Showing posts with label Hope. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hope. Show all posts

An Artificial Heart

Researchers’ Quest for an Artificial Heart

By Alex O’Brien | June 2, 2015 12:47 pm



The need to mend broken hearts has never been greater. In the USA alone, around 610,000 people die of heart disease each year. A significant number of those deaths could potentially have been prevented with a heart transplant but, unfortunately, there are simply too few hearts available.

In 1967 the South African surgeon Christiaan Barnard performed the world’s first human heart transplant in Cape Town. It seemed like a starting gun had gone off; soon doctors all around the world were transplanting hearts.

The problem was that every single recipient died within a year of the operation. The patients’ immune systems were rejecting the foreign tissue. To overcome this, patients were given drugs to suppress their immune system. But, in a way, these early immunosuppressants were too effective: they weakened the immune system so much that the patients would eventually die of an infection. It seemed like medicine was back to square one.


Early Mechanisms

One solution that researchers have pursued since the late 1960s is an artificial heart. Perhaps the most influential device was kick-started by Willem Kolff, the physician-inventor who produced the first kidney dialysis machine. Kolff invited a fellow medical engineer, one Robert Jarvik, to work with him at the University of Utah, and the result was the Jarvik-7. Made up of two pumps, two air hoses and four valves, the Jarvik-7 was more than twice as big as a normal human heart and could only be implanted in the biggest patients – mainly adult men. It had wheels, was as big and heavy (although not as tall) as a standard household refrigerator, and was normally connected to sources of compressed air, vacuum and electricity.

In 1982, Jarvik and Kolff won approval from the US Food and Drug Administration to use it in human patients and implanted it that same year. Their first patient was a 61-year-old dentist called Barney Clark, who lived on the Jarvik-7 for 112 days. A second patient was implanted in 1984 and died after 620 days. History records a total of five patients implanted with the Jarvik-7 for permanent use, all of whom died within 18 months of the surgery from infections or strokes.

The device has been tweaked and renamed many times; at the time of writing, it was the world’s only FDA-approved total-replacement artificial heart device used as a bridge-to-transplant for patients. Another widely used artificial heart, a direct descendent of the Jarvik-7, is the SynCardia. And in the early 2000s, Massachusetts-based company Abiomed unveiled a new heart that (unlike the SynCardia) was designed to be permanent – a total replacement heart for end-stage heart failure patients who were not candidates for transplant and couldn’t be helped by any other available treatment.

But all these versions of artificial heart devices, whether they are meant to support the heart or replace it completely, are trying to copy the functions of the heart, mimicking the natural blood flow. The result is what’s called a pulsatile pump, the flow of blood going into the body like a native heart, at the average of 80 spurts a minute needed to sustain life. That’s the cause of the gentle movement you feel when you put your fingers to your wrist or your chest – your pulse, which corresponds with the beating of your heart.

Today, scientists are working on a new wave of artificial hearts with one crucial difference: they don’t beat.
Pulseless Hearts

The Archimedes’ screw was an ancient apparatus used to raise water against gravity. Essentially, it is a screw in a hollow pipe; by placing the lower end in water and turning it, water is raised to the top. In 1976, during voluntary medical mission work in Egypt, cardiologist Dr. Richard K. Wampler saw men using one such device to pump water up a river bank. He was inspired. Perhaps, he thought, this principle could be applied to pumping blood.

The result was the Hemopump, a device as big as a pencil eraser. When the screw inside the pump spun, blood was pumped from the heart to the rest of the body. It was the world’s first ‘continuous flow’ pump: Rapidly spinning turbines create a flow like water running through a garden hose, meaning the blood flow is continuous from moment to moment.

Because of this, there is no ejection of the blood in spurts. There is no ‘heartbeat’. The patient’s own heart is still beating but the continuous flow from the device masks their pulse, meaning it is often undetectable at the wrist or neck.

And the Hemopump lives on in spirit of newer devices. Abiomed’s newest heart prototype, Impella, uses similar technology boosted by leaps in modern engineering. It has a motor so small it sits inside the device at the end of the catheter, rather than outside of the body. The Impella is the smallest heart pump in use today – it’s not much bigger than a pencil – and as of March 2015 has been approved by the FDA for clinical use, supporting the heart for up to six hours in cardiac surgeries.

