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Lasers Surgery of the Eye

The word "laser" is an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. A laser is a concentrated beam of light, created when an electrical current passes through a special material. Used in eye surgery since the 1970's, the laser is popular for its unparalleled degree of precision and predictability. Lasers are being used for an increasing variety of eye diseases. A laser's specific wavelength allows energy to be absorbed in selected tissues and not damage surrounding tissues. The laser beam is so precise it can cut notches in a strand of human hair without breaking it.

Thermal lasers convert light to heat. This type of laser seals blood vessels and destroys abnormal tissues. Photoablative lasers cut or sculpt tissue and are used to remove tissue, changing the shape and surface of the eye. Lasers can preserve vision, sometimes for many years, for diabetics with diabetic retinopathy. In treating diabetic retinopathy, the laser light seals leaking blood vessels in the retina, the light-sensitive layer of cells lining the back of the eye. Lasers also treat more unusual retinal disorders, including blood vessel problems and tumors.

Also used to treat glaucoma, lasers can create a new passage through the iris to relieve eye pressure or open the eye's blocked drainage canals. Although lasers do not remove cataracts, they may one day. Right now, they open the posterior capsule, which often becomes cloudy after cataract surgery, restoring vision in a matter of hours. More recently, the excimer laser has received a great deal of attention as a tool for permanently correcting refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. Refractive laser surgery can decrease or eliminate the need for glasses and contact lenses by reshaping the cornea.

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Stem Cell Research Results in Skin-Like Tissue

Experts at the Tufts University have recently announced in the advanced issue of the journal Tissue Engineering Part A that they managed to harness the pluripotency trait of human embryonic stem cells (hESC) in order to create complex, multi-layered, skin-like tissue. The resulting product is also similar in many ways to the oral mucosa, which is the tissue that lines the inside of the human mouth. The accomplishment goes to show the power that stem cells have in differentiating into any type of cell, and offers a glimpse at future applications for hESC.

The research team was composed of Tufts University School of Dental Medicine (SDM) experts, working together with colleagues from the University's Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences (SSGBS). “For the first time, we have established that a single source of hESC can provide the multiple cell types needed to interact within a three-dimensional tissue model to generate complex, multilayer tissues. We are a step closer to a practical therapy to help with diseases of the skin and mouth,” Jonathan Garlick, DDS, PhD, says. He is an SDM professor of oral and maxillofacial pathology, and also an SSGBS Cell, Molecular & Developmental Biology Program faculty member.

“Researchers have been seeking methods to grow skin-like tissues outside of the body using new sources of stem cells such as hESC, with the goal of advancing regenerative medicine as a new therapy to replace or repair damaged or diseased tissue. Little is known about how hESC can be developed into the multilayer tissues similar to those that line the gums, cheeks, lips, and other areas in the mouth. We used in vitro tissue engineering techniques to produce skin-like tissues that mimic the lining tissues found in the oral cavity,” he goes on to explain.

In their research, the scientists used the (H9) cell line, which was grown in a combination of special chemical nutrients and specialized substrates. The resulting cells were made to differentiate into two separate types of mature cells – the epithelial tissue precursor ectodermal cells, and mesenchymal cells, the support layer underneath the former. These cells were then inserted into an engineered, air-liquid interface, which mimicked the environment of the oral cavity.

“These engineered tissues are remarkably similar to their human counterparts and can be used to address major concerns facing the field of stem cell biology that are related to their clinical use. We can now use these engineered tissues as 'tissue surrogates' to begin to predict how stable and safe hESC-derived cells will be after therapeutic transplantation. Our goal is to produce functional tissues to treat oral and skin conditions, like the early stages of cancer and inflammatory disease, as well as to accelerate the healing of recalcitrant wounds,” Garlick concludes.

