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Dissolvable Glass For Bone Repair

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the heart-of-glass dept.

Medicine 168

gpronger writes "Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones, but Glass Will Certainly Mend Them! The old schoolyard ditty may be changed to reflect developments using metallic glass that will dissolve in situ instead of the traditional stainless steel or titanium hardware, which require removal by surgery once the bone has healed. Physics World reports that researcher Jörg Löffler at ETH Zurich has created an alloy of 60% magnesium, 35% zinc, and 5% calcium, molded in the form of metallic glass. Through rapid cooling, the alloy forms a molecularly amorphous glass that slowly dissolves over time, supporting the injury long enough for healing, then slowly dissolving away."

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168 comments

Somehow... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29618225)

I doubt the little schoolyard ditty will be changed.

Re:Somehow... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29618347)

Well, if it is, gpronger will be there to report on it. Hopefully while he's learning to fucking spell. 'Dissovable', 'hardwar'? Then there's the grammar FAIL of "hardwar[e], which require[there should be an S here] removal".

Re:Somehow... (0, Troll)

geekboy642 (799087) | more than 4 years ago | (#29619067)

The funny part is you think Slashdot editors edit, or work sober, or even have the intelligence of a warm grapefruit. Protip: They don't.

Re:Somehow... (4, Funny)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 4 years ago | (#29619313)

I remember the first time I sing-songed this to a jerk when I was, like, 5. She immediately went outside, picked up a very large stick, and beat me senseless with it. And my older sister asks me why I never come visit her anymore....

Re:Somehow... (3, Funny)

skine (1524819) | more than 4 years ago | (#29619321)

They've tried before to change it to "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will cause me years of clinical depression and crippling social anxiety," and failed.

So I do doubt ditty diddling doing diddly dreadfully damaging.

Reality check (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 4 years ago | (#29620067)

"Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will get my boot in your stones."
That's the way it went in practice.

Re:Somehow... (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#29619435)

Sticks and stones may break my bones but medical advances will never change our schoolyard ditties especially the ones intended to boost our self confidence rather than convey actual medical information.

He had a glass jaw! (5, Funny)

BigSes (1623417) | more than 4 years ago | (#29618227)

No, really.

end to casts? (3, Insightful)

MaerD (954222) | more than 4 years ago | (#29618231)

Will this mean an end to casts? If this could be put in place and support the bone from the inside while you heal, why would we need external casts? Especially if it's injectable in some way.

Re:end to casts? (2, Informative)

jameskojiro (705701) | more than 4 years ago | (#29618263)

Only if you have a compound fracture, if you have a internal only fracture you will still need a cast.

Re:end to casts? (1)

skine (1524819) | more than 4 years ago | (#29619355)

Just because you won't need surgery to get it out doesn't mean you won't need surgery to put it in.

Re:end to casts? (5, Informative)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 4 years ago | (#29618291)

excessive soluble Magnesium in the body depletes calcium.
I'm sure they probably have thought about this. One could see this working both ways. Perhaps having magnesium in the replacment helps precipitate calcium in a useful place near the bone replacment. On the other hand soluble magnesium is know to rob bones of calcium, so a large source of soluble calcium especially concntrated near a weak bone might undermine it.

I have no idea what the right answer is here, but it does seem like something that need to be considered strongly.

Re:end to casts? (5, Funny)

HaZardman27 (1521119) | more than 4 years ago | (#29618327)

This sounds like a solid business plan: repair broken bones and weaken others so that they will break soon too, thus ensuring a returning customer!

First do no harm (4, Funny)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#29618371)

This sounds like a solid business plan: repair broken bones and weaken others so that they will break soon too, thus ensuring a returning customer!

The FDA and other national regulators of medicine are supposed to protect the people from such business models.

Re:First do no harm (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#29619593)

I was going to post a reply consisting of me going "HA haha ha ha" forever, but then again you did say "supposed to".

Re:First do no harm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29619781)

And the 4th Amendment is supposed to protect me from unlawful search and seizure.

Re:First do no harm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29619841)

How about selling addictive pills (like antidepressants) to treat the symptoms of a condition FOREVER without ever fixing the cause?

Re:First do no harm (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#29620087)

How about selling addictive pills (like antidepressants) to treat the symptoms of a condition FOREVER without ever fixing the cause?

