Showing posts with label Life. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Life. 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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Getting Balance                                          Kaitlin Vogel                             Project Eve













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

5 Things You Didnt Know Sex can do for your Career

Having more sex has been linked to lower stress levels at work, and even higher pay.




You've probably heard the saying "sex sells," which is why sexy images appear so often in advertisements. But did you know sex can also improve your business and boost your career?
We often think of our business and personal lives as two entirely separate spheres, but in fact what happens at home and what happens at work often have overlapping effects. For instance, a stressful day at work can often send you home cranky, and workplace stress can elevate your blood pressure and cause everything from headaches to insomnia.


Similarly, happiness at home can have a calming effect at work, helping you make more clear-headed decisions and making you less likely to fall ill or feel overwhelmed with stress. Sure, sex sells, but it also has the power to improve your 9-to-5 life, whether you're a worker bee or the boss. Here are just a few ways a good sex life can turn your career around:


1. People who have sex get paid more. Apparently there are some outside-of-the-bedroom perks for having more sex. One of those perks is a higher paycheck, at least according to research from the Institute for the Study of Labor. The study found people who have sex at least four times a week make more money than their peers who get less busy. It seems the correlation lies in how those who have more sex tend to be both happier and healthier, leading to more enthusiasm at work, better decisions, and less discrimination, which in turn leads to higher paychecks.


2. Sex reduces stress and prolongs health. Sex is a major stress reduction agent, which means better health and fewer sick days. According to the book Your Doctor is Wrong by Sharon Norling, frequent orgasms can increase life expectancy by three to eight years. Plus, a study by Arizona State University showed sexual behavior with a partner correlated with lower negative mood and higher positive mood the following day in middle-aged women.


3. Sex produces immune system-boosting hormones, resulting in fewer sick days. Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a hormone released during sexual encounters, and it has a whole host of benefits. Some of these include health benefits like reducing symptoms in women with lupus and alleviating depression. In fact, DHEA can even take years off your real age. According to a study by the Royal Edinburgh Hospital, people in their 40s who reported having 50 percent or more sex than their peers also appeared to be about seven to 13 years younger than their actual age when judged by a panel of strangers.


4. No more office migraines: Oxytocin is pain relief. Oxytocin, released during sex, is also important in pain relief. Often called the "love hormone," oxytocin is also released during labor in order to relieve pain. With its power to help relieve pain, the hormone could keep you feel healthier in the office.
5. Entrepreneurship can actually improve your sex life. Taking control of your own destiny by becoming an entrepreneur can be empowering--and it can empower more than just your career prospects. A recent survey of entrepreneurs found 14 percent reported having more sex after ditching their 9-to-5 job. So it works both ways--more sex can help your career with better health and higher wages, and finally breaking out on your own and following your entrepreneurial dreams can lead to more sex.


You might think your career and your sex life are completely separate entities, but what happens at home and at work can often intersect in interesting ways. By spending more time with your partner, you'll actually be improving your chances of getting that promotion or taking your business to the next level.


What do you think? Do you think there's a link between your career and your sex life? Share in the comments!










12 Things Marriage Is and 12 Things It Isn't

24 years of marriage.
That's what September 15th meant for me.
We had celebrated earlier so I didn't remember until I was driving to work. I called him. Told him I loved him. I got grocery store flowers when I got home. Beautifully arranged by the way.
What ever did we do without grocery store flowers?
Between being a marital therapist and my own experience, I have learned a few things. Since I am on year #24, I've divided them into 12's. Just to be cute.


