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Heart Surgeon Takes Notes from da Vinci 191

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the next-we'll-be-using-mayan-farming-techniques dept.
vivekg writes "Leonardo da Vinci probably never thought he had the proverbial Holy Grail to a revolution in heart surgery. Almost 500 years after da Vinci's death, intricate diagrams of the human heart made by him have inspired a British surgeon to pioneer a new way to repair damaged hearts."
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Heart Surgeon Takes Notes from da Vinci

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  • Science (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BWJones (18351) * on Saturday October 01, 2005 @02:04PM (#13694027) Homepage Journal
    Old science is not necessarily bad science. In fact, the hallmark of good science is how well is holds up over time and continued testing. Granted, Leonardo de Vinci was not "practicing" modern science. Rather, he was using the oldest form of science which is observational science. However, this approach is still valid and tends to be the most robust type of science which, like Leonardo discovered can also lead to the most controversial reactions from people who have investments in the current understanding of certain topics........... *cough* *cough*, like evolution.

    • Re:Science (Score:5, Insightful)

      by the morgawr (670303) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @02:17PM (#13694103) Homepage Journal
      On the "evolution" (technically modern evolutionary synthesis) comment,

      At least 90% of laymen have no concept of what the theory says or predicts, nor how it is tested. The way the theory gets presented in high schools across the country is absolutly unacceptable. Such a muddle, confused, and illogical presentaion of science directly leads to such pseudoscience as intelligent design. Experience has forced me to agree with von Mises, public schools should be banned from teaching science because they incapable of presenting it correctly and will only cause confusion.

      • public schools should be banned from teaching science because they incapable of presenting it correctly and will only cause confusion

        Uh. What's that? Are you advocating that schools should stop teaching science altogether or that just public school should stop teaching science? If you think the problem is with the public schools, then the obvious strategy is to increase the funding so that they can do their job right. If you're saying that teaching science in schools should be dropped altogether, then I d

        • Are you advocating that schools should stop teaching science altogether or that just public school should stop teaching science? Just public schools.

          Not teaching science in schools is not an option.

          Sure it is. It is preferable to teaching it incorrectly, or worse, using the position of authority the teacher has to indoctrinate vulnerable children.

          The public schools have repeatedly demonstrated that they are incapable of teaching science. By their nature they are incapable of teaching anything about wh

          • by October_30th (531777) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @03:36PM (#13694417) Homepage Journal
            As stupid and ignorant as the people supporting all the anti-science BS are, they have a right not to have their tax money spent on things they consider sinful and immoral.

            Uh. No they don't. Where you live, they have the right to take their kid out of the class and homeschool them. Over here, there is not even the homeschool option.

            I pay taxes and my money is used on stuff that I don't approve of. Do I have a problem with it? Of course not. That's the way how a society works! Sharing and making compromises. "My tax money should not be used on stuff that I don't like" is nothing but self-centered Ayn Rand inspired whining.

            • "Over here" hardly counts as a free country if state sponsored indoctrination is required by threat of force. Freedom does include the right to be stupid or screw up.

              That's the way how a society works!

              Instead of each spending our own money on what we want, we take someone else's money and spend it for them then let them turn around and do the same to us? That doesn't seem very sensible. Under your arguement there is as much justification for teaching creationism and banning modern synthesis if that's wh

          • They have a right not to have their tax money spent on things they consider sinful and immoral.

            I'm glad to hear it! Please let me know when I can opt not to have my tax money go toward the war in Iraq.

            What's that you say? I can't opt out of the payment because I can't opt out of the benefits? How is that different from universal education? Or is there a way to opt out of a strong economy and an educated workforce that I'm unaware of?

            Shine on you crazy diamond!
          • The public schools should focus on providing a basic education for those who have no other option. That is: reading, writting, and arithmetic should be the initial focus.

            You're on the right track, but I think you're not going far enough. If it was up to me, I'd institute mandatory flogging for everyone going to school. That way, the only people (or kids) being educated would be the ones that really wanted to, and this system would produce only first-rate geniuses!

