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Biochemists develop new technology to transfer DNA into cells

June 3, 2013 1:34 pm | News | Comments

On any given day, Jason Atkins and Mohit Patel can be found toiling away inside a chemical biology laboratory at the University of Missouri–St. Louis. And they love every minute of it. The researchers recently developed new technology to transfer DNA into cells. The development is an inexpensive and non-toxic method to help DNA cross the cell membrane so that cells can be modified.

Improving the safety of the nation's blood supply

June 3, 2013 12:23 pm | News | Comments

A six-year collaboration between industry and the University of Wisconsin-Madison RFID Lab has achieved a major milestone with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearing the first RFID-enabled solution to improve the safety and efficiency of the nation's blood supply.

New method mass produces high-quality DNA

June 3, 2013 9:55 am | News | Comments

A new method of manufacturing short, single-stranded DNA molecules uses enzymatic production methods to create a system that not only improves the quality of the manufactured oligonucleotides but that also makes it possible to scale up production using bacteria in order to produce large amounts of DNA copies cheaply.

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Wit, grit, and a supercomputer yield chemical structure of HIV capsid

May 29, 2013 5:43 pm | News | Comments

Researchers report that they have determined the precise chemical structure of the HIV capsid, a protein shell that protects the virus’s genetic material and is a key to its virulence. The capsid has become an attractive target for the development of new antiretroviral drugs. The researchers used the University of Illinois’ supercomputer Blue Waters to determine the complete HIV capsid structure.

Valeant to buy Bausch + Lomb for $8.7B

May 27, 2013 11:02 am | by LINDA A. JOHNSON - AP Business Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

Canadian drugmaker Valeant Pharmaceuticals said Monday that it will pay $8.7 billion to buy Bausch + Lomb, one of the world's best-known makers of contact lenses, in a massive expansion of Valeant's smaller ophthalmology business. Valeant said the cash deal will help it capitalize on increasing demand for contact lenses and other products because of aging populations, growing demand in emerging markets and increasing rates of diabetes.

Cell phone technology helps horses recover from surgery

May 23, 2013 12:30 pm | News | Comments

Technology that’s used in smartphones and other electronic devices also is being used by veterinarians at the University of Illinois to help horses recover safely from anesthesia. The technology, known as accelerometers, are portable data recorders that capture information on motion, vibration, and impact

Doctors rescue Ohio boy by "printing" an airway tube

May 23, 2013 8:26 am | by Marilynn Marchione, AP Chief Medical Writer | News | Comments

In a medical first, doctors used plastic particles and a 3D laser printer to create an airway splint to save the life of a baby boy who used to stop breathing nearly every day. Because of a birth defect, the Kaiba Gionfriddo’s airway kept collapsing, causing his breathing to stop and often his heart, too. Doctors in Michigan had been researching artificial airway splints but had not implanted one in a patient yet.

Researchers develop radioactive nanoparticles that target cancer cells

May 22, 2013 9:09 am | News | Comments

Scientists in Missouri have successfully created nanoparticles made of a radioactive form of the element lutetium. By covering these particles with gold shells and attaching targeting agents, they have a tool that can seek out dangerous secondary lymphoma tumors. They recently demonstrated the nanoparticles can find the tumors without attaching to or damaging healthy cells.

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Columbia University licenses 3D segmentation software to Varian

May 21, 2013 8:19 am | News | Comments

Columbia University has signed a licensing agreement with Varian Medical Systems for new imaging software that facilitates 3D segmentation, the process by which anatomical structures in medical images are distinguished from one another—an important step in the precise planning of cancer surgery and radiation treatments.

Evaluating a new way to open clogged arteries

May 21, 2013 7:30 am | by Anne Trafton, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Over the past few decades, scientists have developed many devices that can reopen clogged arteries, including angioplasty balloons and metallic stents. While generally effective, each of these treatments has drawbacks, including the risk of side effects. A new study analyzes the potential usefulness of a new treatment that combines the benefits of angioplasty balloons and drug-releasing stents, but may pose fewer risks.

Computational tool simplifies complex data into 2D images

May 20, 2013 9:30 am | News | Comments

Researchers at Columbia University and Stanford University have developed a computational method that enables scientists to visualize and interpret "high-dimensional" data produced by single-cell measurement technologies such as mass cytometry. A sophisticated algorithm converts difficult-to-interpret data into visual representations similar to two-dimensional "scatter plots".

Protected data cloud to analyze cancer data

May 20, 2013 9:16 am | News | Comments

The University of Chicago has recently  launched the first secure cloud-based computing system that enables researchers to access and analyze human genomic cancer information, such as the The Cancer Genome Atlas, without the costly and cumbersome infrastructure normally needed to download and store massive amounts of data.

Stem cells recovered from cloned human embryos

May 16, 2013 12:38 pm | News | Comments

Scientists have finally recovered stem cells from cloned human embryos, a longstanding goal that could lead to new treatments for such illnesses as Parkinson's disease and diabetes. A prominent expert called the work a landmark, but noted that a different, simpler technique now under development may prove more useful.

