Inspired by how wireless communication networks use multiple radio frequencies to communicate with multiple users, researchers from the Univ. of California, Los Angeles have developed a new high-speed microscopy technique that is an order of magnitude faster than current fluorescence-imaging technologies.
Researchers hope to hijack a natural process called RNA interference to block the production of proteins linked to disease and treat medical conditions for which conventional drugs do not work, including cancer, heart disease, HIV and Parkinson’s disease. Scientists working at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory took a significant step in that direction: They used x-rays to shed light on a key component of RNA interference in cells.
At the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, experts have been conducting research of “organs” on microchips. Unlike the few other laboratories conducting these types of studies, the Army is specifically looking at potential scenarios that will affect warfighters, especially chemical agent exposure.
Scientists have discovered a natural temperature sensor in a type of bacteria that causes meningitis and sepsis. The sensor allows the bacteria to evade the body’s immune response, leading to life-threatening infections. The Oxford Univ. team found that increasing temperature causes the bacteria to make more of a protective layer that surrounds the bacterium like an 'invisibility cloak' and helps it evade detection by the immune system.
Many viruses infect humans through mucosal surfaces. To help fight these viruses, scientists are working on vaccines that can establish a defense at mucosal surfaces. Vaccines can be delivered to the lungs via an aerosol spray, but are often cleared away before they can provoke an immune response. To overcome that, engineers have developed a new type of nanoparticle that protects the vaccine long enough to generate a strong immune response.
Using a new and super-sensitive instrument, researchers have discovered where a protein binds to plant cell walls, a process that loosens the cell walls and makes it possible for plants to grow. Finding that binding target has been a major challenge for structural biologists because there are only tiny amounts of the protein involved in cell growth and cell walls are very complex.
An intriguing study led by the Univ. of Colorado Boulder may provide a powerful new tool in the quiver of forensic scientists attempting to determine the time of death in cases involving human corpses: a microbial clock. The clock is essentially the lock-step succession of bacterial changes that occur postmortem as bodies move through the decay process.
Researchers are using computer simulations to investigate how ultrasound and tiny bubbles injected into the bloodstream might break up blood clots, limiting the damage caused by a stroke in its first hours. Strokes are the most common cause of long-term disability in the U.S. and the third most common cause of death.
Pacemakers and implantable medical devices often have wireless capabilities that allow emergency workers to monitor patients. But these devices have a potential downside: They can be hacked. Researchers at Rice Univ. have come up with a secure way to dramatically cut the risk that an implanted medical device could be altered remotely without authorization.
Researchers at The Scripps Research Institute discovered that an antibody that binds and neutralizes HIV likely also targets the body’s own “self” proteins. This finding could complicate the development of HIV vaccines designed to elicit this protective antibody, called 4E10, and others like it, as doing so might be dangerous or inefficient.
The basics of conception are familiar to any high school freshman biology student, yet scientists have yet to find the initial molecular mechanisms that set off the cascade of events that form a developing embryo. Yale Univ. geneticists report they have identified one such trigger of life: The finger that pushes that first domino that makes all the other ones fall and initiates the making of an embryo.
Cancer cells metastasize in several stages—first by invading surrounding tissue, then by infiltrating and spreading via the circulatory system. Some circulating cells work their way out of the vascular network, eventually forming a secondary tumor. Now researchers have developed a microfluidic device that mimics the flow of cancer cells through a system of blood vessels. High-resolution time-lapse imaging captures the moment of metastasis.
Pinning down an effective way to combat the spread of HIV, the viral precursor to AIDS, has long been a challenge for scientists and physicians, because the virus is an elusive one that mutates frequently and, as a result, quickly becomes immune to medication. A team of Drexel Univ. researchers is trying to get one step ahead of the virus with a microbicide they’ve created that can trick HIV into “popping” itself into oblivion.
Microscopic, bottle-like structures with corks that melt at precisely controlled temperatures could potentially release drugs inside the body or fragrances onto the skin, according to a recently published study. Typical drug delivery systems act more like sponges than bottles. The researchers hope that the new system may allow for greater control of drug delivery.
Bug spray, citronella candles, mosquito netting—most people will do anything they can to stay away from insects during the warmer months. But those creepy crawlers we try so hard to avoid may offer substantial solutions to some of life’s problems. Researchers using x-ray technology at the Advanced Photon Source were able to take an inside look at several insects, gathering results that go beyond learning about insect physiology and biology.
A “vicious cycle” produces mucus that protects uterine and pancreatic cancer cells and promotes their proliferation, according to researchers at Rice Univ. The researchers offer hope for a therapeutic solution. They found that protein receptors on the surface of cancer cells go into overdrive to stimulate the production of MUC1, which covers the exposed tips of the elongated epithelial cells that coat internal organs to prevent infection.
Do the smallest plankton organisms determine the future of the ocean? A five-week long field experiment shows that pico- and nanophytoplankton benefit from higher carbon dioxide concentrations in the water, causing an imbalance in the food web. In addition, the carbon export to the deep ocean and the production of the climate-cooling gas dimethyl sulfide are diminished—two important functions for the global climate.
Government cancer experts say a drug from Roche has shown effectiveness as a new option to treat breast cancer before tumor-removing surgery. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration panel voted 13-0, with one abstention, that the benefits of Perjeta as an initial treatment for breast cancer outweigh its risks.
More than one billion people worldwide rely on fish as an important source of animal protein, consuming low levels of methylmercury. Methylmercury compounds specifically target the central nervous system, but now researchers have combined synchrotron x-rays with methylmercury-poisoned zebrafish larvae to learn that they may also affect our vision.
Secretion of polysaccharides from the micro community living within the sea ice stick organism together and forms greater particles introducing a rapid transport of carbon to the seafloor. New research now makes it possible to forecast the importance for the global carbon budget of this transport.
Researchers have discovered the details of how cells repair breaks in both strands of DNA, a potentially devastating kind of DNA damage. When chromosomes experience double-strand breaks, cells utilize their genetically similar chromosomes to patch the gaps via a mechanism that involves both ends of the broken molecules. To repair a broken chromosome, a unique configuration of the DNA replication machinery is deployed.
Siri and Watson may seem brainy in certain situations, but to build truly smart, world-changing machines, researchers must understand how human intelligence emerges from brain activity. To help encourage progress in this field, the National Science Foundation (NSF) recently awarded $25 million to establish a Center for Brains, Minds and Machines at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
A Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory-developed biological detection technology has been employed as part of an international collaboration that has detected a virus in bladder cancers. The research is believed to be the first study to demonstrate an association between Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV), also known as human herpesvirus 8, and bladder cancers.
New research suggests it might be possible to spot early signs of multiple sclerosis in patients' spinal fluid, findings that offer a new clue about how this mysterious disease forms. The study released Tuesday was small and must be verified by additional research. But if it pans out, the finding suggests scientists should take a closer look at a different part of the brain than is usually linked to MS.
What can the U.S. military learn from a common squid? A lot about how to hide from enemies, according to researchers at Univ. of California, Irvine. As detailed in a study published online in Advanced Materials, they have created a biomimetic infrared camouflage coating inspired by Loliginidae, also known as pencil squids or your everyday calamari.