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Category: #Healthcare

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Tiny lab-grown thyroids hint at a new way to treat hypothyroidism

The thyroid, a small butterfly-shaped organ on the front of the throat, produces hormones that are vital for health — and, sadly, the same organ is prone to various issues ranging from autoimmune hypothyroidism to thyroid cancer. Various types of damage and diseases can cause thyroid hormone production to drop, a problem currently treated with synthetic hormones. Though many people … Continue reading

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Brittany A. Roston

High-Speed 3D Printing Method Could Produce Human Organs In Under an Hour

A 3D printed hand rises from a hydrogel solution.University of Buffalo

Researchers at the University of Buffalo are bringing a science fiction trope to life with their new 3D printing method, which can produce a synthetic hand in under 20 minutes. The rapid printing technology minimizes cellular damage and deformation, making it one of the most viable options for 3D printing human organs.

A surreal YouTube video shows the 3D printing method in action, and it looks like something out of a movie—it’s just so quick and simple. A machine dips into a shallow solution of yellow goo and pulls out a fully-formed synthetic hand in just under 20 minutes. Researchers at the University of Buffalo say that conventional printing methods would take 6 hours to produce the same hand.

The new printing method relies on stereolithography or photo-solidification, the same process used in resin printing. Basically, scientists use light to selectively cure a hydrogel solution into a desired shape. Stereolithography works 10 to 15 times faster than regular bioprinting methods, so scientists can provide a continuous supply of biogel to their model, limiting environmental exposure and mistakes.

Biogel stereolitography is already suited to print cellular models with blood-vessel networks, although the technology is currently limited to centimeter-sized models. Scientists should be able to scale up the method, though, which will be essential for printing human-sized organs. Who knows, in the future, every hospital could be equipped with a biogel stereolithography printer to manufacture replacement organs on the fly, eliminating the need for human-to-human organ transplants.

Source: University of Buffalo via Engadget

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Andrew Heinzman

3D printers may become standard equipment for operating rooms

Scientists from UNSW Sydney have developed a new ceramic-based ink that could allow surgeons to 3D print bone parts complete with living cells. The 3D printing bone could be used to repair damaged bone tissue during surgery. The 3D printer uses a special ink made of calcium phosphate, and researchers on the project call the ink ceramic omnidirectional bio printing … Continue reading

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Shane McGlaun

Ransomware attack on a healthcare firm slowed clinical trials

cbe97c10-0657-11eb-bff5-3ba023786cebCyberattacks on the healthcare industry are causing more headaches. The New York Times reports that clinical trials slowed down after healthcare software provider eResearchTechnology suffered ransomware attacks starting two weeks ago. IQVIA (a resear…

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Healthcare giant UHS hit by ransomware attack, sources say


Universal Health Services, one of the largest healthcare providers in the U.S., has been hit by a ransomware attack.

The attack hit UHS systems early on Sunday morning, according to two people with direct knowledge of the incident, locking computers and phone systems at several UHS facilities across the country, including in California and Florida.

One of the people said the computer screens changed with text that referenced the “shadow universe,” consistent with the Ryuk ransomware. “Everyone was told to turn off all the computers and not to turn them on again,” the person said. “We were told it will be days before the computers are up again.”

It’s not immediately known what impact the ransomware attack is having on patient care, or how widespread the issue is.

A spokesperson for UHS did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

An executive who oversees cybersecurity at another U.S. hospital system, who asked not to be named as they were not authorized to speak to the press, told TechCrunch that patient medical data is “likely safe” as UHS relies on Cerner, a healthcare technology company, to handle its patients’ electronic health records.

UHS has 400 hospitals and healthcare facilities in the U.S. and the U.K., and serves millions of patients each year.

The Ryuk ransomware is linked to a Russian cybercrime group, known as Wizard Spider, according to security firm Crowdstrike. Ryuk’s operators are known to go “big game hunting” and have previously targeted large organizations, including shipping giant Pitney Bowes and the U.S. Coast Guard.

Some ransomware operators said earlier this year that they would not attack health organizations and hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic, but Ryuk’s operators did not.

Last week, police in Germany launched a homicide investigation after the death of a woman, who was diverted to another hospital following a ransomware attack.

We’ll have more on the UHS incident as we get it.

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Zack Whittaker