First, what is the cause? Even if you can't answer that, patients still demand a treatment for the symptoms.

Re:end to casts? (1)

hydromike2 (1457879) | more than 4 years ago | (#29619917)

perhaps the 5% calcium will compensate enough to offset that effect?

Re:end to casts? (5, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#29618311)

I'd be extremely surprised if it did.

Casts are annoying; but they are dirt cheap, can be performed with comparatively minimal training, and are pretty low risk. For bone breaks that are easily accessible and not too complicated, they are going to be hard to dislodge.

This stuff would, if it works, turn a two surgery process(one to implant, one to explant) for dealing with nastier sorts of bone breaks into a one surgery process. That would be a win. Turning a zero surgery process into a one surgery process would be a major loss.

Re:end to casts? (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 4 years ago | (#29618445)

Not every implant surgery gets a return trip to claim the hardware back. My kid has a fair bit of titanium in his lower tibia and fibula from a closed (i.e., not compound) "sliding into base" accident 10 years ago; as far as I know, its' in there forever.

That said, if the implants were basically replaced slowly with bone, that would be better.

Re:end to casts? (3, Interesting)

blueZ3 (744446) | more than 4 years ago | (#29618671)

Yep. I was going to comment that I have a 10" piece of titanium in my leg from a motorcycle accident, and at my 1-year followup appointment, there was no talk of removing it. I believe that these days they tend to leave the hardware in unless it's causing problems.

Re:end to casts? (1)

FatAlb3rt (533682) | more than 4 years ago | (#29618791)

Same here - 8 yrs ago a titanium rod was put through the middle of my left humerus. Still there today, doc said removal was only necessary if it caused problems.

Re:end to casts? (3, Informative)

Psion (2244) | more than 4 years ago | (#29619767)

I am holding in my hands ... well, no, I held it, but now I've put it down so I could type ... the implant used twenty years ago to pin my femur back together after a slip on ice. Now that's hardly a comment on modern procedures, BUT while the device was implanted, I was quite aware of it and it impeded my mobility somewhat. I had difficulty squatting, couldn't raise that foot behind my head, etc., although I kept trying. When the device was removed nine months later, the difference was noticeable and my efforts to recover lost mobility resulted in startling flexibility in that leg.

My point is that I'd hope parts aren't left in place if they interfere even minimally with movement.

As a side note, I enjoy handing the part to folks and asking them what they think it is. Typically, they'll turn it over and over, examining the screw and slide mechanism (this part went into the femur's ball) and puzzle over it for a while. The usual guess is "bicycle part". When I tell them what it is, while they're still handling it, the result is usually a study in ballistic trajectories. Even funnier was the little bit of gristle left lodged in the threads that, before it completely decayed away, would invariably invoke a look of horror when I pointed out it was a chunk of me.

Re:end to casts? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29619919)

When I tell them what it is, while they're still handling it, the result is usually a study in ballistic trajectories. Even funnier was the little bit of gristle left lodged in the threads that, before it completely decayed away, would invariably invoke a look of horror when I pointed out it was a chunk of me.

*sigh* too bad real life isn't more like /b/.

(My response would have been to try to find out what you tasted like. HA!)

Re:end to casts? (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 4 years ago | (#29620059)

A friend of mine had a pin inserted after a nasty accident. A few years later he had another nasty accident and BENT his leg. On the positive side, we discovered that his leg makes a pretty decent shortwave antenna now.

Re:end to casts? (1)

realisticradical (969181) | more than 4 years ago | (#29619883)

Sounds to me like exactly how the US Medical System works.

Re:end to casts? (3, Informative)

TheCycoONE (913189) | more than 4 years ago | (#29618317)

This technique is a lot more invasive than casting, and it's not injectable. They cut you open and place it just like the metal counterpart; the improvement is that you don't have to be cut open twice. So, better than bolting a metal rod down your leg, then removing it a couple months later, much worse than putting some plaster over your skin to keep you in place.

Re:end to casts? (1)

Smidge204 (605297) | more than 4 years ago | (#29618425)

I'd still think an external cast/brace is preferable to the surgery required to implant such a device, so long as the injury is not so series as to require surgery in the first place.

