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A quick color-coded test for Ebola

Simple paper strip can diagnose Ebola and other fevers within 10 minutes
February 24, 2015

A new paper diagnostic device can detect Ebola as well as other viral hemorrhagic fevers in about 10 minutes. The device has silver nanoparticles of different colors that indicate different diseases. On the left is the unused device, opened to reveal the contents inside. On the right, the device has been used for diagnosis; the colored bands show positive tests. (credit: Jose Gomez-Marquez, Helena de Puig, and Chun-Wan Yen)

A new test for Ebola from MIT researchers uses a simple paper strip similar to a pregnancy test that can rapidly diagnose Ebola, as well as other viral hemorrhagic fevers such as yellow fever and dengue fever.

The new device is described in the journal Lab on a Chip.

Color-coded test

Currently, the only way to diagnose Ebola is to send patient… read more

Building customized DNA nanotubes step by step

Potential applications include optoelectronics, drug delivery
February 24, 2015

Schematic illustration of the molecular details for the imaging experiment; the bottom-up self-assembly materials are shown, together with a foundation rung (FR) labeled with two fluorophores (red and green) (credit: Amani A. Hariri et al./Nature Chemistry)

McGill University researchers have developed a new low-cost method to build DNA nanotubes block by block. It could help pave the way for scaffolds made from DNA strands for applications such as optical and electronic devices or smart drug-delivery systems.

The current method of constructing DNA nanotubes is based on spontaneous assembly of DNA in solution, which is vulnerable to structural flaws.

The new… read more

A wearable, 3D-printable temperature sensor

February 23, 2015

Fever Alarm Armband2

University of Tokyo researchers have developed a “fever alarm armband,” a flexible, self-powered wearable device that sounds an alarm in case of high body temperature.

The flexible organic components developed for this device are well-suited to wearable devices that continuously monitor vital signs including temperature and heart rate for applications in healthcare settings.

The new device combines a flexible amorphous silicon solar panel, piezoelectric speaker, temperature… read more

Discovery could lead to more powerful graphene-based organic electronic devices

February 23, 2015

A material made of semiconducting polymer placed on top of graphene conducts electric charge extremely well and may enable new electronic devices. This work was featured on the cover of the journal Advanced Functional Materials. (Credit: David Barbero)

In a landmark experiment that may lead to more efficient organic electronic devices, researchers at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory discovered that applying a thin film of semiconducting polymer material to a single layer of graphene allowed for transporting electric charge better than when placed on a thin layer of silicon.

“Our results are among the first to measure the charge transport in these… read more

23andMe granted authorization by FDA to market first direct-to-consumer genetic test

Limited to Bloom Syndrome and autosomal recessive disorders
February 23, 2015

(credit: 23andMe)

23andMe, Inc., a personal genetics company formerly forced by the FDA to halt sales of its direct-to-consumer Personal Genome Service, has now been granted authority by the FDA to market the first direct-to-consumer genetic test under a regulatory classification for novel devices.

The new permission is limited to Bloom Syndrome and autosomal recessive disorders.

The approval came in… read more

Injected into the body, self-healing nanogel acts as customized long-term drug supply

February 23, 2015

MIT-Self-Healing-Gels

MIT chemical engineers have designed a new type of self-healing hydrogel that can be injected through a syringe to supply one or two different drugs at a time.

In theory, gels could be useful for delivering drugs for treating cancer, macular degeneration, or heart disease because they can be molded into specific shapes and designed to release their payload in a specific location over a… read more

A potential breakthrough in using electrical pulses to treat deadly glioblastoma brain tumors

February 20, 2015

Irreversible electroporesis  destroys a cerebral lesion while leaving nearby important vessels and organs unharmed (credit: URMC)

Based on successful results in an experiment with a Labrador retriever using a novel treatment for glioblastoma brain cancer, the National Cancer Institute yesterday (Feb. 19) awarded  Scott Verbridge, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering and mechanics at Virginia Tech , a $386,149 research grant to take a related medical procedure a step closer to using on humans.

