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Smallest Artificial Heart Keeps Baby Alive

Italian doctors implant tiny pump into a 16-month-old boy awaiting his new heart.

Here’s a new twist on an long-running story: an artificial heart kept a baby boy alive for 13 days while doctors waited for his new heart, reports Reuters. The bridge-to-transplant device was an infant version of the Jarvik 2000 and weighed only 11 grams (you can see the device in this slideshow). The titanium implant does not beat but instead uses a rotating motion to pump blood from the heart and through the body.

The baby-sized device was invented by American entrepreneur and doctor Robert Jarvik and had previously been tested only in animals. Jarvik’s artificial hearts first made headlines in 1982 when an early model was implanted into a 61-year-old man. That pioneering patient lived for 112 days. Since then, artificial heart technology has vacillated between hated and hopeful  (see Antonio Regalado’s 1999 feature CPR for the Artificial Heart  and Emily Singer’s 2006 story An Artificial Heart That Doesn’t Beat). The Jarvik 2000 has been used as both a bridge-to-transplant device as well as a “destination therapy” for European patients ineligible for heart transplants. The FDA recently granted conditional approval of a 350-patient study for the Jarvik 2000 as a destination therapy in the U.S, meaning it would be used to extend the lives of people who are dying from congestive heart failure.

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Five poems about the mind

DREAM VENDING MACHINE I feed it coins and watch the spring coil back,the clunk of a vacuum-packed, foil-wrappeddream dropping into the tray. It dispenses all kinds of dreams—bad dreams, good dreams,short nightmares to stave off worse ones, recurring dreams with a teacake marshmallow center.Hardboiled caramel dreams to tuck in your cheek,a bag of orange dreams…

Work reinvented: Tech will drive the office evolution

As organizations navigate a new world of hybrid work, tech innovation will be crucial for employee connection and collaboration.

lucid dreaming concept
lucid dreaming concept

I taught myself to lucid dream. You can too.

We still don’t know much about the experience of being aware that you’re dreaming—but a few researchers think it could help us find out more about how the brain works.

panpsychism concept
panpsychism concept

Is everything in the world a little bit conscious?

The idea that consciousness is widespread is attractive to many for intellectual and, perhaps, also emotional
reasons. But can it be tested? Surprisingly, perhaps it can.

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Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

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