Skin Graft Using Fish Scales

So this topic in particular is quite important to me, as I have personal experience in this area. Long story short! As a teenage, I unfortunately experienced an accident that involved me having secondary burns on my legs. This lead to numerous operations, where I underwent a skin graft operation. Luckily for me the op was a success, and 8 years down the line it’s like it never happened!

Back to the article! I recently discovered information online that I found extremely interesting! New research has proven that Atlantic cod scales have the components containing anti-inflammatory fatty acids that is exactly what is needed for slow-healing wounds. Kerecis Omega3 Wound sheets are the by-products of cod that are caught for our food. What’s the saying? ‘Don’t play with your food’? Well turns out that’s EXACTLY what has helped to uncover this revolutionary method. Researchers in the US successfully healed 87% out of the 68 long-term chronic wounds in the space of 4 weeks. Impressive!

The procedure begins by the fish skin being processed, dried, packaged and then stored appropriately. The sheets are then cut accordingly, then placed into water for 30 seconds to rehydrate. This is followed by fitting the skin inside the injury, forming a type of scaffolding. Lastly, a protective layer or plaster is positioned over it, where our bodies then use the repair cells to populate and seal the wounds. Overtime, the fish skin graft eventually dissolves and is replaced with human tissue. The wound sheets ultimately remove living cells whilst at the same time preserving the structural ‘matrix’ and fat content.

Before and after picture of the fish scale skin graft

Methods in the past have included using tissue from other animals such as pigs and cows, however the use of fish skin has proven most successful due to containing Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, unlike the other tissues, helping to reduce inflammatory and prevent infection. Not only is the scientific aspects of this proven to be successful, but financially the benefits seem to be additionally efficient, estimating to save money as at the moment, the UK spends £1 billion-£3 billion per year on treatment!

Personally, I am so impressed with this new alternative method, as well as the time and effort researchers have put into such an important medical subject! As a burns victim, I am extremely envious of this new method, however this new exciting discovery will make such a difference in the future!

Animal · Nature

Backyard Bunnies

I can’t think of a single person that would not be able to find the temptation to cuddle a baby bunny in their presence. Unless you’re  extremely heartless! However, in the case of backyard bunnies, this temptation must be dealt with a tad differently.

Ontario Wildlife Removal Inc in the U.S. released a short video educating the public, as it is more evident that so many people seem to be unaware of what to do when finding baby rabbits in their gardens. Baby rabbits, known as kits, are very commonly native to Northern America, and the mating season lasts for a fair amount of time between March to September. More recently, Jared Houliston, head of the pest control service, explains in the video that they receive more and more calls about backyard bunnies asking what the best action is.

So what would you do if you found cute little bunnies in your garden? Jared explains that it is extremely common for the public to be concerned and want to move the bunnies or interfere, which is the complete opposite of what you should do! He continues to state that in fact, unless the babies are obviously injured or hurt, it is best to not disturb them at all. The mother rabbit, even if not seen, visits the nest once/ twice a day, as to not draw attention. Rabbits are very tactile, burrowing shallow nests in open grassy areas near bushes/ trees, meaning that predators will not be a threat as they don’t usually venture out into open space. In actual fact, humans and pets are more of a threat to these cute little creatures, as the nest simply resembles a patch of dead grass. This can be dangerous as it is easier to accidentally mow over the nest or any animal like our pet pooches sniffing around!

What is the solution then? Simple. Cover the nest with fresh grass, be aware that the nest is there, and keep any domesticated animals away from the area. This is only for a short period of time, as the babies will grow quickly and be gone within a couple of weeks. And even if you’re reading this in an area where rabbits aren’t native.. at least you get to read about cute little bunnies!

For more information, check out the video here. YOU WON’T REGRET IT!


Canadian Man Attends To His Lawn During Tornado

Dorothy didn’t exactly keep her cool when the twister appeared and picked up her house sending it spinning to Munckinland did she? And Bill Paxton in the 1996 film ‘Twister’  certainly didn’t just sit at home and wait for the storm to pass. Well maybe they should have taken some tips from one man in Alberta, Canada!

Theunis Wessels seemed to startle his wife and family quite a bit last week when he decided that mowing his lawn was much more important than stepping inside swiftly to take cover. Mrs Wessels decided to capture the moment a swirling tornado noticeably became visible behind her husband as he continued to attend to his garden.

Theunis Wessels casually mowing the lawn (Picture: Cecilia Wessels)

Tornadoes are formed quite easily, beginning with warm moisture at the surface and cold air above.. setting the foundation for a typical thunderstorm. Research meteorologist Harold Brooks compares this phenomenon to a hot-air balloon as the warm air starts to rise.

