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Mussel Glue Could Help Repair Birth Defects

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the just-add-garlic-tape dept.

Medicine 53

sciencehabit writes "When it comes to hanging on tight, the lowly mussel has few rivals in nature. Researchers have sought the secrets behind the bivalve's steadfast grip on wet, slippery rock. Now, a researcher says he has used the mollusk's tricks to develop medical applications. These include a biocompatible glue that could one day seal fetal membranes, allowing prenatal surgeons to repair birth defects without triggering dangerous premature labor."

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Always 15-20 years til commercially available... (4, Insightful)

pepsikid (2226416) | about a year and a half ago | (#42931101)

I read about this very thing in the news 15 years ago! I half expect now, to learn that some surgeon in the 1700's was already using it experimentally. Get off your ass, medical science!

Re:Always 15-20 years til commercially available.. (4, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year and a half ago | (#42931143)

I half expect now, to learn that some surgeon in the 1700's was already using it experimentally.

No, in the 1700's, surgeons were using leeches as clamps to hold things together.

Re:Always 15-20 years til commercially available.. (5, Insightful)

wierd_w (1375923) | about a year and a half ago | (#42931207)

15 years ago is about right actually..

Consider:

"We are the FDA. We demand you make very costly animal model studies first, then, after those studies, you have conduct phase 1 and phase 2 human clinical trials, THEN, AFTER THAT, we have to decide if we want to approve commercial use and production or not."

Throw in a few bouts of "Oh my gawd! They put clam juice inside some poor gerbil, and glued it all up inside! THOSE MONSTERS!", and a few rounds of "Animal models are poor substitutes for human testing, and amount to nothing, so you arent getting funding."

In the end, 15 years since "Hey! This stuff looks very promising as a biosafe adhesive for surgical applications!" looks like BREAKNECK PROGRESS!

(and you wonder why rich americans with deadly diseases and debilitating conditions leave the US to go on "Medical vacations" in the EU and Thailand.)

If it weren't for the FDA (3, Insightful)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about a year and a half ago | (#42931363)

this would still be the 1700's.

Re: If it weren't for the FDA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42934177)

LOL, yes, there is no incentive for innovators to make products that help people and not kill them. Only the FDA to the rescue!

Re:If it weren't for the FDA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42936581)

It's a shame that no one has invented a way for us to effortlessly exchange information since the 1700's, making the FDA obsolete.

Re:If it weren't for the FDA (1)

SillyHamster (538384) | about a year ago | (#42937721)

this would still be the 1700's.

I didn't realize the FDA was responsible for the passage of time. Wow, that's a big job.

On a more serious note, the FDA was founded in 1906. What has the FDA done over the past 100 years that make it so essential to progress?

Re:If it weren't for the FDA (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | about a year ago | (#42938095)

On a more serious note, the FDA was founded in 1906. What has the FDA done over the past 100 years that make it so essential to progress?

I don't know (honestly). Perhaps keeping drugs off the market that would make the side effects of Thalidomide seem minor?
(BTW, it's available for other uses, with an image of a pregnant woman with a circle-slash on each pill.. at least that's what I saw on the news long ago.)

Re:If it weren't for the FDA (1)

SillyHamster (538384) | about a year ago | (#42938421)

I don't know (honestly). Perhaps keeping drugs off the market that would make the side effects of Thalidomide seem minor? (BTW, it's available for other uses, with an image of a pregnant woman with a circle-slash on each pill.. at least that's what I saw on the news long ago.)

You know the saying "Victory has a thousand fathers, defeat is an orphan"?

It's easy to claim that the FDA fixed or improved things; it's not as easy to list the treatments prevented by the FDA that could have helped people, because it's invisible. It's hard to see the wasted potential, but those are the hard-to-quantify side effects of regulatory agencies.

Re:Always 15-20 years til commercially available.. (4, Informative)

fufufang (2603203) | about a year and a half ago | (#42931381)

(and you wonder why rich americans with deadly diseases and debilitating conditions leave the US to go on "Medical vacations" in the EU and Thailand.)

It is the other way around in the UK. Rich people tend to go to America to get medical procedures that aren't approved by the health authorities here.

Re:Always 15-20 years til commercially available.. (2)

Cryacin (657549) | about a year and a half ago | (#42931673)

The EU is bigger than the UK. Try Hungary and the rest of the eastern block.