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Engineers monitor heart health using paper-thin flexible 'skin'

May 15, 2013 3:21 pm | News | Comments

Engineers combine layers of flexible materials into pressure sensors to create a wearable heart monitor thinner than a dollar bill. The skin-like device could one day provide doctors with a safer way to check the condition of a patient's heart.

Engineered biomaterial could improve success of medical implants

May 14, 2013 12:24 pm | News | Comments

It’s a familiar scenario—a patient receives a medical implant and days later, the body attacks the artificial valve or device, causing complications to an already compromised system. Expensive medical devices and surgeries often are thwarted by the body’s natural response to attack something in the tissue that appears foreign. Now, University of Washington engineers have demonstrated in mice a way to prevent this sort of response.

Regulator keeps vaccines at right temperature

May 10, 2013 12:04 pm | News | Comments

Rice University students have created a way to help health care workers track vaccines and keep them at a safe temperature. The SAFE Vaccine senior engineering design team assembled a device to regulate the temperature of any standard refrigerator to keep it within a range that’s safe for vaccines. Their invention also tracks vaccine stock, usage, and expiration dates and, as a result, takes a load of paperwork off the backs of nurses.

Wearable robots getting lighter, more portable

May 9, 2013 3:03 pm | by Carla K. Johnson, AP Medical Writer | News | Comments

When Michael Gore stands, it's a triumph of science and engineering. Eleven years ago, Michael  Gore was paralyzed from the waist down in a workplace accident, yet he rises from his wheelchair to his full 6-foot-2-inches and walks across the room with help from a lightweight wearable robot. Still at least a year away from the market, the 27-pound Indego is the lightest of the powered exoskeletons that are now appearing in greater numbers.

Wearable robots getting lighter, more portable

May 9, 2013 3:26 am | by CARLA K. JOHNSON - AP Medical Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

When Michael Gore stands, it's a triumph of science and engineering. Eleven years ago, Gore was paralyzed from the waist down in a workplace accident, yet he rises from his wheelchair and walks across the room with help from a lightweight wearable robot.

Device can extract human DNA with full genetic data in minutes

May 6, 2013 1:15 pm | News | Comments

Take a swab of saliva from your mouth and within minutes your DNA could be ready for analysis and genome sequencing with the help of a new device. University of Washington engineers and NanoFacture, a Bellevue, Wash., company, have created a device that can extract human DNA from fluid samples in a simpler, more efficient, and environmentally friendly way than conventional methods.

Scientists build a living patch for damaged hearts

May 6, 2013 12:24 pm | News | Comments

Duke University biomedical engineers have grown three-dimensional human heart muscle that acts just like natural tissue. The "heart patch" grown in the laboratory from human cells overcomes two major obstacles facing cell-based therapies—the patch conducts electricity at about the same speed as natural heart cells and it "squeezes" appropriately.  

Medtronic launches two new implanted heart devices

May 6, 2013 10:51 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Medtronic has put two new implantable heart devices on the market after receiving approval from federal regulators. The FDrA approved the sale of the Viva heart resynchronization devices and Evera implantable cardioverter defibrillators. Cardiac resynchronization therapy devices are used to treat heart failure and implantable defibrillators are used to treat rapid heartbeats.

Printable “bionic” ear melds electronics and biology

May 1, 2013 5:39 pm | News | Comments

Scientists at Princeton University used off-the-shelf printing tools to create a functional ear that can "hear" radio frequencies far beyond the range of normal human capability.  Standard tissue engineering involves seeding types of cells onto a scaffold of a polymer material called a hydrogel. But this method is not useful for complex 3D shapes, which is why researchers turned to 3D printing methods.

Study: Synthetic biology research community has grown significantly

May 1, 2013 10:02 am | News | Comments

Researchers at the Synthetic Biology Project at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars have recently reported that the number of private and public entities conducting research in synthetic biology worldwide grew significantly between 2009 and 2013. Their findings, which include more than 500 organizations, are tracked on an interactive online map.

Zinc: The perfect material for bioabsorbable stents?

May 1, 2013 9:49 am | by Marcia Goodrich, Michigan Technological University | News | Comments

In 2012, more than 3 million people had stents inserted in their coronary arteries. But the longer a stent is in the body, the greater the risk of late-stage side effects. Studies have investigated iron- and magnesium-based bioabsorbable stents, but iron rusts and magnesium dissolves too fast. Recent research shows that a certain type of zinc alloy might be the answer.

Toddler is youngest to ever get lab-made windpipe

May 1, 2013 9:34 am | by Lindsey Tanner, AP Medical Writer | News | Comments

Hannah Warren has been unable to breathe, eat, drink or swallow on her own since she was born in South Korea in 2010. Until the operation at a central Illinois hospital, she had spent her entire life in a hospital in Seoul. Now, the 2-year-old girl born without a windpipe now has a new one grown from her own stem cells, the youngest patient in the world to benefit from the experimental treatment.

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