07 August 2010

Links: Crazy Bus, Regeneration, and the Beauty of Alaska

Engineers in China have come up with a pretty elegant solution to the problem of overcrowded streets and buses stuck in traffic. They put the bus on stilts and it just drives over the other traffic while only taking up a tiny strip of road on either side.

China Hush: Straddling Bus

Possibly the holy grail of medical technology is human regeneration. It's the idea that we might coax the human body into growing back a lost limb or heart tissues that has led to all kinds of research. Healing cuts in your skin and broken bones are minor forms of regeneration that happen naturally, but, unlike simpler animals like amphibians, we can't regenerate larger parts of our body, probably because evolution forced us to trade long life and cancer resistance for wildly growing cells that can rebuild parts from nothing. This week plenty of news came out related to regeneration research. Here are a few stories. We are still a long way from regenerating a lost limb, but scientists are working on it.

NY Times: Two New Paths to the Dream – Regeneration

BBC News: Surgeons Rebuild Windpipe with Stem Cells

Nature: Skin Cells Converted to Heart Cells (more technical)

Jim Harris Photography
Last today, an incredible photo-essay of a backpacking trip through Alaskan mountains and glaciers. If you are one for beautiful nature pictures, you probably won't be able to stop scrolling down the page. The picture on the right is just one of many.

33 Days Across Wrangell-St. Elias NP, Alaska: The Southern Spiral

Also, this.

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