Re:Always 15-20 years til commercially available.. (2)

alvinrod (889928) | about a year and a half ago | (#42931755)

No matter where you are, there's going to be something less than ideal. Want to have some guy who's the best in the world specializes in only doing a single procedure that's horrendously expensive? Go to the U.S. Want good care that you might have to wait a while for, but won't bankrupt you in the process? Go to Europe. Want something good, cheap, and not available in the U.S. or Europe? Try Mexico or Asia.

If you've got enough money you can always get what you want.

Re:Always 15-20 years til commercially available.. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42931995)

Want Totally Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis? Go to India.

Re:Always 15-20 years til commercially available.. (0)

hazah (807503) | about a year and a half ago | (#42932185)

Do you feel better now? Have you satisfied your pathetic ego?

Re:Always 15-20 years til commercially available.. (1)

fufufang (2603203) | about a year and a half ago | (#42940241)

Want good care that you might have to wait a while for, but won't bankrupt you in the process?

Well, in quite a lot of European countries, you need to have paid certain amount of tax before they let you join the queue. There are laws deterring medical tourism. It might end up costing the same as US, if you go to EU for medical tourism.

Re:Always 15-20 years til commercially available.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42931933)

Ha. And as the earlier poster should have said but somehow forgot to, the purpose of all the years of testing is to find out whether it actually works. Most of the things you can get done by going somewhere and paying someone to do it "off the books" don't work, which is why they're not making a fortune doing it somewhere civilised.

Every few months the UK newspapers have some stories about some poor kid (sometimes a teenager but more often a kid) who has (whatever incurable disease, maybe a cancer) and is going to (some US clinic) where they have a "breakthrough" cure that's not available in the UK. Celebrities are helping them raise funds! They need $1.5M to pay for the treatment, but everyone's going to help out because it's just not fair that they can't get it here.

You will never see a follow-up story, because newspapers don't run stories that say "Some kid with an incurable disease died, after wasting $1.5M of other people's money, taking a long and painful trip abroad and being put through a series of unpleasant treatments that don't work. They died in pain, far from home".

Re:Always 15-20 years til commercially available.. (3, Interesting)

mspohr (589790) | about a year and a half ago | (#42931651)

Americans go on "medical vacations" because they can't afford US health care. Doctors, drugs, etc. are all cheaper anywhere else but the US and if you pick wisely, you can find better quality doctors and facilities.

Re:Always 15-20 years til commercially available.. (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year and a half ago | (#42932769)

I think it's more than the FDA - I read about 10 years ago that mussel glue was demonstrated to be a non-toxic waterproof long-lasting super-strong plywood adhesive. It hasn't taken over my Home Depot yet.

Re:Always 15-20 years til commercially available.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42933477)

Are you suggesting to do away with risk analysis, animal and human trials or simply suggesting that you would be comfortable with less regulation than is the case today?

Are you suggesting that animals could and should be used indiscriminately to test drugs and procedures without any consideration to their suffering or are you saying that you would be comfortable with animal suffering than is the case today?

What ARE you saying? Are you just randomly ranting like an old crotchety madman or do you have an actual point?

Does it come in industrial size containers? (1)

BlackSnake112 (912158) | about a year and a half ago | (#42934815)

I was thinking of using this glue on the chairs in Congress. That might keep those slippery critters there longer so maybe something will get done.

Re:Always 15-20 years til commercially available.. (-1, Offtopic)

aristotle-dude (626586) | about a year and a half ago | (#42932105)

I half expect now, to learn that some surgeon in the 1700's was already using it experimentally.

No, in the 1700's, surgeons were using leeches as clamps to hold things together.

A bit off topic, but you might want to actually "read" Ezekiel CHAPTER 23 from verse 1. See: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezekiel%2023&version=NIV [biblegateway.com]

The chapter is talking about the unfaithfulness of god's chosen people. The women in the story represent Israel and Samaria.

Re:Always 15-20 years til commercially available.. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42932139)

A "bit" off-topic?

Re:Always 15-20 years til commercially available.. (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#42937499)

The chapter is talking about the unfaithfulness of god's chosen people. The women in the story represent Israel and Samaria.

I happen to know that. And it's interesting that the ancient Israelites chose to visualize geopolitics with sex role playing (the feminist modernity would probably use pie charts), but it's still an evocative picture, innit?

Re:Always 15-20 years til commercially available.. (1)

davester666 (731373) | about a year and a half ago | (#42933047)

Now everybody is working on figuring out how to fix the education system so the next generation learns something other than "people get fixed by a magic overseer".