National Geographic state that on average, tornadoes are known to kill 60 people per year in the U.S., as violent columns of air throw flying debris, destroying the surrounding area. The column of air extends between the earth’s surface and a cloud, lasting between 10-30 minutes depending on the size. Maybe Dorothy had a reason for being scared, as it turns out that the most powerful of twisters can actually have a width of around 2 miles, and have winds speeds of around 300 miles per hour!

Scientists still ponder on what exactly causes tornadoes, however have come to the conclusion that the first kilometre must have strong changes in winds along with increased humidity for there to be a formation.

I don’t know about you, but all this talk of chaos, as well as watching the Wizard of Oz, definitely tells me that I wouldn’t have been as calm as Theunis over here! Luckily he was right not to panic this time, as you’ll be pleased to know there were no injuries in the town, phew!

Evolution · Nature

Earth After Humans

‘Save the planet!’ We are constantly reminded of this, but do we really listen? Well maybe we should!  Mind Warehouse created a time-lapse video with predicted stages of what would happen to our world and it’s inhabiters, starting with a few hours after we disappear to 300 million years later.

So lets begin! The theory predicts that after several hours, the lights around the world would begin to go out, as power stations run on fossil fuel and WE are the ones to control them. This continues 48 hours later with nuclear power plants switching to safety mode due to the drastic decrease in energy consumption, and power cuts in regions that aren’t supplied by hydroelectric power stations.

3 days later, this is where things become more chaotic! The tubes and metros will supposedly become flooded as humans won’t be powering the pumps protecting them. After 10 days, domestic animals locked indoors and livestock will start to die out from starvation and dehydration. Survival of the fittest will set in with larger dog breeds forming packs, and hunting the smaller breeds.. say bye-bye to the chihuahua’s and tea-cup terriers!

A month after human extinction, circumstances deteriorate even more, with explosions occurring from evaporated cooling water in power stations. Radioactivity eventually kills the rest of the animals, but don’t underestimate her! Because this is where planet earth begins to fight back and recover.

One year later, strange stars will fall to earth, as humans over the years placed thousands of objects into earth’s orbit, along with the highest satellites a few more years later. 25 years later, earth begins to flourish without us, as squares and sidewalks turn into areas of vegetation, cities like Dubai and Las Vegas will be covered in sand, and overall the air will be much cleaner without the toxicity of human inhabitants.

Hundreds of years later, man-made constructions will continue to erode and collapse, with nature taking over as vast swamps reappear, and bird and animal species returning to their homes which were unfairly taken from them! Marine animals like whales will blossom as, without the threat of humans, will be able to use the ocean to its full capacity and reproduce. It is even predicted that around 300 million years later, there will be a new rational species.

So it looks like earth is very sturdy, and can easily get rid of any trace of us humans, along with the trash we left behind! The video certainly reminds us that it is not earth that needs us, but humans that constantly rely on her! A reminder that we should look after our world. Never underestimate the power of nature!

Click here to check out the video!


Rhea The Naked Lovebird

Lovebirds are known for their charming temperament, great adaptation to captivity, and mostly for their brilliantly coloured feathers. Evolving from their harsh environments of the different regions of Africa, they are beautifully decorated and provide an amazing social experience for owners. However, what if I was to tell you that you could easily fall in love with one particular lovebird that does not acquire the typical rainbow coloured characteristics?

Back Bay Veterinary Clinic in Boston, Massachusetts, rescued Rhea back in July, now famously known as the bald lovebird! Isabella Eisenmann, who has since adopted Rhea, loves to post videos and pictures of her to keep the fans up to date with her daily activities! She is so popular, with now 385K followers, who even send her knitted clothing to keep her nice and cosy!

Rhea the lovebird in her cosy knitted clothing from a fan! (Picture: Caters New Agency)

At first, Isabella explained that there was a lot of controversy over Rhea’s appearance with public concern, however Rhea suffers from a condition called Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease (PBFD). The virus is caused by a differently structured DNA strand, causing infections primarily in young birds. Psittacine species are most susceptible, with the virus affecting the liver, brain and immune system. These symptoms include loss of feathers, development of abnormal feathers, overgrown/ abnormal beak, and occasionally lesions on the nails.

Rhea’s owner even answers any questions that her fans have, describing what Rhea’s skin feels like, daily care and more information on the disease. In one post, Isabella says “Rhea is in charge of taking care of her own skin and she does her job pretty well; she preens herself all day everyday.” She continues to say that Rhea’s skin is already very sensitive, and does not add anything to mess with it, and explains that even if Rhea has no feathers, she shows no self-awareness of the disease as she expresses natural behaviour like other birds.

