To build the personalized vaginas, the researchers took a small piece of vulvar tissue, less than half the size of a postage stamp, from each patient, and then allowed the cells to multiply in lab dishes. The vagina is made up of two major layers with two cell types: muscle cells and vaginal epithelial cells. To build these layers, the researchers placed one cell type on one face of a scaffold, made of a fabriclike material, and placed the other cell type on the other face of the scaffold. “We were able to shape the scaffold specifically for each patient, and place this device with the cells in a bioreactor — which is an ovenlike device and has the same conditions as the human body — for about a week, until it was slightly more mature,” Atala said. Once the organs were ready, doctors surgically created a cavity in the patients’ bodies, and stitched one side of the vaginal organ to the opening of the cavity and the other side to the uterus. “The whole process takes about five to six weeks, from the time we take the tissue from the patient to the time we actually plant the engineered construct back into the patient,” Atala said. (via Lab-Grown Vaginas Implanted Successfully in 4 Teenagers - Scientific American)
"Kurzweil predicts that in 20 years nano-bots will enter the brain through capillaries to connect us to a synthetic neocortex in the cloud. So if someone walks past you whom you want to impress, but your 300 million modules aren’t enough to come up with something clever to say, all you need to do is tap into the neocortex in the cloud and another billion modules will become available. The future human, says Kurzweil, will be a biological and nonbiological hybrid."
"7 Cups of Tea, by Lu Tong (795 - 835 CE)
The first cup kisses away my thirst,
and my loneliness is quelled by the second.
The third gives insight worthy of ancient scrolls,
and the fourth exiles my troubles.
My body becomes lighter with the fifth,
and the sixth sends word from immortals.
But the seventh—oh the seventh cup—
if I drink you, a wind will hurry my wings
toward the sacred island."
"From an evolutionary perspective, the only reason for pain that makes sense to me is that it enables long-term protection," he says. Pain may provide an animal with an additional, and memorable, means of focusing on a source of harm that helps it avoid it in future. If an animal’s lifespan is not long enough to benefit from that – as is the case with most insects – then pain has no use. Similarly, some animals may simply be unable to avoid noxious stimuli in the first place. "Is a barnacle going to benefit from a bad experience?" says Elwood. "I doubt it."
"Scientists put bull sperm cells in a petri dish along with a couple dozen iron-titanium nanotubes. The tubes act like those woven fingertraps—sperm can swim into them but can’t back themselves out. Using magnets, scientists can then steer the swimmers in the direction of their choosing. It’s like a remote-control robot where the sperm start the engines and the researchers provide the navigation."