Recently a study in Stem Cell Reports has described a process to make skin cells called keratinocytes. The ablity 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 has obvious potential benefits including saving animal lives and cost effective models to help determine safety and efficacy of skin therapies.
Telomere is the structure at the end of a chromosome used to protect it 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 imply?
So what does a shorter telomere mean health wise. In men, shorter telomere can lead to pulse pressure and pulse wave velocity in men, stiffer atherosclerotic arteries, idopathic pulmonary fibrosis, and bone marrow failure. In some diseases with premature aging, such as Werner syndrome, are associated with telomere dysfunction.
So can you lengthen telomeres?
Telomerase is an enzyme that protects the telomeres and can actually synthesize new telomere length. If you activate this enzyme in mice, amazingly, reversal of organ atrophy, brain atrophy, hair greying, and osteoporosis was seen.
So how can we improve our telomere length?
Patients who had a low-fat whole food plant based diet with moderate aerobic exericse 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 all of us to strive to make the time and effort to do our best to live the healthiest lives we can.
Approximately 1 person dies every hour from melanoma. Remember this summer to protect your skin from harmful rays which can lead to an increase risk in melanoma occurrence.
Melanoma can occur in any skin color. Even famous reggae singer Bob Marley died from a version of melanoma called acral melanoma. It is important to see your physician and let him or her know if you note any irregular pigmentation.
Have fun this summer but try and protect yourself and those around you.
Robotic surgery has changed many types of surgery and the way it is being performed. It has lead to smaller incisions, less downtime and quicker recovery. 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 incisionless 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 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 currently.