Recently a study in Stem Cell Reports described a process to make skin cells called keratinocytes.
The ability to make skin cells in a laboratory makes the need for animal testing less likely in the future.
Some skin cell drugs and cosmetics test on animals prior to testing on humans. This development has obvious potential benefits including saving animal lives and cost-effective models to help determine the safety and efficacy of skin therapies.
Robotic surgery has changed many types of surgery and the way it is being performed. It has led to smaller incisions, less downtime and quicker recoveries. So is there a role for robotics in facial plastic surgery?
Currently, the answer is no. Robotic surgery is best used in hard to reach areas where access typically requires a larger incision and can now be reached with a smaller incision. In facial plastic surgery, rhinoplasty is performed already with either a small incision or incision-less approach. In facelift surgery, the incisions are concealed around the hairline and are necessary to remove the excess skin. Some facelifts can be performed with an endoscope. Even with forehead bumps (osteomas), Dr. Shah uses an endoscope to remove the lesion rather than use a large incision. More importantly, in aesthetic surgery there is a feel to the procedure which may be lost with a robot.
While robotic surgery has changed abdominal and thoracic surgery, its role appears to be limited in aesthetic surgery of the face, at least currently.
Telomeresare the structures at the end of chromosomes used to protect them from deterioration. As we age, our chromosomes shorten leading some scientists to believe this corresponds with aging and ultimately our death.
So what does a shorter telomere mean health-wise? In men, shorter telomeres can lead to pulse pressure and pulse wave velocity, stiffer atherosclerotic arteries, idopathic pulmonary fibrosis, and bone marrow failure. Some diseases with premature aging, such as Werner syndrome, are associated with telomere dysfunction.
Telomerase is an enzyme that protects the telomeres and can actually synthesize new telomere length. If you activate this enzyme in mice, reversal in organ atrophy, brain atrophy, hair greying, and osteoporosis was seen.
Patients who had a low-fat, whole food, plant-based diet with moderate aerobic exercise and mediation and relaxation had not only less stress and improved LDL's but improved telomerase activity. Smoking is known to shorten telomere length as well.
So while it may seem obvious that a person who smokes, doesn't exercise and is under psychological stress will likely age worse than one who lives a healthy, stress-free lifestyle, knowing science is starting to support this view should lead us all to strive to make the time and effort to do our best to live the healthiest lives we can.
As Dr. Shah sees patients from all over, he is often asked the difference in aesthetic between European and American noses. From Dr. Shah:
First of all, there is such a wide difference amongst patients within Europe and the United States that it is not possible to distinguish one type of aesthetic versus the other. European patients as a whole tend to favor as natural appearance as possible. Patients do not want to look overly done and look like they have had plastic surgery. This is definitely true for American patients as well, but some Americans prefer a more stylistic version of their nose. An example of this is seen in the angle of the nose or how "up" it may look. European patients often prefer this angle to be closer to 90 degrees while some American patients, particularily females, will want a shorter nose. Tailoring your operation to both the face as well as the person is one important step to achieving successful outcomes.