My favorite magazine on the topic of particle physics research (OK, the only magazine on the topic, as far as I know) came this week and I’ve been enjoying the articles.
I’ve heard people complain in the past that there aren’t enough real-world applications for particle research and the like, but just got finished reading about an interesting, real-world application that could save lives.
Scientists have been working on improved artificial heart valves. The problem they were running into was that the body would try to encapsulate the valve in tissue. That tissue could then break off and clog blood vessels, killing the patient.
The solution: bombard the valve (which is made out of a special sort of carbon) with silver ions, which creates a coating that the body will not try to cover up.
Very cool stuff. I consider it another win for science.