Good News Tuesday

Here’s a kinda random clutter of items, in the order I noticed them over the last week or so:

A Major Breakthrough In Modern Medicine: Regenerative Medicine Is Finally A Reality!

As part of a multi-center trial, doctors at Keck Medical Center at the University of Southern California, employing Asterias Biotherapeutics’ AST-OPC1 experimental treatment, injected 10 million oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs) into the damaged spine of Kristopher (Kris) Boesen a 21 year-old California man who was paralyzed from the neck down after suffering a traumatic cervical spine injury in an automobile accident on March 6th, 2016….in late April, just 2 weeks after receiving the 10 million dose of OPC, he started to show signs of improvement. And barely 2 months after his experimental treatment, Kris was able to feed himself, write his name, use his cell phone, became mobile with the help of a motorized wheelchair and a whole lot more…like, lifting weights(!!!) and moving his toes!

As you can tell from the exclamation points, this article is not written in a staid professional style. But it pretty much deserves some exclamation points. Here’s hoping it leads to really noteworthy advances in the treatment and ideally complete reversal of paralysis! !!!

New Ebola Vaccine Gives 100 Percent Protection

In a scientific triumph that will change the way the world fights a terrifying killer, an experimental Ebola vaccine tested on humans in the waning days of the West African epidemic has been shown to provide 100 percent protection against the lethal disease.

The vaccine has not yet been approved by any regulatory authority, but it is considered so effective that an emergency stockpile of 300,000 doses has already been created for use should an outbreak flare up again.

I doubt very much that anything anywhere is effect in 100% of cases. Among other things, we know that many vaccines are not as effective as they should be if the recipient is already under stress when the vaccine is given. But one can hope this vaccine is mostly effective.

New drug gives hope for those with progressive multiple sclerosis

I can’t cut and paste from the article, but it’s just what the title says. Apparently about 15% of people with multiple sclerosis have a particularly recalcitrant form that resists all kinds of treatments, and a new drug may now offer significant benefits for those people.

Here’s one which is just fun:

How Stanford Built a Humanoid Submarine Robot to Explore a 17th-Century Shipwreck

Most ocean-ready ROVs are boxy little submarines that might have an arm on them if you’re lucky, but they’re not really designed for the kind of fine manipulation that underwater archaeology demands. You could send down a human diver instead, but once you get past about 40 meters, things start to get both complicated and dangerous. Ocean One’s humanoid design means that it’s easy and intuitive for a human to remotely perform delicate archeological tasks through a telepresence interface.

There’s a picture at the link. You might call the robot more . . . half humanoid. But it does look pretty cool. Okay, next:

A Bizarre New Species Of Fish Has Been Discovered At A Record Depth

Scientists exploring the deepest place on Earth — the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean — have captured footage of a never-before-seen fish at a record depth of 26,722 feet (8,145 meters).

As reported in New Scientist, the ghostly fish was spotted by an expedition led by Jeff Drazen and Patty Fryer of the University of Hawaii. Marine biologists suspect that the new species is a kind of snailfish, but they’re not entirely sure; its body is shaped differently from other known varieties. It has broad, translucent fins, “stringy appendages,” and a tail that allows it to glide gently through the water. It appears to be ‘rowing’ through the water with its strange fin-like appendages.

It does indeed look like a ghost fish. Click through if you have a minute — there’s a short video.

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