Cameron Underwood is back to golfing, restoring cars and even sky-diving, less than three years after sustaining a self-inflicted gunshot wound that severely damaged his face and nearly claimed his life.
Underwood, now 26, was left without the majority of his lower jaw, teeth and nose, and with significantly impaired eyesight, speech and mouth function, after his June 2016 injury. But just 18 months later, the California resident became NYU Langone Health’s second-ever face transplant recipient and one of about 40 worldwide — a remarkably brief journey that he says gave him “a second chance at life.”
“Two years ago, I don’t think we had any idea about face transplants, that it was even possible,” Underwood tells TIME. “I absolutely feel like myself [now]. Every time I look in the mirror, I see me. I see my eyes and my face. It’s all growing on me, so to speak.”
The implications of Underwood’s case go beyond his own story. NYU believes that Underwood’s was the first U.S. face transplant to be covered by commercial insurance — a milestone that could mean more patients have access to the life-changing surgery in the future, says G. Leslie Bernstein, administrator for NYU’s face transplant program.
“Any time an insurance company signs on to accept a new, successful type of event, we hope, and we have seen in the past, that it does open doors for more patients, like Cameron, to seek care where they otherwise might think that they have no options,” Bernstein says. About a third of Underwood’s roughly $1.5 million in medical costs were covered by insurance; the gaps were filled in by philanthropic and grant funding, Bernstein says.
Between advances in insurance and medical technology, Dr. Eduardo Rodriguez, the NYU plastic surgeon who oversaw Underwood’s care, says the hope is that face transplantation soon becomes “a mundane operation.”
Progress is well underway. NYU was able to significantly reduce Underwood’s recovery time — he only spent 37 days in the hospital, compared to a 62-day stay for NYU’s first patient — and used 3D surgical planning and printing to make his operation among the most seamless and technologically advanced yet, exceeding even Rodriguez’ expectations. “I only think it’s going to continue to improve, and Cam’s a testament to that,” he says.
Underwood’s journey began after his mother saw a People magazine story about the other face transplant performed at NYU, and contacted the hospital. Shortly thereafter, Rodriguez and his team began conducting extensive physical and psychological evaluations to ensure that Underwood was a good fit for the operation, especially given his prior struggles with depression.
“His life was in complete pause, complete paralysis, [without a face],” Rodriguez says. “The goal was to get him out of that free-fall as soon a we possibly can.”
They succeeded. Just six months after Underwood joined the transplant waiting list, NYU heard from donor network LiveOnNY that William Fisher, a 23-year-old Manhattan resident who died suddenly, might be a match. He was. Just days later, Underwood flew to New York City, in the middle of a snowstorm, to get the surgery that would change his life.
Over the course of 25 hours, Rodriguez and his team removed large portions of Fisher’s skull and face, then, with the help of 3D-printed cutting guides and surgical plans, used them to reconstruct Underwood’s jaw, teeth, gums, mouth, lower eyelids, cheeks, nose and nasal passages. NYU also created and attached a 3D-printed replica of Fisher’s face, so that his family could say their goodbyes and have the option of holding an open-casket funeral.
Rodriguez says that achievement points to an exciting future in facial reconstruction: the prospect of bioengineering a functional face, complete with hair follicles, sweat glands and blood vessels, rather than relying on donor tissue.
“The goal would be that we could bioengineer a face with CT scan technology. Everything can be printed to be so precise,” Rodriguez says. “That is the ultimate goal. I want to see it within my lifetime. I’m giving myself a 10-year timeline.”
Until then, however, Rodriguez says he’s committed to improving facial transplantation for the benefit of patients like Underwood — who has wasted no time enjoying his new visage, even going sky-diving less than a year after surgery.
“A face transplant can tolerate 15,000 feet in the air. It all held together,” Rodriguez laughs. “Cam is living and he’s doing the things that he enjoys. This is the greatest thanks that they could ever provide.”
For his part, Underwood says he’s looking forward to returning to normal life. His goals, he says, aren’t all that different than anybody’s.
“Go back to work, start a family,” he says, “and go from there.” [...]
(HONG KONG) — A Chinese researcher who claims to have helped make the world’s first genetically edited babies says a second pregnancy may be underway.
The researcher, He Jiankui of Shenzhen, revealed the possible pregnancy Wednesday while making his first public comments about his controversial work at an international conference in Hong Kong.
