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El Pasoan, LIMBS International founder finalist for Global Humanitarian Engineer award

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El Pasoan, LIMBS International founder finalist for Global Humanitarian Engineer award – El Paso Times 10-22-13

By Cindy Ramirez / El Paso Times
POSTED:10/22/2013

Native El Pasoan Roger Gonzalez, founder of LIMBS International, has been nominated as one of six finalists for the Global Humanitarian Engineer of the Year award.

Gonzalez was nominated for his work with LIMBS International, a nonprofit organization he founded in 2004 that develops durable, low-cost prosthetics. One of its innovations is the LIMBS Knee, the only modular prosthetic knee in the world that meets all international standards and can be made using simple tools for less than $100. The knee has been used in 22 developing countries and has been fitted onto more than 1,000 amputees.

The award from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers will be presented today at the IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference in Silicon Valley, Calif.

The award recognizes engineers’ contribution toward improving the lives of those less fortunate.

“It’s an honor to be nominated,” said Gonzalez, a graduate of Austin High School and UTEP. “It really encompasses the work done, over many years, by students, staff and fellow faculty colleagues. I see this not just as an award for myself, but for everyone involved.”

Gonzalez is a professor of mechanical and biomedical engineering at the University of Texas at El Paso, where he earned his bachelor’s in mechanical engineering in 1986. He also serves as director of the UTEP Leadership Engineering Program.

Under a research partnership with UTEP, the organization develops its innovations in lab space at the university’s Biomedical Engineering and Bioinformatics Building.

Before coming to UTEP, Gonzalez served as associate dean of engineering and associate vice president for research at Le Tourneau University in Longview, Texas. He has worked with students in Africa, Asia, Europe, Australia, and Latin and South America on various international engineering research and humanitarian projects.

Gonzalez said he had long been sensitive to the needs of the handicapped, especially those in poor communities who could not pay for health care or equipment to regain mobility.

“Being an amputee is a very visual handicap,” Gonzalez said. “And it’s because of the strong visual component that I was really moved to do something more with that very mechanical background I have.”

Gonzalez received his master’s and doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin and conducted his post-doctoral studies at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.

Gonzalez worked for General Electric as an engineering project manager, but said he felt the need to do something more.

“I realized I really wanted to do something bigger than just work,” he said. “I really wanted to give back to young people again.”

Gonzalez said he hopes engineering students today take their theoretical concepts and understand what they do in a laboratory can have profound effects on the world.

“From the design of a prosthetic to the design of an iPhone,” he said, “engineering impacts what people do and how people live every day.”

Cindy Ramirez may be reached at 546-6151.

Cathy Swain_ Event to highlight crowdfunding – El Paso Times 9-24-13

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Cathy Swain_ Event to highlight crowdfunding – El Paso Times 9-24-13

By Cathy Swain / Special to the Times
Posted:09/24/2013

Don’t miss a unique special event at The Hub, free and open to the public, on October 2nd!

Andy Krafsur, chief executive officer of Spira Footwear, sits in the conference room at his Westside offices and discusses the new initiative that the A & E Television Network and the crowd funding site Rocket Hub called "Project Startup," will be collaborating on. (Ruben R Ramirez / El Paso Times)

“RocketHub Crowdfunding + Intro to A&E Project Startup” will feature Brian Meece, CEO of RocketHub, one of the world’s top crowdfunding platforms. Learn how you and your idea could be featured on A&E TV and projectstartup.com.

RocketHub is partnered in a big way with A&E TV Network’s PROJECT STARTUP. If you launch a project on RocketHub, A&E could become one of your funders.

The A&E PROJECT STARTUP team scours RocketHub.com looking for entrepreneurial ideas that show passion, a well-told story, and validation from the crowd. Ideas chosen by A&E PROJECT STARTUP have a chance to be featured on-air, online, and in A&E’s magazine, The Idea Book for Educators.

Brian has lectured on crowdfunding at White House Roundtables, Columbia University, SXSW, Maker Faire, and TEDxBrooklyn. His goal? To teach everyone how to leverage the crowd to raise funds and awareness for their endeavors.