Re:Always 15-20 years til commercially available.. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42931199)

These include a biocompatible glue that could one day seal fetal membranes, allowing prenatal surgeons to repair birth defects without triggering dangerous premature labor.

That's cool. That way the couple can still reproduce. Because I mean, 7+ billion people on the planet still isn't enough!

Re:Always 15-20 years til commercially available.. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42931221)

Said the ignorant hipster fuckhead who was fortunate enough to be born without life-threatening birth defects. Although you were certainly born with your head up your asshole.

Re:Always 15-20 years til commercially available.. (5, Insightful)

wierd_w (1375923) | about a year and a half ago | (#42931225)

Birth defects can come from any number of sources, and are not necessarily indicative that the parents are genetically unfit.

Take for instance, spinal tube defects arising from improper prenatal nutrition in the female, in regard to folate intake.

Which would you rather have: Mommy and Daddy with "Wheelchair Willie", their precious angel, that requires 24/7 nursing, monitoring, special needs assistance, and government support for life---

Or: "Willie" is perfectly healthy and normal after doctors surgically promoted proper neural tube closure, with the help of a bio-safe adhesive and embryonic surgery techniques.

This is a no-brainer even for self-centered assholes who hate other people being alive. (Because of the inconveniences those other people make for them.)

Re:Always 15-20 years til commercially available.. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42931335)

Birth defects can come from any number of sources, and are not necessarily indicative that the parents are genetically unfit.

I know reading comprehension isn't all the rage these days.

So I will spell out for you the obvious alternative for would-be parents. Instead of deciding that 7+ billion people still isn't enough, they could oh I don't know, adopt a lonely unwanted child who really needs a loving family. Why, that would in fact be less selfish than propagating your own DNA like our instincts want us to do.

This is a no-brainer even for self-centered assholes who hate other people being alive. (Because of the inconveniences those other people make for them.)

Yes, some of us think about 1 billion people living with abundant resources for everybody, a real time of plenty, is better than 7+ billion with the vast majority of the world population living in poverty and misery. Ever been to a third-world country? Yeah, that's how most human beings live. It's easy to forget that in our comfortable Western homes. Some of us want better than this for our fellow humans.

Man, what a bunch of self-centered assholes. What definitely, certainly, absolutely JUST CAN'T be self-centered or asshole-ish is calling other people names because you don't share their opinions about what might be better than the world we know today. Oh and your lack of a better suggestion is a nice touch too, very creative and constructive of you. Yup, you're just a paragon of self-less brotherly love.

Re:Always 15-20 years til commercially available.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42931831)

The guy who modded this down is almost as cowardly as the user "weird_w" who failed to respond to it.

That's what we do around here with inconvenient truths. We mod them down and we ignore them. We have so much integrity that way.

Anybody remember years ago, back when Slashdot wasn't just another popularity/group-think cesspool? Anybody know of a smaller site that hasn't completely sold its soul (yet)?

Re:Always 15-20 years til commercially available.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42932029)

It wasn't the meaning of the message that was modded down, it was the douche delivery. You have such good ideas, right? You just can't understand why nobody likes your sorry ass and won't listen to you- it's all -their- fault, right? Go beat your fucking girlfriend for leaving you, douche.

Re:Always 15-20 years til commercially available.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42932143)

It wasn't the meaning of the message that was modded down, it was the douche delivery. You have such good ideas, right? You just can't understand why nobody likes your sorry ass and won't listen to you- it's all -their- fault, right? Go beat your fucking girlfriend for leaving you, douche.

In other words, he didn't kiss your ass enough by catering to what you like to hear. Instead he said things that may have offended you and expected you to handle that like a reasonable mature adult. Sounds like what you really want is a marketer or a PR agent.

You will never know what it means to rise above such a "douche delivery" by responding to it with grace and intelligence. If your judgment of "douche" is correct, you will create an unmistakable contrast by doing that. If it was not correct and you are merely interpreting your feelings/opinions as if they were objective fact, you will have prevented them from getting in the way of a worthy response. Either way, it's the right thing to do. Either way, it's not something many have what it takes to do.

After all, it requires a bit of patience, understanding, maybe some compassion to grasp that the other guy might have his reasons for sounding the way that he does, and above all, a whole minute or two thinking of someone other than yourself and your own tastes and preferences (which I hate to break it to you - aren't universal). Acquire those things and perhaps you will be in a better position to judge others, except by that time you won't wish to anymore. You'll realize by then how foolish it is to think you can sum up another human being by a few sentences.