Unfortunately for Rhea and other avian species affected by the virus, there is no known treatment, but experimental vaccines are being developed. However, this does not stop Rhea from flourishing! Isabella’s social media promotes information on the disease and raises necessary awareness. On her Instagram page you will also find hundreds of posts of Rhea wearing her sweaters sent from friends all over the world, even fan art, and daily posts of what Rhea is up to! Who would have thought that a nudist could be so adorable!

Check out Rhea’s page here


The Science Behind a Kiss

Why do we kiss? And if you really think about it, where does the act of kissing come from? Today, we as a society have grown to perceive kissing as a passionate and loving act between couples, a sign of respect in more formal situations, even sometimes a tad gross! Either way, not a lot of people would look into this as more of a potentially evolutionary behaviour.

Typically, the average human will spend 20,160 minutes of their lives kissing..wow! Not to mention the world record for the longest kiss stands at 58 hours, 35 minutes and 58 seconds. We could even say that kissing is a type of exercise, burning roughly 2-3 calories per minute. Well that could be one way to avoid the gym! Nevertheless, despite Hollywood films and poetry creating a magical view on kissing, researchers insist this natural behaviour is evolutionary and almost animalistic.

If we look at birds and primates, we can observe the act of ‘kiss-feeding’. This action involves mothers passing pre-chewed food from one adult mouth to the infant’s mouth. A bit weird? Well scientifically, the infant is proven to obtain the nutrients which breast milk is not always able to provide. Not to mention, enabling a much easier way for infants to absorb vitamins like B12.

Evolutionary scientists believe that kissing is potentially a way for us to determine our ideal mate. Emer Maguire from Voices Magazine compares this to a type of job interview, seeking out candidates which best match the description. We do so by ‘taste testing’, as our saliva carries information about ourselves including our level of health, and contains mucus membranes that are permeable to hormones such as testosterone. Does this mean that kissing is actually part of ‘survival of the fittest’, and really, a basic reproductive behaviour?

Interestingly, the actress Alicia Silverstone, famously known for her character ‘Cher’ in the popular 90’s film ‘Clueless’, caused quite a bit of controversy on social media as she posted clips of herself kiss-feeding her own infant. Some of the public may have deemed this as weird-looking, but is this because we only know the evolved version of kissing as opposed to the origin?

So will this newly discovered scientific research change the way we think when we next kiss a partner or loved one? And is there a chance that we as humans will go back to kiss-feeding and deem this as more of a normal maternal act? Either way, kissing is a very natural part of our lives and potentially our survival, so pucker up!


Swarm Of Bees Hit Rush Hour At Greenwich Market

The most memorable elements of summer for us humans are hot days, pub gardens, the occasional beach days, and in particular, bees! Known for their appearance during beautiful seasons, we tend to over exaggerate our screeches of “ooo’s” and “ahh’s” without realising the harmlessness of these very intelligent creatures.

Pollinating pretty flowers, creating useful products for us including honey and wax, and particularly their colonisation abilities, bees are social insects who do not usually bother us during their day-to-day activities. Even though the advice to everyone is ‘don’t panic!’ and ‘stay still!’, there’s always someone screaming and waving vigorously in fear.

So it was a surprise to the people on Greenwich Church Street close to Greenwich Market when a swarm of bees had traffic at a standstill for roughly an hour. The bees swarmed above a traffic light as footage showed Londoners ducking and diving attempting to avoid the cloud. This incident seemed to even excite the public, with one shop owner videoing the events, describing it as ‘absolutely crazy’ and reporting an ‘un- derlying humming sound’ around the area.

Being one of the hardest working insects on the planet, bees can fly up to 9 miles from the nest in search of food. The honeybee in particular, travels about 620 miles in her lifetime, and can be known to ‘work herself to death’ in a 3 week period. Unfortunately, statistics have shown that bee species are becoming increasingly endangered at an alarming rate, with the U.S. National Agricultural Statistics showing the honey bee population decline from 6 million hives in 1947 to now only 2.4 million in 2008. That works out as a 60 percent fall for our buzzing friends!

CCTV footage of thousands of bees swarming London at rush hour (Picture: metro.co.uk)

The swarming of bees usually happens when the queen bee leaves the original hive as a new colony is formed. A large group of worker bees follow the queen, with about 60% of the original hive travelling with her. This ‘primary swarm’ can include up to tens of thousands of bees!

On the day of the events, professional bee keepers from Brockley Bees came to the rescue, bringing along with them a mobile hive in order to entice the swarm and calm the bees. Mr Clarkson from Brockley Bees told the Metro, “We explained to the public that during a swarm, bees are extremely docile and calm, and there is a very rare chance of being stung.” Mr Clarkson and his colleagues stayed until 8.30pm moving the swarm, calming not only the bees but the people of Greenwich. Safe to say this event was a buzz!