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Medicine Science

Dissolvable Glass For Bone Repair 168

Posted by kdawson
from the heart-of-glass dept.
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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Dissolvable Glass For Bone Repair

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  • end to casts? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MaerD (954222) on Friday October 02, 2009 @12:35PM (#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.
  • OB: Unbreakable. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by B5_geek (638928) on Friday October 02, 2009 @12:37PM (#29618245)

    They call him Mr.Glass

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 02, 2009 @01:25PM (#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.

  • "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.

  • by phantomcircuit (938963) on Friday October 02, 2009 @01:37PM (#29619065) Homepage

    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.

  • by Eggplant62 (120514) on Friday October 02, 2009 @01:54PM (#29619235)

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

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