University of Iowa neuroscientist John Wemmie is interested in the effect of acid in the brain. His studies using new magnetic resonance imaging techniques suggest that increased acidity or low pH, in the brain is linked to panic disorders, anxiety, and depression. But his work also suggests that changes in acidity are important for normal brain activity too.
A year-long evaluation of the effect of quantum dots in primates has found the nanoparticles to be safe, encouraging doctors and scientists who are hoping to use them to battle diseases like cancer. Cadmium selenide quantum dots were the variety used in the study.
The U.S. government has been pushing doctors to e-prescribe, in part because it can be safer for patients. Now, more than a third of the nation's prescriptions now are electronic, and starting this year, holdouts will start to see cuts in their Medicare payments.
Not long after a partially paralyzed man in Switzerland used his mind to remotely control a small robot, a Massachusetts woman paralyzed for 15 years used only her thoughts to direct a robotic arm to pick up a bottle of coffee and bring it to her lips But will the experimental brain-controlled technology ever help paralyzed people in everyday life?
Instead of building a better mousetrap, a team of Rice University freshmen took a mousetrap and built a better way to treat dehydration among children in the developing world. The device, designed by the IV DRIP (Dehydrated Relief in Pediatrics) team, is inexpensive and regulates the amount of fluid delivered to children to prevent dehydration.
Researchers have created an ultrasensitive biosensor that could open up new opportunities for early detection of cancer and "personalized medicine" tailored to the specific biochemistry of individual patients. The device, which could be several hundred times more sensitive than other biosensors, combines the attributes of two distinctly different types of sensors.
Scientists at Weill Cornell Medical College have discovered that the single protein, alpha 2 delta, exerts a spigot-like function that controls the volume of neurotransmitters and other chemicals that flow between the synapses of brain neurons. The surprising finding tells us not only how brain cells communicate, but also how a certain pain drug works.
A research team at Rutgers University has been able to take a new pharmacological approach to activate the immune cells to prevent cancer growth through stimulation of the opiate receptors found on immune cells.
In order to reactivate silenced genes, a cell needs to remove certain “off” markers called methyl groups from the DNA. Scientists have recently shown that this process involves an intermediate step and an enzyme that also plays a role in the development of blood cancer. The finding could lead to new ideas for cancer-fighting therapies.
A recent finding suggests that prosthetic lower limbs and robots' legs could be made more efficient by making them less like human-like and more like the prosthetics used by 'Blade Runner' Oscar Pistorius. Researchers found, strangely enough, that women walking in high heels offer an optimal model for economical and efficient movement.
As medical researchers and engineers try to shrink diagnostics to fit in a person's pocket, one question is how to easily move and mix small samples of liquid. University of Washington researchers have built and patented a surface that, when shaken, moves drops along certain paths to conduct medical or environmental tests.
The best doctors strive to relieve their patients' burdens. A physician in Houston asked Rice University students to help him do so in the most literal way. A team of bioengineering seniors built a prototype device to literally lift the weight from obese patients who, while undergoing surgical procedures, might otherwise have trouble breathing.
A pill that has long been used to treat HIV has moved one step closer to becoming the first drug approved to prevent healthy people from becoming infected with the virus that causes AIDS. The Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday that Gilead Sciences' Truvada appears to be safe and effective for HIV prevention.
As valuable as X-ray mammography is, it has certain drawbacks, such as exposure to ionizing radiation and the potential for false results. In the first phase of clinical testing is a new imaging device built around the principle of photoacoustics, or light-induced sound, that can detect and visualize breast tumors with a high degree of targetting accuracy.
One exhale and a new device from researchers at Stony Brook University in New York could screen for anything from diabetes to lung cancer. Based on a sensor chip built from electrospun nanowires that can detect minute amounts of chemical compounds, the device has yet to reach clinical trials. But its inventors anticipate the device to someday cost only $20.
An interdisciplinary team of engineers at the University of Arkansas has developed a wireless health-monitoring system that gathers critical patient information, regardless of the patient's location, and communicates that information in real time to a physician, hospital, or the patient herself.
Online crowd-sourcing—in which a task is presented to the public, who respond, for free, with various solutions and suggestions—has been used to evaluate potential consumer products, develop software algorithms, and solve vexing research and development challenges. But diagnosing infectious diseases?
Heart-failure patients may someday get a life-saving charge from technology developed by students at Rice University. A team of seniors designed and built a transcutaneous energy-transfer unit to power a minimally invasive ventricular assist device being created by a Houston company.
Researchers have taken advantage of cells' physical properties to develop a new instrument that slams cells against a wall of fluid and quickly analyzes the physical response, allowing for the identification of cancer and other cell states without expensive chemical tags.
Frustrated by the flimsy, disposable construction of typical trauma shears, Scott Forman, an emergency room physician, teamed up with Sandia National Laboratories engineer Mark Reece to design a better tool. The result is a shear that handle tough materials like Kevlar without having to be thrown away afterward. And it has a few other cool features as well.
Using game theory and market dynamices, Harvard University economist Alvin Roth has helped develop a suite of computer programs that match living kidney donors with recipients. The software comprehensively addresses the common limitations of this complicated process, matching participants with compatible blood types and antibodies.
Development of new therapies for a range of medical conditions, including sports injuries and heart attacks, could depend on a new production-scale microthread extruder developed by a team of graduate students and biomedical engineering faculty at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. The microthreads would support tissue regeneration, wound healing, and cell therapy.
With the development of synchrotron infrared spectroscopy, scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have observed, in real time the process of protein phosphorylation—a chemical interaction that controls everything from cell proliferation to differentiation to metabolism—in living cells stimulated by nerve growth factor.
The major form of lactoferrin is an important iron-binding protein secreted into human biofluids such as milk, blood, tears, and saliva. Because it is responsible for most of the host-defense properties, researchers are starting to use lactoferrin as a potential therapeutic protein.
The mitotic spindle is an apparatus that segregates chromosomes during cell division. But following some nanosurgery conducted by Harvard University, its structure may be more complex than the standard textbook picture suggests. Using a femtosecond laser, researchers have shown the true structure of its protein strands.