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Better systems needed for medical device cybersecurity

July 20, 2012 6:00 am | News | Comments

Medical devices save countless lives, and increasingly functions such as data storage and wireless communication allow for individualized patient care and other advances. But after their recent study, an interdisciplinary team of medical researchers and computer scientists warn that federal regulators need to improve how they track security and privacy problems in medical devices.

Scientists show new compound virtually eliminates HIV in cell culture

July 20, 2012 3:45 am | News | Comments

A new study by scientists on the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute shows, in cell culture, a natural compound can virtually eliminate human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in infected cells. The compound defines a novel class of HIV anti-viral drugs endowed with the capacity to repress viral replication in acutely and chronically infected cells.

Researchers produce first complete computer model of an organism

July 20, 2012 3:37 am | News | Comments

In a breakthrough effort for computational biology, the world's first complete computer model of an organism has been completed, Stanford University researchers report. A team led by Stanford bioengineering Professor Markus Covert used data from more than 900 scientific papers to account for every molecular interaction that takes place in the life cycle of Mycoplasma genitalium , the world's smallest free-living bacterium.

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Bioengineers to develop smart suit that improves endurance

July 19, 2012 9:18 am | News | Comments

A $2.6 million contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University will enable bioengineers to develop a smart suit that helps improve physical endurance for soldiers in the field. The novel wearable system would potentially delay the onset of fatigue.

Scientists discover genetic changes caused by sun damage

July 19, 2012 9:07 am | News | Comments

Tumorous cancer cells are full of ultraviolet-induced genetic damage caused by sunlight exposure, but which mutations drive this cancer? By creating a method to spot the changes, scientists from several U.S. institutions have identified six genes responsible for mutations in melanoma, three of which of which are the result of damage inflicted by  light.

Scientists pinpoint key ingredient in fighting pneumonia

July 18, 2012 10:07 am | News | Comments

A mysterious protein produced by a wide spectrum of living things is crucial in regulating the immune response to the most common form of pneumonia, a new Yale University School of Medicine study shows.

Fighting obesity with thermal imaging

July 18, 2012 8:48 am | News | Comments

Scientists in the U.K. believe they’ve found a way of fighting obesity through the use of thermal imaging. They are tracing reserves of brown fat—the body’s “good fat”—which plays a key role in how quickly our body can burn calories as energy. By assessing a body’s capacity to burn this fat as heat, they hope to develop interventions that can tweak this capability.

Bioengineers find objects moving in a stream create constructive wakes

July 18, 2012 5:57 am | News | Comments

From driftwood traveling down a river to a blood cell flowing through your artery, objects moving in a stream of fluid are mostly thought to passively go with the flow but not disturb it in controllable ways. Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles have recently found that objects within a confined stream create controllable disturbances that can be used to move mass or heat at high rates, potentially providing simple solutions to performing chemical reactions on particles or cooling microelectronic chips.

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Hopping bacterial enzyme gives insight into epigenetic gene expression

July 18, 2012 5:00 am | News | Comments

University of California, Santa Barbara researchers' discovery of a variation of an enzyme's ability to "hop" as it moves along DNA, modifying the genetic material of a bacteria—and its physical capability and behavior—holds much promise for biomedical and other scientific applications.

Researchers calculate global health impacts of the Fukushima nuclear disaster

July 18, 2012 3:50 am | by Max McClure, Stanford University | News | Comments

In the first detailed analysis of the Fukushima nuclear diaster's global health effects, Stanford University researchers estimate the number of deaths and cases of cancer worldwide resulting from the release of radiation.

HIV immunity study could pave way for vaccine development

July 17, 2012 9:33 am | News | Comments

Two Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists are among the team recently funded to explore ways to create the precise immune factors needed for effective vaccines against HIV. The Duke University-led consortium will largely concentrate on inducing broadly neutralizing antibodies that can prevent HIV-1 infection, as well as on generating protective T-cell and innate immune system responses.

Man-made pores mimic important features of natural pores

July 17, 2012 9:18 am | News | Comments

Inspired by nature, an international research team has created synthetic pores that mimic the activity of cellular ion channels, which play a vital role in human health by severely restricting the types of materials allowed to enter cells. The pores the scientists built are permeable to potassium ions and water, but not to other ions such as sodium and lithium ions.