To say nothing of the costs...
=Smidge=

Re:end to casts? (1)

Smidge204 (605297) | more than 4 years ago | (#29618435)

series? serious...

Re:end to casts? (1)

conureman (748753) | more than 4 years ago | (#29618669)

External bone-setting and casts are less invasive than puncturing/cutting &c. I would rather keep my skin intact, thanks.

Re:end to casts? (1)

rantingkitten (938138) | more than 4 years ago | (#29619441)

The cast also keeps you from whacking your appendage into things while the bone is trying to heal. It's not fun, but it serves as both a constant reminder to be careful, and as a bit of armor for random bumps.

Re:end to casts? (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 4 years ago | (#29619535)

IANAD (i'm not a doctor) but if you're under 20 (when most bone breaks occur, until you turn about 45-60), most breaks are "green tree" fractures requiring about 2-4 weeks in a cast or splint. If you break it again to a full break (which I did) you're still only looking at 4-6 weeks, tops before the cast comes off. Casts are super cheap, require zero surgery (other than the doctor "setting" the bone - done externally, no knives needed) and are generally completely non-invasive. IMO this is vastly preferable to surgically inserting what is essentially a hardened chemical into the body, which is going to require at minimum a cast anyways.

Re:end to casts? (2, Interesting)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 4 years ago | (#29619749)

Possibly, but I doubt you'd regain use of the limb while it heals though. Such a thing is nothing new though.

I fell down a flight of stairs in 2001 and broke my leg pretty severely. Compound fracture in 5 places. I ended up having to get a plate and screws added to that leg (along with one big screw to prevent me from turning my ankle during this time - that one was removed later by the rest of the hardware is still in there).

I only wore a cast for a week. For the rest of the time I was given one of those strap on boot things, but was generally allowed to take it off whenever I wanted. For showers definately, but after asking the doctor he said it was fine just to take it off while sitting on the couch watching TV if I wanted.

Basic thing was that the plate and screws were in there holding everything together. No cast was really needed and the leg would heal fine. However, while they would hold it together, they were not nearly as strong as actual bone would be, and so if I started walking on it eventually the stress on the metal would cause it to warp and break.

This could be the same way. Strong enough to hold the bones together without a cast, but not strong enough to still use the limb as you normally would.

OB: Unbreakable. (4, Insightful)

B5_geek (638928) | more than 4 years ago | (#29618245)

They call him Mr.Glass

Re:OB: Unbreakable. (1)

GeekZilla (398185) | more than 4 years ago | (#29618579)

What a twist!

Re:OB: Unbreakable. (1)

AmigaHeretic (991368) | more than 4 years ago | (#29618911)

Yeah, as I recall Glass Bones didn't work out too good for him.

Re:OB: Unbreakable. (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#29619467)

Glass bones would probably work out slightly better than already shattered bones.

I'm involved in something closely related. (4, Interesting)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 4 years ago | (#29618253)

My group is cooperating with a startup that makes, among other things, glass microbeads covered with nanoparticles of whose composition I am not allowed to speak. These nanoparticles cause bone cell growth. In fact, they cause stem cell differentiation into osteoblasts, which I think is beyong cool. The glass slowly dissolves in the body and the bone remains. Our hypothesis (backed by some experimental data) is that these beads will restore fractured bones, such as spinal vertebrae, to patients with extreme osteoporosis.

Rarely have I wished success to a company, as in this case. Perhaps seeing my aunt succumb to multiple spinal fractures scared the shit out of me.

Re:I'm involved in something closely related. (0, Troll)

QuoteMstr (55051) | more than 4 years ago | (#29618571)

That's all well and good, but if this company's product works, it will market it using well-endowed young female sales representatives to doctors who will use it regardless of whether the patient needs it, and charge unconscionably high rates to insurance companies, who will either outright refuse to approve the beads, revoke the coverage of anyone prescribed the treatment, or simply charge the cost to everyone in the form of yet another year-over-year 20% premium increase.

So while I'm sure the technology is sound, our system of distribution ensures that only the wealthiest will receive it. How is that just?

Re:I'm involved in something closely related. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29618871)

I think you've confused the meaning of "just." But don't feel bad, there are apparently millions of Americans out there (many in the political and chattering classes) who make this same mistake.