Meanwhile, at the Texas Heart Institute, the HeartMate II is being developed. Like the Hemopump, it doesn’t replace the heart but rather works like a pair of crutches for it. About the size and weight of a small avocado, the HeartMate II is suitable for a wider range of patients than the SynCardia and has, on paper, a significantly longer lifespan – up to ten years. Since its FDA approval in January 2010, close to 20,000 people – including former US Vice President Dick Cheney – have received a HeartMate II, 20 of whom have been living with the device for more than eight years. All with an almost undetectable pulse.
The Future of Heart Transplants

I try to imagine a world full of people with no pulse. How, in such a future, would we determine if a person were alive or dead? “That is very easy,” says William (Billy) Cohn, a surgeon at the Texas Heart Institute, bringing my existential philosophizing to a halt. “When we pinch our thumb and it goes from pink to white and immediately back to pink, this means blood is flowing through the body. You can also tell if someone is still alive if they are still breathing.”

He admits that once more of these devices are implanted into patients we will need a standard method of determining such a person’s vitals. Cohn imagines them wearing bracelets or even having tattoos to alert people to their pulseless state.

I wonder how people will take to hearts that literally don’t beat. Perhaps it will be the same as when patients were offered the first heart transplants: resistance, followed by acceptance due to overwhelming need.

“Any new procedure is going to have critics,” says surgeon Denton Cooley. “On the day that Christiaan Barnard did the first heart transplant, the critics were almost as strong, or stronger, than the proponents of [artificial] heart transplantation,” he says. “A lot of mystery goes with the heart, and its function. But most of the critics, I thought, were ignorant, uninformed or just superstitious.”

Cooley performed the first US heart transplant in May 1968. And at 94 years old he still treasures the memory of the day, in 1969, when he implanted the first artificial heart into Haskell Karp and the “satisfaction that came from seeing that heart supporting that man’s life.”

“I had always thought that the heart has only one function, and that is to pump blood,” he says. “It’s a very simple organ in that regard.”

Image by Ociacia/ Shutterstock

This article originally appeared on Mosaic and appears here in edited form.


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Factors For Relationship Compatibility

6 Surprising Predictors of Relationship Compatibility


Many of us think we know which traits we want our ideal partner to have. Yet for some reason we often find ourselves attracted to people who possess none of those qualities. Sometimes we meet potential mates who seem perfect on paper but with whom we have no immediate spark. Other times we feel instant chemistry but end up with an incompatible long-term partner.
 
Attraction may feel natural, but that doesn’t mean it’s random. To figure out how we choose romantic partners, scientists have done everything from study symmetry of the human face to observe subconscious reactions to the smell of armpit sweat. If there were a formula for lasting love, what percentage of human compatibility can we credit to our behavior and what percentage is simple biology?
 
Surprisingly, research shows that attraction and compatibility can be predicted early on by interpreting some remarkable biological clues. Some signs of attraction and compatibility are obvious, but many may amaze you. Here are 6 surprising predictors that sparks will fly:
 
1. DNA: Your genes matter more than your jeans.
 
According to the biotechnology research company Instant Chemistry, up to 40% of physical attraction is determined by your genes. We are biologically programmed to feel that instant “spark” with someone who has a different genetic makeup than our own, and research shows that genetically compatible partners are more likely to make it work long-term.
 
“But not only do biologically compatible partners produce children with strong immune systems, these couples also enjoy more satisfying sex lives, greater marital stability, and increased fertility rates—and they find each other more attractive!” Instant Chemistry reports.
 
2. Facial features: The eyes (and more) have it.
 
The shape and angle of a person’s face provides insight into reproductive health. Evolutionary biologist Randy Thornhill of the University of New Mexico explains that estrogen influences bone growth in a woman’s face and chin, leading to moderately small and short facial features and prominent eyes. Men’s faces are shaped by testosterone, which results in a larger face and jaw and a more prominent brow. The prevalence of these traits advertises reproductive health, which makes a person seem more attractive to the opposite sex.
 




3. Smell: Your perfect match might be right under your nose.
 
Human odor preferences are shaped by sexual selection, and we are evolutionarily inclined to be sensitive to odor cues. Human sweat carries a lot of information about a person’s gender, genetic compatibility, and reproductive state. Those who maintain a good diet, an indicator of overall health, smell healthier and are more attractive to others. In fact, a team of biologists from the Czech Republic recently found that subjects who ate garlic, which is chock-full of antioxidants, smelled more attractive—ironically!
 