Brian will be joined by our very own Andy Krafsur, CEO of Spira Footwear and a crowdfunding veteran who is working closely with RocketHub and A&E Project Startup to launch his Duck Dynasty Camouflage Running Shoe with WaveSpring Technology on a massive scale. Check it out at http://www.rockethub.com/Duck and get the inside story at the workshop!

Join us for this unique FREE event at 5p.m. on Oct. 2 at 500 West Overland on the first floor where the El Paso Times Community Room is located.

Space is limited and you must register in advance to reserve your spot: RSVP to teri@hubofhumaninnovation.org or call 915-321-3125 to register and get on our e-mail list.

For more information please check our website www.hubofhumaninnovation.org and our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/TheHubEP.

The Hub of Human Innovation incubator helps entrepreneurs bring “scalable ideas” that have global potential to market. Hub staff, partners and volunteers also provide a “soft landing” for companies based outside the region, seeking to launch new products or tap new markets from here.

Hub programs that support client companies include The Hub Team Mentor Program (modeled after the world-class MIT Venture Mentoring Service), Hub Clean Energy Partners, Hub Manufacturing Partners, Hub Advanced Entrepreneurship Program – Beyond Basics (AEP), and The Hub EquityNet CrowdFunding Program.

The “Hub Works” Monthly Workshops are open to the public on the 4th Thursday afternoons of most months and are followed by “Hub After Hours” networking to connect innovative companies with know-how, talent, technology and capital.

The next Hub Works Workshop entitled “Ins & Outs of Export/Import” starts PROMPTLY at 3 pm on Thursday, September 26th. If you can’t make the workshop, bring your colleagues and join us for Hub After Hours networking after the workshop from 5-6:30 pm.

Cathy Swain is the President and CEO of The Hub of Human Innovation, 500 West Overland, Suite 230, El Paso TX 79901. Contact cathy@hubofhumaninnovation.org.

Panel to give export-import info at seminar

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Panel to give export-import info at seminar – El Paso Times 9-24-13

By Vic Kolenc / El Paso Times
Posted:09/24/2013

A panel of four exports is scheduled to give tips about the export and import market in the El Paso area at a seminar Thursday.

The panelists are: Joe Alcantar Jr., president of Brown, Alcantar & Brown, an El Paso customs brokerage, Luis Rodriguez, owner of Impulsora de Servicios Internacionales, a Juarez customs brokerage, Victor Perez, El Paso district sales executive for Expeditors, a Seattle-based logistics company, and Jerry Pacheco, executive director of the International Business Accelerator, a trade counseling center in Santa Teresa.

The seminar is at The Hub of Human Innovation, 500 W. Overland, Suite 230, from 3-5 p.m. It’s free, but space is limited. To reserve a spot, email: teri@hubofhumaninnovation.org

 

 

Entrepreneurial spirit well at El Paso’s first venture expo

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Entrepreneurial spirit well at El Paso’s fist venture expo – El Paso Times- 7-27-13

By Vic Kolenc / El Paso Times
Posted:   07/27/2013 12:00:00 AM MDT

Entrepreneurs from both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border made sales pitches to about 20 investor representatives and displayed their ideas and products at El Paso’s first venture expo Friday.

“This is my first time in El Paso, I see a lot of potential here,” said Juliana Garaizar, managing director of the Houston Angel Network, which has about 90 investors. “I wish I could have been in both (pitch) rooms. The companies were awesome.”

Garaizar said she was particularly struck by American Water Recycling, a company recently created by three UTEP students to develop low-cost water recycling products. Its technology may work well in recycling water in the oil and gas fields, she said. The company is looking for a $760,000 investment for a small piece of the company, said Diego Capeletti, one of the company’s founders.

Attracting venture capitalists from various parts of the region and even other parts of the nation, and having more than 30 companies in the Paso del Norte Venture Expo shows how far El Paso’s fledgling entrepreneurial ecosystem has come in a few years, people involved in the event said.

“A few years ago, it would have been hard to get one investor down here,” said Beto Pallares, co-managing director of the Cottonwood Technology Fund, El Paso’s first venture capital fund, and investor in residence for the Texas Tech University system, and for New Mexico State University. He recruited the investors to the event.