12 Things That Marriage Is Not:


1. Marriage is not for sissies. It's hard work.
2. Marriage is not about getting what you want all the time. It's not a dictatorship. It's not wanting to win all the time because that would mean the other person would lose all the time. May be OK for you. Not good for the marriage.
3. Marriage is not rocket science. The principles it's based on are really pretty simple. Kindness. Respect. Loyalty. That kind of thing.
4. Marriage is not unfashionable. It stays vital. Even Brangelina must think so.
5. Marriage is not in and of itself stimulating. Since you are with the same person over a long time, the two of you can get in a rut. You have to keep things fresh.
6. Marriage is not about collecting things. The joys of marriage aren't tangible. You live them. That's what makes them so very special.
7. Marriage is not for the impatient. Some of the best stuff takes a while to develop. You have to stick around to find that out.
8. Marriage is not the place for criticism. For abuse. If it is found there, it will ruin any chance of true intimacy or trust and dissolve the hope that once might have existed.
9. Marriage is not a 24-hour repair shop. Your marital partner is not supposed to meet your every need. Some of those needs you may have to take care of yourself. Through your friendships or other activities.
10. Marriage is not self-sustaining. It does not thrive on its own. If all you focus on is the kids, you are making a mistake.
11. Marriage is not boring. Two lives woven together can be quite exciting! There's just something about watching someone very different from you, living their life in an extremely different way. Up close and personal. You learn from that.
12. Marriage is not without conflict. Knowing how to disagree and work through anger and disappointment is probably the key to lots of stuff going well. Getting to that cooperating, mentioned in #2.












2014-09-26-Marriageisgettingirritatedbythethingsthatalwaysirritateyou.Andtoleratingitbecauseitiswayoverbalancedbythegoodstuff1.jpg


12 Things That Marriage Is:


1. Marriage is the potential for an intense, deep and diverse intimacy. Sexual. Emotional. Relational.
2. Marriage is knowing someone has your back. Always. You have theirs. It's about interdependence.
3. Marriage is realizing that you have been seen in your worst times, and that you are still loved. There's an overriding sense of gratitude and security.
4. Marriage is sharing old jokes. Or some story that may be told over and over but it still makes you laugh 'til you are left gasping for breath.
5. Marriage is getting teary-eyed together.
6. Marriage is thinking about the other one not being there anymore. And not being able to think about it.
7. Marriage is getting irritated by the things that always irritate you. Have irritated you for 24 years. Will irritate you for 24 more. And tolerating it because it is way overbalanced by the good stuff.
8. Marriage is not being able to wait to get home to share some little something.
9. Marriage is wishing you were the one having the operation. Or the illness. Not him.
10. Marriage is sometimes fighting. Trying to slowly learn to fight more fairly. To apologize. To listen. To learn. To find resolution.
11. Marriage is about vulnerability. Giving someone the right to hurt or disappoint you. While simultaneously giving that someone the opportunity to bring you tremendous joy and laughter.
12. Marriage is a promise. A vow. To try the hardest you have ever tried in your life. Marriage is a place for the achievement of a personal integrity like no other.
I'm now living year #25.


So far. So good. Thanks for reading! You can find more from Dr. Margaret at


http://drmargaretrutherford.com!


Dr. Margaret Rutherford Headshot










13 Things to Remember When Life Gets Rough











remember


We’ve all gone through hard times. And we all get through them. However, some get through them better than others. So what is their secret? Most of it has to do with attitude. Here are 13 things to remember when life gets rough:




1. What is, is. Buddha’s famous saying tells us: “It is your resistance to ‘what is’ that causes your suffering.” Think about that for a minute. It means that our suffering only occurs when we resist how things are. If you can change something, then take action! Change it! But if you can’t change it, then you have two choices: (1) either accept it and let go of the negativity, or (2) make yourself miserable by obsessing over it.


2. It’s only a problem if you think it’s a problem. Many times, we are our own worst enemy. Happiness is really dependent on perspective. If you think something is a problem, then your thoughts and emotions will be negative. But if you think it’s something you can learn from, then suddenly, it’s not a problem anymore.


3. If you want things to change, you need to start with changing yourself. Your outer world is a reflection of your inner world. Don’t you know people whose lives are chaotic and stressful? And isn’t that largely because they feel chaotic inside? Yes, it is. We like to think that changing our circumstances will change us. But we have it backwards—we need to change ourselves first before our circumstances will change.



