Inspired by the skin of the sea cucumber, which is normally soft and flexible but becomes rigid in self defense, biomedical engineers at Case Western Reserve University have built a nanostructured polymer mesh that is firm enough to reach the cortex, but begins unlinking in water, causing less brain damage.
For the last six years, researchers at IBM and National Geographic have been conducting one of the most ambitious genomic studies in history. With the help of an algorithm that uses recombinatorial information contained in the unstudied 99% of the human genome, they may have redrawn the map of human migration history.
A new study by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and other institutes traced genetic changes in the brain during a lifetime, has found surprising reversals after fetal development and connected to Alzheimer’s disease findings. Previous investigations have combined transcriptional and genetic analyses in human cell lines, but few have applied these techniques to human neural tissue.
The Archon Genomics X Prize competition is offering $10 million in prize money to researchers who decipher the complete DNA code from 100 people older than 100. The goal? To find out what genetics advantage people who live beyond 100 years have that others do not.
Early detection of breast cancer saves thousands of lives each year. But screening for breast cancer also produces false alarms, which can cause undue stress and costly medical bills. Now, a recent study using patient blood reveals a possible way to reduce the number of false alarms that arise during early screening.
In the 1980s, work with bacterial cells showed that they have mechanosensitive channels, tiny pores in the cells membrane that open when the cell bloats with water, letting charged atoms and other molecules to rush out of the cell. A scientist at Washington University in St. Louis believes plants have similar mechanisms, and is using this theory to learn how plants sense touch, gravity and other physical forces.
Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have turned a benign virus into an engineering tool for assembling structures that mimic collagen, one of the most important structural proteins in nature. The process they developed could eventually be used to manufacture materials with tunable optical, biomedical and mechanical properties.
By investigating a link between atmospheric oxygen levels and rising concentrations of chromium in the rock of ancient sea beds nearly 2.5 billion years ago, researchers in Canada theorize that the oxygen-breathing bacteria arrived on land earlier than previously thought.
Until now, scientists have been unable to determine the structure of glycosaminoglycan (GAG) proteoglycan, or have even agreed whether these complex molecules have well-defined structures. The recent breakthrough should help research into certain types of cancers and may enable certain drug development pathways.
Recent research suggests that losing the ability to make a particular kind of sugar molecule boosted disease protection in early hominids, and may have directed the evolutionary emergence of our ancestors, the genus Homo .
Until now, the basis of day-to-day research work in cell-based laboratories involved the tending of cell cultures by hand. Scientists in Dresden have now created system that completely automates the process of cultivating cells, offering the potential for faster research.
New research from Northwestern University offers strong evidence that the brain uses predictive coding to generate “predictive templates” of specific smells—setting up a mental expectation of a scent before it hits your nostrils.
A putter made by scientists would normally be of interest to professional golfers, but not the one recently created in Japan. With a length of 240 ?m, a width of 30 ?m and a tip of just 2 ?m, golfers would not even be able to see the miniature club, which will be used to putt yeast cells rather than golf balls.
A team of researchers from the University of California, Davis has accomplished the MacGyver-esque task of using everyday iPhones to accomplish high-quality medical-quality imaging and chemical detection. The key is adding spectrometry to the smart phone’s optics.
The Alexandrium catenella algae produces saxitoxin, one of the most toxic biologically produced chemicals in the world. In California, this toxin is increasingly finding its way into shellfish. A new type of quantitative assay has been developed to keep track of the algae.
A technique scientists at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center invented for scanning ancient manuscripts is now being used to probe the human brain, in research that could lead to new medical imaging methods and better treatments for stroke and other brain conditions.
A visiting researcher at Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s High Flux Isotope Reactor has developed a simple but ingenious lighting tool that can be fixed to samples and then pushed directly into the neutron beam. So far, the device has illuminated the response of cyanobacteria to changes in light, and has inspired a possible solar cell technology.
A multidisciplinary team from Stanford University have this week described how they have for the first time engineered human heart cells that can be paced with light using a technology called optogenetics.
Using functional magnetic resonance imaging and computational models, University of California, Berkeley researchers have succeeded in decoding and reconstructing people’s dynamic visual experiences—in this case, watching Hollywood movie trailers.
A team of neuroscientists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory has succeeded in creating what amounts to a GPS system for locating and tracking a vital class of hard-to-identify brain cells. Their innovation integrates optogenetics and retroviral labeling to quickly identify specific cell types.
Imagine a microscopic jet vacuum cleaner, the size of a pen nib that hovers over cell surfaces without ever touching them. Then picture the jet delivering various molecules selectively to the cells. A new device matching this description has been built by McGill University technologists to study a range of cellular processes.
Research based at Princeton University has revealed that newly fertilized cells only narrowly avoid degenerating into fatal chaos. Embryos have also acquired a mechanism to contain this dangerous instability, a finding that could help biologists unravel other mysteries about the first hours of life.
How exactly the hippocampus manages to string together events that are part of the same experience but are separated by "empty" periods of time has been a complete mystery to science. New research, however, has found the neurons that encode sequential moments in a discrete experience.
Researchers from Duke University and The Scripps Research Institute have identified a molecular pathway that plays a key role in stress-related damage to the genome. Until this new study, exactly how chronic stress wreaks havoc on DNA was basically unknown.
To successfully fight infection, the right treatment must be started quickly. But sometimes physicians have difficulty differentiating between a viral or a bacterial affliction. A simple blood test has been developed that should quickly answer this question.