HEALTH

Cisna reassures his young viewers that his 540 Meals diet didn’t consist solely of boring salads or other healthier options: "I had everything. I had Big Macs, I had the Habanero, I had Quarter Pounders with Cheese, I had ice cream cones, I had sundaes. And what’s really amazing, that people find unbelievable, is probably 95% of every day, I had French fries. I love French fries and that was a great part of it."

A closer look shows that from 1997 to 2004 there was a steady decline but then there was a plateau until 2009 when the current downward trend began to fall again, as noted by CDC Director Tom Frieden. He points out that 2009 was when tobacco taxes increased and when the FDA began regulating tobacco. Also of note was the 2012 launch of a graphic anti-smoking campaign from the CDC, which is credited with preventing 16,000 tobacco-related deaths. The overlap is no coincidence. Studies have shown these actions, plus other steps such as smoking bans, work.

Their startup joins the growing field of regenerative medicine, which is employing such new technologies as 3-D bioprinting to produce living human tissue and bone. Despite some ethical concerns, several companies even hope to engineer complex human organs, suitable for transplants, within a decade or two.

Cell therapy makes up over 60% of the regenerative medicine market, most of which is in the area of stem cell therapy. Adult stem cells can be used in the areas of cardiology; musculo-skeletal, including neurology; optometry; dermatology; cosmology; wound healing; and cancer. Stem cell therapy, when combined with immune and gene therapy, shows even greater potential to cure diseases. This new combination of regenerative cell therapies will open a new age of medicine, forever changing how it is practiced. For example, in the future, knee replacements may no longer be needed with regenerative cell therapy. Regenerative medicine is not only driven by new evidence indicating these therapies are capable of curing diseases, but also by the fact that the world’s population is aging.

Further, they have to create a scenario in which the most pragmatic individuals — surgeons — buy into the simulation mentally, physically and emotionally. This means that the models have to not only look real, but feel and respond realistically. To do this, the Fractured FX team has incorporated 3D printing, 3D scanning, 3D character and special effects makeup artists. Together they produce "artificial tissues that bleed and pulsate, manmade blood vessels that feel like the real thing when doctors insert a catheter and special gels that feel like brain tissue when an endoscope is guided through them."

The team's discovery came from a meta-analysis of more than 6,000 structural MRI scans, which showed that there was "no significant difference in hippocampal size between men and women". The discovery also counters many popular explanations of the differences between men and women.

At first, researchers did not see an obvious relationship between coffee consumption and death rates. Study participants who drank between less than a cup of coffee and three cups a day had 5% to 9% lower risk of dying than those who drank no coffee. Those who drank more than three cups a day did not see any benefit. The finding was murky, like previous studies, some of which suggested a benefit and some did not.

This study appears in the latest edition of Annals of Internal Medicine. After looking at data from over 15,000 people, researchers estimate that men with pot bellies have twice the mortality risk of people who are just overweight or obese. Women with a similar fat distribution had 1.5 times the risk for death.