“They’ve all heard things are happening in the region, and not just in El Paso,” Pallares said.

Olga Putz De Ramos, a consultant for a startup that developed Hospital in a Box, said the expo and sales pitch time gave the product a lot of exposure to investors and others.

“We’re looking for $500,000 to make prototypes” of the suitcase-sized medical diagnostic center, which can be used in remote areas, and information transmitted to a doctor or hospital, she said.

Hospital in Box was developed by New York City Dr. Steve Ayanruoh, who is incubating his company, Ruskat Medical, at The Hub of Human Innovation. It’s an El Paso technology business incubator that organized the expo.

Paola Rascon, co-founder of Bolsa Pal Mandado, a Juarez factory making bags out of recycled plastic bottles and other recycled plastic, said she’s trying to get up to $55,000 to help pay costs of breaking into the United States market. It currently sells about 12,000 bags per month, mostly to a supermarket chain in Chihuahua City and a construction materials store chain in Juarez, she said.

Several states and cities in the United States are outlawing plastic bags in stores, and that’s opening a big market for eco-friendly bags, she said.

Cathy Swain, chief executive officer of The Hub of Human Innovation, said she was “blown away” by the response to the expo.

“A perfect storm” of things are coming together now to grow entrepreneurship in this area, she said.

“There’s a tremendous entrepreneurial spirit in this region,” Swain said. It’s been here for years, but is now becoming visible, she said.

The expo also was open to the public Friday afternoon.

Vic Kolenc may be reached at 546-6421

 

El Paso is 26th largest exporter among nation’s metro areas

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By Vic Kolenc / El Paso Times
Posted:   08/04/2013

Rudy GutierrezÑEl Paso Times Bob Wells, left, president of DMP CryoSystems at 2010 Bassett Ave. stands by a heat-freeze chamber under construction in background Thursday.

El Paso ranks as the 26th largest exporter among the nation’s metro areas, new data show.

El Paso companies exported $12.8 billion last year to Mexico, Canada, China, and a list of other countries, show data released last month by the U.S. Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration.

That’s more exports than from all of New Mexico – $3 billion last year, with a big chunk of that from Santa Teresa, an El Paso bedroom community, the data show. The Las Cruces area, which mostly includes Santa Teresa, had $746 million in exports last year, the data show.

El Paso County exports grew $1.2 billion last year, and have been growing steadily since 2010.

“We think of (many) other cities as bigger and more powerful than El Paso, but when it comes to export numbers, El Paso outranks other powerful cities in the United States,” said Robert Queen, director of the Commerce Department’s Export Assistance Center in El Paso.

Austin, Memphis, Phoenix, and a host of other cities are below El Paso on the list for metro area exports.

El Paso is the fourth-largest exporter to Mexico among U.S. metro areas, Queen noted. Last year, El Paso companies exported $10.1 billion to Mexico. Detroit was first with $20.2 billion in exports to Mexico.

The exports from El Paso companies are just a piece of this area’s multibillion trade industry. Last year, more than $88 billion worth of exports and imports went into and out of Mexico through El Paso County and Santa Teresa international ports of entry, including railroad crossings, show data compiled by the Texas Center for Border Economic and Enterprise Development at Texas A&M International University in Laredo.

All the trade generates important economic activity in the El Paso area, noted Baldo Garcia, program manager for the Laredo center. But exports actually produced in El Paso have a larger multiplier effect in the local economy, he said.

Not all of the $12.8 billion in exports are products made here; some also are products and materials from other areas being processed in warehouses and other facilities. But the exports carry a powerful economic punch, Queen said.

The International Trade Administration estimated that every $1 billion in U.S. exports support 4,926 jobs nationally. That means thousands of El Paso jobs are tied to El Paso’s export market.

Keats Southwest, an East El Paso metal-stamping plant spun off of Keats’ Chicago factory, opened here 19 years ago to be close to its Mexico customers, said Matt Keats, president of the El Paso company. It employs 50 people and has annual revenues of about $10 million, he said.

“We wouldn’t be located here if we had no exports to Mexico,” Keats said. “I guess we produce about 100 million parts per year,” and most of those go to assembly plants in Mexico, he said.

