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Targeted brain stimulation aids stroke recovery in mice

Works even when initiated five days after stroke occurred
August 19, 2014

Optogenetic treatment (Credit: Deisseroth Laboratory)

Stanford University School of Medicine have found that light-driven stimulation technology called optogenetics enhances stroke* recovery in mice — even when initiated five days after stroke occurred.

The mice showed significantly greater recovery in motor ability than mice that had experienced strokes but whose brains weren’t stimulated.

“In this study, we found that direct stimulation of a particular set of nerve cells in the brain —… read more

Targeted Delivery for Nanoparticles

April 10, 2008
These microscopic discs, made of porous silicon, can be used to deliver nanoparticles to tumors to treat cancer (University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston)

As an alternative to chemotherapy, research groups are developing approaches that use microscopic carriers to deliver a variety of particles–including drugs, molecular tags that target tumors, and imaging agents to monitor and destroy cancer cells.

These microscopic delivery vehicles would evade the body’s defenses and target blood vessels near a tumor, then release their payload.

Targeted Gene Therapy Provides Relief For Chronic Pain

January 23, 2008

Mount Sinai School of Medicine researchers successfully treated chronic pain with targeted gene therapy that simulates the pain-killing effect of opiate drugs.

They designed a viral vector to carry the gene into primary sensory neurons to selectively activate opiate receptors. The treated rats remained symptom-free for an extended period of time.

If the method works in humans, gene therapy could become a treatment alternative for patients with severe… read more

Targeted nanoparticles show success in clinical trials

April 6, 2012

Novel nanoparticles contain a polymer core (red) that traps an anticancer compound (green) that are together shrouded by another polymer (blue) and a molecule to target prostate cancer cells (purple).  Credit: J. Hrkach et al., Science Translational Medicine

Targeted therapeutic nanoparticles that accumulate in tumors while bypassing healthy cells have shown promising results in an ongoing clinical trial, according to a new paper.

The nanoparticles feature a homing molecule that allows them to specifically attack cancer cells, and are the first such targeted particles to enter human clinical studies.

Originally developed by researchers at MIT and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, the particles… read more

Targeted nanospheres find, penetrate, then fuel burning of melanoma

February 2, 2009

Hollow gold nanospheres equipped with a targeting peptide find melanoma cells, penetrate them deeply, and then cook the tumor when bathed with near-infrared light, University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center researchers have shown.

Targeting specific astrocyte brain-cell receptors found to boost memory in mice

A drug that targets those receptors could improve memory in Alzheimer's disease
January 27, 2015

Astrocytes are stained in red, the A2A receptors in green, the overlap between the two shows as yellow, and the cell nuclei are in blue. (credit: Anna Orr/Gladstone Institutes)

Gladstone Institutes researchers have uncovered a new memory regulator in the brain that may offer a potential treatment to improve memory in Alzheimer’s disease using a drug that targets those receptors.

They found in their research* that decreasing the number of A2A adenosine receptors in astrocyte brain cells improved memory in healthy mice. It also prevented memory impairments in a mouse model of… read more

Targeting the Brain with Sound Waves

June 4, 2009
(William Tyler, Arizona State University)

Ultrasonic waves could one day be used as a noninvasive alternative to deep-brain stimulation (DBS) and vagus nerve stimulation in treating neurological disorders, says William Tyler, a neuroscientist at Arizona State University, who has started a company called Supersonix to commercialize the technology.

Targeting tumors the natural way

March 26, 2007

By mimicking Nature’s way of distinguishing one type of cell from another, University of Wisconsin-Madison scientists now report they can more effectively seek out and kill cancer cells while sparing healthy ones.

In a series of cell-based experiments, the researchers’ system recognized and killed only those cells displaying high levels of receptors known as integrins. These molecules, which tend to bedeck the surfaces of cancer cells and… read more

Targeting tumors using silver nanoparticles

June 18, 2014

Prostate cancer cells were targeted by two separate silver nanoparticles (red and green), while the cell nucleus was labeled in blueusing Hoescht dye (credit: UCSB)

Scientists at UC Santa Barbara have designed a silver spherical nanoparticle encased in a shell coated with a peptide that enables it to target tumor cells.

The shell is etchable so those nanoparticles that don’t hit their target can be broken down and eliminated. The research findings appear in the journal Nature Materials.

The core of the nanoparticle employs a phenomenon called plasmonics. In plasmonics, nanostructured… read more

Taser’s latest police weapon: the tiny camera and the cloud

February 22, 2012

AXON flex (credit: TASER International)

TASER International has announced new kind of camera called AXON flex, to be worn by police officers.

The half-ounce unit is about the size of a cigar stub and clips on to a collar or sunglasses of an officer. It can record two hours of video during a shift. The information is transferred by a docking station to a local machine, and eventually stored… read more

Task force to Study Societal Implications of Nanotech

August 16, 2005

The Center for Responsible Nanotechnology (CRN) has announced the charter members of a new Task Force to develop comprehensive policy recommendations for safe and responsible use of molecular manufacturing.

“Progress toward developing the technical requirements for desktop molecular manufacturing is moving faster than it was when we founded CRN two years ago,” said Mike Treder, Executive Director of CRN.

“The recent announcement of a Technology Roadmap for Productive… read more

Tasmanian tiger DNA ‘lives’ again

May 20, 2008

University of Melbourne researchers have shown that a DNA fragment taken from Tasmanian tiger samples (the thylacine, extinct for 70 years) can be added to mouse embryos, where the DNA functioned normally in making collagen.

This is the first time that genetic material from an extinct animal has functioned inside a living host. Other researchers have resurrected extinct DNA inside cell lines in the lab.

This work isn’t… read more

Tata Motors unveils the $2,500 ‘People’s Car’

January 11, 2008

Indian company Tata Motors has unveiled a tiny vehicle that is also affordable, safe, and fuel-efficient: “the People’s Car,” aka “Nano.”

The Nano, which can get up to 54 mpg and seat four people, will go on sale for $2,500 (1-lakh) in India later this year.

Tattoo biosensor warns when athletes are about to ‘hit the wall’

July 25, 2013

tattoo_biosensor_acs

University of California San Diego neuroengineers have developed a real-time electrochemical biosensor that can alert marathoners, competitive bikers, and other “extreme” athletes that they’re about to “bonk,” or “hit the wall.”

The sensor can be applied to the human skin like a temporary tattoo that stays on and flexes with body movements.

In ACS’ journal Analytical Chemistry, Joseph Wang and colleagues describe the first… read more

Tattoo tracks sodium and glucose via an iPhone

July 25, 2011

Phone Sensor

Northeastern University researchers have developed a nanosensor “tattoo” with a modified iPhone that allows users to closely monitor sodium levels (to prevent dehydration), and glucose levels.

The team injected a solution containing nanoparticles into the skin. This left no visible mark, but the nanoparticles fluoresced when exposed to a target molecule, such as sodium or glucose. A modified iPhone (with three LEDs in a case) tracked changes in the level of… read more

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