Microsponges derived from seaweed may help diagnose heart disease, cancers, HIV and other diseases quickly and at far lower cost than current clinical methods. The microsponges are an essential component of Rice Univ.'s Programmable Bio-Nano-Chip (PBNC).
Coffee may do more than provide a jump-start to the day. While previous studies have shown that it may protect against type 2 diabetes, researchers at the Univ. of California, Los Angeles have discovered a possible molecular mechanism behind this protective effect.
A complex sugar may someday become part of a diagnostic test to stop the spread of cholera. Using a technique developed by Univ. of Central Florida scientists, relief workers could test samples of potentially contaminated water sources with iron oxide nanoparticles coated with the sugar dextran.
New experiments at the Univ. of California, Berkeley, may one day lead to anti-viral treatments that involve swallowing Salmonella bacteria, effectively using one bug to stop another.
A digital signal processing technique long used by statisticians to analyze data is helping Houston scientists understand the roots of memory and learning, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases and stroke.
Berkeley Lab researchers developed a unique cell-based fluorescent assay that enabled them to identify a means by which fluoxetine, the active ingredient in Prozac, suppresses the activity of the TREK1 potassium channel. TREK1 could be an important new target for antidepressant drugs.
Using mathematical concepts, Princeton researchers have developed a method of discovering new drugs for a range of diseases by calculating which physical properties of biological molecules may predict their effectiveness as medicines. The technique already has identified several potential new drugs that were shown to be effective for fighting strains of HIV by researchers at Johns Hopkins Univ.
Math and medicine are coming together to help people who have suffered an abdominal aortic aneurysm, which with 15,000 is the 13th-leading cause of death in the United States.
Rice Univ. bioengineers and physician-scientists at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital have successfully destroyed tumors of human brain cancer cells in the first animal tests of a minimally invasive treatment that zaps glioma tumors with heat. The tests involved nanoshells, light-activated nanoparticles that are designed to destroy tumors with heat and avoid the unwanted side effects of drug and radiation therapies.
For more than 50 years, antibiotics have been used to treat deadly infections and save countless lives. However, the list of antibiotic resistant bacteria growing. Anticipating the potential disaster, research group at Lawrence Livermore National Lab has identified the genes within bacteria that encode for lytic proteins. This is an important component for cell survival and could be a weapon against drug-resistant bacterial strains.
The Malaysian government-run Institute for Medical Research said it released about 6,000 sterile male lab mosquitoes in an uninhabited forest area in eastern Malaysia on Dec. 21, 2010, along with another 6,000 wild male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes for comparison. The plan to curb dengue fever, which is spread by mosquitoes, is the first to use genetically engineered mosquitoes in the wild.
A research team from ORNL and North Carolina State Univ. is studying how viruses change their structure when they move between different host species. Understanding how a virus reorganizes itself when it goes from a mosquito to a human is critical for the development of medicines that can block the spread of viruses. The team's most recent study focuses on the Sindbis virus, a member of the arbovirus family that causes infectious diseases like yellow fever, dengue fever, and West Nile fever.
Purdue Univ. researchers have reproduced portions of the female breast in a tiny slide-sized model dubbed "breast on-a-chip" that will be used to test nanomedical approaches for the detection and treatment of breast cancer.
MIT scientists have discovered that cells lining the blood vessels secrete molecules that suppress tumor growth and keep cancer cells from invading other tissues, a finding that could lead to a new way to treat cancer.
A complex sugar may someday become one of the most effective weapons to stop the spread of cholera. A technique developed by Univ. of Central Florida scientists would allow relief workers to test water sources that could be contaminated with the cholera toxin.
Using chemical compounds found in a Japanese plant as a lead and the clever application of ultraviolet light, a Scripps Research Institute team has created a unique library of dozens of synthetic compounds to test for biomedical potential. Already, one of the compounds has shown great promise in inhibiting replication of HIV particles and fighting inflammation.
Researchers have determined the structure and mechanism of an enzyme that performs the crucial first step in the formation of cholesterol and a key virulence factor in staph bacteria.
With an invention that can be made from some of the same parts used in CD players, Univ. of Michigan researchers have developed a way to measure the growth and drug susceptibility of individual bacterial cells without the use of a microscope.
Coffee, that morning elixir, may give us an early jump-start to the day, but numerous studies have shown that it also may be protective against type 2 diabetes. Yet no one has really understood why. Now, researchers at UCLA have discovered a possible molecular mechanism behind coffee's protective effect.
Scientists in England have developed a new technology that uses unique “detector proteins” to seek out minute amounts of toxins present in mussels, oysters, cockles and scallops. The test detects paralytic shellfish poisons, which paralyze anyone who consumes them and kills around 25% people who are poisoned. It’s being developed for use in the U.S. as well.
In a paper published online in Nature Genetics , North Carolina State Univ. and U.S. Department of Agriculture crop scientists and plant pathologists sift through millions of genetic sequence variations in the set of all genes in maize (corn) to identify 51 gene regions associated with resistance to Southern corn leaf blight disease—an important plant pathogen.
Researchers at MIT and Brigham and Women’s Hospital have shown that they can deliver the cancer drug cisplatin much more effectively and safely in a form that has been encapsulated in a nanoparticle targeted to prostate tumor cells and is activated once it reaches its target.
The numbers are stark but abstract: HIV is still a deadly disease that infects more than 33 million people in and kills than 2 million people each year through its effects. Researchers must not only find a vaccine; they must fight to keep the ball rolling on an effort that could take another 30 years to solve.
Two bugs are making a comeback tour, and one is as annoying as the other is deadly. One bites skin, one attacks cells. There’s no vaccine, the treatments are less and less effective with each passing year, and they are beginning to take over the neighborhood. Itchy yet?
Biotechnology has two of the most promising commercialization areas in orbital research: x-ray protein crystallography and vaccine therapeutics. But the demise of the space shuttle and the dearth of venture capital could stall some important R&D.