He claims to have altered the DNA of twin girls born earlier this month to try to make them resistant to infection with the AIDS virus. Mainstream scientists have condemned the experiment, and universities and government groups are investigating.
The second potential pregnancy is in a very early stage and needs more time to be monitored to see if it will last, He said.
Leading scientists said there are now even more reasons to worry, and more questions than answers, after He’s talk. The leader of the conference called the experiment “irresponsible” and evidence that the scientific community had failed to regulate itself to prevent premature efforts to alter DNA.
Altering DNA before or at the time of conception is highly controversial because the changes can be inherited and might harm other genes. It’s banned in some countries including the United States except for lab research.
He defended his choice of HIV, rather than a fatal inherited disease, as a test case for gene editing, and insisted the girls could benefit from it.
“They need this protection since a vaccine is not available,” He said.
Scientists weren’t buying it.
“This is a truly unacceptable development,” said Jennifer Doudna, a University of California-Berkeley scientist and one of the inventors of the CRISPR gene-editing tool that He said he used. “I’m grateful that he appeared today, but I don’t think that we heard answers. We still need to understand the motivation for this.”
Doudna is paid by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, which also supports AP’s Health & Science Department.
“I feel more disturbed now,” said David Liu of Harvard and MIT’s Broad Institute, and inventor of a variation of the gene-editing tool. “It’s an appalling example of what not to do about a promising technology that has great potential to benefit society. I hope it never happens again.”
There is no independent confirmation of He’s claim and he has not yet published in any scientific journal where it would be vetted by experts. At the conference, He failed or refused to answer many questions including who paid for his work, how he ensured that participants understood potential risks and benefits, and why he kept his work secret until after it was done.
After He spoke, David Baltimore, a Nobel laureate from the California Institute of Technology and a leader of the conference, said He’s work “would still be considered irresponsible” because it did not meet criteria many scientists agreed on several years ago before gene editing could be considered.
“I personally don’t think that it was medically necessary. The choice of the diseases that we heard discussions about earlier today are much more pressing” than trying to prevent HIV infection this way, Baltimore said.
The case shows “there has been a failure of self-regulation by the scientific community” and said the conference committee would meet and issue a statement on Thursday about the future of the field, Baltimore said.
Before He’s talk, Dr. George Daley, Harvard Medical School’s dean and one of the conference organizers, warned against a backlash to gene editing because of He’s experiment. Just because the first case may have been a misstep “should in no way, I think, lead us to stick our heads in the sand and not consider the very, very positive aspects that could come forth by a more responsible pathway,” Daley said.
“Scientists who go rogue … it carries a deep, deep cost to the scientific community,” Daley said.
Regulators have been swift to condemn the experiment as unethical and unscientific.
The National Health Commission has ordered local officials in Guangdong province to investigate He’s actions, and his employer, Southern University of Science and Technology of China, is investigating as well.
On Tuesday, Qui Renzong of the Chinese Academy of Social Science criticized the decision to let He speak at the conference, saying the claim “should not be on our agenda” until it has been reviewed by independent experts. Whether He violated reproductive medicine laws in China has been unclear; Qui contends that it did, but said, “the problem is, there’s no penalty.”
He called on the United Nations to convene a meeting to discuss heritable gene editing to promote international agreement on when it might be OK.
Meanwhile, more American scientists said they had contact with He and were aware of or suspected what he was doing.
Dr. Matthew Porteus, a genetics researcher at Stanford University, where He did postdoctoral research, said He told him in February that he intended to try human gene editing. Porteus said he discouraged He and told him “that it was irresponsible, that he could risk the entire field of gene editing by doing this in a cavalier fashion.”
Dr. William Hurlbut, a Stanford ethicist, said he has “spent many hours” talking with He over the last two years about situations where gene editing might be appropriate.
“I knew his early work. I knew where he was heading,” Hurlbut said. When he saw He four or five weeks ago, He did not say he had tried or achieved pregnancy with edited embryos but “I strongly suspected” it, Hurlbut said.
“I disagree with the notion of stepping out of the general consensus of the scientific community,” Hurlbut said. If the science is not considered ready or safe enough, “it’s g [...]
The Basta 2 is a Zalora exclusive!