Physical resources are scarce. With scarcity comes the need to ration. Currently, the most efficient model for distributing these limited resources is capitalism (properly regulated by the government). Other models have been tried and shown to be lacking. So at this point you can:

1) Argue that it's "unjust" that some people can afford certain things while others cannot, set up a "from each according to his abilities to each according to his needs" system and watch it fail spectacularly

2) Introduce some alternate "just" form of rationing that better suits you, for instance providing a limited quantity of mediocre quality under price controls to a larger number of people, crippling innovation

3) Introduce an alternate form of rationing that relies on randomness, or on some particular criteria and have people game your system

4) Realize that existence is fundamentally "unjust" (in the sense you seem to mean) and allow the system that's given us every modern technological, medical, and industrial advance to continue moving society forward to a point where even the poorest are relatively rich compared to those alive even 100 years ago. All the while vigilantly working to prevent abuses of the system (which allowing people who can afford it to pay for care patently is NOT)

5) Whine on /. about how "unjust" it is that limited resources have to be rationed, retreat into your mom's basement and return to the imaginary unicorns and flowers world of your imagination, where everything is available to everyone in unlimited quantities.

Re:I'm involved in something closely related. (1)

caladine (1290184) | more than 4 years ago | (#29618995)

Mod parent up, I couldn't have said this any better myself. Pity something like this had to be AC'd though.

Re:I'm involved in something closely related. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29619015)

While capitalism can work well for resource allocation, the psychohistorical equations for it also indicate it leads to spectacular failure when used in an open system as opposed to one with appropriate boundary conditions.

Re:I'm involved in something closely related. (1)

MartinSchou (1360093) | more than 4 years ago | (#29619891)

1) Argue that it's "unjust" that some people can afford certain things while others cannot, set up a "from each according to his abilities to each according to his needs" system and watch it fail spectacularly

I give you the Scandinavian socialist democratic capitalist countries.

Try comparing their systems to that of the US which is spectacularly on the side of "if you can't afford treatment - die".

Re:I'm involved in something closely related. (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 4 years ago | (#29620105)

6) stick with the status quo until the peasants rise up in a horrific blood bath and start over, just like other societies that are no longer with us in their previous form.

Re:I'm involved in something closely related. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29619045)

That's not insightful, that's a troll. Someone please moderate it as such.

Re:I'm involved in something closely related. (2, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#29619063)

"That's all well and good, but if this company's product works, it will market it using well-endowed young female sales representatives to doctors who will use it regardless of whether the patient needs it,"

You do know that almost never happens, right? most doctors take nothing from these companies, and other doctors would scoff at the idea they would let that determine a patients treatment.

"So while I'm sure the technology is sound, our system of distribution ensures that only the wealthiest will receive it. "
That is contrary to every other scientific medical advancement ever made.

You sir, are an idiot.

Re:I'm involved in something closely related. (1)

Gramie2 (411713) | more than 4 years ago | (#29619543)

You do know that almost never happens, right? most doctors take nothing from these companies, and other doctors would scoff at the idea they would let that determine a patients treatment.

If these sales tactics did not increase the sales, then they would not be used (and make no mistake, they are used). Doctors may deny that they are swayed, and may honestly believe it, but the numbers don't lie.

Re:I'm involved in something closely related. (1)

Slime-dogg (120473) | more than 4 years ago | (#29619915)

If these sales tactics did not increase the sales, then they would not be used (and make no mistake, they are used). Doctors may deny that they are swayed, and may honestly believe it, but the numbers don't lie.

It isn't really true. Most doctors put in so much time and effort to get to where they are, that they come off as a bit arrogant. In this sense, it's a good thing. You do not want anybody making decisions for treatment except your doctor.

Pharmaceuticals get marketed to the patients, who then go to their doctor and insist on that treatment course. Some doctors might go along with it, but an overwhelming majority say no.

Re:I'm involved in something closely related. (1)

insertwackynamehere (891357) | more than 4 years ago | (#29619889)

Yeah doctors dont need wellendowed women offering their "product" because they can have their pick of the patients when it comes to copping a feel.. geez and you think they are immorally taking sides based on women??

Re:I'm involved in something closely related. (3, Insightful)

phantomcircuit (938963) | more than 4 years ago | (#29619065)

Grow up.