For example, it ships 150,000 to 200,000 visor clips for garage-door remote controls each week to a manufacturer in Nogales, Mexico, Keats said.

DMP CryoSystems, which operates a small factory in Central El Paso, doesn’t have Keats’ volume, but the export market is still important for it, said Bob Wells, president and co-founder of the 18-year-old company. It custom builds machines with a furnace and freezer, which are used for heat and freezing treatments used in making gears, bearings, engine blocks, knife blades and other products.

The factory, which employs seven people, sells eight to 10 machines a year for prices ranging from $30,000 to $250,000 Wells said.

It’s exported machines to Europe and Asia. Mexico is not a big market for the company because the cost of nitrogen needed for the machines is costly there, he said.

“Last year, we sent two (machines) out of the country,” which was 20 percent of the company’s sales, Wells said. “It’s a welcome 20 percent,” Wells said, and a number the company wants to grow.

“The numbers are not staggering. But if we’re able to deliver (more machines) to the export market, it likely will keep foreign manufacturers from copying our equipment,” Wells said. The company possibly could lose sales not only in other parts of the world, but also in the United States because foreign companies would likely sell the machines here also, he said.

DMP CryoSystems’ exports are likely classified as El Paso exports because the machines are sent out of the El Paso factory to foreign customers. But sometimes, that doesn’t happen. For example, it’s not clear that all of Keats Southwest’s products are counted in El Paso’s export totals because many of the factory’s components are shipped to warehouses on the U.S. side of the border, and handled by a logistics company for Keats’ customers. It’s possible some of the components get counted as exports out of the warehouse where they are shipped, said Queen, of the El Paso Export Assistance Center.

Whoever fills out the export documents is usually who gets credited as the exporter, Queen said. For example, New Orleans has huge amounts of wheat exports, and the Louisiana companies become the exporters even though the wheat is produced in the Midwest, he noted.

Export numbers for an area could be overstated or understated, Queen said. But in the end, the numbers usually come close to representing an area’s export market, he said.

Trans-Expedite, an El Paso shipping and logistics company, gets credited as the exporter for many products made elsewhere, and shipped out of its warehouse to Mexico or other countries.

“Exporting is a big part of our growth,” said Keeli Jernigan, Trans-Expedite chief executive officer and co-founder. The company is exporting materials and products to Mexico, Canada, and other countries, she said.

Trans-Expedite employs 195 people in eight cities, including 100 in El Paso where it’s headquartered. It has annual revenues of $50 million, and growing.

“This region is really growing,” and the export market, especially to Mexico, is a big part of that growth, Jernigan said. “It’s a great position to be in.”

Vic Kolenc may be reached at 915-546-6421.

 

 

 

 

Paso del Norte Venture Expo 2013 Video

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PDNVE2013 highlight video by Energygreen.tv.

Paso del Norte Venture Expo 2013 Features 39 Startup Companies and Modern Projects

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Paso del Norte Venture Expo 2013 Features 39 Startup Companies and Modern Projects- Bio News Texas-7-26-13

Posted Friday , July 26,2013

El Paso’s inaugural venture expo featuring 39 high-tech startup companies and other cutting-edge projects was held on Friday, July 27th. Cathy Swain, president and chief executive officer of The Hub of Human Innovation, reveals that there’s a need to inspire and celebrate entrepreneurship and modernization locally, as well as let more people know about these breakthroughs. She says it’s a fun event, and fondly described it as “an adult science fair.”

The Paso del Norte Venture Expo 2013 was organized by the El Paso technology business incubator, and is happening at the Camino Real Hotel Downtown, with the free public segment taking place between 2:00-5:30 PM.

Among the startups showcasing their new concepts and products is American Water Recycling, a company established by 3 UT El Paso students who are making use of a Nobel Prize-winning material to advance low-cost water recycling products. Just this Spring, these students won $100,000 at the University of Texas Horizon Fund Student Investment Competition against 15 other competing UT System teams.

