Troponin I, found exclusively in heart muscle, is already used as the gold-standard marker in blood tests to diagnose heart attacks, but the new findings by Johns Hopkins University researchers reveal why and how the same protein is also altered in heart muscle malfunctions that lead to heart failure. Scientists have known of “out-of-tune” proteins for a while, but the precise origin had remained unclear.
For the first time, scientists have improved hearing in deaf animals by using human embryonic stem cells. The experiment involved an uncommon form of deafness, and the treatment wouldn't necessarily apply to all cases of that disorder. But scientists hope the approach can be expanded to help with more common forms of deafness.
Purdue University researchers have created a new type of miniature pump activated by body heat that could be using in drug-delivery patches powered by fermentation. The micropump contains Baker's yeast and sugar in a small chamber, and when water is added and the patch is placed on the skin, the body heat and added water causes the yeast and sugar to ferment, generating a small amount of carbon dioxide gas, which pushes against a membrane and has been shown to pump for several hours.
Researchers in Malaysia have developed a system that allows a computer to “read lips”. The invention involves a genetic algorithm that gets better and better with each iteration to match irregular ellipse fitting equations to the shape of the human mouth displaying different emotions. The system could improve the way we interact with computers and perhaps allow disabled people to use communications devices more effectively.
Four years ago, the federal government created a new institute encompassing top universities and institutes and gave it $300 million to spur new treatments using cell science and advanced plastic surgery. The results, which are now helping to heal war veterans, include the implantation of rebuilt tissues—such as ears and bones—and even more unusual solutions like sprayed-on skin cells.
An interdisciplinary team of nine Arizona State University students participating in the 2012 International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition have embarked on a campaign to help reduce the 1.5 million global deaths of children each year caused by diarrheal disease. The goal is an inexpensive biosensor that detects contaminated water quickly. But the challenge is which biosensor design to pursue.
Stanford University electrical engineers overturn existing models to demonstrate the feasibility of a millimeter-sized, wirelessly powered cardiac device. The findings, say the researchers, could dramatically alter the scale of medical devices implanted in the human body.
The frequency at which droplets emerge is controlled by an acoustic trigger, which can be tuned so that each droplet containing a protein or virus meets an
When bone is severely injured and amputation of a limb is necessary, or as a consequence of major orthopedic procedures, unwanted new bone formation occurs in the soft tissues surrounding the operated bone and appears as pieces of gravel-like bone. A new nanostructural polymer composite has been developed that can deliver unique RNA into cells at the bone trauma site to prevent unwanted bone features from growing.
Molecular biologists at the University of Texas at Austin have solved one of the mysteries of how double-stranded RNA is remodeled inside cells in both their normal and disease states. It has been known for some time that so-called DEAD-box enzymes, which are found in all forms of life, do not function like traditional helicases. But recent studies have confirmed their piston-like chemical action, potentially helping future genetic therapies.
Time-consuming, expensive, and often intrusive, clinical trials are nevertheless a necessity. Researchers at the University of Tennessee Space Institute in Tullahoma have developed an invention that makes clinical trials more efficient. Called "digital Eye Bank," the computer software eye modeling program can take data from eyes of patients' and build it into models from the commercial optics program to be used for researchers' virtual clinical trials.
In a new study, University of Missouri medicinal chemists have taken an existing drug that is being developed for use in fighting certain types of cancer and added a special cluster of three elements: boron, carbon, and hydrogen. This structure, called a carborane, has multiplied the binding force of the drug. Clinical could start within two years.
A research university in Germany has recently won first place a competition between “unconventional” computing solutions with something called a MICREAgent lablet. The unusual invention is a self-assembling electronic device almost as small as a biological cell. At its heart is a 3D microchip, or lablet, that can produce desired chemicals or coatings when given electronic instructions.
Over six frightening months, a deadly germ untreatable by most antibiotics spread in the nation's leading research hospital. Scientists at the National Institutes of Health locked down patients, cleaned with bleach, even ripped out plumbing—and still the germ persisted. It took gene detectives teasing apart the bacteria's DNA to solve the germ's wily spread, a CSI-like saga with lessons for hospitals everywhere as they struggle to contain the growing threat of superbugs.
Inspired by studies showing there are few options to treat soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq who suffer internal injuries from the roadside bombs known as improvised explosive devices, researchers at Case Western Reserve University have made significant advances toward developing synthetic platelets that could be both portable and effective for stopping the life-threatening bleeding that occurs from these types of injuries.
Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine and Intel Corp. have collaborated to synthesize and study a grid-like array of short pieces of a disease-associated protein on silicon chips normally used in computer microprocessors. Used recently to identify patients with a severe form of lupus, the new technology has the potential to improve diagnoses of a multitude of diseases.
Cancers release chemicals that confuse the immune system. Countering this effect, researchers led by Tarek Fahmy of Yale University have recently developed a system to simultaneously deliver a sustained dose of both an immune-system booster and a chemical to block the cancer's secretions. In mice this therapy has delayed tumor growth and even sent tumors into remission.
Researchers in India have developed a total cholesterol test that uses a digital camera to take a snapshot of the back of the patient's hand rather than a blood sample. The image obtained is cropped and compared against thousands of images in a database for known cholesterol levels.
To cut down on postoperative problems, particularly those involving abdomenal surgery, Johns Hopkins undergraduates have invented a disposable suturing tool to guide the placement of stitches and guard against the accidental puncture of internal organs. Called FastStitch, it’s described a cross between a pliers and a hole-puncher.
For the first time, researchers have deciphered the retina's neural code for brain communication. It could allow scientists to create a more effective prosthetic retinal device for blindness, one that might be similar to the visor used on the television show Star Trek. The visor's camera will take in light and use a computer chip to turn it into a code that the brain can translate into an image.
A international research team has mimicked and recreated the intricate properties of human fingertips using semiconductor devices. The devices, shown to be capable of responding with high precision to the stresses and strains associated with touch and finger movement, may lead to the development of advanced surgical gloves.
Pioneered by a multidisciplinary team of researchers and applied onto the business end of artificial skin, nanofilms that release antibacterial silver over time have recently shown they can eradicate bacteria in full-thickness skin wounds in mice.
Surprisingly, 90% of cancer deaths are caused from metastasis,the migration of cancer cells from a primary tumor to other parts of the body, not from the primary tumor alone. To better understand what happens to cells affected by this process, Johns Hopkins University researchers have fabricated a microfluidic-based cell migration chamber that has already yielded surprising results.
Imagine a machine that makes layered, substantial patches of engineered tissue. Sounds like science fiction? According to researchers at the University of Toronto, it's a growing possibility. They have invented a method that incorporates cells onto a mosaic hydrogel that offers the perfect conditions for growth.
Researchers have come across an unexpected potential use for fluoxetine—commonly known as Prozac—which shows promise as an antiviral agent. Using molecular screening, a California research team found that fluoxetine was a potent inhibitor of replication in viruses found in the gastrointestinal tract. The discovery could provide another tool in treating human enteroviruses that sicken and kill people in the U.S. and around the world.