Distribution of goods and services are based on monetary wealth. Advanced techniques take enormous amounts of time, energy, and financial backing. Somebody making 47K a year (the current nominal GDP per capita in the US) simply cannot afford state of the art medical treatment. People incapable of paying for the best services do not receive the best services.

The fundamental problem is that the vast majority of health care expenses are incurred by people who are no longer in the work force. They are no longer generating anything useful for society. From a purely macro economic standpoint using an enormous portion of our resources to keep people who are no longer producing goods/services alive is a decision that would be ridiculously expensive.

With that said I think that there is a moral imperative to find a system that offers the best service for the lowest price. Unfortunately I seriously doubt that a massive federal program is going to do anything to lower prices unless they dictate what doctors can charge for services.

Re:I'm involved in something closely related. (3, Informative)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 4 years ago | (#29619341)

Oh, for God's sake. The undeniable corruption in the relationship between the medical manufacturing industry (drugs and devices) and the medical industry proper (physicians and other health care providers) is absurd, no one's denying that. Yes, there are serious problems. Yes, enormous amounts of money go to people who neither create new medical technologies nor provide them to patients. Yes, a lot of doctors are easily influenced by hot pharmacy reps in low-cut blouses. Yes, this leads to all sorts of injustice.

But at the end of the day, advances in medical technology still help people. Next time you get sick or injured, if you want to restrict yourself to the level of medical care that was available in, say, 1850, out some abstract sense of justice ... go ahead. Nobody will stop you. But just during my nine years in patient care, from 1989 to 1998, I saw new devices and drugs that helped our patients get better come on the market at a dizzying pace. You'd better believe we were glad to have them, and our patients were too. Now I work on the research side of things, and while I know that there are a lot of parasites between "bench and bedside," in the long run I really don't care that much. What I care about is that something I do might, possibly, help patients recover who otherwise couldn't.

Also, I broke my leg rather badly four years ago, and I was lucky enough to get the absolute best orthopedic technology out there. I still have a chunk of titanium where bone ought to be, and it will still be there when they put me in the ground -- but before such technology was invented, I'd probably have been on crutches or at least a cane for the rest of my life. Guess which one I prefer? I don't know if my orthopod chose the brand of "nail" he did because he genuinely thought it was the best out there, or because some sweet young thing fluttered her eyelashes at him. What I do know is that it's very very good, substantially better than similar constructs I saw put into patients just a decade before my injury. And I'm not a member of "only the wealthiest" by any stretch of the imagination. Too bad dissolvable bone implants weren't on the market when it happened ... if future patients with the same type of injury are luckier, then this is a good thing.

Re:I'm involved in something closely related. (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#29619499)

That's all well and good, but if this company's product works, it will market it using well-endowed young female sales representatives...

SOLD!

Re:I'm involved in something closely related. (1)

jhfry (829244) | more than 4 years ago | (#29618757)

My neighbor's, recently deceased mother suffered from those as well. Prior to her death she was so hunched over that She had to sleep in a chair and couldn't see people above their waist when she was standing, unless she turned and looked to the side.

She looked almost exactly like this: http://chinesemedicinenews.com/wp-content/uploads/hunch.gif [chinesemedicinenews.com]

Scary stuff, and I feel for your aunt.

Great news for outdoorsy types (1, Informative)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#29618265)

The proper fusion of bone has always depended on the lateral strength of the bracing mechanism. While this does away with the need for painful pins and rods, it still requires the use of casts and other immobilizers. In the case of compound fractures, the bone splinters may be dislodged away from the point of fracture and still need surgery to remove.

Breaking a bone is never a pleasant experience, but rapid healing and non-invasive resetting should make recovery faster and less scarring. This particular advance in recovery medicine should help pave the way for technologies such as tricorder automatic healing and other non-touch healing techniques.

On the battlefield and anywhere where injury risk is very high and away from medical help, this type of at-the-scene treatment can help preserve not just bones and limbs, but lives too.

Kudos to the team for a great job!

Re:Great news for outdoorsy types (1)

Coren22 (1625475) | more than 4 years ago | (#29619377)

Huh wha? Did you read the same story I did? This story is about a surgically implanted item to correct compound fractures. I don't expect this to happen anywhere outdoors.

Uses for erectile disfunction? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29618275)

Can this be used until the viagra kicks in, and then it dissolves away?

