Now all they have to do is be able to download your memories onto a big enough hard drive and your good to go for an eternal lifetime. Provided there isn't any degradation of your memories each time your brain is downloaded.
I agree with you bobjengr. And if you feel that way you may be interested in a couple of other stories I've written about medical technology making things better for people...this one out of MIT: http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1386&doc_id=259900
And this one: http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1386&doc_id=254901
This is absolutely fascinating to me Elizabeth. I'm one of those that believes medicine combined with technology that can lessen human suffering is welcome where every found. I think 3-D printing usable in this fashion is a remarkable application of the technology. I applaud those medical practitioners and engineers attempting this application.
Yes, Jack, there is definitely preparation and even after-care, like the application of a material on the nose to change its color to blend better with the patient's skin after the surgery. These types of procedures, as they are new, are still undertaken with much care and caution but I imagine some day they may become quite routine.
Agree, JimT, the refabrication of live cells is probably the most impressive part of this work to me, as well. Creating these parts out of artificial materials isn't new, although the fabrication seems to be getting better and more realistic. But actually creating parts out of living tissue is, as you said, amazing.
Reading the linked article, I got the impression that there still might be some "preparation" for the patient. They mentioned how the ends are thinner and blend more easily, so I'm thinking that there is probably a bit of make-up (or similar) for the final blending. The primary benefit is that it is very close to the actual skin tone so the blending isn't as difficult and that the texture looks like natural skin up close, rather than plastic.
I would have thought that earlobes could have been prosthetically implanted like a boob-job. The silicon material was around for decades. Also, the 3D modeling and printing of custom bone elements (skull & femur & jaw) seems like a logical step. But the creation and printing of skin cells ( that nose ! ) & liver cells are truly 21st century, cutting edge, amazement. Those two win the prize, in my book.
Most of the new 3D printers and 3D printing technologies in this crop are breaking some boundaries, whether it's build volume-per-dollar ratios, multimaterials printing techniques, or new materials types.
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