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Two young researchers working at the MIPT Laboratory of Nanooptics and Plasmonics, Dmitry Fedyanin and Yury Stebunov, have developed an ultracompact highly sensitive nanomechanical sensor for analyzing the chemical composition of substances and detecting

Physicists develop ultrasensitive nanomechanical biosensor

June 9, 2015 12:42 pm | by Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology | News | Comments

Researchers have developed an ultracompact highly sensitive nanomechanical sensor for analyzing the chemical composition of substances and detecting biological objects, such as viral disease markers, which appear when the immune system responds to incurable or hard-to-cure diseases, including HIV, hepatitis, herpes, and many others. The sensor will enable doctors to identify tumor markers.

Injectable electronics hold promise for basic neuroscience, treatment of neuro-degenerative diseases

June 9, 2015 9:45 am | News | Comments

It's a notion that might be pulled from the pages of science-fiction novel — electronic devices that can be injected directly into the brain, or other body parts, and treat everything from neuro-degenerative disorders to paralysis. It sounds unlikely, until you visit Charles Lieber's lab.

Microscope technique could speed identification of deadly bacteria

June 8, 2015 9:32 am | by The Optical Society | News | Comments

A new way of rapidly identifying bacteria, which requires a slight modification to a simple microscope, may change the way doctors approach treatment for patients who develop potentially deadly infections and may also help the food industry screen against contamination with harmful pathogens, according to researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST).

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“Protein map” reveals traffic of life in a cell

June 8, 2015 8:20 am | by Jovana Drinjakovic, Univ. of Toronto | Videos | Comments

Protein locations in a cell have been recorded in unprecedented detail as part of a “protein map” developed by Univ. of Toronto scientists. The new map allows researchers to look much more closely into what happens in a cell when disease strikes and will also help scientists determine better treatments.

Catalyst removes cancer-causing benzene in gasoline

June 8, 2015 8:02 am | by Megan Fellman, Northwestern Univ. | News | Comments

Northwestern Univ. scientists are experimenting with ways to eliminate a cancer-causing agent from gasoline by neutralizing the benzene compound found in gasoline. They developed a catalyst that effectively removed benzene from the other aromatic compounds in gasoline, making it cleaner and more efficient.

Keeping Cool

June 5, 2015 1:42 pm | by Jeffrey Goldman, Applications Director for Thermo Scientific Laboratory Products, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Waltham, Mass. | Articles | Comments

Biobanks play an important role in enabling researchers to develop therapies for chronic diseases. Research institutions, hospitals and pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies have turned to biobanks as a key tool in the research of new treatments and the identification of disease biomarkers from the large cohorts of patients through the collection, storage, inventory, characterization and distribution of valuable samples.

Researchers edit plant DNA using mechanism evolved in bacteria

June 5, 2015 10:36 am | by James Hataway, Univ. of Georgia | News | Comments

Researchers at the Univ. of Georgia have used a gene-editing tool known as CRISPR/Cas to modify the genome of a tree species for the first time. Their research, published online in New Phytologist, opens the door to more rapid and reliable gene editing of plants. By mutating specific genes in Populus, the researchers reduced the concentrations of two naturally occurring plant polymers.

A new technique for blueprinting cell membrane proteins

June 5, 2015 8:17 am | by Trinity College Dublin | News | Comments

Biochemists from Trinity College Dublin have devised a new technique that will make the difficult but critical job of blueprinting certain proteins considerably faster, easier and cheaper. The breakthrough will make a big splash in the field of drug discovery and development, where precise protein structure blueprints can help researchers understand how individual proteins work.

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How dividing cells end up the same size

June 5, 2015 8:03 am | by Ken Kingery, Duke Univ. | Videos | Comments

There aren't any giants or midgets when it comes to the cells in your body, and now Duke Univ. scientists think they know why. A new study appearing in Nature shows that a cell's initial size determines how much it will grow before it splits into two. This finding goes against recent publications suggesting cells always add the same amount of mass, with some random fluctuations, before beginning division.

Decaying RNA molecules tell a story

June 5, 2015 7:56 am | by European Molecular Biology Laboratory | News | Comments

Once messenger RNA (mRNA) has done its job—conveying the information to produce the proteins necessary for a cell to function—it is no longer required and is degraded. Scientists have long thought that the decay started after translation was complete and that decaying RNA molecules provided little biological information.

Past failures pave way for promising Alzheimer’s treatments

June 5, 2015 7:43 am | by American Chemical Society | News | Comments

Since 2002, close to 300 drug candidates to treat Alzheimer’s have run into clinical dead ends. But now, having learned from those failures, researchers are testing—and retesting—a batch of the most promising compounds designed to slow the disease’s progression. An article in Chemical & Engineering News describes what made this possible and what lies ahead.

Natural channel proteins move sideways in a thick artificial membrane that condenses around the channel proteins. Courtesy of ACS

How natural channel proteins move in artificial membranes

June 4, 2015 11:05 am | by University of Basel | News | Comments

Natural channel proteins are integrated into artificial membranes to facilitate the transport of ions and molecules. Researchers have now been able to measure the movement of these channel proteins for the first time. They move up to 10 times slower than in their natural environment, namely the cell membrane. The results may prove useful to the ongoing development of new applications such as nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Keeping astronauts in space longer with better air, water

June 4, 2015 8:00 am | by American Chemical Society | News | Comments

As astronauts embark on increasingly ambitious space missions, scientists have to figure out how to keep them healthy for longer periods far from Earth. That entails assuring the air they breathe and the water they drink are safe—not an easy task given their isolated locations. But scientists are now reporting a new method to monitor the quality of both in real time with one system.