4. Language: What did you say?
 
Studies show that people who use the same kinds of function words (pronouns and conjunctions) when speaking are more likely to be a successful match. After looking at speed-dating results, researchers found a link between function-word similarity and the speed-daters’ odds of going on a second date, as well as couples’ odds of staying together three months after the experiment. Interestingly, language similarity turned out to be an even more accurate predictor of Relationship Compatibility when compared to other factors such as “perceived similarity with one’s date, perceived relationship quality, and how many words people spoke to each other during conversation,” according to a study by Texas Tech University.
 
5. Color: Red is the new black.
 
There’s a reason why red is the color of love and passion. Research shows that both men and women perceive people wearing the color red as powerful, strong, and dominant. Studies also show that the color can produce physical responses like increased heart rate and heightened sense of smell. For women, the color red enhances a man’s attractiveness. Researchers from the University of Rochester found that female study participants even rated the same man as more attractive after seeing him against a red backdrop. Men in another study gave higher tips to waitresses wearing red.
 
But where does the link between red and sexual attraction originate? Scientists think it’s associated with physical signs of sexual excitement like redness in the erogenous areas and facial blushing. In addition, strong blood flow and high testosterone levels in men often produce a reddish tone to the skin. The color itself seems to have evolved into a sign of reproductive health and potential.
 
6. Voice pitch: It’s not what you say but how you say it.
 
If you’ve ever wondered why women swoon over men with low-pitched voices, it’s because we tend to associate men with deep baritones with larger bodies. In contrast, results of a study from University College London showed that male listeners preferred higher-pitched, breathier female voices, which they associated with a smaller body size. Deep male voices and high-pitched female voices are perceived as more attractive because of this association with body size.
 
Needless to say, the rules of attraction are complex, involving much more than good looks and a witty pickup line. Hot or not, research shows that your body knows what you’re attracted to better than you do! If you’re looking for love, you can put on a red shirt, eat some garlic, and hope for the best. Or you can follow the roadmap to love that’s already in your DNA. After all, while love is not an exact science, you may have had the clues to finding it all along.
 
To learn more, come visit RewireMe.com




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Create A Nautical Nursery for your Little One

With its stripes and sails, this fresh nursery is perfect for sweet boy dreams.


Nautical nursery 

 
 
 Stripe Away
  • Combine striped fabrics and wallpaper in a fun way.
  • Stick to white, light blue, navy and red to create a look that is uniform and traditionally nautical.

Tip:

  • Layer the look by hanging decorative items including stars, fish and boats from hooks.

Ever so Tidy

  • Beware of clutter in a nursery
  • You may not have the luxury of time to keep things neat and tidy
  • Make your life easy by having specific compartments for every item
  • Store nappies, bum cream, powders and ear buds in a neat container on top of the changing area
  • Use a piece of furniture with drawers or a traditional compactum as a changing station to have all the necessities on hand

Match & Match

  • Don't underestimate the power of colour co-ordination.
  • Try to do it throughout, with the toys you display, the bedding and the wall art and general decorations.
  • You will be amazed at the results!
  •  The room will automatically feel like a whole
  • Using white furniture as a base means you can easily update or change the look in the future.

Extend the Theme

  • Using a little boat in different ways- like painted on canvas and cut out of wood- extends the look and theme of the nursery.
  • Wanting to brighten up the bathroom too, buy a packet of stickers and stick it onto the wall, transforming it into a cartoon heaven for any small child. 

It's in

 the detail...

  • Use interesting handles for your cupboards. These handles let the ligh


Moving Homes with Children

Moving city or country is not easy for anyone, but moving with children brings a whole host of considerations into play. Like your fragile glassware, children too need to be handled with care.



 
Tips to make a move smoother
 
 
     
Struggling socially in the beginning after a move is very common, but few children will have lasting effects. Children from families who have relocated revealed feelings of being conspicuous, feeling like the odd-one-out, literally or figuratively not speaking the language, having no idea of how to go about being accepted, and not being able to catch references or understand in-jokes. As a parent, knowing that these are common emotions that your child will experience can allow you to be more empathetic to his moods.


Talking the good and bad emotions through really assists with the settling process. Don’t be surprised by changes in your child’s behaviour while he is settling in. You can expect some regression, some acting out and some grieving. Children who become very withdrawn or aggressive for more than a few weeks should sound alarm bells. Try to talk through his feelings with him, but seek expert advice if you do not see his mood lifting.


The passage of time usually smoothes down the rough patches in a move, but what can you do to lessen the impact of a move on a child’s emotions and behaviour?