There aren’t many who don’t know Sometime By Asian Designers. As its name suggests, it has served as a delightful platform for regional fashion designers to express their creativity with a more practical, affordable, and accessible twist. That’s right – bags! From Rizalman to Neelofa, the collab bags have been a hit each time they drop.
So much so that Alia Bastamam has joined them again for another collaboration: The Basta 2 bag, which is co-designed and produced by Sometime. The bag is also part of Bastamam’s exclusive- diffusion label Alia B, and had its runway debut earlier this year under Alia B’s Resort 18/19 collection.
“The Basta 2 completes my Resort 18/19 collection and I cannot contain my excitement to once again have my name etched on this creation,” said Alia Bastamam. The bag itself was inspired by the day-to-night lifesttyle of an urbanite, and their need for a loyal bag companion.
The Basta 2 as a clutch. (Photo: Sometime by Asian Designers)
True to its inspiration, the Basta 2 effortlessly shifts from casual to classy- a removable strap allows it be worn as a cross-body bag or clutch. The bag consists of a back pocket that holds small and compact items such as mobile phones or cards. Most interesting is a spacious secret compartment that’ll keep your valuable items securely and discreetly.
(Photo: Sometime by Asian Designers)
Available in 9 shades, the Basta 2 bag (RM229) is a Zalora exclusive and can be purchased on Zalora Malaysia from 11 am, 29 November 2018.
The post A First Look At The Second Sometime By Asian Designers And Alia Bastamam Collab appeared first on female. [...]
Coley Cocktail Bar has been crowned Kuala Lumpur Bar of the Year at The Bar Awards for the second year running.
The winners of the 2018 Bar Awards was announced in an industry-only ceremony at APW Bangsar on Sunday. Coley won two awards (its bartender Caden Chua also won the Rising Star award for young bartenders).
Bar Trigona won Best Hotel Bar and Best New BAr. Photo: Bar Trigona Instagram (@bartrigona)
Bar Trigona of Four Seasons Hotel KL, and Omakase + Appreciate also won two awards each. Omakase + Appreciate’s Shawn Chong won Bartender of the Year – KL, and the bar he co-founded with partner Karl Too won Most Creative Cocktail Program. Bar Trigona won Best New Bar and Best Hotel Bar, a new category.
This was also the first time Penang was included in the awards, with Mish-Mash sweeping both Penang-centric awards – Penang Bar of the Year and Penang Bartender of the Year for Spencer Ezra.
Taps Beer Bar won Best Beer Bar and Vintry won Best Wine Bar, another new category.
Here is the full list of winners:
The Bar Awards Luminaries: Kim Choong (Thirst Magazine) and Ben Ng (Mish Mash).
Bar of the Year – Penang: Mish Mash
Bar of the Year – Kuala Lumpur: Coley Cocktail Bar
Best New Bar: Bar Trigona
Bartender of the Year – Penang: Spencer Ezra (Mish Mash)
Bartender of the Year – Kuala Lumpur: Shawn Chong (Omakase + Appreciate)
The Rising Star: Caden Chua Hui Chan (Coley)
Best Restaurant Bar: Joloko
Best Beer Bar: Taps Beer Bar
Best Wine Bar: Vintry
Best Hotel Bar: Bar Trigona (Four Seasons Hotel Kuala Lumpur)
Best Specialist Concept: Pahit (Gin)
Best Hospitality Ambassador: Andrew Tan (61 Monarchy, Hyde)
Best Hospitality Team: PS150
Most Creative Cocktail Program: Omakase + Appreciate [...]
NOV 14 was a significant date in Malaysia for two interlinked reasons.
Firstly, it was World Diabetes Day. Malaysia has the highest incidence of diabetes in South East Asia, which has now become a major public health concern. Over 20% of adults above 30 have type 2 diabetes, which affects 2.8 million people. This figure will only increase, unless we can come up with some robust strategies to reverse the trend.
The high number is caused by different factors, but poverty is one of the key indicators.
In previous generations, people living in rural areas did not earn high incomes but the incidence of diabetes was far lower.
This brings me to the second event that happened on Nov 14 – The Lost Food Project launched their second PPR Feeding Programme in the low cost flats in Lembah Pantai, Kuala Lumpur.
Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad launched the weekly programme alongside Lembah Pantai MP Fahmi Fadzil.
During the launch, over 8,200kg of food (over 26,000 meals) were rescued and distributed to 850 families.
