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The Niagara Falls is one of the most magnificent natural wonders of the world. It is a huge tourist attraction on both the USA side and Canada side, falling between New York and Ontario, respectively. While the Niagara Falls does not derive its majesty from its height (the tallest waterfall being the Angel Falls in Venezuela), it certainly derives it from the width and the incredible volume of water that gushes.

The Niagara Falls is in fact the group name of three big waterfalls on the Niagara River in eastern North America on the border between 34 Genius Punnagai February 2023 There are three waterfalls located in both the United States and Canada, collectively known as Niagara Falls. These waterfalls include the Horseshoe Falls (also referred to as the Canadian Falls), the American Falls, and the Bridal Veil Falls, which are smaller in comparison.

The Horseshoe Falls

The largest among the three waterfalls at Niagara Falls is the Horseshoe Falls, which measures 167 ft in height. This waterfall also receives the majority of the water from the Niagara River, with approximately 90 percent of the river’s water flowing through the Horseshoe Falls. The Canadian Falls, also known as the Horseshoe Falls, is predominantly located in the Ontario province of Canada, with two-thirds of the waterfall situated in this region.

The American Falls

The American Falls, with a height of 110 ft and the Bridal Veil Falls with a vertical drop of 78 ft, both lie entirely in US territory. The American Falls and the Horseshoe Falls are separated by Goat Island, and the Bridal Veil Falls remains separated from the other waterfalls by Luna Island.

The Birth of Niagara Falls

The Niagara Falls came into existence when the Wisconsin glacier began retreating around 10,000 – 12,000 years ago. Some of the most amazing tours of this region include the Maid of the Mist Tour, Cave of the Winds Tour, Rainbow Bridge and Journey Behind the Falls. The best time to visit this natural wonder is between May and September. Approximately 28 million tourists visit Niagara Falls every year, thus making it one of the most-visited natural wonders of the world. 

Do you know some Indian waterfalls that are super famous? Hint: They are in Kerala and Karnataka!

Can 3D printing now begin to create human tissues?

3D printing has become increasingly popular in the engineering space for a variety of uses. We see it being used in Robotics, Architecture and even in Automobile manufacturing. But one unimaginable and incredible development has been its use in the field of medicine for bioprinting. The ability of being able to print organs and tissues can significantly change healthcare as we know it, reducing the burden on organ donation lists and even making it affordable. So how is this incredible feat achieved? To get into that, let us first understand more about 3D printing.

Much like printing with ink on paper, 3D printing (also known as ‘additive manufacturing’) prints out the required 3 Dimensional object layer by layer. It creates a 3D object from a digital file. If one were to slice a finished 3D printed object open, one can see each of the thin layers, a bit like rings in a tree trunk. 

The Key Advantage

This process is that it makes it easier and environmentally friendly to construct complex shapes, while even using less materials than in conventional manufacturing techniques. 3D printing makes it easier to create customized and personalized products and what is even better is that it can print with pretty much any material: plastic, obviously, but also metal, powder, concrete, liquid, even chocolate! In 1981, Dr. Hideo Kodama developed one of the first rapid prototyping devices that built items layer by layer out of resin that could be polymerized by UV light. This invention gave rise to the first 3D printer.

We now come back to the marvel that is bioprinting. Bioprinting is a branch of 3D printing, which also prints layer by layer in the same way normal 3D printers do, except instead of using plastic or metal, it uses a material called bio ink. Bio ink is a printable material that contains living cells. 

The bulk of many bioinks are water rich molecules called hydrogels and mixed into those are millions of living cells, as well as various chemicals that encourage cells to communicate and grow. Some bioinks include a single type of cell, while ethers combine several different types to produce more complex structures.

The ability to bioprint organs has the potential to bring about a significant transformation in the fields of transplantation and regenerative medicine. opens up for possibilities like simply printing a compatible organ for patients instead of going through a tedious process of finding a matching donor and also hoping the organ indeed does match.

How are Tissues Bio-Printed?

  • The cells required for creating the required organ are extracted from a donor or the patient themselves.
  • The bio ink gets loaded into a printing chamber and gets pushed through a round nozzle, rarely wider than 400 microns in diameter, attached to a print head.
  • A computerized image guides the placement of the strands, either onto a flat surface or into a liquid bath that will hold the structure in place.

After printing, some bio inks will stiffen immediately, while others might need UV light or other need to  ensure the structure’s stability, it may require an extra chemical or physical process.

The future possibilities of this technology are immense, where it can go beyond printing for transplants and into creating superhuman features. However, currently the field is held back from it as replicating complex biochemical environments of major organs is a steep challenge. 

One of the most formidable challenges is how to supply oxygen and nutrients to all the cells in a full-size organ. This explains why the greatest successes so far have been with structures that are flat or hollow, and why researchers are busy developing way to incorporate blood vessels into bioprinted tissues.

 While the field has not reached capacity to print complex organs like the heart yet, simpler tissues including blood vessels and tubes responsible for nutrient and waste exchange are already in the works. But once we do overcome these challenges, how far do you think humanity can go? Can we create custom features and organs, like anti-ageing technology?

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