        • by HiThere (15173) * <charleshixsn&earthlink,net> on Saturday October 01, 2005 @03:37PM (#13694419)
          Personally I believe that the problem is the increasing centralization of control over the schools. This includes all Federal interference and all state interference.

          Schools should be funded locally, and have local control. Unfortunately, the various levels of government have stolen the sources which were traditionally used to fund schools, so local funding is a problem which needs solution. This doesn't make it any less necessary. If the local students are to be taught lies, it should be because the local citizens have decided that that's what they want their children taught. (They will suffer the appropriate consequences...but their folly should not be forced on everyone else.)

          This has been my position for over 2 decades, and everything I've seen during that period of time has only reinforced the opinion. Only at the college or university level should the state (e.g., Idaho or Pennsylvannia) have any involvement. The states should run the colleges, because specialized education needs to draw from too large an area of population for local funding to be reasonable. They should be tuition free, but have appropriately difficult admissions requirements, and may limit the number of open spots for admission. (The state can decide how many English majors it needs to educate, and how many BioChemists, and fund that many classes of the appropriate type.)

          At all levels, private schools should continue to be an option.

          Some will argue that this will unfairly penalize the children of poor cities. In my experience in those cities the federal government alone extracts more funds nominally for education than are expended on schooling by all levels of government combined. This may not be true everywhere, but it's certainly largely true. Also, the most important parts of schooling don't require much in the way of funding, though they do require the cooperation of the parents. Thus if the parents will not cooperate with the local school, the school should have the right to refuse to allow the student to attend lessons. Disruptive students are not something that should be tolerated...but when schools are used in the way in which they are currently, that's what you get.

          That said, not all students are academically inclined. There needs to be a flexible "tracking" system, which allows those mechanically inclined to develop their skills as well as a track which allows the academic students to develop THEIR skills. I envision one hour per day during elementary school (after third grade) where students experience are instructed in "enrichment specialties", which should include things like band, set theory (arithmetic should be mainstream...by rote, and sorry), wood/metal/plastic shop, etc.

          OTOH, this requires a fairly large elementary school. Other benefits would accrue if elementary schools were local enough that all students could walk to them. That way the neighborhood kids would study together. This would probably mean that, e.g., grades K-3 would all be taught in the same room by the same teacher. (If you have enough students to split this in two, perhaps you could split them by distance rather than by age.) This WOULD be an acknowledged combination school and babysitting service, and play areas would be an important part of the situation. Teachers in this class would be expected to LIVE in the school, and keep it open. Provisions for substitutes would be necessary. Etc. Class sizes would be small, but the salaries would be enough to live on given the free rent. (I envision that most of these teachers would start out as mothers raising their kids. So room would need to be sufficient to handle not only the teacher, but also a husband or other partner and their children. With a safe fenced area around it which is the school yard.)

          N.B.: A lot of what I'm proposing is just my idea spinning of how it might ideally work out. The important parts are:
          1) No central control.
          2) Local choice on funding & curricula & environment.
          • Interesting proposal; it would solve most of the problems I've mentioned.
            • HiThere, you and morgawr are not from Texas are y'all.

              We've got a real problem here in the Lone Star State with public school funding. Our Supreme Court has declared that local funding in unconstitutional under the Texas Constitution. The reason being that due to differences in the value of the local tax bases there is inequitable funding between 'rich' and 'poor' school districts, which in turn leads to an inequitable quality of education between the 'rich' and 'poor' school districts.

              For the last decade t
          • The biggest problem with your idea will become evident when there are a large number of idiots running around because they weren't taught the appropriate lessons to function in modern society. When mathematics is replaced with religion, and science with superstition, what have you achieved?

            It can be cynically said that "the government educates you because they want to tax you", and it's at least partially true. If people who've lived in a certain locale only teach subjects related to that locale (eg. farmer
      • The way science is taught in general in American public schools is unacceptable. They don't teach you science, they teach you to swallow and regurgitate. That doesn't prepare you for science, that prepares you for believing everything you read - meaning that it prepares you to believe evolution theory no better than it prepares you to believe 'creation science.'