Here are some tips for making the move smoother :


Before the move:


1. Tell your child about the move as soon as possible. It gives him time to get used to the idea.
2. Sell him the benefits of the move in a way that he can relate to.
3. Reassure him by telling him what won’t change about the family life.
4. Make the move more concrete by showing pictures of where you are moving to. Older kids can go online and do the research themselves.
5. Say a positive goodbye to all the people and places your child loves. This will assist in achieving closure. It might also help to create a book for each child with photos and contact details of all the important people in their lives.

During the move:



1. Don’t treat the move as a time to discard all your child’s old toys as it will compound the feelings of loss. Take everything he wants even if it stays in the box once you arrive.
2. Let younger children get used to the process by packing their own belongings.
3. Pack a “must have” suitcase for each member of the family containing favourite possessions.

After the move:



1. Re-establish your family routines as quickly as possible.
2. Create a symbolic settling-in ritual like hanging up your wind chimes, or planting a familiar plant from home.
3. Make a game of getting to know the new neighbourhood (and establishing the boundaries of where children can and can’t go).
4. Put a huge effort into helping your kids form friendships by inviting other kids over to play.
5. Allow your child to experience the benefits of the new environment by doing things that he couldn’t do in the old one. Arrange outings and treats.
6. Help your child keep contact with the friends and family left behind by emailing lots of photos.
7. Focus on your relationship with your partner. A strong family nucleus is the source from which your children can draw strength.
Before, during and after the move, you will find yourself wanting to cover your child in bubble wrap to prevent him from experiencing the hard knocks of relocation. But what you might discover is the inner resilience that a move’s juxtaposition of gains and losses unearths in your child and yourself. “Here is the surprise,” admits Debi Hawkins of her move with her two children, “Without Jasmine and Monty I would have dissolved into a self-pity party very often. But having to think about the day-to-day things for them swung my attention from me to them, and they saved me from myself.”





Ways to Feel Re-Inspired About Love


Love Is All Around With Couple Inlove


Your last break up may have left a bad taste in your mouth and part of you might be giving up on love altogether. I believe that life is too short to be missing out on love, passion and romance and I do believe there’s always a way.

If you would like some tips for you to feel inspired again about the possibility of having a loving and fulfilling relationship, then read on..










1. Read some Success Stories

A great way for you to get inspired again, is to read some success stories about how other couples met online. As humans, we often relate to other people’s stories and by relating to someone’s personal story, you might see how the same outcome might be possible for you. Rather than feeling envious, remind yourself that there is no reason that you could experience the same outcome.
Another thing to consider is for you to ask your married friends how they met their partner and what actually happened in the initial stages of dating. You might be surprised that there were instances where it wasn’t a ‘love at first sight’ kind of story.


We often assume that thing are always effortless and rosy at the beginning, which isn’t always the case. By you hearing more stories about how others met and what happened for them, it might give you a more broader perspective about the possibilities of meeting your ideal partner.

2. See Yourself Already Having it

I do believe there is a lot of truth in the saying “Energy flows to where your attention goes”. In other words, rather than you focusing on your feelings of negativity about men or dating, your past disappointments and your current lack of dates, why not focus on your desired outcome.










One thing I’ll encourage my clients to do is to visit their desired outcome by visualizing it every single day. Create a clear vision around what having a fulfilling, passionate and loving relationship would look like.


How would you feel differently?

What would you partner say to you on your first romantic getaway?

How would you know you were with the right person for you?

Another great thing you could do is read out a statement form the perspective of already having your ideal relationship. For example:


“It’s February 2015 and I’m so grateful to be in a loving and committed relationship. I got here, because I allowed myself to trust and chose not to give up on love. I’m over the moon, I feel so loved.”

3. Create a Dating Strategy

Love Tips and Creating a Dating Plan


Now you’re feeling re-inspired about your relationship goal, it’s time to create a plan of action. Having a plan will give you even more focus and therefore will give you more certainty. Working with a dating coach will definitely assist you here, especially when some of our resistance might come up.

In order to create a dating strategy, you could ask yourself:

What are the 3 most likely ways for me to meet my future partner?

Could my Mr Right potentially be online or am I more likely to meet him though mutual friends?

Come up with at least 3 ways to meet potential partners and make your goal a priority.
Part of the plan could be your scheduling times for potential dates. Your plan of action could be to aim for at least two new dates per week. Once your clear on your relationship goal, let your friends know and ask for support. Keep focused on your desired outcome and don’t give up, no matter what.


One of my favorite quotes is by poet Rumi, which states: “What you seek is seeking you.”

Posted on by Camille Thurnherr        The Needs

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