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July 5, 2012

A Telescope, An Implant, A Future

It is now easier and faster to scan the stars, thanks to innovation out of Australia. From the piece in the Brisbane Times:

AN AUSTRALIAN invention that will allow astronomers to scan the sky faster and more efficiently than ever before will be a key part of the world’s most sensitive survey radio telescope – the Pathfinder in remote Western Australia.

The final of 36 dishes was added to the radio telescope last week. Operating as one instrument, the radio telescope at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory, 600 kilometres north-east of Perth, promises to open up new frontiers in astronomy.

Already booked out by local and international scientists for its first five years, the telescope will help astronomers scan the universe for stars such as pulsars (which emit radio frequencies).

As the entirety of the planet seems to be mired in an economic downturn, leading to funding cuts for government-led astronomical endeavors, it is refreshing to see Australia’s private sector continuing the fight to reach higher and learn more. We do not know what can be found beyond our own planet. The search for that knowledge must never be abandoned.

Scientists in Kazakhstan have developed a hydrogel breast implant that is safer than silicone. It is also able to be injected, making it a far better option across the globe.

According to the scientist, the new hydrogel materials will become an alternative to complicated surgeries, as it can be injected. The professor said that around 30 percent of children’s urological diseases are related to a so-called vesicoureteral reflux. It is traditionally treated through a traumatic abdominal surgery that can have a range of complications. Modern medical technologies and a complex of physical-chemical features of the new hydrogel allow to inject it into the required area without making any cuts.

Mammoplasty, i.e. correction of breast form, is another area of use of polymer hydrogel. “The silicone gel was introduced in the global medical practice around 20 years ago. It turned out later that it could have many negative complications, especially if a woman is even lightly prone to cancer. The whole world is currently looking for an alternative to silicone. I think that our gel, inert even for children, will make a good showing in plastic surgery as well,” Mun said.

It is meant to be available in 2014-2015 and will not just be utilized in plastic surgery. It is meant to be a landmark discovery in the field of children urology.