        I remember my high school biology class. Instead of learning biology, we spent large amounts of time doing completely useless stuff like memorizin
      • by pbaer (833011)
        I would mod everyone talking about evolution in school and tax dollars off topic. Serioulusly this article is about a new heart repair surgery inspired by Leonardo. This has absolutely nothing to do with the Evolution v. Intillegent design debate.
      • >>> "Such a muddle[d], confused, and illogical presentaion of science directly leads to such pseudoscience as intelligent design."

        I think you've got your chain of causation confused. Evolutionary theory (at least amongst humans) is not recorded until long after notions of intelligent design. Perhaps you meant "directly leads << to the enforcement of peoples concepts of theories in the realm of >> pseudoscience [such] as intelligent design"?

        Funnily enough much of modern day science has a
    • Re:Science (Score:3, Interesting)

      by fm6 (162816)
      Of course science isn't bad just because it's old. But even old science that's good is mostly useless now, because it's based on premises that modern scientists just can't work with.

      Leonardo's contributions to science and technology are mostly in the form of meticulous observation and clever design. That sort of thing doesn't get invalidated by the passage of time. If he had been more of a theoretician, modern scientists would sneer at him, they way they do at Aristotle — whose theories were the bas

    • In fact, the hallmark of good science is how well is holds up over time and continued testing.

      I'm glad someone found some public use for something that in this day in age would be under copyright. I hope some lawyer or wordsmith can craftily use this story to the public's advantage and make a successful argument against patents and copyrights.
  • by Brent Spiner (919505) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @02:05PM (#13694036) Homepage
    Stop eating McDonalds you fatasses!
    • So instead we'll eat at Burger King, Dairy Queen, Taco Palace, The Royal Pagoda, White Castle, or some other aristocratic dinning establishment?
  • Aha! (Score:5, Funny)

    by gowen (141411) <gwowen@gmail.com> on Saturday October 01, 2005 @02:05PM (#13694038) Homepage Journal
    But we do know he had the literal Holy Grail, hidden as part of the Priory of Sion. Or at least, he would have had, if it hadn't been made up by a delusional Frenchman in the 1950s [wikipedia.org]
  • by zippity8 (446412) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @02:06PM (#13694041)
    It's funny how much you can get done once you blow bureaucracy out of the way. Exhuming corpses for study probably broke a billion laws back then as well, but so much has come from his approach.

    Then again, I might be confusing the Da Vinci Code with reality. Damned fiction based on facts. It's probably safest to just say that I HEARD that he exhumed corpses. I didn't know him personally.
    • by Ironsides (739422) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @02:15PM (#13694091) Homepage Journal
      It's funny how much you can get done once you blow bureaucracy out of the way. Exhuming corpses for study probably broke a billion laws back then as well, but so much has come from his approach. Then again, I might be confusing the Da Vinci Code with reality. Damned fiction based on facts. It's probably safest to just say that I HEARD that he exhumed corpses. I didn't know him personally.

      It's not that he exhumed corpses, it's that he studied them. (Which is partly how he became so good at realistic stone carving.) Ya see, if you studied the corpse, you could eventually figure out how they died. And well, so many members of royalty and people involved with powerful people died under "mysterious circumstances" that the survivors (who in many cases were the next in line for the position) didn't want to be implicated/accused/beheaded, so that anything that could lead to autopsies were pretty much outlawed.
    • It may have come from a bit of a sensationalist reporter, Donal MacIntyre, but I have no reason to doubt his footage.

      In India it is not unheard of that doctors will take organs from persons or bodies, such as valves in the case of bodies, for transplantation to 'customers' who need them.
      The deceased may never have signed a donor form, and the family is not informed.
      Neither is the recipient - they simply aren't told what type of valve they're getting (artificial being the common assumption).

