HealthWatch: Healing Organs With Chip; Tear-Free Onions?

BOSTON (CBS) – Healing organs with a single touch. Scientists in Ohio have developed a “chip” the size of a cufflink, which when touched to the skin with an electrical current injects DNA into skin cells, in less than a second. That genetic material can then reprogram skin cells to become virtually any type of cell in the body.

Using the chip in mice, the scientists were able to heal blood vessels in damaged legs and restore brain tissue after a stroke.

One goal of the new technology is to help heal the brains of people with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Disease.

Since it uses the patient’s own cells, the patient would not need to take powerful anti-rejection drugs.

While the “chip” has not been tested on humans yet, but scientists are hoping to begin clinical trials within a year.

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How can onions taste so good yet make us feel so bad?

Cutting into an onion releases an irritant chemical that hits the front of the eye or cornea, which sends a signal to your brain. Your brain then tells your eyes to release tears to wash the chemical away. That causes the involuntary crying you probably experience when slicing onions.

Onions produce this noxious chemical as a way to protect it from predators, but now that scientists have a better understanding of the chemical cascade and the structure of the chemicals involved, they hope to produce tear-free onions in the future.

More from Dr. Mallika Marshall
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