The team’s findings from the experiment… read more

Attacking Alzheimer’s with ultrasound

Opening the blood-brain barrier allows the body to remove plaque in the hippocampus
February 20, 2015

plaque size in the hippocampus

For the first time, researchers have reversed some of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease* in mice using magnetic resonance (MR) imaging-guided focused ultrasound.

As KurzweilAI reported in 2012, Sunnybrook Research Institute scientists used MR imaging-guided focused ultrasound to temporarily open the blood-brain barrier (BBB), allowing for more effective delivery of drugs to the brain. The method uses a microbubble contrast agent.… read more

The coming revolution in alternative proteins

February 20, 2015

(credit: FutureFood 2050)

Are you ready for cricket-flour energy bars and “steaks” constructed from strips of lab-grown animal muscle fibers?

Some of us may not have a choice. Feeding the rapidly expanding world population will require 470 million tons of annual meat production by 2050, an increase of more than 200 million tons from current annual levels, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).… read more

An ingredient in olive oil that appears to kill cancer cells

February 20, 2015

(credit: iStock)

A Rutgers nutritional scientist and two cancer biologists at New York City’s Hunter College have found that an ingredient in extra-virgin olive oil kills a variety of human cancer cells without harming healthy cells.

The ingredient is oleocanthal, a compound that ruptures a part of the cancerous cell, releasing enzymes that cause cell death.

Paul Breslin, professor of nutritional sciences in the … read more

This radical air-filter design could help Beijing and L.A. residents breathe easily

February 20, 2015

PM capture by PAN3

Stanford’s Yi Cui and his students have turned a material commonly used in surgical gloves into a low-cost, highly efficient air filter that could be used to improve facemasks and window screens, and maybe even scrub the exhaust from power plants.

Finding himself choked by smog from produced by automobiles and coal power plants on trips to China, Yi Cui, an associate professor of materials science and engineering at… read more

New paper-like material for lithium-ion batteries could boost electric vehicle range

February 19, 2015

Scanning electron microscope image silicon nanofibers after etching, under high magnification (Credit: UCR)

Researchers at the University of California, Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering have developed a novel paper-like material for lithium-ion batteries.

It has the potential to boost by several times the specific energy, or amount of energy that can be delivered per unit weight of the battery.

This paper-like material is composed of sponge-like silicon nanofibers more than 100 times thinner than human hair. It could be used in… read more

Could dark matter cause some mass extinctions and geologic upheavals?

February 19, 2015

NGC 4565, an edge-on spiral galaxy. The stars, dust and gas are concentrated into a thin disc, much like the one in our Milky Way galaxy. (Credit: Jschulman555)

In Earth’s path around and through our Galaxy’s disc, dark matter may perturb the orbits of comets and lead to additional heating in the Earth’s core, both of which could be connected with mass extinction events, according to a research finding by New York University Biology Professor Michael Rampino.

Writing in an open-access paper published today, Feb. 19, in Monthly Notices ofread more

Scientists find ‘strongest’ natural material

February 19, 2015

A scanning electron microscope image of limpet teeth (credit: University of Portsmouth)

Limpet teeth might be the strongest natural material known, with biological structures so strong (3.0 to 6.5 GPa tensile strength) they could be copied to make future cars, boats, and planes, a new study by researchers from the University of Portsmouth has found.

The research was published (open access) Wednesday Feb. 18 in the Royal Society journal Interface.

“Until now, we thought that spider… read more

New algorithms locate where a video was shot from its images and sounds

Could help recognize locations of missing people or terrorist executions in the future
February 18, 2015

sample frames2

Researchers from the Ramón Llull University (Spain) have created a system capable of geolocating some videos by comparing their images and audio with a worldwide multimedia database, for cases where textual metadata is not available or relevant.

In the future, this could help to find people who have gone missing after posting images on social networks, or even to recognize locations of terrorist executions by organizations such as ISIS.… read more

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