A new optical coherence tomography technology developed by a Massachusetts Institute of Technology team has made it possible for users of endoscopy to see below the surface of the colon or esophagus to image microscopic pre-cancerous changes. Traditional screening methods were unable to offer this information.
Using a so-called Langendorff heart?an isolated rodent heart flushed with a nutrient solution in place of blood?scientists from Germany were for the first time able to show that nanoparticles have a clearly measurable effect on the heart.
The invention of green fluorescent protein (GFP) revolutionized protein biology. Now, researchers Weill Cornell Medical College are hoping to do the same for RNA research with their development of a fluorescent tagging tool made from RNA that mimics the behavior of GFP. It’s been dubbed “Spinach” for its bright green color.
Yale University researchers examined for the first time age-related changes in the activity of neurons in the prefrontal cortex and found that as it ages the brain appears to accumulate excessive levels of a molecule that inhibits neuron firing. Interestingly, the research shows that such accumulation might be reversible.
About the size of a nine-volt battery, a silicone chip invented by researchers in Canada allows scientists to simultaneously analyze 300 cells individually by routing fluid carrying cells through microscopic tubes and valves. The cells fall in place like pinballs, facilitating faster analysis.
Flying in the face of years of scientific belief, University of Illinois researchers have demonstrated that sugar doesn't melt, it decomposes.The finding should help food scientist create yummier flavors and better textures, and even help the pharmaceutical industry provide a better “spoonful of sugar”.
A glucose meter is one of the few widely available devices that can quantitatively detect target molecules in a solution. By adding functional molecular DNA sensors to the meter, University of Illinois researchers have allowed these meters to detect much more than glucose.
Biochemists have hit mosquitoes where it hurts most: their blood meal. Inhibiting a molecular process the insect’s cells use to direct proteins to their proper destinations, they have found, causes more than 90% of affected mosquitoes to die within 48 hours of feeding.
Using nanotechnology to anchor sensors to the membranes of individual cells, researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital have developed a platform technology for monitoring single-cell interactions as they happen. The breakthrough could be a key technology in personalized medicine.
The brown rot fungus Serpula lacrymans causes millions of dollars worth of damage to homes and buildings around the world. However, its ability to break down cellulose in wood has made it a prime sequencing target for researchers. Comparative genomics are shedding light on its ability.
Researchers at the University of Washington have determined the atomic architecture of a sodium channel. The achievement opens new possibilities for better drugs to address pain, epilepsy, and heart rhythm disturbances.
An Atlanta-based company, DigitalVision, is perfecting its next-generation optometry and opthamology instrument with the help of Georgia Tech. The VisionOptimizer, with its 24-inch telescope-grade mirror, is intended to provide more accurate vision measurements, along with a more patient-friendly and engaging vision test.
The factors controlling degeneration of the human brain are still mostly unknown. However, researchers in Germany have found a function for the previously mysterious cannabinoid-1 receptor. In experiments with mice, they switched off this receptor and the animals showed signs of degeneration, as seen in people with dementia, much faster than normal.
Sunburns can be painful, but until now scientists weren’t sure what exactly was behind the hurting. Recent findings on proteins known as chemokines has found that ultraviolet B irradiation of these molecules can trigger inflammatory symptoms in nerve fibers. The findings could lead to drugs that block the activity of this molecule.
Researchers at the Salk Insitute have for the first time been able to genetically incorporate “unnatural" amino acids, such as those emitting green fluorescence, into neural stem cells, which then differentiate into brain neurons with the incandescent "tag" intact. The new technique should allow real-time visual studies of human stem cells instead of previous biochemical approaches.
Alexander Pines and Vikram Bijaj, experts on nuclear magnetic resonance, invented a remote NMR/MRI technology that won a 2011 R&D 100 Award. Building on this achievement, Pines' team at Berkeley Lab has demonstrated that a monolithic chromatograph column can be used to separate small molecules on a timescale that is compatible with this NMR/MRI technology. The breakthrough represents an important first step to portable chromatographic devices.
Archaea are among the oldest known life-forms, but remain mysterious even after biologists recognized these single-celled organisms as a distinct domain of life. Researchers using high-resolution electron microscopy, including the R&D 100 Award-winning FEI Titan S/TEM, have discovered minute granules that are extremely efficient at storing energy.
Scientists have shown for the first time that the loudest animal on earth, relative to its body size, is the tiny water boatman, Micronecta scholtzi. At 99.2 decibels, this represents the equivalent of listening to an orchestra play loudly while sitting in the front row.
Scientists looking for possible ways to cut down on excessive methane emissions from livestock found a potential answer in an unlikely place: the gut of the Australian Tammar wallaby. This species releases 80% less methane per unit of energy than other animals, and researchers have isolated and grown cultures of the bacteria responsibly.
At the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, scientists have discovered chemical traces of a pigment, an important component of color, that once formed patterns in the feathers of the fossilized birds. The finding will help tremendously in determining what the first birds looked like more than 100 million years ago.
Biofuel production is reliant on acids and bases from the pulp and paper industry. Ionic liquids are an alternative, but the salt usually hurts the cellulases used to generate sugar. Researchers at the Joint Genome Institute, however, have pulled a salt-tolerant enzyme from a Great Salt Lake organism and genetically engineered it to become the basis for a future biofuel technology platform.
First documented by Aristotle, Motion Aftereffect is the well-known phenomenon that describes what the brain does when the eyes focus on a moving pattern. As a pattern moves, the eyes adjust to the motion. When the eyes shift to a motionless objects, the brain overcompensates, telling itself the object is moving in the opposite direction. Scientists now think they’ve figured out why.
In 2008, Stanford researchers demonstrated the use of nanoparticle-aided Raman spectroscopy to look at microscopic structures, including nascent tumors, deep inside the body. That team has now conducted extensive preclinical tests and shown that the gold nanoparticles can be safely administered into the colon and used with a Raman endoscope to image the inside of the large intestines.
An international team of scientists using Diamond Light Source, the UK’s national synchrotron facility, has successfully solved the complex 3D structure of the human Histamine H1 receptor protein. The breakthrough, which involved Scripps Institute researchers, lets scientists begin work on third-generation anti-histamine drugs that reduce side effects.
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute engineer Cynthia Collins will be using some valuable space aboard Atlantis, the final mission of the shuttle program, to study the impacts of microgravity on dangerous bacteria. Gravity could have important implications on the formation of biofilms, which are the more difficult-to-kill forms of some virulent strains.