Premier Biomedical Inc. — a developer of cutting edge cancer and brain injury treatments at UTEP, William Beaumont Army Medical Center labs, and Spira Footwear — a creator of running shoes with springs — will be at the venture expo today as well.

Swain said most participants are companies that have already been formed, while the rest are fresh technologies originating from universities’ research commercialization efforts.

A private session was held in the morning that will gave the entrepreneurs the opportunity to present 5-minute sales pitches to about 20 represented venture investors.

At 3:00 PM, a panel discussion was held to tackle innovation in the region. The panel featured Miguel Fernandez, CEO of Transtelco, an El Paso-Juarez telecommunications carrier; Pablo Cuaron Galindo, CEO of a Juarez company that operates Hagalo, self-service stores selling construction materials; and Davin Lopez, president and CEO of the Mesilla Valley Economic Development Alliance in Las Cruces. Moderating the panel discussion is Rolando Pablos, CEO of the recently created Boderplex Alliance, an El Paso-based regional economic development organization.

Prior to the event, a public opening reception was held Thursday, from 5:00 to 7:00 PM wherein the entrepreneurs and venture capitalists got to interact with attendees from the community. This took place at The Hub of Human Innovation office at 500 W. Overland, Suite 230, in the Union Plaza District Downtown.

 

El Paso venture expo will show off 39 innovative companies, ideas

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El Paso venture expo will show off 39 innovative companies, ideas – El Paso Times 7-24-13

By Vic Kolenc / El Paso Times
Posted:   07/24/2013 12:11:52 AM MDT

Eva Deemer, center, a graduate student in materials science and engineering at UTEP, with fellow graduate student Diego Capeletti, left, and undergraduate Alex Pastor. El Paso Times/Rudy Gutierrez

Thirty-nine high-tech startup companies and other ventures will be featured in El Paso’s first venture expo Friday.

“We need to inspire and celebrate entrepreneurship and innovation in this region. (People) need to understand incredible stuff is going on here right now,” said Cathy Swain, president and chief executive officer of The Hub of Human Innovation. The El Paso technology business incubator is organizing the Paso del Norte Venture Expo 2013 at the Camino Real Hotel Downtown. The free public portion will be open from 2 to 5:30 p.m.

Kids and adults of all ages “will enjoy this,” Swain said. “It’s like an adult science fair.”

A number of startups will display their ideas and products, including American Water Recycling, a company started by three University of Texas at El Paso students who are using a Nobel Prize-winning material to develop low-cost water recycling products. The students in the spring won $100,000 for winning the University of Texas Horizon Fund Student Investment Competition against 15 other UT System teams.

Premier Biomedical Inc., which is developing possible break-through treatments for cancer and brain injuries at UTEP and William Beaumont Army Medical Center labs is to be at the expo. More-established Spira Footwear, which develops and sells running shoes with springs, also is to be there.

“Most are companies already formed, but some are technologies coming out of universities’ (research) commercialization efforts,” Swain said.

A private morning session will allow the entrepreneurs to make five-minute sales pitches to venture investment firms and angel investors. Twenty investor representatives are to be at the session.

A 3 p.m. panel will discuss innovation in this region. It will feature Miguel Fernandez, CEO of Transtelco, an El Paso-Juarez telecommunications carrier; Pablo Cuaron Galindo, CEO of a Juarez company that operates Hagalo, self-service stores selling construction materials; and Davin Lopez, president and CEO of the Mesilla Valley Economic Development Alliance in Las Cruces. Rolando Pablos, CEO of the recently created Boderplex Alliance, an El Paso-based regional economic development organization, will moderate the panel discussion.

A public opening reception where the entrepreneurs and venture capitalists will mingle with people from the community will be take place from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday at The Hub of Human Innovation office at 500 W. Overland, Suite 230, in the Union Plaza District Downtown.

Vic Kolenc may be reached at 546-6421.

What: Paso del Norte Venture Expo

Why: Showcase innovative companies

When: Friday, 2-5:30 p.m.

