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Pigeons wearing tiny backpacks are monitoring London's air quality (Tomorrow Daily 332)

Scientists test out an expandable polymer to fill gaps in human spines after tumor removal; also, domesticated racing pigeons take to the London sky to check air pollution levels.

Removing spinal tumors is not only a difficult procedure in and of itself, but there's also the aftermath of that procedure, which involves replacing vertebrae and other spinal structures with complex devices in an equally punishing surgery. Scientists at the Mayo Clinic are currently testing an expandable bone graft made with a special biodegradable polymer that would be much more easily implantable, and would absorb fluid and grow to the perfect replacement size for missing spinal structures.

Meanwhile, Londoners might catch a glimpse of the Pigeon Air Patrol, a group of 10 domesticated racing pigeons equipped with tiny backpacks. They'll be soaring over the city, monitoring various levels of air quality and using Twitter to respond to inquiring Londoners about the pollution levels in their neighborhood. Did we mention the pigeons look super adorable in those little harnesses?

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332: Pigeons wearing tiny backpacks are monitoring London's air quality (Tomorrow Daily)

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