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An ultra-sensitive chip for early cancer detection

May 19, 2014

icfo-labonachip-2

An international team of researchers, led by ICFO – Institute of Photonic Sciences in Castelldefels, has developed a “lab-on-a-chip” platform capable of detecting very low concentrations of protein cancer markers in the blood, using the latest advances in plasmonics, nano-fabrication, microfluids and surface chemistry.

Currently, most cancers are detected when the tumor is already composed of millions of cancer cells and the disease is starting to advance… read more

How to create high-speed 3D movies of entire worm brains

May 19, 2014

NewsImage_BrainImaging

Researchers at MIT and the University of Vienna have created an imaging system that can generate 3-D movies of entire brains at the millisecond timescale.

It could help scientists discover how neuronal networks process sensory information and generate behavior.

The team used the new system to simultaneously image the activity of every neuron in the worm Caenorhabditis elegans, as well as the entire brain of a… read more

Nanowire-bridging transistors open way to next-generation electronics

May 19, 2014

EM_nanobridge_channel

Taking the next step beyond silicon integrated circuits, engineers at the University of California, Davis have developed a new approach that allows nonsilicon nanowires and other nanostructures to be combined with silicon surfaces.

It shows promise for a new generation of fast, robust electronic and photonic devices.

Bypassing silicon’s limits

Circuits built on conventionally etched silicon have reached their lower size limit, which restricts operation… read more

Mice with MS-like condition walk again after neural stem-cell treatment

May 19, 2014

neural stem cells

When scientists transplanted human neural stem cells into mice with multiple sclerosis (MS), within a remarkably short period of time, 10 to 14 days, the mice had regained motor skills.

Six months later, they showed no signs of slowing down.

Results from the study demonstrate that the mice experience at least a partial reversal of symptoms. Immune attacks are blunted, and the damaged myelin is repaired, explaining their… read more

Bioprinted 3D liver-mimicking device detoxifies blood

May 16, 2014

ucsd-bioprinted-liver

Nanoengineers at the University of California, San Diego have developed a 3D-printed device inspired by the liver to remove dangerous toxins from the blood.

The device, which is designed to be used outside the body — much like dialysis — uses nanoparticles to trap pore-forming toxins that can damage cellular membranes and are a key factor in illnesses that result from animal bites and stings, and bacterial… read more

IBM Research discovers new class of industrial polymers with exceptional properties

Combine resistance to cracking, strength higher than bone, ability to reform to their original shape (self-heal) and material; could transform manufacturing and fabrication
May 16, 2014

New Ultra-Strong Polymer Reinforced with Carbon Nanotubes

IBM Research scientists have discovered a new class of polymer materials that demonstrate resistance to cracking, strength higher than bone, and the ability to reform to their original shape (self-heal) and original material.

These materials can also be transformed into new polymer structures to further bolster their strength by 50%, making them ultra-strong and lightweight, and could result in cheaper, lighter, stronger and recyclable materials.… read more

Complex interactions may matter most for longevity, not single factors

May 16, 2014

Rand1_0

A new study of the biology of aging by Brown University biologists shows that complex interactions among diet, mitochondrial DNA, and nuclear DNA appear to influence lifespan at least as much as single factors alone. The findings may help scientists better understand the underlying mechanisms of aging and explain why studies of single factors sometimes produce contradictory results.

“I think the main lesson is that these interaction… read more

Synchronized oscillators may allow for computing that works like the brain

May 15, 2014

oscillating_switch

Computing is currently based on binary (Boolean) logic, but a new type of computing architecture created by electrical engineers at Penn State stores information in the frequencies and phases of periodic signals and could work more like the human brain.

It would use a fraction of the energy necessary for today’s computers, according to the engineers.

To achieve the new architecture, they used a thin film… read more

Microchip-like technology allows single-cell analysis

May 15, 2014

A 3-by-3 grid of compartments, analogous to an integrated circuit (credit: Byeonghwa Lim et al./Nature Communications)

Using components similar those that control electrons in microchips, researchers at Duke University and Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology (DGIST) in the Republic of Korea have designed a new device that can sort, store, and retrieve individual cells for study.

Similar to a random-access memory (RAM) chip, the device moves cells (rather than electrons) and could be scaled up to sort and store hundreds of… read more

‘Hyperbolic metamaterials’ closer to reality

May 15, 2014

Hyperbolic metamaterial

Researchers have taken a step toward practical applications for “hyperbolic metamaterials” — ultra-thin crystalline films that could bring optical advances including powerful microscopes, quantum computers, and high-performance solar cells.

Metamaterials have engineered surfaces that contain features, patterns or elements, such as tiny antennas or alternating layers of nitrides that enable unprecedented control of light. Under development for about 15 years, metamaterials owe their unusual potential… read more

The Internet of Things will thrive by 2025 but raise privacy, complexity concerns, experts say

May 15, 2014

(Credit: IBM)

The Internet of Things will make substantial inroads into many aspects of everyday life in the next decade, according to predictions by more than 1,600 experts cited in a report (summarized here) about the future of the Internet by the Pew Research Center Internet Project and Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Center.

According to futurist Paul Saffo, managing director of… read more

Transistors that wrap around tissues and morph with them

May 14, 2014

implanted_devices-utdallas

Electronic devices that become soft when implanted inside the body and can deploy to grip 3-D objects, such as large tissues, nerves and blood vessels have been created by researchers from The University of Texas at Dallas and the University of Tokyo.

These biologically adaptive, flexible transistors might one day help doctors learn more about what is happening inside the body, and also could be used to… read more

Scientists discover protein that can slow brain tumor growth in mice

May 14, 2014

MRI image of glioblastoma (credit: Wikipedia commons)

Biochemists have identified a protein that can be used to slow down or speed up the growth of glioblastoma brain tumors in mice.

A preclinical study led by Eric J. Wagner, Ph.D., and Ann-Bin Shyu, Ph.D., of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) and Wei Li, Ph.D., of Baylor College of Medicine appear in Nature.

“Our work could lead to… read more

A DNA-based nanosensor that detects cancer by its pH

May 13, 2014

dna_nanosensor

Bioengineers at the University of Rome, Tor Vergata and the University of Montreal have used DNA to develop a tool that detects and reacts to chemical changes caused by cancer cells. It may one day be used to deliver drugs to tumor cells.

The researchers’ nanosensor measures pH variations at the nanoscale, indicating how acidic (a lower pH level) or alkaline (a higher pH level).… read more

How to smuggle killer drugs into cancer cells

May 13, 2014

killer drug

Biomedical engineering researchers have developed an anti-cancer drug-delivery method that essentially smuggles the drug into a cancer cell before triggering its release.

“This is an efficient, fast-acting way of delivering drugs to cancer cells and triggering cell death,” says Dr. Ran Mo, lead author of a paper on the work and a postdoctoral researcher in the joint biomedical engineering program at North Carolina State University and the… read more

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