Recently Added Most commented

Page 4 of 1,19312345678910last

Researchers use optogenetic light to block tumor development

Uses light-triggered bioelectric current
March 28, 2016

Optogenetics modulation of membrane voltage to control induced tumor-like structures. (Top) Tumor induced in tadpole embryo. (Bottom left) Control embryo not injected with light-sensitive protein is highly fluorescent, indicating relative depolarization. (Bottom right) Embryo injected with light-sensitive protein, causing hyperpolarization and significantly lowering the incidence of tumor formation. Scale bar = 150 micrometers. (credit: Brook T. Chernet et al./Oncotarget)

 

Tufts University biologists have demonstrated (using a frog model*) for the first time that it is possible to prevent tumors from forming (and to normalize tumors after they have formed) by using optogenetics (light) to control bioelectrical signalling among cells.

Light/bioelectric control of tumors

Virtually all healthy cells maintain a more negative voltage in the cell interior compared with the cell… read more

Craig Venter’s team designs, builds first minimal synthetic bacterial cell

New record for the least number of genes needed for independent cell growth
March 28, 2016

A cluster of JCVI-syn3.0 cells, showing spherical structures of varying sizes (scale bar, 200 nm) (credit: Clyde A. Hutchison III et al./Science)

Just 473 genes were needed to create life in a new synthesized species of bacteria created by synthetic biologists from the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) and Synthetic Genomics, Inc.

Knowing the minimum number of genes to create life would answer a fundamental question in biology.

This “minimal synthetic cell,” JCVI-syn3.0, was reported in an open-access paper published last week in the  journal Science. By… read more

New 2D material could upstage graphene

Can function as a conductor or semiconductor, is extremely stable, and uses light, inexpensive earth-abundant elements
March 25, 2016

Si2BN ft

A new one-atom-thick flat material made up of silicon, boron, and nitrogen can function as a conductor or semiconductor (unlike graphene) and could upstage graphene and advance digital technology, say scientists at the University of Kentucky, Daimler in Germany, and the Institute for Electronic Structure and Laser (IESL) in Greece.

Reported in Physical Review B, Rapid Communications, the new Si2BN material was discovered in theory (not yet made… read more

Nano-enhanced textiles clean themselves with light

Catalytic uses for industrial-scale chemical processes in agrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, and natural products also seen
March 25, 2016

Close-up of the nanostructures grown on cotton textiles by RMIT University researchers. Image magnified 150,000 times. (credit: RMIT University)

Researchers at at RMIT University in Australia have developed a cheap, efficient way to grow special copper- and silver-based nanostructures on textiles that can degrade organic matter when exposed to light.

Don’t throw out your washing machine yet, but the work paves the way toward nano-enhanced textiles that can spontaneously clean themselves of stains and grime simply by being put under a light or worn out in… read more

New type of molecular tag makes MRI 10,000 times more sensitive

Could detect biochemical processes in opaque tissue without requiring PET radiation or CT x-rays
March 25, 2016

Duke scientists have discovered a new class of inexpensive and long-lived molecular tags that enhance MRI signals by 10,000-fold. To activate the tags, the researchers mix them with a newly developed catalyst (center) and a special form of hydrogen (gray), converting them into long-lived magnetic resonance “lightbulbs” that might be used to track disease metabolism in real time. Credit: Thomas Theis, Duke University

Duke University researchers have discovered a new form of MRI that’s 10,000 times more sensitive and could record actual biochemical reactions, such as those involved in cancer and heart disease, and in real time.

Let’s review how MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) works: MRI takes advantage of a property called spin, which makes the nuclei in hydrogen atoms act like tiny magnets. By generating a strong… read more

Scientists time-reverse developed stem cells to make them ‘embryonic’ again

May help avoid ethically controversial use of human embryos for research and support other research goals
March 24, 2016

Stem-Cells-Before-and-After-Treatment-ft

University of Michigan Medical School researchers have discovered a way to convert mouse stem cells (taken from an embryo) that have  become “primed” (reached the stage where they can  differentiate, or develop into every specialized cell in the body) to a “naïve” (unspecialized) state by simply adding a drug.

This breakthrough has the potential to one day allow researchers to avoid the ethically controversial use ofread more

How to kill bacteria in seconds using gold nanoparticles and light

Could treat bacterial infections without using antibiotics, which could help reduce the risk of spreading antibiotics resistance
March 24, 2016

zapping bacteria ft

Researchers at the University of Houston have developed a new technique for killing bacteria in 5 to 25 seconds using highly porous gold nanodisks and light, according to a study published today in Optical Materials Express. The method could one day help hospitals treat some common infections without using antibiotics, which could help reduce the risk of spreading antibiotics resistance.

