Eating the right amount of dietary fiber from breads, cereals, and fruits can help us avoid disease and disability into old age, according to an open-access paper published in The Journals of Gerontology, Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences by scientists from The Westmead Institute for Medical Research in Australia.
June 2, 2016
If robots are going work around humans, they will have to be softer and safer. A Harvard team has designed a new actuator with that in mind. Its movements are similar to those of a human bicep muscle, using vacuum power to automate soft rubber beams. Like real muscles, the actuators are soft, shock-absorbing, and pose no danger, according to the researchers.
The work is led by… read more
A surgically implanted neuroprosthesis has led to substantial improvement in walking speed and distance in a patient with limited mobility after a stroke, according to a single-patient study in the American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation.
The system, programmed to stimulate coordinated activity of hip, knee, and ankle muscles, “is a promising intervention to provide assistance to stroke survivors during daily walking,” write Nathaniel S. Makowski, PhD,… read more
Cornell researchers have developed an interactive prototyping system that prints a wire frame of your design as you design it. You can pause anywhere in the process to test or measure and make needed changes, which will be added to the physical model still in the printer.
In conventional 3-D printing, a nozzle scans across a stage depositing drops of plastic, rising slightly after each pass to… read more
A series of studies over two years with rodents exposed to radio frequency radiation (RFR) found low incidences of malignant gliomas (tumors of glial support cells) in the brain and schwannoma tumors in the heart.*
The studies were performed under the auspices of the U.S. National Toxicology Program (NTP).
Potentially preneoplastic (pre-cancer) lesions were also observed in the brain and heart of male rats… read more
May 27, 2016
Imagine if people with dementia could enhance good memories or those with post-traumatic stress disorder could wipe out bad memories. A Stony Brook University research team has now taken a step toward that goal by manipulating one of the brain’s natural mechanisms for signaling involved in emotional memory: a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine.
The region of the brain most involved in emotional memory is thought to… read more
Scientists from Insilico Medicine, Inc. have trained deep neural networks (DNNs) to predict the potential therapeutic uses of 678 drugs, using gene-expression data obtained from high-throughput experiments on human cell lines from Broad Institute’s LINCS databases and NIH MeSH databases.
The supervised deep-learning drug-discovery engine used the properties of small molecules, transcriptional data, and literature to predict efficacy, toxicity, tissue-specificity, and heterogeneity of response.
May 27, 2016
MIT, Baylor College of Medicine, and Arizona State University Biodesign Institute researchers have developed a radical new top-down DNA origami* design method based on a computer algorithm that allows for creating designs for DNA nanostructures by simply inputting a target shape.
DNA origami (using DNA to design and build geometric structures) has already proven wildly successful in creating myriad forms in 2- and… read more
WEHI | Apoptosis
Researchers at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Australia have discovered a new way to trigger cell death that could lead to drugs to treat cancer and autoimmune disease.
Programmed cell death (a.k.a. apoptosis) is a natural process that removes unwanted cells from the body. Failure of apoptosis can allow cancer cells to grow unchecked or immune cells to inappropriately… read more
Researchers have developed a new method for doping (integrating elements to change a semiconductor’s properties) single crystals of diamond with boron at relatively low temperatures, without degradation.
Diamonds have properties that could make them ideal semiconductors for power electronics. They can handle high voltages and power, and electrical currents also flow through diamonds quickly, meaning the material would make for energy-efficient devices. And they are thermally conductive, which means… read more
May 23, 2016
What used to be dismissed by many as “junk DNA” has now become vitally important, as accelerating genomic data points to the importance of non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) — a genome’s messages that do not specifically code for proteins — in development and disease.
But our progress in understanding these molecules has been slow because of the lack of technologies that allow for systematic mapping of their functions.… read more
Sharing genetic information from millions of cancer patients around the world could revolutionize cancer prevention and care, according to a paper in Nature Medicine by the Cancer Task Team of the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH).
Hospitals, laboratories and research facilities around the world hold huge amounts of this data from cancer patients, but it’s currently held in isolated “silos” that don’t talk to each other, according to… read more
May 20, 2016
University of Virginia School of Medicine have discovered that a gene called Oct4 — which scientific dogma insists is inactive in adults — actually plays a vital role in preventing ruptured atherosclerotic plaques inside blood vessels, the underlying cause of most heart attacks and strokes.
The researchers found that Oct4 controls the conversion of smooth muscle cells into protective fibrous “caps” inside plaques, making the plaques less likely to… read more
British researchers and Google have independently developed revolutionary concepts for Lego-like modular interactive mobile devices.
The British team’s design, called Cubimorph, is constructed of a chain of cubes. It has touchscreens on each of the six module faces and uses a hinge-mounted turntable mechanism to self-reconfigure in the user’s hand. One example: a mobile phone that can transform into a console when a user launches a game.… read more