A new Agriculture Department program will begin tracing the source of potentially contaminated ground beef as soon as there is an initial positive test. Current procedures require USDA officials to wait until additional testing confirms E. coli before starting their investigation. Under the new process, the source could be traced 24 to 48 hours sooner.
Online crowd-sourcing—in which a task is presented to the public, who respond, for free, with various solutions and suggestions—has been used to evaluate potential consumer products, develop software algorithms, and solve vexing research and development challenges. But diagnosing infectious diseases?
Researchers at McMaster University have developed a rapid testing method using a simple paper strip that can detect E. coli in recreational water within minutes. The new tool can close the gap between outbreak and detection, improving public safety.
With the development of synchrotron infrared spectroscopy, scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have observed, in real time the process of protein phosphorylation—a chemical interaction that controls everything from cell proliferation to differentiation to metabolism—in living cells stimulated by nerve growth factor.
New research suggests that the 5-lipoxygenase enzyme plays an important role in the microgravity-induced cell death that affects astronauts’ immune systems. Forced inhibition of this enzyme’s activity could help astronauts and also lead to therapeutics for the elderly.
A newly developed cell phone-based platform lets health workers accurately read diagnostic tests in the field and chart the spread of diseases worldwide.
Until the development of a new nanomaterial-based sensor in Germany, the brain’s magnetic field was measurable only under technical laboratory conditions. This prevented the technology’s use in medical applications. The new sensors, however, operate at normal conditions. Neither cooling nor external magnetic bias fields are required.
Researchers at Northwestern University's Department of Radiation Oncology and Argonne National Laboratory recently deployed a new non-destructive X-ray microscopy solution from Xradia to image cryogenically preserved cells and advance studies of intra-cellular biology.
Mount Everest has attracted climbers and adventurers for nearly 100 years. Now, a team of U.S. scientists have set up a laboratory at the base of the world’s highest mountain to study the effects of high altitude on humans. A team from the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota says it plans to monitor nine climbers attempting to scale Everest to learn more about the physiology of humans at high altitudes in order to help patients with heart conditions and other ailments.
Nearly half of the 12 million babies born prematurely in developing countries experience episodes of apnea, a sudden stoppage of breathing. Working from that knowledge, five bioengineering students from Rice University created the Babalung Apnea Monitor, which can restart a baby's breathing and raises a flag if it can't.
A new quantum mechanical-based biosensor designed by a team at University of California, Santa Barbara offers potential for detecting biomolecules at ultra-low concentrations. The research team’s technology beats the fundamental limits of a conventional field-effect transistor (FET) designing a Tunnel-FET sensor that is faster and four orders of magnitude more sensitive.
Technological advances have produced implantable, electronic solutions for dosing and therapeutic functions in humans. However, these medical devices use probes, actuators, and electronic controls that need power. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies have recently succeeded in wirelessly transmitting power from a portable transmitter module to a receiver, offering the possibility of wirelessly-powered medical devices.
Using genetic engineering techniques, researchers in Germany have generated cells that emit green fluorescent light when stimulated by the binding of a cognate antigen. Previously antigens, which induce destructive immune responses, could not be identified directly without some prior knowledge of their structure.
Today, scientists map entire genomes mostly for research, but as genome mapping gets faster and cheaper, scientists and consumers have wondered about possible broader use: Would finding all the glitches hidden in your DNA predict which diseases you'll face decades later? Unfortunately, it’s not that simple, say experts.
Microfluidic devices have the potential to be fast, cheap, and portable diagnostic tools. But for the most part, the technology hasn't yet made it to the marketplace. While scientists have made successful prototypes in the laboratory, microfluidic devices—particularly for clinical use—have yet to be manufactured on a wider scale. However, Massachusetts Institute of Technology's David Hardt is working to move microfluidics from the laboratory to the factory.
Our memories leave traces that we may conjure up in remembrance, accompanied by time, place, and sensations. These memory “engrams” are more than just conceptual. Recent optogenetics studies have shown that memories really do reside in very specific brain cells, and simply activating a tiny number of neurons can conjure an entire memory.
With the help of functional magnetic resonance imaging scientists in Germany have identified two areas of the brain that compare the movements of the eye with the visual movements cast onto the retina so as to correctly perceive objects in motion. Without this ability the brain would not be able to distinguish what is in motion: the world or us.
Most heart attacks happen when fatty deposits in an artery burst open, a blood clot forms to seal the break, and the blood clot blocks blood flow. Unfortunately, today's best tests can't predict when that's about to happen. Now scientists have found a clue that one day may help doctors determine if a heart attack is imminent, in hopes of preventing it.
Researchers in Japan have built a multimodal bio-image sensor that can render images of the 2D distribution of proton concentration (pH) and fluorescence intensity for multimodal analyses of biochemical objects.
Remember Slinky, the coiled metal spring that “walks” down stairs with just a push, momentum and gravity? Researchers at NIST have developed their own version of this classic—albeit 10 million times smaller—as a new technology for manipulating and measuring DNA molecules and other nanoscale materials.
A team of researchers has figured out a way to measure nanopores—tiny holes in a thin membrane that can detect single biological molecules such as DNA and proteins—with less error than can be achieved with commercial instruments. The new integrated circuit design could lead to cheaper, faster DNA sequencing.
Distinct patterns of activity—which may indicate a predisposition to care for infants—appear in the brains of adults who view an image of an infant face—even when the child is not theirs, according to a study by researchers at the National Institutes of Health and in Germany, Italy, and Japan.
Despite a century of research, memory storage in the brain has remained mysterious. Evidence points to synaptic connection strengths among brain neurons, but synaptic components are short-lived and yet memories can last lifetimes.Recent has demonstrated a plausible mechanism for encoding synaptic memory in microtubules, major components of the structural cytoskeleton within neurons.
Inspired by the paper-folding art of origami, chemists at the University of Texas at Austin have developed a 3D paper sensor that may be able to test for diseases such as malaria and HIV for less than 10 cents. Such low-cost. point-of-care sensors could be useful in the developing world.
For more than five weeks, a woman's body lay undisturbed in a secluded Texas field. Then a frenzied flock of vultures descended on the corpse and reduced it to a skeleton within hours. Adn it was done on purpose. Not as a crime, but as a scientific experiment into the way human bodies decompose. The results are upending some long-held assumptions about decay.