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Science on the Cutting Edge



Solving Two Female Problems at Once: Cytori Therapeutics (cited in a recent Chemistry and Industry Magazine report) has developed a procedure to grow breast tissue from a mixture of stem cells and fat liposuctioned from the recipient's belly, thighs or butt. A spokesman for British plastic surgeons said he was hopeful for success, on behalf of mastectomy patients, but less generous toward women seeking ordinary breast-enlargement. The implanting surgery is still in clinical trials, but is expected to be available in Europe next year.

In August, the Discovery Channel reported on the equipping of Bushmen (indigenous to Africa's Kalahari Desert) with handheld Palm Pilot personal digital assistants to track animals and locate plants via special software. The illiterate hunters can tap screen icons representing various animals, the activities they're engaging in, and how many they see, with a global positioning satellite automatically recording the location.

They're Scientists So They Must Know What They're Doing: Researchers from Johns Hopkins University announced in July that they had bred the world's first mentally ill mouse (with schizophrenia) to see if it could help them understand the disorder in humans. (The human schizophrenia genes came from a mutant gene from a family in Scotland.)

And Duke Medical Center researchers announced in August similar success inducing obsessive-compulsive disorder in mice.

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