Class blog for sharing and commenting on current events in biology.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Human Muscle Regenerated With Animal Help


Andrew Lemberger 9/24/12
Core Bio Honors, Davies

Fountain, Henry. "BODY BUILDERS; Human Muscle Regenerated With Animal Help." The New York Times. The New York Times, 17 Sept. 2012. Web. 24 Sept. 2012. <http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/17/health/research/human-muscle-regenerated-with-animal-help.html?ref=research>.

            For returning vets of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, who were crippled or received severe muscle damage, there is hope. Thanks to a material called extracellular matrix, scientists are able to help people grow muscle back through this thin sheet found on pigs. Extracellular matrix is the natural scaffolding that underlies all tissues and organs, in people as well as in animals.  Scientists have recently found that this scaffolding not only holds muscle in place but to their surprise also signals the body to grow and repair those tissues and organs. Due to an explosion and subsequent rounds of surgery sergeant Strang, 28, a marine, with a huge divot in his upper thigh could not move his leg.  But now two years later he walks with barely even a limp, can run on a treadmill, and is planning on becoming a police officer. This technique that was performed on Strang though still in development holds promise for treatment of current and future vets. The doctor behind this Astonishing discover is Dr. Peter Rubin, a plastic surgeon at the university of Pittsburgh medical center.  Peter being the leader of the study discovered that patients specifically sergeant Strang were showing signs of spurring muscle growth from the animal scaffolding.   About a month before Peter had scraped the scar tissue from Strang’s leg and placed the extracellular matrix from a pig bladder onto what good tissue was left. Strang’s body immediately began to break down that scaffolding and began to recruit stem cells to begin to come to the site and form into muscle cells. Now two years later Strang is able to run and do things that he would never have been able to do without this amazing advancement.   
             For me this article is exactly why science is such a interesting thing in my mind, the fact that everyday new things are discovered or created to help others or further a cause. The reason I chose this article was because not only did it talk about a new creation that betters the lives of people who have been in horrific accidents or have been injured serving our country, but also it also just amazes me what people can do when they focus on one goal and accomplish that goal.  Its great to know that in a few years maybe Men and women coming home from a long fought battle with a missing leg muscle or bicep can have it replaced and continue to live an almost normal life. 
            Overall I thought this article was written fantastically, there was great insight and detail. The author was able to create and emotional connection to the story through a touching and heartfelt story of a man who lost something and then got it back.   He provided good background details, getting into the process and studies of Dr. Peter Rubin and how he came to create this animal scaffolding. 

3 comments:

  1. Lea Tanenbaum 10/2/12
    Current Events Comments #2
    In Andrew’s review, he not only reviewed an interesting article, but he also explained what the impact on our society would be, while connecting with us emotionally. In the article it is explained how, “material called extracellular matrix, scientists are able to help people grow muscle back through this thin sheet found on pigs,” and how this would affect people in general. Andrew made a very good point that “in a few years maybe Men and women coming home from a long fought battle with a missing leg muscle or bicep can have it replaced and continue to live an almost normal life.” After having fought for our country, wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could thank them by returning what they sacrificed for us? Not only does Andrew’s statement address an emotional topic, but it also makes a sort of prediction. If we can grow back muscle now, with such wonderful results, what can we achieve in 5 years? 10 years? 50 years? A third thing that Andrew did well was he picked an article that he found interesting and was able to relate it back to himself in the statement, “For me this article is exactly why science is such a interesting thing in my mind, the fact that everyday new things are discovered or created to help others or further a cause.”
    This article was very interesting, because to me the idea of growing back muscles seems very much like something out of a science fiction. Not only was it interesting and unique, but it was very informative and thought provoking. Like Andrew said, if this is what we’re achieving now, what will we be able to achieve in the future?
    Although I thought Andrew’s review was well written and interesting, there’s always room for improvement. I thought that Andrew could have proof read his review before submitting it, in order to catch little things such as unnecessary repeated words. For example, “…but also it also just amazes me…” and “…For me this article is exactly why science is such a interesting thing in my mind…” Other then those minor improvements the article was very well done.

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  2. Andrew Dent
    Current event comment
    October 2, 2012
    In Andrew’s current event article he talks about how hurt vets from war get help for severe muscle damage. A few were put into an experimental treatment that grew back their muscles. I like he way Andrew introduces the life of the vets and says how they are helped. By the way he describes how it happened and how they were help i feel i really know what i need to know about this article. Something else i liked about Andrew’s essay how he mentions that people this process will be able to help anyone who is coming back from war and is missing an arm or a leg. That this is the least we can do for the people fighting for us. I also like how he hints towards the future, that if we keep up with this research then maybe in 50 years we be able to give back whole body parts.
    In this article i was interested by many things but one thing that really stuck out to me was that people could actually grow back muscle. That idea befuddles me. The fact that one person can lose a muscle then retrieve it is amazing. Another thing that intrigues me is what can happen in the future. I like how he said where we are now is good but we can always get better with time. Just imagine what if you can regrow complete limbs off of bodies, that would be amazing. I think Andrew dis good with this current event. i think is could have been better if he proof read. some of his sentences were a bit choppy and hard to read. other then that i think he wrote a great article.

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  3. Hank Thomas
    In Andrew's review, he had a very interesting topic, a great response to his topic, and great reasoning to why he was interested in this topic. I found it very interesting the way he described the people who are affected by lost body parts and how there is a way to fix that. I like how he talked about the past, present and the future. This showed how it was in the past and how much this could help and affect our futures. i think that Dr. Rubin has made a huge accomplishment in science. I agree with Andrew that this will help tremendously with helping war vets come back from war to live a normal life. Although Andrew had a great article and an interesting topic at times he was a bit choppy and repeated words sometimes. Overall I think Andrew did a great job with his current event response.

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