MASSDEVICE ON CALL — North Carolina researchers built the first functional anal sphincters in a laboratory, and the organs developed blood flow and maintained function when implanted in mice.
While mouse studies are a far cry from preparation for human use, the lab-made sphincters could one day lead to treatment for urinary and fecal incontinence.
"In essence, we have built a replacement sphincter that we hope can one day benefit human patients," said lead author Khalil Bitar, a professor of regenerative medicine at Wake Forest Baptist medical center. "This is the first bioengineered sphincter made with both muscle and nerve cells, making it ‘pre-wired’ for placement in the body."
The study is published in the medical journal Gastroenterology.
Medical supplies versus medical devices
Goldman Sachs upgraded medical supply stocks over medical device stocks yesterday, with analysts predicting that medical supplies will fare better since they are relatively inexpensive, CNBC reported.
Analyst David Roman named Baxter International Inc. (NYSE: BAX) and Covidien plc (NYSE:COV) as his top picks, both of which managed to get a little boost in share prices yesterday.
Tiny sensor can detect date rape drug
Researchers in Tel Aviv are developing a pocket-sized sensor that women can use to test drinks for traces of "date rape" drugs GHB and ketamine.
The sensors, small enough to fit in a pocket or purse, are the first to be able to detect the drugs in real time, and have proven 100 percent accurate in testing, according to the release.
3D imaging in a can
MIT researchers have developed an inexpensive 3-D imaging device about the size of a soda can that packs a powerful punch, MassHighTech reported. The images it produces are fine enough to show raised in on a dollar bill.
Consumer group says rise in cardiac testing driven by greed
Consumer Reports called out heart doctors in a new study, saying that a large number of tests and procedures for heart disease are carried out in the name of greed rather than in the interest of health. In their survey of 8056 members aged 40 to 60, the report found that nearly half of those at low risk for heart disease had undergone at least one screening, the British Medical Journal reported.