      To paraphrase a s
      • n India it is not unheard of that doctors will take organs from persons or bodies, such as valves in the case of bodies, for transplantation to 'customers' who need them. The deceased may never have signed a donor form, and the family is not informed. Neither is the recipient - they simply aren't told what type of valve they're getting (artificial being the common assumption). To paraphrase a statement from one hospital CEO/doctor : "We open them up, take out the valves, sow them back up, and no harm is do

        • I'll leave your opinions up to you - look for a torrent of McDonal's Millions, I guess :)

          However...
          "The organs need to be matched and harvested within a few minutes of death otherwise the organs are damaged and become useless."
          Harvesting within minutes of time of death is no problem if the deceased was a hospital patient at any point.
          Matching (and testing for disease, etc.) can be done long (compared to those minutes) afterwards.
          The only 'crucial' bit is how long you can keep the organs on a preservative -
      • So, yes... blow bureaucracy out of the way, and a lot of good can be done. But at what cost?
        At greatly reduced cost because of the vastly increased supply?
  • Well (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 01, 2005 @02:06PM (#13694042)
    Well, there's only one way to perform surgery on a heart........ verrrrrrrrry carefully.
  • by yagu (721525) * <yayagu@gmai l . com> on Saturday October 01, 2005 @02:07PM (#13694047) Journal

    Disclaimer: this post is philosophical drivel...

    I wonder how many insights from the past we as a "civilization" may be whistling past. In our smug (seemingly) mastery of technology I often feel a sense of something missing, or just not quite in the right place. Today we can instantaneously retrieve and play on our mp3 players any song that tickles our fancy, but to what end? When sales of Britney outstrip sales of the Emperor Concerto something is out of whack.

    Base and rank commercialism has overtaken sensibility. Our choices are far less choices and far more subtle (and sometimes otherwise) manipulation of our choices by mass market driven money making machines.

    For example, the food industry: did you know that one of the most healthy foods you can eat is tuna? And if you're trying to lose weight it can be a keystone in that goal. Did you know that some brands of tuna have artificially introduced certain appetite inducing chemicals? No intrinsic added value to the food, just a manipulation of you to buy more food (hopefully, their tuna).

    Now, to relate all of this back to the original article. What percentage of medical breakthroughs and research have anything to do with cumulative knowledge? What percentage is just purely money driven?

    It's only my opinion, but "we" as a civilization will show true evolution when we take use of true knowledge and think less about everything as "business". Business is an artifact. Truth and knowledge serve more faithfully.

    • Either you have been brain washed by Marxists or you really have no understanding of economics. See this: http://www.mises.org/etexts/mises/anticap.asp [mises.org]
      • See this: http://www.mises.org/etexts/mises/anticap.asp [mises.org] Wow, a pro-capitalist book that was actually panned by the economist. It must be REALLY bad.
        • First there are dozens of review of the book, you picked one of the few negative ones. That the publisher put negative reviews on the same page of the positive ones is a sign of honesty. Second, the author of the book and The Economist never saw eye to eye. The Economist didn't like Mises's critisism of the US and the UK, and Mises didn't like the habbit they held for promoting the theories of British economists and ignoring the work of prominent German and Austrian ones.
      • It is quite well known, and has been repeatedly demonstrated that, e.g., the pharmaceutical companies will not put any effort into validating results that they cannot profit from. E.g., folk medicine. Occasionally someone independent of the pharmaceutical companies will do so, but the process of getting something new validated has become so expensive that it's quite difficult for someone only moderately wealthy to be able to fund such a thing, even if he is obsessive. (I can't remember the particular exa
        • Why should the pharmaceutical companies, or anyone, waste money getting FDA approval on stuff you can already buy over the counter? All that would do is take something currently readily available and turn it into a highly regulated product. Everyone already know's it's safe, it might work; why spend the money on that instead of trying to come up with a new medicine?