Re:Always 15-20 years til commercially available.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42932227)

In other words, he didn't kiss your ass enough by catering to what you like to hear..... After all, it requires a bit of patience, understanding, maybe some compassion to grasp that the other guy might have his reasons for sounding the way that he does, and above all, a whole minute or two thinking of someone other than yourself and your own tastes and preferences (which I hate to break it to you - aren't universal).

You may be correct, but when people launch their arguments with "The guy who modded this down is almost as cowardly as the user "weird_w" who failed to respond to it.", for better or worse I choose to move on and enjoy an argument / discussion with someone that doesn't feel the need to attack- I don't care what his reasons are, the onus is not upon me to cater to him in order to prove to someone -else- that I don't need my ass kissed. He's flailing about, blaming everyone for not listening to him.... and here you are, telling me that I just don't think about someone other than myself because I choose not to look beyond the way he behaves, then label him a "douche", which I believe he is. Preach it somewhere else.

Re:Always 15-20 years til commercially available.. (1)

Medievalist (16032) | about a year and a half ago | (#42936231)

Anybody remember years ago, back when Slashdot wasn't just another popularity/group-think cesspool?

Yes, but I didn't sign up in time to get a three-digit userid.

Anybody know of a smaller site that hasn't completely sold its soul (yet)?

I recommend you look for wordpress or pure html/css sites with no gravatars or disqus, and the kind of high-contrast ergonomic theming that makes liberal arts majors run screaming for the hills (i.e. no eye-destroying grey-on-white text, no extraneous images or banners). If you use a black background and green or orange text you'll pretty much eliminate the non-technicals and the group-thinkers at one stroke.

Re:Always 15-20 years til commercially available.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42934293)

Taking care of someone elses kid doesn't happen a lot because it goes directly against evolution. If you spend your time taking care of others' kids your own offspring has smaller chanches to live long and prosper. Hence humans don't feel like doing it like that. Birth rates are already down in europe, the only ones breeding are the people moving in from elsewhere. We basically already have beat overpopulation. Now we should just find a way to either spread our lifestyle to the rest of the world or humanely kill the others. In developing countries people breed like rabbits to use all the available resources, just like any other animal species would do.

Re:Always 15-20 years til commercially available.. (0)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about a year and a half ago | (#42931433)

So the answer to a female not taking her doctored recommend folate is to spend tens of thousands on risky invasive surgery? Because obviously she would make a great mother right?

Try to pick examples that aren't stupid.

Re:Always 15-20 years til commercially available.. (1)

sideslash (1865434) | about a year and a half ago | (#42931777)

Try to pick examples that aren't stupid.

If you happen to live in a country with fully socialized medicine, I suppose ordinary people/voters may have some at least indirect voice in what treatments will be made medically available. However, welcome to USA-centric Slashdot, let's take a look here...

- Mostly capitalistic, patient (ins. co.) funded care, especially on the "bleeding edge" of innovation: [CHECK]
- Parents are merely human, and may for whatever reason not take their pills or have another chemical imbalance: [CHECK]
- Parents care a lot more about their baby than a Slashdot troll does: [CHECK]
- Relevance therefore of the above Slashdot troll to the discussion: [LEFT BLANK]

Re:Always 15-20 years til commercially available.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42931743)

Why not just abort Willie and tell the parents to fuck again but to eat better this time.

A hell of a lot cheaper.

Re:Always 15-20 years til commercially available.. (2)

TheSeatOfMyPants (2645007) | about a year and a half ago | (#42932047)

Birth defects can come from any number of sources, and are not necessarily indicative that the parents are genetically unfit.

Bingo. I have VACTERL [tefvater.org] defects, and my (internationally top-ranked) pediatric surgeon at UC San Francisco made it clear that there was *nothing* my parents did wrong or could've done to prevent it -- birth defects like mine are random errors/mutations within the first month of development, and aren't passed on to the next generation.

Which would you rather have: ..."Wheelchair Willie"...Or: "Willie" is perfectly healthy and normal ... This is a no-brainer even for self-centered assholes who hate other people being alive. (Because of the inconveniences those other people make for them.)

It's not a no-brainer for those of us that actually have birth defects, actually. A hell of a lot of people that are born disabled agree with the social model of disability [wikipedia.org] ; we're fine with having surgery to alleviate pain or extend our lives, but not to make us normal just for the sake of normality or so (as you put it) others aren't "inconvenienced" by having to accommodate more than one way of doing things. (Relatedly, a hell of a lot of us are stuck on government support as adults only because we're not similar enough to the norm society caters to in the workplace, not because we're incapable of doing the work at all.)

