Haunting Video Shows What Syria’s Civil War Would Look Like in the West
what would it be like if the U.S. was war torn like Syria? A new video by international NGO Save the Children imagines just that, through the eyes of a young girlThe disturbing video features shots of the girl as she goes about her normal life over the course of a year. The video begins and ends with the child celebrating her birthday. Between shots, we see how her life changes dramatically as war ravages her country.
I’ve seen this photograph very frequently on tumblr and Facebook, always with the simple caption, “Ghost Heart”. What exactly is a ghost heart?
More than 3,200 people are on the waiting list for a heart transplant in the United States. Some won’t survive the wait. Last year, 340 died before a new heart was found.
The solution: Take a pig heart, soak it in an ingredient commonly found in shampoo and wash away the cells until you’re left with a protein scaffold that is to a heart what two-by-four framing is to a house.
Then inject that ghost heart, as it’s called, with hundreds of millions of blood or bone-marrow stem cells from a person who needs a heart transplant, place it in a bioreactor - a box with artificial lungs and tubes that pump oxygen and blood into it - and wait as the ghost heart begins to mature into a new, beating human heart.
Doris Taylor, director of regenerative medicine research at the Texas Heart Institute at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital in Houston, has been working on this— first using rat hearts, then pig hearts and human hearts - for years.
The process is called decellularization and it is a tissue engineering technique designed to strip out the cells from a donor organ, leaving nothing but connective tissue that used to hold the cells in place.
This scaffold of connective tissue - called a “ghost organ” for its pale and almost translucent appearance - can then be reseeded with a patient’s own cells, with the goal of regenerating an organ that can be transplanted into the patient without fear of tissue rejection.
This ghost heart is ready to be injected with a transplant recipient’s stem cells so a new heart - one that won’t be rejected - can be grown.
I think I’ve posted about this before, but I can never get over how amazing “Out of the Box” actually was. If you’re looking for a truly feminist children’s show, this is my #1 recommendation.
For starters, the two main characters (who are seen in the gif) are both from marginalised groups but are not stereotypes even a little bit. And as I recall, there was even an episode where they both shared their culture with the children is a positive light.
Secondly, the show is very anti-classist. The premise of the show is that the two main characters are taking care of the children after school until their parents get home from work. They do things such as arts and crafts, and rely heavily on cheap products that can usually be found around the home.
Thirdly, the show was pretty progressive when it came to gender roles and gender expression. As I recall, there was one episode in which the children wanted to do a play about a princess and a dragon. They decided to make puppets by drawing on lunch bags with markers. One of the children, who appeared to be a cis girl, declared that she wanted to be a strong and scary dragon. Another one of the children, who appeared to be a cis boy, declared that he wanted to be a beautiful princess. There was no shaming for this, and no talk about “proper gender roles”. Instead, the two main characters simply applauded the children for the creativity and helped them create their puppets.
I actually might watch all of the episode again one day (if I can find them) and create a full list of reasons why people should watch Out of the Box. But for now, I’ll just leave you with the episodes that I remember.