Frog calls inspire new algorithm for wireless networks

July 17, 2012 7:02 am | News | Comments

Males of the Japanese tree frog have learned not to use their calls at the same time so that the females can distinguish between them. Scientists at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia have used this form of calling behavior to create an algorithm that assigns colors to network nodes—an operation that can be applied to developing efficient wireless networks.

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Neurons derived from cord blood cells may offer new therapeutic option

July 16, 2012 4:46 pm | News | Comments

For more than 20 years, doctors have been using cells from blood that remains in the placenta and umbilical cord after childbirth to treat a variety of illnesses. Now, scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have found a new way—using a single protein, known as a transcription factor—to convert cord blood cells into neuron-like cells that may prove valuable for the treatment of a wide range of neurological conditions.

Nanorobot can be programmed to target different diseases

July 16, 2012 4:09 pm | News | Comments

University of Florida researchers have created a tiny particle that can be programmed to shut down the genetic production line that cranks out disease-related proteins. In laboratory tests, these newly created “nanorobots” all but eradicated hepatitis C virus infection.

Human eye inspires clog-free inkjet printer

July 16, 2012 11:29 am | News | Comments

Clogged printer nozzles waste time and money while reducing print quality. University of Missouri engineers recently invented a clog-preventing nozzle cover by mimicking the human eye.

Titan supercomputer hours awarded to collaborative protein project

July 16, 2012 11:01 am | News | Comments

Scientists at Brookhaven National Laboratory and Stony Brook University have been awarded processing time on a new supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory to study how proteins fold into their 3D shapes.

Lab-engineered muscle implants restore function in animals

July 16, 2012 10:01 am | News | Comments

New research at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center shows that exercise is a key step in building a muscle-like implant in the lab with the potential to repair muscle damage from injury or disease. In mice, these implants successfully prompt the regeneration and repair of damaged or lost muscle tissue, resulting in significant functional improvement.

3D motion and common cold virus offers hope for improved drugs

July 16, 2012 6:28 am | News | Comments

University of Melbourne researchers are now simulating in 3D the motion of the complete human rhinovirus, the most frequent cause of the common cold, on Australia's fastest supercomputer, paving the way for new drug development.

Biophysicists model behavior of protein critical to cell motion

July 16, 2012 4:00 am | News | Comments

Physicists at Lehigh University have created a mathematical model that could benefit researchers who study cell motion, including cancerous cell motion, tissue healing processes, and human embryonic development. Their model consists of partial-differential equations that describe the behavior of actin filaments at the cell's leading edge.

Cancer delivery technique may solve combined drug therapy puzzle

July 15, 2012 2:52 pm | News | Comments

Cancers are notorious for secreting chemicals that confuse the immune system and thwart biological defenses. Some treatments try to neutralize the cancer's chemical arsenal and boost immune response but are rarely successful. Researchers at Yale University have recently developed a system to simultaneously deliver both an immune-system booster and a chemical to counter the cancer's secretions.

Super-resolution microscopy shows detail of biofilm structure

July 12, 2012 10:35 am | News | Comments

A clever new imaging technique discovered at the University of California, Berkeley, reveals a possible plan of attack for many bacterial diseases that form biofilms that make them resistant to antibiotics. By devising a new fluorescent labeling strategy and employing super-resolution light microscopy, the researchers were able to examine the structure of bacterial biofilms that make these infections so tenacious.

Transcription factor that governs heart growth is found

July 12, 2012 8:14 am | News | Comments

This development of the heart in the embryo is a complex, error-prone process that often causes congenital heart defects. Scientists from in Germany have now identified a key molecule that plays a central role in regulating the function of stem cells in the heart. It could be a path to prevention of defects in the future, or even regeneration of damaged hearts.

New strategy advances stem cell culture techniques

July 12, 2012 5:58 am | News | Comments

Given their enormous potential in future treatments against disease, the study and growth of stem cells in the laboratory is widespread and critical. But growing the cells in culture offers numerous challenges. However, a group of researchers has now developed a nanoparticle-based system to deliver growth factors to stem cells in culture.

Giving ancient life another chance to evolve

July 11, 2012 5:34 am | News | Comments

It's a project 500 million years in the making. Only this time, instead of playing on a movie screen in Jurassic Park, it's happening in a laboratory at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Using a process called paleo-experimental evolution, researchers have resurrected a 500-million-year-old-gene from bacteria and inserted it into modern-day Escherichia coli bacteria.

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