          But that has nothing to do with what yagu posted. He listed a bunch of problems he has with the world: people not liking his favorite music, t

      • A quotation from the book (Section 4, under heading "3. INJUSTICE"):

        Nature is not bountiful but stingy. It has restricted the supply of all things indispensable for the preservation of human life. It has populated the world with animals and plants to whom the impulse to destroy human life and welfare is inwrought.

        At this point I stopped reading. When someone starts claiming that not only animals have an inborn impulse to destroy human life (they don't; they have an inborn impulse to eat and protect th

        • I followed his link and for some reason my eye fell on the right side where they list their "Favorites"... one of which was lewrockwell.com ... which made my idiot-alarm go off and I closed that tab. Thanks for telling me what nonsense I missed!
        • When someone starts claiming that not only animals have an inborn impulse to destroy human life (they don't; they have an inborn impulse to eat and protect themselves, their territory and their offspring

          I think you missed the point. The passage is concerned with the Romantic movement's view of nature -- that it is benevolent and exists in a natural state of plenty.

          In reality, nature has nasty things like destructive weather and animals whose instincts run counter to human life. Man left alone in nature

    • As far as Britney outpacing Concerto sales, far more people hear classical music (on a ratio basis) in the modern world than they did in the 1700s or even 1800s. They simply choose other things because they like them better because of their friends, who like it because of the radio play, who play it because record companies pay them to, because they have a lot "invested" in crap artists like Britney.

      The problem isn't commercialism, it's the value placed on wealth above all other things. This is a cultural p
    • one of the most healthy foods you can eat is tuna

      While tuna is actually an excellent source of protein (remember that a healthy diet needs many other things as well), there is a downside: eating large quantities can introduce the risk of consuming too much mercury; here's two interesting links:

      http://66.102.7.104/search?q=cache:1dWBudmqB9cJ:ww w.mercurypolicy.org/new/documents/CanTheTunaReleas eFinal061903.pdf+tuna+mercury&hl=en&client=safari [66.102.7.104]
      http://www.nrdc.org/health/effects/mercury/tuna.a [nrdc.org]
    • Truth and knowledge serve more faithfully.

      Past experience has shown that there's always more than one truth. Whose truth do you think should prevail?

    • For example, the food industry: did you know that one of the most healthy foods you can eat is tuna? And if you're trying to lose weight it can be a keystone in that goal. Did you know that some brands of tuna have artificially introduced certain appetite inducing chemicals? No intrinsic added value to the food, just a manipulation of you to buy more food (hopefully, their tuna).

      Holy crap! As someone who eats a heck of a lot of tuna, I'd like to know more about this. Alas, googling for "appetite" and "tuna"
    • by Vellmont (569020) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @06:35PM (#13695122)

      When sales of Britney outstrip sales of the Emperor Concerto something is out of whack.

      Could it be your own inflated value of classical music that's out of wack? Britney Spears sucks in more ways than I can count, but I see no intrinsic value in classical music over any other form of music. You really want to know why Britney Spears outsells music that doesn't suck? It's because the music industry thinks its only consumer is the 13-22 crowd. Britney Spears captures probbably half of that age range, so she sells a lot.

      Base and rank commercialism has overtaken sensibility. Our choices are far less choices and far more subtle (and sometimes otherwise) manipulation of our choices by mass market driven money making machines.

      No, the problem is most companies are run so they can't see past say 5 years in the future (and those are the visionary companies). It's all about short term profits and "playing it safe". It's nothing to do with base and rank commercialism and everything to do with short sighteness.

      For example, the food industry: did you know that one of the most healthy foods you can eat is tuna?

      No I didn't, nor do I believe it from some guy repeating it on slashdot.

      Did you know that some brands of tuna have artificially introduced certain appetite inducing chemicals?

      I find this to be a very specious claim. Please provide some kind of reference for this and exactly what you mean by "appetite inducing chemicals". Anything that tastes good could potentially be an "appetite inducing chemical".

      Now, to relate all of this back to the original article. What percentage of medical breakthroughs and research have anything to do with cumulative knowledge? What percentage is just purely money driven?