Where: Camino Real Hotel, 101 S. El Paso, Downtown

Cost: Free

 

Juarez-El Paso Now Articles from July 2013

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Juarez-El Paso Now Magazine Articles July 2013

The articles included in the PDF are from Juarez- El Paso Now Number 66, July 2013 and are titled ” Supply Chain Logisitcs Subdue China: Mexico poised to come through” and “The Stars are Finally Aligned: William D. Sanders”. For more articles like these please visit Juarez-El Paso Now to sign up for a free subscription.

3-D Tissue Printing Will Help Women with Breast Cancer

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3-D Tissue Printing Will Help Women with Breast Cancer-UTEP News- 7-5-13

Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 July 2013 23:23

By Nadia M. Whitehead

UTEP News Service

Research headed by Thomas Boland, Ph.D., director of biomedical engineering at The University of Texas at El Paso, is leading to the development of 3-D printed breast implants for cancer patients who have undergone lumpectomies. Photo by J.R. Hernandez / UTEP News Service

Imagine this: you’re lying on an operating table undergoing liposuction. Moments later, the fat that was removed from your body is placed inside a 3-D printer and printed into a new shape that your body needs – like a breast, if you’ve undergone a lumpectomy or mastectomy.

For years, Thomas Boland, Ph.D., director of biomedical engineering at The University of Texas at El Paso, has been developing technology that is capable of printing live human tissue.

Today, he is also the co-founder and chief science officer of TeVido Biodevices, a biomedical startup company that is ready and willing to take his patent-pending technology to patients, in particular, those who suffer from breast cancer.

Women who are diagnosed with breast cancer are often given one of two options: a lumpectomy, which only removes the tumor, or a mastectomy, the removal of the entire breast.

“About 150,000 women a year have lumpectomies due to breast cancer and they have no good option for reconstruction,” Boland said. “Sometimes they even opt for the removal of the entire breast because then they can actually have a complete reconstruction – like Angelina Jolie did a few weeks ago.”

After the surgery, those who are interested in reconstruction don’t have very many options.

To fill a lumpectomy void, women may opt for fat grafting, a series of fat injections that may not be successful, or even breast reduction and reconstruction, where the healthy breast is reduced in size to match the reconstructed breast.

Women who opt for the removal of the entire breast may face a foreign body response to the silicone or saline-filled implants. Symptoms include pain, scarring and tissue contraction, where the breast begins to appear abnormal and is no longer symmetrical. Some saline-filled implants may even rupture.

However, that could all be avoided with TeVido’s 3-D printed implants.

“What we’re going to do is take the patient’s very own cells and use them so that there won’t be a foreign body response,” Boland said.

Still in the first phases of the study, TeVido is currently conducting studies on mice to verify tissue compatibility.

“What we’re looking for is tissue rejection and anastomosis, where the body’s microvessels [or blood vessels] connect with the skin graft,” said Maria Yanez, Ph.D., a UTEP alumna and staff scientist at TeVido. “It’s still a little early, but what I’ve found so far is that after the implant of the skin graft, fat cells start to grow.”

That’s a good sign.

In order to be successful, the cells need to survive, connect with the host and grow in the space where they’re implanted.

Once the results are completely gathered, Laura Bosworth-Bucher, CEO of TeVido and UTEP alumna toldMEDCITY News that “Next the work will be to expand the size [of the tissue] capability and prove that it works over larger sizes [for human use].”

Bosworth-Bucher, who is a former Fortune 50 executive and holds a degree in metallurgical and materials engineering, told El Paso Inc. that the products could be on the market in as little as seven years.

Although the 3-D printed implants are currently being developed for women who have undergone lumpectomies, Boland believes the technology is capable of printing larger implants for patients who have undergone complete mastectomies. However, before that, more research is needed on printing larger volumes.

In the future, the team predicts that the technology will also be capable of helping patients with diabetes who suffer from chronic, non-healing wounds.

Boland said there’s even a possibility of printing organs – like kidneys and hearts.

“There are a lot of opportunities for more research. For example, fat is important for supporting stem cells – there are a lot of them naturally in your fat and we could use liposuction to isolate them,” he said. “And so it might be possible to regenerate organs that are failing. There is also some evidence that fat lowers scarring in people. So this could potentially help people who have been in accidents or are burned. We could improve their healing by implanting a small, thin layer of fat under their skin where they were scarred.”