By Becky FerreiraPosted 12.26.2011 at 3:00 pm 13 Comments
By day, Seok-Hyun Yun and Malte Gather are physicists at Massachusetts General Hospital. But at night, for the past four years, they worked on making a human cell behave like a laser. They built their human laser out of the same three components found in all lasers: a pump source, which provides the initial light energy; an optical cavity, which concentrates the light from the pump source into a beam; and a gain medium, a substance in which electrons are excited until they reach a higher-energy state and simultaneously release that energy as a beam of photons—laser light.
Researchers at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital built a living laser partly to study interactions between electronic and biological systems, and partly out of sheer curiosity. The world’s first biological laser, made from a single living cell, could lead to better microscope imaging inside the body and even targeted light therapies, researchers say.
Sure, you can buy a flying car from Hammacher Schlemmer. But for truly bizarre catalog collections, turn to America's laboratory supply companies. It's a fair bet your favorite holiday catalog will not include a small-animal guillotine, for instance.
A new brain imaging method highlights all the synapses in a mouse cortex, allowing scientists to count these connections between nerve cells in the brain with unprecedented detail. The high-resolution synapse map could help neurologists better understand how brain cells communicate.
Diabetics may have yet another tool in their blood-sugar management arsenal -- an implantable, fluorescent blood-sugar monitor. It involves small hydrogel beads that vary the intensity of emitted light depending on glucose concentration. They're called Life Beans.
The system, developed at the University of Tokyo, could lead to implantable blood-glucose monitors, which could enable 24-7 monitoring of a diabetic's blood sugar without having to prick the skin or use an attachable pump.
Zoe Donaldson, Yerkes National Primate Research Center, via Science Daily
Man, those scientists just love their glowing lab subjects. First came mice, and then recently the first primates got some jellyfish genes implanted into their DNA. Now, scientists at Emory University have implanted the gene for jellyfish fluorescent protein in prairie voles.
His device lets him look inside the brain to see where memories reside.
By Rena PacellaPosted 10.29.2004 at 6:00 pm 0 Comments
When we make a new memory, where is it stored in our brains? The question consumed Karel Svoboda for years. Others had approached the problem in two ways: They used noninvasive technologies such as MRI and PET scans to watch the living brain in action; for a closer look, they dissected brain tissue under the microscope.