1. A robot recently performed the world’s first autonomous soft-tissue surgery without any assistance from doctors, and did so while outperforming human doctors by every metric except for speed.
The surgical bot is named STAR, or Smart Tissue Autonomous Robot, and it just performed the world’s first autonomous, soft-tissue surgery. STAR is the creation of a team of computer scientists and medical researchers led by Peter Kim, a biochemist at the Children’s National Health System in Washington D.C.
The machine performed several supervised (but unguided) surgical procedures in which it sutured together two severed segments of bowel intestine in living, anesthetized pigs.(source)
2. Applying sugar can heal wounds by drying out the bed of the wound, promoting new tissue growth and dehydrating bacteria that cause infection.
To help heal seriously infected wounds, some surgeons have revived a 4,000-year-old treatment, born on the battlefields of ancient Egypt: they pack the depths of treacherous wounds with sweet substances like sugar.
”It’s a very old and very simple treatment which was forgotten for a while but is now coming back, like a fashion,” said Prof. Rudy Siewert, chairman of the department of surgery at the Klinikum Rechts der Isar in Munich, West Germany.(source)
3. Until the 1960’s, the only reliable pregnancy test was to inject a woman’s urine into a female African clawed frog. If the woman was pregnant, the frog would ovulate within 12 hours.
The test was done by injecting some urine into its dorsal lymph sac in the morning and check back at the end of the day. A dose of a pregnant woman’s pee will cause a female South African clawed frog to lay eggs within eight to 12 hours. The test also works on male frogs, which produce sperm in response to the injection.(source)
4. There is no single food that provides all the nutrients that humans need, except for breast milk.
Jo Ann Hattner, a nutrition consultant at Stanford University School of Medicine and former national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association explains, “Mother’s milk is a complete food. We may add some solid foods to an infant’s diet in the first year of life to provide more iron and other nutrients, but there is a little bit of everything in human milk.”
Technically, adults could survive on human milk too, the sticking point would be finding a woman who is willing to provide it (and enough of it).(source)
5. A hallucinogenic chemical found in magic mushrooms has successfully lifted severe depression in previously untreatable patients.
Scientists at Imperial College London induced intense psychedelic trips in 12 people using high doses of psilocybin. A week after the experience all the volunteers were depression-free, and three months later five still had no symptoms of the condition.(source)