This feeding initiative is targeted at the urban poor. A report commissioned by Unicef earlier this year highlighted the conditions many children living in Kuala Lumpur’s low cost housing have to endure. The study finds that about 15% of children below the age of five living in the low cost flats surveyed have stunted growth and 22% are underweight. Another 23% are either overweight or obese, (which is six times higher compared with the Kuala Lumpur average of 4%)
Many of us might associate diabetes with over-eating and gluttony – an affliction of the richest members of our society. However, this is not always the case.
People living on a limited budget cannot afford to acquire all the food needed for a balanced diet. Often the cheapest foods are largely composed of starchy carbohydrates, like rice or noodles.
They are very filling but offer little nutritional value. The body gets used to high levels of glucose and children prefer eating unhealthy snacks rather than nutritous alternatives.
Buying foods high in protein and vitamins can prove to be too expensive for many families. Of course, every so often a family will have a treat – but a takeaway or fast food will likely increase our level of glucose and fatty deposits, which is one of the main contributing factors to diabetes, along with genetics and physical inactivity.
If we really want to reduce the incidence of diabetes in the poorest communities, we do have to address many issues.
Firstly, we need to enable people to eat nutritious food. The food programme just launched in PPR Lembah Pantai is a good example of sustainability and nutrition working hand in hand.
The food that have the shortest shelf life (so generates the highest level of surplus) are fresh fruits and vegetables, milk, meat and other proteins.
In comparison, grocery products have a longer shelf life. The Lost Food Project recently announced they have distributed over two million meals in two years. So food banks can be an amazing source of nutrition.
Recent figures showed that over 85% of food rescued by The Lost Food Project were fresh fruit and vegetables.
If they were not rescued by charities like The Lost Food Project and other NGOs, it would simply go to landfill which is expensive to the public purse, and the landfill gases create an environmental hazard.
Of course, giving PPR households fruit and vegetables is not a one-stop panacea.
We also to provide education on nutrition and a lot of other support to these communities.
Beneficiaries from the first PPR feeding programme in Gombak, Kuala Lumpur, has reported monthly savings of up to 50% on their food budget.
Their diet is not only healthier, but the money saved could be used for other essential needs such as education, clothes and healthcare.
This is why it is very appropriate that the PPR launch and World Diabetes Day fell on the same day.
Love Food Hate Waste appears in print on the fourth Thursday of every month in collaboration with Suzanne Mooney, who is the founder of The Lost Food Project. It’s the first food bank in Malaysia to have professional contracts with a number of supermarkets, manufacturers and a wholesale market. They distribute 50,000 meals a month to over 40 charities, composting any donated food unfit for human consumption. E-mail: TLFPcomp@gmail.com
Read more at https://www.star2.com/food/2018/10/24/love-food-hate-waste-are-foodbanks-a-curse-on-sustainability/#PuKFLWbeXKLGeK4h.99 [...]
Graduates from the University of Malaya were listed as the 149th most employable in the Times Higher Education (THE) 2018 list. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 15 — Graduates from the University of Malaya were listed as the 149th most employable in the Times Higher Education (THE) 2018 list as Asian universities are seen catching up with elite colleges in the West.The ranking, however, is still far behind the ranking assigned to the National University of Singapore (NUS), now the 10th most hireable university globally alongside renowned Ivy League schools like the US’ Harvard and MIT and the UK’s Cambridge.The NUS still holds strong as one of, if not the leading university in Asia.Globally, the US continues to dominate the ranking but the Times series’ data analysis reveals a swiftly narrowing global employability gap.“Since 2011, the US has experienced a sharp decline in performance — greater than any other nation in the table. It comes amid intensified competition — particularly from East Asia,” the report noted.“The nation (US) has 34 institutions in the top 150 this year, compared to 55 in 2011, with six universities in the top 10 — a fall from seven last year.”South Korea has leapt from one representative in the top 150 in 2011 to six this year — and the overall performance of its institutions in the 2018 table is up almost two-fold from last year. The nation’s swift ascent means it now has almost as many entries in the top 150 as China. Hong Kong and Taiwan have also shown swift improvement.“While China does lead the region for graduate employability, it has not experienced this same surge in recent years,” the report noted.“The nation has rocketed up THE’s World University Rankings, but for graduate employability, its rise is considerably slower — with just minimal change compared with four years ago.”In contrast, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and South Korea may have been quicker to recognise the importance of soft skills while offering strong links with industry, the report said.Combined, South Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore now sit far ahead of mainland China in terms of overall performance score.The dramatically improved performance within East Asia and parts of Europe showed the highest risers are those equipping students with softer skills, Simon Baker, Data Editor at THE, said.He said the skills that are increasingly favoured among recruiters are teamwork combined with the strongest possible industry experience.Meanwhile Laurent Dupasquier, Managing Partner at Emerging, THE’s partner, said digital skills today will need regular updating to suit the evolving the workplace.“Today’s digital world makes for a constantly evolving workplace — the skills required in many roles will need regular updating and it has become impossible to determine which of them will change tomorrow, and how,” he said.“While digital skills are increasingly valued by recruiters, more than anything, universities must instil in students the capacity to adapt and keep learning: these will be crucial skills for success not only to cope, but thrive in a transforming workplace.”University-industry collaboration will also be of increasing value, in order to provide students with the necessary on-the-ground experience, Dupasquier added. [...]
