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Medicine Science

Mussel Glue Could Help Repair Birth Defects 53

Posted by samzenpus
from the just-add-garlic-tape dept.
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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Mussel Glue Could Help Repair Birth Defects

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  • by pepsikid (2226416) on Sunday February 17, 2013 @05:40PM (#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!
    • by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Sunday February 17, 2013 @05:54PM (#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.

      • by wierd_w (1375923) on Sunday February 17, 2013 @06:09PM (#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.)

        • by Mister Liberty (769145) on Sunday February 17, 2013 @06:42PM (#42931363)

          this would still be the 1700's.

          • 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?

            • by mattack2 (1165421)

              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.)

              • 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.

        • by fufufang (2603203) on Sunday February 17, 2013 @06:46PM (#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.

          • by Cryacin (657549)
            The EU is bigger than the UK. Try Hungary and the rest of the eastern block.
          • by alvinrod (889928)
            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.
            • by fufufang (2603203)

              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.

          • by Anonymous Coward

            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 g

        • by mspohr (589790) on Sunday February 17, 2013 @07:38PM (#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.

        • 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.

        • 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.

      • 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".

    • by egamma (572162)

      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!

  • I for one (Score:4, Funny)

    by Nyder (754090) on Sunday February 17, 2013 @06:11PM (#42931211) Journal

    welcome our Mussel Glued Children of tomorrow!

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

  • by PopeRatzo (965947) on Sunday February 17, 2013 @07:22PM (#42931579) Homepage Journal

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

    • by mspohr (589790)

      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).

      • 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.

        • by PopeRatzo (965947)

          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!

Brain damage is all in your head. -- Karl Lehenbauer

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