Gold nanoparticles are used because they… read more

Automated lip-reading invented

It's the end of the (privacy) world as we know it...
March 24, 2016

HAL lip-reading

New lip-reading technology developed at the University of East Anglia could help in solving crimes and provide communication assistance for people with hearing and speech impairments.

The visual speech recognition technology, created by Helen L. Bear, PhD, and Prof Richard Harvey of UEA’s School of Computing Sciences, can be applied “any place where the audio isn’t good enough to determine what people are saying,” Bear said. Those… read more

A new nontoxic way to generate portable power

Got a match?
March 23, 2016

In this time-lapse series of photos, progressing from top to bottom, a coating of sucrose (ordinary sugar) over a wire made of carbon nanotubes is lit at the left end, and burns from one end to the other. As it heats the wire, it drives a wave of electrons along with it, thus converting the heat into electricity. (credit: MIT)

Here’s a new idea for a nontoxic battery: light fuel-coated carbon nanotubes on fire (like a fuse) to generate electricity.

Sounds crazy but it works, according to inventor Michael Strano, the Carbon P. Dubbs Professor in Chemical Engineering at MIT. Plus it avoids toxic materials such as lithium, which can be difficult to dispose of and that have limited global supplies),

The new approach is… read more

Exploring long-range communications in the brain

March 23, 2016

Red and green dots reveal a region in the brain that that is very dense with synapses. A special fluorescent protein allows Dr. Ofer Yizhar and his group to record the activity of the synapses. (credit: Weizmann Institute of Science)

Weizmann Institute of Science researchers have devised a new way to track long-distance communications between nerve cells in different areas of the brain. They used optogenetic techniques (using genetic engineering of neurons and laser light in thin optical fibers to temporarily silence long-range axons, effectively leading to a sustained “disconnect” between two distant brain nodes.

By observing what happens when crucial connections are disabled, the researchers could… read more

DARPA’s ‘Targeted Neuroplasticity Training’ program aims to accelerate learning ‘beyond normal levels’

The transhumanism-inspired goal: train superspy agents to rapidly master foreign languages and cryptography
March 23, 2016

neurostimulation_ft

DARPA has announced a new program called Targeted Neuroplasticity Training (TNT) aimed at exploring how to use peripheral nerve stimulation and other methods to enhance learning.

DARPA already has research programs underway to use targeted stimulation of the peripheral nervous system as a substitute for drugs to treat diseases and accelerate healing*, to control advanced prosthetic limbs**, and to restore tactile sensation.

But now… read more

Printing nanomaterials with plasma on flexible surfaces and 3D objects

March 22, 2016

plasma printing-ft

Researchers at NASA Ames and Stanford Linear Accelerator Center have developed a new method that uses plasma to print nanomaterials onto a 3-D object or flexible surface, such as paper or cloth.

The technique could make it easier and cheaper to build devices like wearable chemical and biological sensors, integrated circuits, and flexible memory devices and batteries.

Some nanomaterials can be printed currently using aerosol printing techniques, but… read more

A morphing metal for soft robots and other machines

Imagine an aircraft that could alter its wing shape in midflight and, like a pelican, dive into the water before morphing into a submarine.
March 22, 2016

Morphed metal configurations-ft

Cornell University engineering professor Rob Shepherd and his group have developed a hybrid material combining a stiff metal called Field’s metal and a soft, porous silicone foam. Think T-1000 Terminator.

The material combines the best properties of both — stiffness when it’s called for, and elasticity when a change of shape is required. The material also has the ability to self-heal following damage.

“Sometimes you want a robot, or… read more

A wearable graphene-based biomedical device to monitor and treat diabetes

March 22, 2016

GP-hybrid-Electrochemical-Device-Array-on-the-Human-Skin-ft

A  wearable graphene-based patch that allows for accurate non-invasive blood-sugar diabetes monitoring and painless drug delivery has been developed by researchers at The Institute for Basic Science (IBS) Center for Nanoparticle Research in South Korea.

The device uses a hybrid of gold-doped graphene and a serpentine-shape gold mesh to measure pH (blood acidity level) and temperature by measuring the amount of glucose in sweat. If abnormally high levels… read more

Transdermal implant releases antibodies to trigger immune system to clear Alzheimer’s plaques

Test with mice over 39 weeks showed dramatic reduction of amyloid beta plaque load in the brain and reduced phosphorylation of the protein tau, two signs of Alzheimer's
March 21, 2016

Infographic_en-ft

EPFL scientists have developed an implantable capsule containing genetically engineered cells that can recruit a patient’s immune system to combat Alzheimer’s disease.

Placed under the skin, the capsule releases antibody proteins that make their way to the brain and “tag” amyloid beta proteins, signalling the patient’s own immune system to attack and clear the amyloid beta proteins, which are toxic to neurons.

To be most effective,… read more

Page 4 of 1,19312345678910last
close and return to Home