An employee works near screens in the virus lab at the headquarters of Russian cyber security company Kaspersky Labs in Moscow July 29, 2013. — Reuters pic
ZURICH, Nov 14 — Anti-virus software provider, Kaspersky Lab, has shortlisted Malaysia for its second Data Transparency Centre, following the opening of the first in Switzerland.Kaspersky Lab Public Affairs vice president Anton Shingarev told Bernama, the company will finalise the matter next year, with Malaysia clearly aligned with its current operations in the region.“Malaysia is the natural choice as the country currently houses our headquarters for South-east Asia. We have met with Malaysian organisations to discuss further the plan,” he added.However, he declined to disclose more on the meetings.Shingarev, who is also the head of the chief executive officer’s (CEO) office, said the plan would make much sense, if the government supported it.“Actually, we see a tentative interest by the Malaysian government. Kaspersky has a very strong and successful business in Malaysia and the government is aware about cyber risks,” he said on the sidelines of the Kasperksy Transparent Summit: Rebuilding Trust and Minimising Risk in Cybersecurity here.Meanwhile, Kaspersky Lab’s CEO Eugene Kaspersky said the company’s transparency initiative was established earlier than the spying allegation, over the company’s antiviral software.The Transparency Centre, will see Kasperksy relocating a number of core processes, including customer data storage to its Zurich-based Transparency Centre, which was opened yesterday.The initiative is aimed at gaining confidence for its product integrity and trustworthiness.Under its Global Transparency Initiative, Kaspersky plans to move some of its core processes, including processing for most regions, as well as software assembly and threat detection updates.The facility will store and process all information for users in Europe, North America, Singapore, Australia, Japan and South Korea, with more countries to follow.It was previously reported that Kasperksy Lab had met with Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to discuss cybersecurity challenges.Kaspersky Asia Pacific managing director Stephan Neumeier had then shared his assessment of the next level of the cybersecurity threat and simultaneously, the antivirus provider learnt about the new policies being implemented by the government, as well as cybersecurity measures. — Bernama [...]
China has become a big country in terms of Internet development but development still imbalanced, Chinese Academy of Cyberspace Studies says. [...]
On Friday, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng announced that motorcyclists will no longer be charged when crossing the Penang's two bridges and the Second Link to Singapore. ― Picture by Mukhriz Hazim
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 5 — Singapore will match Malaysia’s move to abolish tolls from January 1 onwards at the the Malaysia-Singapore Second Link, The Straits Times reported today.A source from Singapore’s Transport Ministry said the ministry has taken note of Pakatan Harapan’s plans to remove motorcycle tolls at the Second Link, which was recently announced in the Budget 2019.“Should Malaysia reduce or remove the motorcycle toll charges at the Second Link, Singapore will match Malaysia's revised toll rates.“This reflects the shared nature of the Second Link,” the ministry spokesman told the Singapore paper, adding that it is Singapore's long standing policy to match Malaysia's toll rates.On Friday, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng announced that motorcyclists will no longer be charged when crossing the Penang's two bridges and the Second Link to Singapore.The current toll rate for motorcyclists coming from Malaysia to Singapore is RM1.10 and 40 Singapore cents at the Tuas, Singapore checkpoint. [...]