Re:Uses for erectile disfunction? (1)

an unsound mind (1419599) | more than 4 years ago | (#29620027)

You need to be cut open to insert this stuff.

It might be... unpleasant.

It won't replace casting (4, Interesting)

ShooterNeo (555040) | more than 4 years ago | (#29618295)

Unlike in a certain X-men movie, this "metallic glass" is NOT going to be injected into living human bodies while molten. It'll be carefully forged in a factory into parts that are currently made out of steel or titanium : various plates, screws, and other orthopedic hardware. For injuries that require surgery, orthopedic surgeons would use these metallic glass parts instead of what they currently use.

The problem is obvious : it's doubtful that this alloy will be as strong as steel or titanium, and so the screws or plates would have to be thicker and heavier to have the same strength. There's an obvious tradeoff : do you make a bigger incision and drill out bigger holes in the bone to use this dissolvable metallic glass, or do you use conventional hardware? Also, undoubtedly there will be decades of debate over whether the trace minerals leached into the body cause harm or not.

Bottom line : even if this technology turns out to be safe and effective and is approved for use, it will probably be decades until it is used most of the time.

Re:It won't replace casting (2, Interesting)

JDevers (83155) | more than 4 years ago | (#29618657)

Not necessarily, one of the biggest problems with metallic inserts is that they are so much stronger than the bone that they can occasionally cause secondary breaks. If this compound was closer to actual bone in strength and flexibility, there may be less of a trade off than you think.

Re:It won't replace casting (1)

Covalent (1001277) | more than 4 years ago | (#29618681)

IAATIR (I am a titanium implant recipient) and can still see the plate and screws in my collarbone through the skin. While I agree with your strength issue in certain cases, I had to keep my arm in a sling for weeks after the injury despite the repair (and would have been required to if I had opted against the surgery) and was ordered off of heavy lifting for 3 months. In other words, my repair didn't have to be THAT strong...and for many other repairs, this technology could be made to work today.

Re:It won't replace casting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29618943)

And here I thought that the obvious problem was adding a half pound or so of magnesium to your body chemistry.when the glass dissolves.

Re:It won't replace casting (4, Interesting)

evanbd (210358) | more than 4 years ago | (#29619135)

Trace minerals aren't a problem. These aren't trace amounts. You'll notice the choice of metals: calcium, magnesium, and zinc are all things your body needs in non-trace quantities, and is capable of regulating the level of. A few tens of grams of metal, dissolving over a month or two, is a couple hundred mg per day. That's roughly comparable to the FDA recommended daily intake. It would be a lot like taking a extra multivitamin or two a day.

Re:It won't replace casting (1)

Tekfactory (937086) | more than 4 years ago | (#29619539)

It would probably be a lot like pissing away an extra multivitamin or two away a day.

Re:It won't replace casting (1)

ShooterNeo (555040) | more than 4 years ago | (#29619867)

Except that your reasoned argument doesn't change the fact that people are scared of things like this. Undoubtedly in 20 years someone will do some kind of research study that implies harm from the extra minerals.

I mean, cell phone radiation is in the milliwatts, and shouldn't cause more than a trivial amount of heating. Yet, there's a big scare over it, and some legitimate appearing scientific evidence implying that cell phone radiation is very dangerous.

reply (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29618313)

inb4 glass is a liquid

Re:reply (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#29618329)

Glass is a fluid, not a liquid.

Re:reply (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29618673)

Glass is an amorphous solid. However, I'm not sure if you were joking. You're a much funnier guy than me.

Re:reply (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29618989)

Glass is a transmorphous metasolid extant in 4-space, but embedded in 3-space.

I like confusing words =)

Re:reply (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29619603)

You mom is a transmorphous metasolid. Oh snap!!11!

Re:reply (3, Informative)

Chuckstar (799005) | more than 4 years ago | (#29619253)

First, it's not clear to me that "fluid" and "liquid" have different meanings.

Second, glass is actually a solid. Flowing glass is a persistent, but untrue, urban myth.

Re:reply (0)

Khyber (864651) | more than 4 years ago | (#29619533)

Glass is a liquid. Any glassblower and scientist that makes their own labware can tell you this. It has INSANE viscosity.