      I don't even know where to start with this statement. My guess is a lot of research isn't driven by pursuit of money. Just look at the research done at major universities and you'll find most of it isn't profit driven. Research that isn't profit driven is important because companies don't like funding things whose value isn't immediately apparent. When you take on that attitude you get a bit of tunnel vision. There's obviously a lot of research that is profit driven. What's wrong with that? Without it you'd just have less research going on, not more. Unless the profit driven research is somehow threatening the non-profit driven research I fail to see any problem with profit driven research.

      It's only my opinion, but "we" as a civilization will show true evolution when we take use of true knowledge and think less about everything as "business". Business is an artifact. Truth and knowledge serve more faithfully

      I'd agree that this current trend toward looking at everything as "business" is pure insanity. I'm not sure that "truth and knowledge" are the perfect goals we should all be striving for. "truth and knowledge" are abstract ideas and not actual goals to be sought after.
      • Could it be your own inflated value of classical music that's out of wack?

        No, Classical Music (and music of that general category) is provably more musically complex and sophisticated than almost all popular rock-offshoots (with certain exceptions). There is so much irony in that "music geeks" who pride themselves on finding obscure indie bands and having huge music collections are actually unbelievably myopic in their understanding of music. It's all in a very narrow band of genres by bands that are basi

    • For example, the food industry: did you know that one of the most healthy foods you can eat is tuna? And if you're trying to lose weight it can be a keystone in that goal. Did you know that some brands of tuna have artificially introduced certain appetite inducing chemicals? No intrinsic added value to the food, just a manipulation of you to buy more food (hopefully, their tuna).

      Ah yes, Chicken of the Sea... I love it.

      But I stay away from Buffalo Wings. I don't eat the other red meat.
    • When sales of Britney outstrip sales of the Emperor Concerto something is out of whack.

      Don't worry. In 100 years, no one will listen to Britney anymore, but people will still be listening to the Emperor Concerto.
  • different views (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BushCheney08 (917605) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @02:07PM (#13694051)
    Does anyone else here get the feeling from this that doctors have a sort of "well, that's how it's always been done" approach to medicine? I mean, you'd think that at some point, somebody would have stopped and said "is there a better way to do this?" I guess, in some ways, this guy is that "revolutionary" thinker...
    • Does anyone else here get the feeling from this that doctors have a sort of "well, that's how it's always been done" approach to medicine?

      I think there's a good reason for this: the way it has always been done has proven to work, and most patients don't like to be experimented on.
    • >Does anyone else here get the feeling from this that doctors have a sort of "well, that's how it's always been done" approach to medicine?

      Yes, I do. Our pediatrician mentioned a condition called pyloric stenosis after I brought our infant son in for a checkup. He had thrown up the night before. Details here [pedisurg.com]. Basically the doctor said our son didn't have this condition and not to worry. Of course like many dads, I did worry a little bit. I went home and looked up information on it. The surgical pr
    • because "med school" is a decade of building a massively cross-referenced relational database within the mind of the new doctor and training fine motor skills in the sawboneses. Further this is exactly how you want the vast majority of "human-technitions" to be. Very few people are imaginative enough to expand their field whatever it may be. Those people we call Doctors.. of Philosophy. People who doctor you are doctors of medicine.
    • I don't know about you, but I don't particularly want either my doctors or my engineers to be "revolutionary" thinkers. It's safer that way. The problem with revolutionary thinking is that it often takes many failed attempts before a success. The problem with failed attempts in medicine (and engineering, to a degree), is that they usually end up killing people. I'm reminded of Dilbert's "risk-reward" for engineers: if you succeed, you get a nice plaque and congratulations at a professional conference. If yo
  • by Zakabog (603757) <john@j[ ]g.com ['mau' in gap]> on Saturday October 01, 2005 @02:10PM (#13694064)
    Am I missing something or does the article say nothing about what the new technique was? And why only the Da Vinchi drawings were the only ones that could have lead to this discovery.
  • Floppy mitral valve (Score:5, Informative)

