even considering how easy we really have it. Just think for a moment on all the pieces of our day that involve ambulatory movement. We wake up and usually, our first stop is the bathroom. Then we head to the kitchen for coffee, or out the door to walk the dog, or a quick jog. Now we’re off to get into a car, bus or train, once at work we’re back and forth to meetings, the copy machine, or the water cooler. On the way home, we stop at the grocery store, or take the kids to some after school activity, then dinner, then after dinner chores, then finally plop in bed exhausted from all the moving we did. Now, think about trying to do any of those things without being able to walk. Even the simplest part of our day would involve an enormous effort.

There are so many in the world that deal with the staggering challenges of being confined to a wheel chair or bed, and yet they still embrace life and find ways to be an integral part of society. They are more than inspiring, they are a testament to the strength and courage of the human spirit. So my grateful thought today is being enormously thankful for being able to walk, and hopefully, the next time I start to moan and groan about the little insignificant aches and pains that accompany the passing years, I’ll catch myself and remember that if that’s my biggest issue, I’m truly blessed.

Heather M Spencer

Mission Positive Films

The Value of Being Able To Walk

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Clinical trials

Hello Everyone,

Happy Friday !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Don anf I were very fortunate on Wednesday evening to attend a meeting put on by The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. There were two terrific doctors that work primarily with clinical trials tied in with the Cancer Research Center, that spoke about the importance of participation in the trials. They covered the issues that concern patients that are considering the possibilities. As I’m sure most of you already know, these trials are the way new and more effective treatments come to to the forefront. What I wasn’t aware of, is that they can in many cases, be safer alternatives. The studies are so well controlled, the participants so closely monitored, and the results so important, that the patient is  actually in very good hands. If you have any interest in more information, check out .

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