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Evolving Electron Microscopes Push Even Deeper

June 3, 2015 2:58 pm | by Tim Studt | Articles | Comments

Electron microscopy is a multi-scale, multi-modal and multi-dimensional technique for imaging materials down to the atomic level. Developed in 1931 by German physicist Ernst Ruska and electrical engineer Max Knoll, the electron microscope (EM) has evolved from Ruska’s initial 400X capabilities to its current 10,000,000X performance.

Brain’s reaction to certain words could replace passwords

June 3, 2015 8:26 am | by Binghamton Univ. | News | Comments

You might not need to remember those complicated email and bank account passwords for much longer. According to a new study, the way your brain responds to certain words could be used to replace passwords. In "Brainprint," a newly published study in Neurocomputing, researchers from Binghamton Univ. observed the brain signals of 45 volunteers as they read a list of 75 acronyms, such as FBI and DVD.

Hyperbaric hope for fibromyalgia sufferers

June 3, 2015 8:10 am | by Mike Williams, Rice Univ. | News | Comments

Women who suffer from fibromyalgia benefit from a treatment regimen in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber, according to researchers at Rice Univ. and institutes in Israel. A clinical trial involving women diagnosed with fibromyalgia showed the painful condition improved in every one of the 48 who completed two months of hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

Chemists weigh intact virus mixture with mass spectrometer

June 3, 2015 7:41 am | by Jocelyn Duffy, Carnegie Mellon Univ. | News | Comments

Carnegie Mellon Univ. chemists have separated and weighed virus particles using mass spectrometry (MS). This is the first time that researchers successfully used matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization MS to analyze a mixture of intact virus particles.

Essential Instruments for Open-Access Environment

June 2, 2015 3:55 pm | by Russell Scammell,PhD, Group Leader, Physical Chemistry, Charles River Laboratories | Articles | Comments

Pharmaceutical companies, like other industries, face frequent and mounting requirements to resolve complex mixtures of active pharmaceutical ingredients into their unique components. Given the demands being placed on medicinal chemistry departments to deliver high-quality new drug candidates, the speed at which separations can be achieved is of utmost importance.

Seamless closure of surgical incisions

June 2, 2015 12:33 pm | by American Friends of Tel Aviv Univ. | News | Comments

Some 30,000 years ago, prehistoric man wielded animal bones as needles to suture otherwise lethal wounds. This tactic has been used, and improved upon, over time and remains the basis of surgical procedures conducted today. Even with radical new surgical techniques, which rely on metallic and polymeric staples or chemical adhesives to seal incisions, infection and permanent scarring remain major concerns.

Using robots to assemble promising antimicrobial compounds

June 2, 2015 8:14 am | by Dan Krotz, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory | News | Comments

There’s an urgent demand for new antimicrobial compounds that are effective against constantly emerging drug-resistant bacteria. Two robotic chemical-synthesizing machines, named Symphony X and Overture, have joined the search. Their specialty is creating custom nanoscale structures that mimic nature’s proven designs. They’re also fast, able to assemble dozens of compounds at a time.

Genome-editing proteins seek and find with a slide and a hop

June 2, 2015 8:06 am | by Liz Ahlberg, Physical Sciences Editor, Univ. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign | News | Comments

Searching a whole genome for one particular sequence is like trying to fish a specific piece from the box of a billion-piece puzzle. Using advanced imaging techniques, Univ. of Illinois researchers have observed how one set of genome-editing proteins finds its specific targets, which could help them design better gene therapies to treat disease.

Microendoscope could eliminate unneeded biopsies

June 2, 2015 7:59 am | by Jade Boyd, Rice Univ. | Videos | Comments

In a clinical study of patients in the U.S. and China, researchers found that a low-cost, portable, battery-powered microendoscope developed by Rice Univ. bioengineers could eventually eliminate the need for costly biopsies for many patients undergoing standard endoscopic screening for esophageal cancer.

Yeast protein network could provide insights into obesity

June 1, 2015 11:20 am | by Ker Than, Caltech | News | Comments

A team of biologists and a mathematician have identified and characterized a network composed of 94 proteins that work together to regulate fat storage in yeast. The findings, detailed in PLOS Computational Biology, suggest that yeast could serve as a valuable test organism for studying human obesity.

Cold improved longevity for some

June 1, 2015 8:13 am | by Laura Williams, Univ. of Michigan | News | Comments

Century-old wisdom holds that cold-blooded creatures live longer in colder environments. And more recent studies have found it's true for mammals as well: Dropping the core body temperatures of mice by less than one degree Fahrenheit can extend their lives by 20%.

Adolescent brain develops differently in bipolar disorder

May 29, 2015 12:43 pm | by Bill Hathaway, Yale Univ. | News | Comments

In adolescents with bipolar disorder, key areas of the brain that help regulate emotions develop differently, a new study by Yale Univ. School of Medicine researchers shows. In brain areas that regulate emotions, adolescents with bipolar disorder lose larger-than-anticipated volumes of gray matter, or neurons, and show no increase in white matter connections, which is a hallmark of normal adolescent brain development.

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