    by karvind (833059) <karvind@gm a i l . c om> on Saturday October 01, 2005 @02:11PM (#13694077) Journal
    Mitral valve prolapse [nih.gov], fortunately, is not deadly. But the usual treatment always has the potential danger of valve infection. I hope the new technique will help prevent that problem.
  • BS (Score:3, Insightful)

    by numLocked (801188) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @02:14PM (#13694086) Homepage Journal
    You have got to be kidding me! This passes for news? Some doctor says 'whoaaaa mannnn, Da Vinci made some nice drawings' and then invents a new way to repair the heart, and the media links the two together. There is NO mention of what the new procedure consists of or why Da Vinci's drawings helped him invent it. I find it very hard to believe the Da Vinci really had some understanding of heart physiology that we don't and when the article makes no effort to convince me otherwise...well, color me skeptical.

    Go read http://www.guardian.co.uk/life/badscience/ [guardian.co.uk] backstories and learn why you should never listen to the mass media when it comes to scientific discoveries. I'm really surprised this got posted to /.
    • Re:BS (Score:5, Informative)

      by pg133 (307365) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @02:42PM (#13694188)
      Maybe this article Da Vinci decodes heart valve surgery explains it better [news.com.au]
      rancis Wells, a consultant cardiac surgeon at Papworth Hospital in Cambridge, England, said he had a "eureka moment" as he pored over drawings and notes by the artist in the royal collection at Windsor Castle.
      With Da Vinci's understanding of the importance of the opening and closing phases of the valve, Mr Wells has worked out how to restore the valve's normal and full variability in opening and closing properly.

      "That has been a big step forward," he said yesterday.

      So, yes the work of Da Vinci 1500, did lead to some modern improvments in medicine today!
      • by tsa (15680)
        Maybe it's just me reading between the lines, but I gathered as much from TFA.
      • Re:BS (Score:3, Informative)

        by Effika (517254)
        I think this is the better part of the article. This quote actually explains what the new technique is.

        Until now, surgeons have narrowed the diameter of the valve by removing a square portion of one of the flaps. Now, by closing the gaps on each side of the prolapsing flap and cutting out the excess tissue in a V-shape, the surgeon can make the valve work properly again.
        • Sure, there's one sentence that alludes to the new technique, but why was this not an option before? What was preventing people from simply fixing the valve? This seems like the natural solution to me - it seems obvious that narrowing the valve is an inferior solution to simply fixing it. There's no meat to the article.
    • Re:BS (Score:3, Insightful)

      by brian0918 (638904)
      The steps to calling bullshit:

      1. Read article.
      2. Don't get answers to questions.
      3. Don't be willing to investigate further into the matter.
      4. Don't know anything about the article's topic.
      5. Don't want to look like an idiot on Slashdot.
      6. Call bullshit to save face.

      Well done.
  • has this guy not shared his new technique with anyone? I've only read this particular article about it, so I only know what it states about it. Which is nothing, it just says that this guy knows a better way to repair it now. Not that the medical community now knows. But that *he* knows. Well, he actually says 'we' but the rest of what's said is stated in a fairly cloaked manner, as if to say he knows and he ain't sharin'. You want it done, pay me 9 zillion dollars, or go get it done the old fashioned
  • by Anonymous Coward
    When Leonardo was alive, 500 years ago,there was no monopoly; barbers and other people with dubious trainng were involved in medicine.

    Before Leonardo, in the early Middle Ages, say, when the Decameron was written (13++) physicians were not called "Doctors" because they did not have doctoral degrees. Only Theologians and Lawyers were Doctors. The best eaxample is Toma De Aquino, "Doctor Universalis" who had all the doctorates of the time, but was no physician.
    • by Edmund Blackadder (559735) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @02:32PM (#13694155)
      "there was no monopoly; barbers and other people ..." Yeah and numerous people were killed in their dubious attempts at medicine. BTW medicine is not a monopoly ... anybody can join if you (i) finish medschool (ii) pass an exam. If you are not smart enough to do these ... there is no need to involve antitrust law in this.
      • Each state in the United States has a medical board that requires licensing to practice medicine in that state, and they are all members of the federation of state medical boards, right? While this sounds like a monopoly to me, it's a licensure monopoly by the state, which is a constitutionally defined government power. States have power to license professions that effect the public interest. You can't bring racketeering charges against the state even if you wanted to, the state is by definition a monopoly
  • by Cerdic (904049) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @02:38PM (#13694175)
    From the article:

    His anatomical knowledge came from his post-mortem dissection work, which the Church forbade.

