Inspiring blog award

Katie over at Anthropology Gallery kindly nominated me for the Inspiring Blog Award. Thanks Katie, I really appreciate it! Have a look at Katie’s blog – she’s a great blogger and it’s well worth the visit!

The rules for the award are as follows:

  • Acknowledge and thank the giver.
  • Link back to the nominator’s blog.
  • Put the award on your Homepage.
  • List seven things about yourself.
  • Give the award to seven bloggers who inspire you.

So here goes… Seven things about myself:

1) I love dessert – making it, eating it, reading about it, photographing it
2) I’ve completed a five-day ultra-marathon
3) I was a mathematician before opting for a career as photographer
4) I have an unusually high ape index (google it!)
5) I met my wife in a History of Art class
6) I’ve been on four continents; lived on two
7) Twenty years from now I will be twice as old as I was 12 years ago.

I’d like to nominate the following 7 blogs for the Inspiring Blog Award:

Buried words and Bushwa
Cristian Mihai
Dad Knows
Leanne Cole
The Millennium Conjectures
Anton P. Zoghi Photography
Nonoy Manga

Peristaltic pumps and artificial hearts

A hearty good day to everyone, and welcome to the new week. And yes, today ‘hearty’ is indeed the operational word, as this seems to have been an important day in history as far as the heart is concerned.

The heart, symbol of life and love.
(© All Rights Reserved)

Heart pump

Today we celebrate the birthday of Jerome Murray (20 Aug 1912 – 7 Jan 1998), an American inventor who invented the peristaltic pump that made open-heart surgery possible. The pump was unique in that it was able to pump blood without damaging the human cells, through a method of expansion and contraction that imitates the peristaltic process.

Artificial heart

Exactly 10 years after Murray’s birth, the Japanese surgeon Akutsu Tetsuzo (20 Aug 1922 – 9 Aug 2007), was born. Tetsuzo was the surgeon who built the first artificial heart that was successfully implanted into an animal. The heart that Tetsuzo developed was implanted into a dog on 12 Dec 1957, and kept the dog alive for about an hour and a half. While this may not be very long, it did open the door to further research into the domain, eventually leading to the succesful development of artificial hearts for humans.

So, even though today is not officially a heart holiday, it is clearly quite an important day in the history of the heart, and particularly the research and development of artificial technologies to support the human heart.

Spare a thought for your heart – it’s an amazing organ, and everyone who can live out their lives with their own, healthy hearts should count themselves really lucky. If something does go wrong, however, at least it’s good to know that there are clever people like Jerome Murray and Akutsu Tetsuzo in the world, who consider it their lives’ task to develop the incredible technologies that help keep us ticking along.