3D Printed Body Parts

Imagine a future where, instead of sitting on a transplant list for years, you could just have a new heart or liver in several hours? Or losing a limb in an accident, then simply having a new one printed and attached at the hospital? What if you wanted to keep a young, firm complexion? Bioprinting may make aging a thing of the past. I believe that in the future, possibly even the next decade, you will be able to have a “fresh coat of face” printed right onto your old one.

The implications of 3D bioprinting are mind blowing. It may soon be possible to live very long lives, with failing organs being replaced with new organs printed from your own cells. Currently bioprinting is largely experimental, but in the future your local hospital will be printing and growing body organs and parts.

Bioprinter HoldoutThe droplets produced in a standard ink-jet printer are just about the same size as human cells. Professor Makoto Nakamura is the Japanese scientist who was the first to realize that the technology would work for human cells. By 2008, he had developed a bioprinter capable of printing out biotubing, or blood vessels. He continues to work on bioprinting and his hopes match those of fellow scientists: to have the ability to print human organs, which would be ready immediately for transplant.

Organovo is a company that is also pioneering the bioprinting industry. The company was created at the University of Missouri by Professor Gabor Forgacs. The same year Nakamura was printing blood vessels, the people in the Organovo group also successfully printed blood vessels and cardiac tissue using cells from chickens.

Since then, Organovo has teamed up with Invetech, to create the NovoGen MMX, a commercial bioprinter which combines a dissolvable biopaper, made from gelatin or other hydrogels, with layers of cells to create a mold. The printer lays out layer after layer of little blobs, and then lets nature take charge. The blobs, or bioink spheroids, almost magically blend together to create the organ.

Bioprinting has vast potential to revolutionize healthcare and how we live our lives. There are ethical questions, as there always are when man is able to essentially play God. Just because we can create these things, does it mean we should? What are the ethical implications of having the ability to extend our lives, and will people stop trying to take care of their bodies if they know they can just print a new body parts?

Want to eat that block of cheese? It’s cool… you can just print out a new heart.
Want to drink you life away? No problem… you can just print out a new liver.

I am sure this technology will be abused, but as someone who is seeing the years pass by all too fast I am happy to see how quickly it is progressing. If you could get any organ or body part replaced today what would you do?

2010 Marathon Schedule

my 2009 marathon medals.Last year was my first year ever running a marathon. I started off pretty slow but managed to complete 5 full marathons through the year without stopping once during any of them. My best time was 4h 07m 58s in Atlanta on Thanksgiving day, with times for every race coming in under 4h 20m. I can honestly say that I am in better shape now than I was in my 20s and I feel great.

My 2010 New Year’s Resolution is to run eight full marathons and one ultra marathon. Here are the races I have have booked or will book as soon as registration opens.

January : ING Miami Marathon
February : Jacksonville Marathon and Gasparilla Marathon
March : ING Georgia Marathon
April : Charlottesville Marathon
May : Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon
June : Newport Marathon
July : San Francisco Marathon
August : Extraterrestrial Full Moon Midnight 51k (Ultra Marathon!)
September : TBD
October : Steamtown Marathon
November : NYC Marathon and Chickamauga Battlefield Marathon
December : St. Jude Memphis Marathon

Commit to Success, Plan for Obstacles

Just finished the ATL marathon with a new personal best!You may have noticed that I have more than 8 marathons listed above. I have done that for two reasons :  1. I fully intend on shattering my goal. 2. I realize that I may get sick or have to deal with an emergency causing me to miss a race. I had scheduled the Disney marathon earlier this month but had to punt because of illness.

Big, audacious goals require upfront planning and milestones along the way. You can’t just say “I am going to run 8 marathons” or “I am going to lose 30 pounds”. When and where do you plan on running each race? When do you intend to lose your first 10 pounds and how? You need to break up big goals into smaller, achievable pieces and create a clear path to success.

Quick Tip

I find that blogging my goals helps me really stick to them. Once they are on public display it is hard to take them back or make excuses.

I’m Looking For a Few Good Runners

I have decided that I want to run the Ragner Relay Florida in November. It’s a 191 mile run across the state of Florida from ClearWater to Daytona Beach. This run will be in addition to The New York Marathon I am doing on Nov 1st and the Atlanta Marathon Nov 26th. Maddy Hubbard convinced me to do an ultra team, which means 6 of us will run about 30 miles each. Robert Nelson will be joining Maddy and I, so we just need three more people. You don’t need to be a rockstar, you just need to be able to finish.

If you are interested drop me an email

Ragnar Realy Florida Course

Sticking With It

I haven’t blogged about running much lately, but that doesn’t mean I’m not still in training. I have three more marathons that I am running before the end of the year. My goal was to run three marathons this year, I will run five barring any unforseen injuries.

I’ll be running:

The Air Force Marathon
September 19th in Dayton, Ohio

The New York Marathon
November 1st in New York City

The Atlanta Marathon
November 26th in Atlanta, Georgia

I’m also registered for a few races in 2010.

Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge
This is a half marathon one day then a full marathon the next day.  January 9-10 at Disney World in Orlando, Florida

Miami Marathon
January 31st in Miami, Florida

How about you? Are you sticking with it?

SeaWorld Social Media Case Study

As many of you know I have been working with SeaWorld on a variety of social media programs over the past few months. They are truly wonderful people to partner with, my interaction with the SeaWorld team has become a highlight of my job at IZEA.

I recently completed a case study for two of the programs I worked on with SeaWorld. For those of you who are marketers or bloggers you can see how it all came together.

My First Marathon

I never realized how far 26.2 miles was until this past Saturday. I am still aching two days later but I feel great knowing I was able to accomplish my goal. This race was not an official event with other runners. It was just me and my (recently calibrated) Nike+ iPod Nano. I will still be running the Five Points Marathon later this month. We’ll have to see how I do on time when I have to deal with hills.

First Marathon

Marathon Run