Top Stories
  1. Resident Evil Series Description Apparently Leaked By Netflix - IGN - IGN
  2. Ariana Grande Kisses Unknown Dude at Bar in San Fernando Valley | TMZ - TMZ
  3. Vaping nearly killed Mich. teen. Now, he's rebuilding life after double lung transplant - Detroit Free Press
  4. Challenger Hellcat Redeye Beats Airplane In 191-MPH Top Speed Run - Motor1
  5. Nine Notre Dame Players Invited To 2020 NFL Combine -
  6. Fact-checking the 2020 State of the Union - CNN
  7. Living With Herpes - What I Wish I'd Known Before My Diagnosis - Women's Health
  8. The Jordan Burch timeline -
  9. Household debt jumps the most in 12 years, Federal Reserve report says - CNBC
  10. Arctic ice melt is changing ocean currents -
  11. Kim Kardashian West breaks down a bad business deal: 'We'd get, like, almost nothing' - CNBC
  12. Ball that Mahomes threw to fan who crashed into parking meter was boy’s Super Bowl souvenir - WDAF FOX4 Kansas City
  13. The milkman gets an eco-makover as refill service knocks on door - The Guardian
  14. 'Bachelor' Contestant Tammy Ly Apologizes for Being "Nasty" to Mykenna Dorn -
  15. RuPaul Scares Jimmy Fallon, Plays Dirty Charades & Spills 'Drag Race' S12 Tea! | ET CANADA - ET Canada
  16. Smartphone lab delivers test results in 'spit' second -
  17. Badgerland Girl Scouts to keep cookie prices at $4 per box, amid nationwide increase - - WISC-TV3
  18. Could Scarlett Johansson End Her Biggest Year Ever with an Oscar Win? - Showbiz Cheat Sheet
  19. Cloudspire: a $130 MOBA for your tabletop? - Ars Technica
  20. Here are the 13 cars we can't wait to see at the 2020 Chicago Auto Show - Business Insider - Business Insider
  21. As Coronavirus spreads, trade experts detail how it could hurt Wisconsin dairy farmers - - WISC-TV3
  22. Airbnb reportedly lost money last year as costs ballooned ahead of its planned public listing this year - CNBC
  23. Leesburg teen dies after being diagnosed with the flu - Loudoun Times-Mirror
  24. The Rolling Stones are headed back on tour - CNN
  25. Nicki Minaj Shares New Song “Yikes”: Listen - Pitchfork
  26. Phillip Schofield, veteran TV host, comes out as gay during morning show - CNN

Robots steady breast cancer surgeon's hands in first human trial - The Guardian

Doctors have used a robot to perform extremely delicate surgical operations on breast cancer patients in the first human trial of the technology.

Eight women had the robot-assisted procedure at Maastricht University Medical Center, in the Netherlands, to alleviate a common complication of breast cancer surgery.

The robot helped a specialist surgeon divert thread-like lymphatic vessels, as narrow as 0.3mm, around scar tissue in the patients’ armpits, and connect them to nearby blood vessels.

The operation, which requires immense care and precision, is offered to some breast cancer patients to reduce swelling in the arms that builds up when the lymphatic system cannot drain properly. Because the vessels are so small, surgeons need exceptionally steady hands to perform the operation well.

“This is the first time in the world that such an operation has been performed with a robot,” said Tom van Mulken, a consultant plastic surgeon at the hospital. “It’s a very delicate and tricky procedure.”

Breast cancer-related lymphedema, as the condition is known, affects about one-third of breast cancer survivors within two years of having surgery to remove their tumours. The problem can arise when surgeons remove lymph nodes from the armpit to investigate whether the cancer has spread. In some cases, scar tissue forms and blocks the lymphatic system, the network of vessels that carries immune cells around the body and drains away its cellular waste.

Writing in Nature Communications, researchers in Maastricht and at Eindhoven University of Technology describe a pilot trial in which a specialist surgeon used the robot to re-route lymphatic vessels around women’s scar tissue. The surgeon operated on 20 women and used the robot in eight of those procedures.

The robot works by cancelling out tiny tremors in the surgeon’s hands and scaling down their hand movements. For example, if the surgeon moves one of the robot’s joysticks one centimetre, the fine tweezers at the end of the robot arm may move only a tenth of a millimetre.

“We suture the vessels together with very fine needles and thread, so if you have a tremor you rupture the vessels,” Van Mulken said. “It’s very delicate surgery and only a few people are very good at it. It shouldn’t be like that if you use a robot.”

The trial showed that, on average, the specialist surgeon took more than twice as long, about 25 minutes, to perform the procedure when they used the robot. But over time, the surgeon became quicker with the robot and by the end of the trial had the time down to 16 minutes.

Because so few women were enrolled in the trial, it was impossible to discern any meaningful differences between the quality of the surgery, a question that will need to be answered by larger trials in the future.

Van Mulken believes the results are encouraging because they demonstrate how robots can be used for extremely fine surgical procedures. If larger trials prove their worth, the robots could allow more surgeons to perform very delicate operations, and smooth out variations in their day-to-day performance.

“We already enhance our eyes with microscopes, but up until now, we still had to do the surgery with our hands. The microscopes are getting stronger and stronger, so our eyes are not the problem, but our hands cannot keep up any more,” Van Mulken said.

More operations are likely to benefit from robotic assistance, he added, including neurosurgery and the reattachment of severed fingers, where fine nerves and blood vessels must be sewn back together.

“Right now, if a piece is too small, we have to throw it in the bin,” he said.

Read More