Two studies featuring research from Weill Cornell Medical College have uncovered surprising details about the complex process that leads to the flow of neurotransmitters between brain neurons. Their surprising discovery is what while an individual neuron retrieves all of its synaptic vesicles at pretty much the same speed, those speeds can vary four-fold across different neurons even when performing the same function.
A new technique developed at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute allows researchers to collect large amounts of biochemical information from a very small amount of bone. Researchers hope the innovation will help combat osteoporosis and possibly usher in a proteomics-based approach to analyzing bone quality.
We’ve long known that some birds and sea turtles sense the Earth’s magnetic field as a tool for navigating through long-distance migrations. New research now shows that the human retina protein, CRY2, has the molecular capability to function as a light-sensitive magnetic sensor, reopening an area of sensory biology for further exploration.
Measuring the density of living cells is tricky because it requires a tool that can weigh cells in their native fluid environment, to keep them alive, and a method to measure each cell in two different fluids. MIT researchers have finally succeeded in their work, drawing on the same principle that Archimedes used 2,000 years ago to determine the density of a king’s crown.
Certain types of carbon nanotubes could cause cancer in the lining of the lung, University of Edinburgh research recently shows. The study in mice found short carbon nanotubes appear relatively harmless if they entered lung cavities, but longer nanotubes could get stuck and cause mesothelioma. The study suggests production line workers might be at risk.
The source of one of the world’s worst E. coli outbreaks is still proving elusive to science. So far, one strain from a German patient has been sequenced by Chinese and German scientists. While the genetic information is preliminary, experts say there are a few hints about where the bacteria came from and why it might be so lethal.
Using nuclear magnetic resonance, scientists at Ames Lab have identified the composition that gives bone its outstanding properties. What researchers already knew was that thin nanocrystals of carbonated apatite gives bone its stiffness. What they discovered, however, was the compound that gives bone it’s balance of flexibility and brittleness: citrate.
A Harvard expert in cultural heritage microbiology has made the claim that the famous Egyptian pharaoh may have been buried quickly and furtively. He makes this conclusion based on mysterious brown spots located on a piece of artwork on the tomb’s walls that have stumped archaeologists for decades. The moisture-rich environment of a tomb closed before the paint was dry, he says, may have led to a microbe-friendly environment.
In 2008, a research team published the first complete structure of the protein complex that transports sticky appendages, or pili. Now, the Brookhaven Lab-led group has solved the puzzle of how the bacteria are able to do this. It’s an important finding because these pili allow bacteria like E. coli to infect human organs.
Medicine and technology are converging in patient care at a faster pace than most people realize. Space age advancements from point-of-care health technologies like telemedicine to medical robots performing surgery are fast becoming commonplace in many hospitals. What's next?
Organized by a network of researchers in partnership with the American and the French Cell Biology Societies, the first World Cell Race was introduced to gather more data about the mechanical properties underlying cell migration. Researchers from all around the world are invited to choose their fastest cell line and send them to the closest participating Nikon Imaging Center.
IBM is still perhaps two years from marketing a medical Watson, but Columbia Univ. medical school professor Dr. Herbert Chase, who is working with the company to adapt the computer for medical tasks, says its ability to understand plain language and access medical history and symptoms might mean quicker diagnoses and treatments.
Rob Summers lost his ability to walk five years ago after a hit-and-run accident. But now he is standing again after the implantation of an electrode-based device that uses his own nervous system to control standing and stepping motions.
Even as the brain continues hold onto its secrets, researchers are now parsing out what developed first and when. According to a new analysis of the some of the earliest mammals by researchers at the Carnegie Museum and the Univ. of Texas, complex brains started forming first with the regions that handle the sense of smell.
Scientists have already discovered that they can “read” minds by watching brain activity with a magnetic resonance imaging. They can tell, for example, when a person is looking at a particular photo. A Stanford computer scientist has taken the experiment further, however, showing that minds are “readable” even after drastic changes are made to the photos.
Life Technologies Corp. announced that the company has signed a collaborative agreement with San Diego-based Gen-Probe Inc. to assist Gen-Probe in obtaining FDA regulatory clearance for transplant diagnostic and other assays to be run on Life’s 3500 Dx Genetic Analyzer.
Researchers in Denmark have published a new method for making detailed x-ray images of the myelin sheaths of human brain nerve cells, which are important research targets for multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease. Their combination of small-angle x-ray scattering and computed tomography provides imaging levels formerly achievable only with surgery.
Stem cells have been found in bone marrow and some other parts of the body, but until a recent study that showed positive effects on lungs in mice it hasn't been clear whether such a versatile cell existed in the lung. The discovery suggests that stem cells in the lung can make a wide variety of the organ's tissues.
The life science company Cellendes in Germany has developed synthetic hydrogels that make it possible to culture cells in three-dimensional environments. Their invention has fundamental advantages over other hydrogels for three-dimensional cultivation, also on the market.
By studying neurons in the hippocampus of mice learning to navigate a water maze, neurobiologists in Switzerland have demonstrated a direct link between the formation of new synapses in the brain and a learning process. Their work is evidence that a physical structure change occurs when learning takes place, and it is necessary for the precision of that learning.
For the first-time, physicians at a hospital in Virginia have presented data on the brain temperature of a human obtained non-invasively. Doctors have long sought a way to do this without inserting a probe through skull, and the new instrument does this by calculating temperatures by detecting microwave emissions produced by all human tissue.
Bacterial infections really stink. And that could be the key to a fast diagnosis. Researchers have demonstrated a quick, simple method to identify infectious bacteria by smell using a low-cost array of printed pigments as a chemical sensor.
Will we hear the light? That’s basically the question University of Utah scientist Richard Rabbitt is asking after leading a study that found heart cells and inner-ear cells can be activated using optical infrared pulses. The new mechanism for control offers multiple clinical possibilities for inventions that assist the heart, the eyes, and the ears.
A Harvard bioengineer and an MIT aeronautical engineer have created a new device that can detect single cancer cells in a blood sample, potentially allowing doctors to quickly determine whether cancer has spread from its original site.
A new device developed by an international team that includes UC Berkeley is able to process whole blood samples without the use of external tubing and extra components. Dubbed SIMBAS, which stands for Self-powered Integrated Microfluidic Blood Analysis System, the 1x2-inch chip simultaneously processes five separate whole-blood samples by separating the plasma from the cells and detecting the presence of vitamin B.