    Great minds of the past shouldn't just be honored for their great contributions to art and science. In fact, it may almost be more important that they defied the religiously dictated laws of their times. Even Isaac Newton, who may the most important scientist in our history, dabbled in occult beliefs that some feel led to his gravitational theory.

    I tip my hat to Leonardo, Galileo, Newton, and others for having the guts to stand up to the religion to advance humans forward.
    • I tip my hat to Leonardo, Galileo, Newton, and others for having the guts to stand up to the religion to advance humans forward.

      I think the illegally and immorally exhumed corpses had the guts; the scientists of the past merely examined them

    • I tip my hat to Leonardo, Galileo, Newton, and others for having the guts to stand up to the religion to advance humans forward.

      Um...Newton was a devout Christian. While he may have dabbled in mildly occult investigations, his beliefs were pretty thoroughly steeped in the standard Christian fare. He writes in Principia

      "This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent Being.... This Being governs all things, not as the soul o

      • To be fair, there is nothing particularly Christian about your quote. The statements are as much Muslim or Jewish as they are Christian! It is not a belief in God that defines Christianity, any more than it is a belief in science that defines Biology.
  • This is one of those inventions that comes along every now and then, of which you think: why didn't they think of this earlier? Some things stare humanity in the face for years and years before someone finally sees the light. This one took remarkably long...
  • Old Joke (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 01, 2005 @02:50PM (#13694220)
    A mechanic was removing a cylinder head from the motor of a Harley, when he spotted a world-famous heart surgeon in his shop. The heart surgeon was waiting for the service manager to come take a look at his bike. The mechanic shouted across the garage, "Hey Doc can I ask you a question?"

    The famous surgeon, a bit surprised, walked over to the mechanic working on the motorcycle.

    The mechanic straightened up, wiped his hands on a rag and asked, "So Doc, look at this engine. I also can open hearts, take valves out, fix'em, put in new parts and when I finish this will work just like a new one. So how come I get a pittance and you get the really big money, when you and I are doing basically the same work?"

    The surgeon paused, smiled and leaned over, and whispered to the mechanic..... "Try doing it with the engine running!
  • by ABeowulfCluster (854634) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @02:52PM (#13694224)
    ... of malpractice suits. If you do something differently, and something goes wrong, the lawyers come out and sue because you were doing something non standard. I find it a bit spooky that a doctor would even need to look at old drawings to know how heart valves work. Isn't this why they are made to work on cadavers, so they know the body inside and out? Doesn't the real thing trump some old drawings?
    • If you do something differently, and something goes wrong, the lawyers come out and sue because you were doing something non standard.

      Part of medicine is research. You can be sure the first patients to receive a new technique have signed appropriate waivers.

      You have the soul of an HMO administrator. :)

      I find it a bit spooky that a doctor would even need to look at old drawings to know how heart valves work. Isn't this why they are made to work on cadavers, so they know the body inside and out?

      He sited Leo

  • I think the article is improperly attributing Leonardo's role in the discovery. Leonardo made accurate anatomical drawings of the heart from which the heart surgeon took inspiration. In this sense, I see da Vinci as having provided artistic inspiration for this medical discovery, much as artists throughout the ages have provided inspiration for countless scientists. It is likely that the heart surgeon could have made his discovery based on any other accurate drawing or illustration of the human heart, but d
  • I mean what he did and what most medical things do is some kind of reversed enginering.

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