Credit - Tudor Vieru from Softpedia

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The contact lens that can help the blind see again


The groundbreaking operation brought significant improvements in vision within a matter of weeks. The procedure uses a person's own cells to heal damage to the cornea - the transparent outermost layer of the eye. It is carried out under local anesthetic, with patients returning home within two hours of surgery, removing the need for expensive hospital stays. 


The three patients treated so far had very poor vision caused by corneal disease - the fourth most common form of blindness, affecting around 10 million worldwide. It is caused by genetics, surgery, burns, infection or chemotherapy, and treatments usually include grafts and transplants and drugs such as steroids.


How it works: The treatment can restore eye sight using steam cells

The team from the University of New South Wales in Sydney harnessed the power of stem cells - 'master cells' with the ability to turn into other cell types. They removed small samples of stem cells from the eyes of two men and a woman with corneal disease and grew them on a contact lens. The stem cell-coated contacted lenses were then put into the patients' eyes for around three weeks. During that time, the stem cells moved off the lenses and began to heal the damaged corneas, the journal Transplantation reports. 


Using a person's own cells removes any need for donors and means the transplant will not be rejected. Researcher Dr Nick Di Girolamo said: 'The procedure is totally simple and cheap. 'Unlike other techniques, it requires no foreign human or animal products, only the patient’s own serum, and is completely non-invasive. 'There's no suturing, there is no major operation. You don’t need any fancy equipment.' The contact lenses used in the operation are already widely used after eye surgery. 


The researchers hope the technique can be adapted for other parts of the eye, such as the retina,  and even elsewhere in the body. Damage to retinal blood vessels is behind a range of conditions that can lead to loss of sight including many cases of age-related macular degeneration, or AMD, the most common cause of blindness in the elderly. 


Dr Di Girolamo said: 'If we can do this procedure in the eye, I don’t see why it wouldn’t work in other major organs such as the skin, which behaves in a very similar way to the cornea.' Dr Kuldip Sidhu, a stem cell expert at the same university, said the 'clever strategy' was a step towards using stem cells to treat debilitating human diseases. Professor Loane Skene, of the University of Melbourne, said: 'Provided that patients are told that the new procedure is experimental and possible risks are not yet known, and they then consent to have it, this use of a patient's stem cells is no more ethically contentious than a skin transplant.' 


In Britain, Sonal Rughani, of the RNIB, said: 'This small-scale study reveals promising outcomes with the use of contact lenses. We await further developments of this innovative nature.' The work is one of several studies being carried out around the world which aim to use stem cells to cure blindness.


Source - UK DailyMail


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Disable Bandwidth Reservation by Windows

Found this a long time ago but I decided to post it here so that I won't forget it next time and also to share it other people.
  1. Click Start --> Run --> type "gpedit.msc" without the "
  2. Local Computer Policy --> Computer Configuration --> Administrative Templates
  3. --> Network --> QOS Packet Scheduler --> Limit Reservable Bandwidth
  4. Double click on Limit Reservable bandwidth
  5. ENABLE reservable bandwidth, then set it to ZERO (0).
This will allow the system to reserve nothing, rather than the default 20%.


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Update after Awhile

Hi, it's been awhile since I post anything on this blog (~7 months to be precise), I'd been busy after I had resigned from my job on November last year, was busy for my Convocation, Christmas and also New Year's celebration.


I am with the status "Unemployed" for 7 months now and my initial plan to further my studies was postponed due to some reasons. However, my will to learn is still there, currently I am trying to do my research independently at home, so that I don't have any due dates or restriction while doing it.

In the past few months, I was not without "work", some of my friends said that even 24 hours a day was not enough for me, I guess helping people is my blessing (:-)), I love the stuff that I'd done, even-though there's no payment involve (no income on my side) but still it gave me some sort of self-satisfaction.

Maybe it is unfair for my parents side as the money that I was using are theirs, but I believe God has something written for me for my future, be it glamorous or not, I will accept it with full of faith and open arms as we can only plan but God is the One who decide.

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