Re: Always 15-20 years til commercially available. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42932405)

You might only want us to alleviate the pain, but from a logistical standpoint, compare the medical costs of fixing a very small percentage of the population with leg-crippling issues to the costs of installing ramps every fucking where.

Some people might be fine with their handicap, but those people need to stop being selfish and operate to the human standard, if at all possible.

Re:Always 15-20 years til commercially available.. (1)

cellocgw (617879) | about a year and a half ago | (#42934569)

Wow. IIRC, I made a comment on 'usenet' back in 1988 or so suggesting that people who claim they are happy with their Down's child just as they are and would not want some special (theoretical) cure are just plain selfish and foolish. I got flamed,as one might imagine. And here we are, 25 years later, and there's a whole websited community claiming the right to refuse treatment for major physical fuckups? I can understand a person going through a careful tradeoff of surgical (or medical) risk/ benefit analysis, and then choosing to remain damaged. I can't understand saying "oh, we're just different." You're not different. You're damaged. And while personally I'd far rather our society provided all the support you need instead of, say, 2 more aircraft carrier battle groups, I don't think you get to demand unilaterally that you get massive support if there's a lower cost medical treatment available.

mod parent up (1)

CaptainNerdCave (982411) | about a year and a half ago | (#42935377)

If there is only .01% of the US population at any given time with defects that could have been fixed through some wacky procedure that is reasonably sound, isn't it worth putting some effort into preventing 30k people from suffering? What's is being ignored is that this procedure wouldn't even be mandatory, so what is there to lose? To put an economic spin on it: As a fully-functioning US citizen, I am willing to spend some of my tax dollars in an effort to potentially save $5 million each year in direct subsidies alone.

A simple cost/benefit analysis will tell you that removing a bunch of broken people from society is a great burden being released.
30 years at $500/month? That's $180k! I'm pretty darn sure there are many cases that involve significantly more or less, but I saw a generalized study a couple of years ago that tossed out those estimates.

Re:Always 15-20 years til commercially available.. (1)

egamma (572162) | about a year and a half ago | (#42931389)

I read about this very thing in the news 15 years ago! I half expect now, to learn that some surgeon in the 1700's was already using it experimentally. Get off your ass, medical science!

Right, because testing theories on unborn children is the scientific way!

Re:Always 15-20 years til commercially available.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42931567)

Right, because testing theories on unborn children is the scientific way!

Well, technically it could be. It may not be "humane" and all that, but it sure as hell could be scientific!

I for one (3, Funny)

Nyder (754090) | about a year and a half ago | (#42931211)

welcome our Mussel Glued Children of tomorrow!

Hopefully they will be delivered in our flying cars that haven't shown up yet.

Re:I for one (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42931431)

Why does Bat Boy need a flying car?

Re:I for one (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42931693)

I am still waiting on Nerve Staplers.

thanks you (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42931349)

article useful thanks you
www.ingaz.net

mussel glue (2)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about a year and a half ago | (#42931579)

This is why I do weight training to build up my mussels.

Re:mussel glue (1)

mspohr (589790) | about a year and a half ago | (#42931635)

I have my mussels do their own weight training. (I discovered that my weight training had no effect on my mussels.)
I found these little weights and glued them to the shells... works great and gives me big fat mussels (delicious).

Re:mussel glue (1)

foniksonik (573572) | about a year and a half ago | (#42931845)

Your not too bright. Clearly from TFS mussels make their own glue. Just rub their belly on the rocks then stick them on their backs. I just saved you potentially tens of dollars. You're welcome.

Re:mussel glue (2)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about a year and a half ago | (#42932301)

Your not too bright. Clearly from TFS mussels make their own glue. Just rub their belly on the rocks then stick them on their backs.

Hey, I do the same thing!

I've been glued (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42932267)

Very early on Christmas day two Christmases ago i had a really severe laceration to my forehead. The skin was torn through for over two inches with lesser cuts running another two inches or so. The ER used glue to put my forehead back together and despite the rather extreme laceration if is quite hard to find any trace of the wound. I've been patched up more than once and can tell you that if a wound can be glued it is one wonderful way to go. No pain, quick and easy and no return trips as the glue vanishes in time. I understand that this product came from treating those wounded in war. A newer, even better glue could be a God send.

how to make it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42934267)

Why wait for the FDA, anyone have any idea on how to homebrew?

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