Re:reply (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29620107)

Fluid and liquid have very different meanings. All gases are fluids. Liquids are also fluids. Fluids might be liquid, gas, or solid.

for people with certain mineral deficiencies (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#29618355)

due to metabolic or genetic reasons: stick one of these under the skin with the proper mineral in the mix, and give them a regular slow release dosage without the worry of forgetting

or distribute them to poor areas of the world with mineral deficiencies (assuming the local demagogues don't start babbling about western plots to make muslims infertile [voanews.com] )

Re:for people with certain mineral deficiencies (1)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 4 years ago | (#29618565)

"or distribute them to poor areas of the world with mineral deficiencies"

Wouldn't it make more sense to just, I dunno, help them to get a good supply of mineral-rich foods to eat, then they would have enough calories *and* enough vitamins and minerals? Everything we need in terms of vitamins and minerals is adequately supplied with a good diet. Those people need food, not implants.

you don't know the topic (2, Interesting)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#29618683)

certain areas of the world are naturally deficient in certain necessary elements, like iodine. other areas are naturally high in certain dangerous elements, like arsenic. it doesn't matter how much good nutrition they get from the foodstuffs of their countryside, it doesn't even matter how rich they are. if the surrounding countryside doesn't have the element (or too much of it), it doesn't have the element (or too much of it). you need a technological response to the problem, regardless of socioeconomics or intent to eat a well-balanced diet

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iodine_deficiency#Local_impact [wikipedia.org]

"Iodine deficiency has largely been confined to the developing world for several generations, but reductions in salt consumption and changes in dairy processing practices eliminating the use of iodine-based disinfectants have led to increasing prevalence of the condition in Australia and New Zealand in recent years. A proposal to mandate the use of iodized salt in most commercial breadmaking is expected to be adopted in 2009."

Re:you don't know the topic (1)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 4 years ago | (#29619835)

I never said all the food had to be local. Yes, I suppose, 'fortifying' some foods with minerals might be a good idea. Heck, in some cases, couldn't you add the deficient minerals to the topsoil as part of a fertilizer or something, and then it would start being in the local food? I'm just saying, a 'mineral implant' requires a medical professional of some sort (not necessarily a doctor - maybe it's something nurses could learn to do), which means that it wouldn't work for a lot of people, because they never go to a clinic or hospital.

But, everybody eats (assuming they have food available, except, of course, for anorexics, but that's a different problem). Getting people proper nutrition through food is the most practical way to get them proper nutrition.

Shamylan vs. Lee (2, Funny)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 4 years ago | (#29618423)

Imagine the Hollywood scripts that could come from this new material. Rather than having adamantium grafted to his skeleton, Wolverine [imdb.com] could have had glass grafted instead. Then, rather than being a badass unstoppable killing machine, he could gimp around on a cane fantasizing himself to be a super villain before Bruce Willis [imdb.com] discovers himself to be an unlikely super hero with absolutely no backstory who cannot be broken! We can call the movie "A Tale of Two Unbreakables" and make billiions!. Profit!

Re:Shamylan vs. Lee (1)

gnick (1211984) | more than 4 years ago | (#29619111)

Rather than having adamantium grafted to his skeleton, Wolverine [imdb.com] could have had glass grafted instead.

Man, you couldn't have included a Spoiler Alert? I was just about to start reading the Wolverine comics, but now that I know he's got an adamantium skeleton (thank you very much), I guess I'll just skip it altogether...

Ooh! Just got a M Night Shyamalan movie from Netflix starring that guy from Die Hard and that guy from Snakes on a Plane - Off to watch it!

Re:Shamylan vs. Lee (1)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 4 years ago | (#29619241)

M Night Shyamalan

So that's how you spell it...Slashdot's commentators, almost as effective as Google's "Did you mean..." feature =)

Re:Shamylan vs. Lee (1)

gnick (1211984) | more than 4 years ago | (#29619857)

The only reason I knew how to spell it was the magic of IMDB [imdb.com] .

[I had to go check because I almost referred to Samuel L Jackson as that guy from Pee-Wee's Playhouse and had to go verify that it was indeed Laurence Fishburne, not Jackson. Sorry Sammy. My bad - It's been a while since I watched that show.]

