[GGN] #6 Windpipe Innovations, DRC Determination and Hope in Harlem

Day 5,975, 07:12 Published in United Kingdom United Kingdom by Garth Lidlington

Happy good news day, put your feet up over the Easter weekend and tuck in to some rather lovely uplifting stories to pass the time!

Woman Given New Printed Windpipe in World First

A biotech company has established a stunning milestone for prosthetics as their firm became the first and only one in the world to produce a bio-3D-printed windpipe that was successfully transplanted into a human body.

Nasal stem cells and cartilage cells were obtained from other patients who underwent other procedures, and these were replicated and combined with polycaprolactone (PCL) for structural support as well as a special ink made from living cells to make the windpipe, or trachea.

The hospital and T&R both hope that the artificial trachea will allow her to live a relatively normal life until its expiration date five years from now, at which point the hypothesis is that her body will have regenerated her own.

“While it’s too soon to say that 3D-bioprinting could be the solution for the current shortage of organs for transplantation, it definitely increases the hopes to partially solve the issue for some organs or some specific indications, or at least fill the gap between classic medical devices and organ transplants,” Dr. Paulo Marinho, head of scientific strategy at T&R Biofab, told BBC Science Focus.

The DRC Women Pushing For Land Rights and Tackling Gender-Based Violence

For centuries, male land inheritance in the DRC has stymied women’s access to their own livelihoods. Now, in one region, women are pushing back – opening up the possibility of economic independence.

Angélique Mwa Namupopa, her husband and their nine children live in Nyangezi, a cluster of 43 farming villages, near Bukavu in south Kivu, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). In DRC, like in most developing countries, very few women own the land they toil on. Women represent almost half of the agricultural workforce worldwide, but only a fifth of landowners. “Here in the Congo, those who have the land, have the wealth. Women who are denied access to land will remain poor and marginalised,” says Chantal Kizungu, advocacy coordinator at Women for Women International (WfWi) in Bukavu.   

The charity has worked over the past five years in Nyangezi to teach women, but also male community leaders, about women’s land rights and gender-based violence. Their approach is unusual: while most land rights projects across the world aim to change national laws and land policies, WfWi believes the real challenge lies in customary laws and practices.

The impacts of land rights for women are significant and extensive, says Kizungu. “When a woman owns her own field, she’ll be independent economically and that will decrease the risk of domestic violence. The land will generate income for her family for the rest of her life and will be inherited by her children. Women will often invest her proceeds in her family, paying for school fee, health and household needs, and this has a cascading impact on her children.”

Hope in the Heart of Harlem

In the heart of Harlem, nestled among the bustling streets and vibrant culture, resides a haven cherished by children and families alike. Grandma's Place, a quaint book and toy shop, isn't just a store—it's a beacon of love, warmth, and community spirit, thanks to its beloved owner, Dawn Harris Martine, fondly known by visitors as "Grandma".

Martine's journey to becoming Grandma Dawn and the steward of this beloved
establishment is one of inspiration and dedication. After a remarkable 35-year career as an educator, she retired with a vision to continue making a positive impact on young lives. Her motivation? A childhood devoid of toys, where the simple joy of play was a luxury she didn't experience until adulthood.

"No kid should be without a toy or a book," Martine told Localish, reflecting on her own upbringing. With this ethos in mind, she transformed her retirement dream into a reality, opening Grandma's Place over two decades ago.

"I LOVE THIS PLACE and the owner and the staff, just lovely!" exclaimed one satisfied customer.

Another review echoed similar sentiments: "The kids were able to play while I browsed and the friendliest service ever."

As Martine celebrates over two decades of spreading joy and kindness, her legacy continues to inspire generations, reminding us all of the profound impact one individual can have when fueled by love and compassion.

"I'm doing my life's work. It's my passion," Martine said.

Another week of good news is in the books! I will leave you with a short clip from the lovely Bob Mortimer!


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