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A drug that improves endurance

July 17, 2013

Electron microscopy analysis of muscle from Nr1d1−/− mice (with lower Rev-erbα) and WT (wild type, or normal) mice. Black arrows: swollen, less dense mitochondria; white arrowheads, normal mitochondria. Scale bar, 1 μm.  (Credit: Estelle Woldt et al./Nature Medicine)

A drug candidate designed by scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) significantly increases exercise endurance in animal models, an international group of scientists has shown.

These findings could lead to new approaches to helping people with conditions that acutely limit exercise tolerance, such as obesity, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and congestive heart failure, as well as the decline of… read more

A drug-delivery technique to bypass the blood-brain barrier

Could benefit a large population of patients with neurodegenerative disorders
October 26, 2015

Drug-Delivery-across-Blood-Brain-Barrier-ft

Researchers at Massachusetts Eye and Ear/Harvard Medical School and Boston University have developed a new technique to deliver drugs across the blood-brain barrier and have successfully tested it in a Parkinson’s mouse model (a line of mice that has been genetically modified to express the symptoms and pathological features of Parkinson’s to various extents).

Their findings, published in the journal Neurosurgery, lend hope to patients with… read more

A Drug-Dispensing Lens

May 22, 2009

Eyenovations has developed contact lenses that can deliver drugs to the eye for a month or more, using a hydrogel lens with a polymer film inside that contains the medication.

Uses include delivery of medicine without relying on frequent eyedrops for patients with glaucoma and for delivering antibiotics following eye surgery.

A durable, low-cost water splitter made of silicon and nickel

New fuel cells can more efficiently generate electricity when the sun isn't shining or demand is high
November 18, 2013

his image shows two electrodes connected via an external voltage source splitting water into oxygen (O2) and hydrogen (H2). The illuminated silicon electrode (left) uses light energy to assist in the water-splitting process and is protected from the surrounding electrolyte by a 2-nm film of nickel. (Illustration: Guosong Hong, Stanford University)

Stanford researchers have developed an inexpensive, corrosion-free device that uses light to split water into oxygen and clean-burning hydrogen.

The goal is to supplement solar cells with hydrogen-powered fuel cells that can generate electricity when the sun isn’t shining or demand is high.

The novel device — a silicon semiconductor coated in an ultrathin layer of nickel — could help pave the way for large-scale production of… read more

A Face-Finding Search Engine

September 18, 2008

Carnegie Mellon University researchers are developing software that could identify a person’s face in a low-resolution video and could be used to identify criminals or missing persons, or could be integrated into next-generation video search engines.

A Fast and Simple Cocaine Detector

March 13, 2006

UCSB researchers have created sensors using specific DNA sequences, combined with off-the-shelf components, that can detect cocaine in the blood and other substances.

The sensor consists of a gold electrode covered in specific strands of DNA. When the target molecule, in this case cocaine, binds to the DNA, it changes conformation. That change increases current flow through the electrode, creating a measurable electronic signal that can be read by… read more

A fast cell sorter shrinks to cell phone size

October 6, 2015

An artist's conception of an acoustic cell sorter is the cover image on the current issue of Lab on a Chip. (credit: Huang Group/Penn State)

Penn State researchers have developed a new lab-on-a-chip cell sorting device based on acoustic waves that is capable of the kind of high sorting throughput necessary to compete with commercial fluorescence activated cell sorters, described in the cover story in the current issue of the British journal Lab on a Chip.

Commercial fluorescence activated cell sorters have been highly successful in the past 40 years at rapidly and… read more

A fast way to measure DNA repair

April 24, 2014

NewsImage_DNArepair

MIT researchers have developed a test that can rapidly assess several DNA repair systems, which could help determine individuals’ risk of developing cancer and help doctors predict how a given patient will respond to chemotherapy drugs.

Our DNA is under constant attack from many sources, including environmental pollutants, ultraviolet light, and radiation. Fortunately, cells have several major DNA repair systems that can fix… read more

A fast, accurate, nanoscale ‘biochemical nose’ sensor

Can be used in food safety, medical diagnosis, chemical analysis, and a wide array of other fields, with mass production on a wafer scale planned
August 5, 2015

A nanoplasmonic resonator (NPR) consists of a thin silicon dioxide layer sandwiched between metallic nanodisks. NPRs can enhance surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopic (SERS) signals by a factor of 60 billion. (credit: Cheng Sun et al./ ACS Nano)

Imagine being able to test your food in your kitchen to quickly determine if it carried any deadly microbes. Technology now being commercialized by Optokey may soon make that possible.

Optokey, a startup based in Hayward, California, has developed a miniaturized sensor using surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) that can quickly and accurately detect or diagnose substances at a molecular level. The technology is based on… read more

A fast, high-quality, inexpensive 3-D camera

Overcomes the quality and lighting limitations of the Kinect
April 26, 2015

Motion Contrast 3D prototype scanner

Northwestern University engineers have developed a 3-D capture camera that produces high-quality images and works in all environments, including outdoors, overcoming limitations of Microsoft’s Kinect. It’s also designed to be inexpensive.

The research is headed by Oliver Cossairt, assistant professor of electrical engineering and computer science at Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering,

Both first and second generation… read more

A Fast, Programmable Molecular Clock

October 31, 2008
(UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering)

UC San Diego bioengineers have created the first stable, fast, and programmable genetic clock that reliably keeps time by the blinking of fluorescent proteins inside E. coli cells.

To create the clock, UC San Diego scientists genetically engineered a molecular oscillator composed of multiple gene promoters, which turn genes on in the presence of certain chemicals, and genes themselves, one of which codes for a fluorescent protein.… read more

A Fast, Sensitive Virus Detector

January 10, 2007

A sensor that measures the concentration of viruses in minutes could make possible a handheld device that cheaply and quickly spots pathogens.

A faster Internet via machine learning

July 21, 2013

remy_tcp

MIT researchers have developed a computer system called Remy that automatically generates TCP congestion-control algorithms that yield transmission rates two to three times as high as those designed by humans.

TCP (transmission control protocol) is a core protocol governing the Internet that prevents network congestion by regulating the rate at which computers send data, among other functions.

[More]

A faster neuron-activity sensor for charting the brain in real time

July 29, 2013

mouse_neuron_expressing_GCaMP3

Princeton University researchers have created “souped up” versions of the calcium-sensitive proteins that for the past decade or so have given scientists an unparalleled view and understanding of brain-cell communication.

Reported July 18 in the journal Nature Communications, the enhanced proteins developed at Princeton respond more quickly to changes in neuron activity, and can be customized to react to different, faster rates of neuron activity.… read more

A Faster Way to Detect Heart Attacks

May 13, 2008

University of Texas at Austin researchers are testing a “nano-biochip” made of silicon that could detect heart attacks based on the proteins found in a patient’s saliva.

The dime-sized chip, read in a toaster-sized analyzer, could be used concurrently with EKGs in ambulances.

Heart attacks are currently diagnosed by biomarkers in the blood and electrocardiograms. EKGs miss a large number of heart attacks, particularly those with lesser or… read more

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