Dissovable (3, Funny)

T3xT (1426891) | more than 4 years ago | (#29618475)

...I don't think it means what you think it means.

cadence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29618507)

Surely "surely" would fit the cadence better than "certainly".
This is why OSS often has such horrible UIs - coders have no rhythm.

disimilar metal (1)

confused one (671304) | more than 4 years ago | (#29618519)

So, we have a metal matrix, in an electrolyte solution. Can we use it as a battery?

Save the whales! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29618599)

"Metallic Glass", you say? Can transparent aluminum [wikipedia.org] be far behind?

Re:Save the whales! (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 4 years ago | (#29619559)

Sapphires are transparent aluminum. It already exists in nature.

Re:Save the whales! (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#29619847)

And water is liquid hydrogen. Yawn...

(Aluminum oxide... hydrogen oxide... see the connection?)

(plus one Infortmative) (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29618699)

Sure that I'%Ve [goat.cx]

Minor misuse of /in situ/ (4, Informative)

Torodung (31985) | more than 4 years ago | (#29618737)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_situ [wikipedia.org]

In biology, in situ means to examine the phenomenon exactly in place where it occurs (i.e. without moving it to some special medium). This usually means something intermediate between in vivo and in vitro. For example, examining a cell within a whole organ intact and under perfusion may be in situ investigation. This would not be in vivo as the donor is sacrificed before experimentation, but it would not be the same as working with the cell alone (a common scenario in in vitro experiments).

That is, the use of the phrase in situ implies that the person is dead. in situ literally means "as it is," and is more synonymous with untampered. In a literal sense, the bone could heal by itself in situ, but with an implant, tampering has already occurred, and the process is actually occurring in vivo, in a live organism. It's a minor quibble, but don't use Latin when you can just say "in place," "without further intervention," or "on its own." These would have been better choices, and clearer because they are plain English.

--
Toro

Spot the English major in this post. :^)

Re:Minor misuse of /in situ/ (1)

riskeetee (1039912) | more than 4 years ago | (#29618873)

I believe they meant in Tetsuo [imdb.com] . Common misteak.

Re:Minor misuse of /in situ/ (3, Informative)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 4 years ago | (#29618997)

In medicine, as distinct from biology, "in situ" has long been used to mean "where it already is inside the patient's body," whether "it" is something that occurred internally (e.g. a tumor) or something that was introduced from outside (e.g. orthopedic equipment.) "Dissolvable in situ" is a phrase used to describe dissolving internal sutures, which is probably the precedent here. Sometimes it refers to things that definitely don't dissolve; as a military medic, I often ran across the usage "bullet left in situ" in older patient records ... and that sure as hell constitutes "tampering," I think you'll agree. (This is much, much rarer in modern military medicine; most such records were those of retirees from the Korean War and WW2 eras, although it still does happen even today.) You may not like the usage, but it's standard enough now that calling it a "misuse" is a mistake.

Forget this, and do the REAL thing! (1)

hesaigo999ca (786966) | more than 4 years ago | (#29618957)

Forget this , I am getting my adamatium bondings as soon, as quickly as I can get a few broken bones that would need to be mended.

Re:Forget this, and do the REAL thing! (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#29619089)

We can graft adaatium to your bones, no problem. Of course, it's up to you to heal instantly.

I can haz a spellchex, plz? Kthxbye (3, Insightful)

Eggplant62 (120514) | more than 4 years ago | (#29619235)

Dissolvable is the proper spelling. I can be a moderator nao?

Dissovable? (1)

SirLestat (452396) | more than 4 years ago | (#29619279)

I'm surprised nobody commented about the obvious typo in the title !

Other uses (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 4 years ago | (#29619501)

Hay marge, what happened to the beer I put in the fridge?
I was just sitting there, doing my business, when the john just suddenly disappeared.
Ther were in the underwater aquarium, watching the sharks, when they became involved in a feeding frenzy after the glass partitions ceased partitioning.

Excitement and Let-Down (1)

ACQ (966887) | more than 4 years ago | (#29619599)

For a moment I thought the headline read: "Dissolvable Glass for Boner Repair".

Begs to ask the question. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29619605)

Dissolves into what?

Dissovable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29619975)

What does dissovable mean? What is the use for having bones that are made of a substance that is dissovable? Are glass bones normally sovable?

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