4. There is no such thing as failure—only learning opportunities. You should just wipe the word “failure” right out of your vocabulary. All great people who have ever achieved anything have “failed” over and over. In fact, I think it was Thomas Edison who said something like, “I did not fail at inventing the light bulb, I just first found 99 ways that it didn’t work.” Take your so-called “failures” and learn something from them. Learn how to do it better next time.


5. If you don’t get something you want, it just means something better is coming. That’s hard to believe sometimes, I know. But it’s true. Usually, when you look back at your life, you will be able to see why it was actually a good thing that something didn’t work out. Maybe the job you didn’t get would have made you spend more time away from your family, but the job you did get was more flexible. Just have faith that everything happens exactly the way it’s supposed to.


6. Appreciate the present moment. This moment will never come again. And there is always something precious about every moment. So don’t let it pass you by! Soon it will just be a memory. Even moments that don’t seem happy can be looked upon as something that you might miss someday. As the country song by Trace Adkins says, “You’re gonna miss this…you’re gonna want this back. You’re gonna wish these days hadn’t gone by so fast….you may not know this now, but you’re gonna miss this…”


7. Let go of desire. Most people live with “attached mind.” What this means is that they attach themselves to a desire, and when they don’t get it, their emotions plummet into negativity. Instead, try to practice “detached mind.” That means that when you want something, you will still be happy whether you get it or not. Your emotions remain happy or neutral.


8. Understand and be grateful for your fears. Fear can be a great teacher. And overcoming fears can also make you feel victorious. For example, when I was in college, I feared public speaking (one of the top 3 fears of all humans). So I find it humorous now that not only do I speak in front of a group every day by being a college professor, I also teach public speaking! Overcoming fears just takes practice. Fear is really just an illusion. It’s optional.


9. Allow yourself to experience joy. Believe it or not, I know way too many people who don’t allow themselves to have fun. And they don’t even know how to be happy. Some people are actually addicted to their problems and the chaos in them so much that they wouldn’t even know who they are without them. So try to allow yourself to be happy! Even if it’s just for a small moment, it’s important to focus on joy, not your hardships.


10. Don’t compare yourself to other people. But if you do compare yourself, compare yourself with people who have it worse than you. Unemployed? Be grateful that you live in a country that gives unemployment compensation, because most people in the world live on less that $750 a year. So you don’t look like Angelina Jolie? Well, I bet there are more people who don’t than do. And you are probably way better looking than than you think. Focus on that.

11. You are not a victim. You need to get out of your own way. You are only a “victim” of your own thoughts, words and actions. No one “does” something to you. You are the creator of your own experience. Take personal responsibility and realize that you can get out of your hard times. You just need to start with changing your thoughts and actions. Abandon your victim mentality and become victorious. From victim to VICTOR!

12. Things can—and do—change. “And this too shall pass” is one of my favorite sayings. When we are stuck in a bad situation, we think that there is no way out. We think nothing will ever change. But guess what? It will! Nothing is permanent except death. So get out of the habit of thinking that things will always be this way. They won’t. But you do need to take some sort of action for things to change. It won’t magically happen all on its own.

13. Anything is possible. Miracles happen every day. Really—they do. I wish I had enough space to write about all the miraculous things that have happened to people I know—from healing stage 4 cancer naturally to having their soul mate appear out of nowhere. Trust me: it happens all the time. You just need to believe it does. Once you do, you have won the battle.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Carol Morgan has a Ph.D. in communication and is a professor at Wright State University. She is also the host of ‘A Walk on the WOO Side’ radio show, a motivational expert on the TV show ‘Living Dayton,’ video expert for eHow.com, keynote speaker, and a member of Inspiyr.com’s Expert Network. You can subscribe to her blog, get some life/relationship coaching from her, and check out her books at www.drcarolmorgan.com.










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