Around mile 10 of a recent half marathon, my quadriceps started to tighten and my feet increasingly felt like lead. Along with improving my training, perhaps in the future I will use zinc-finger nuclease scissors to snip out a gene called IL-15Rα, so I can run long distances with ease.
Mice that lack this gene, which is related to muscle contraction, can run much farther than their counterparts, a new study says — suggesting a genetic predisposition to endurance in some athletes.
NC State researchers have created a new kind of soft, flexible memory device that functions like a memristor and has the consistency of Jell-O. In other words, it’s soft, flexible, works well in wet environments, and is pretty much ideally suited for biocompatible electronic devices that work inside of or on biological tissues--and perhaps interface with them.
Call it a silent killer: some 6 percent of the U.S. population has some kind of voice disorder, most of those resulting from scarring of the vocal cords that can lead to diminishing or even total loss of the ability to speak. Giving voice to the voiceless, a team of Harvard and MIT researchers have developed a synthetic, injectable material that can be implanted into scarred vocal cords to restore their function.
Keeping in step with this week’s flood of awesome stem cell news, a development on the embryonic front: California surgeons have implanted lab-grown retinal cells into the eyes of two patients losing their vision to macular degeneration, Technology Review
Researchers are testing a potent new tool in the fight against malaria: dirty socks. Experiments are underway in three villages to see if smelly socks can lure mosquitoes into poisoned traps as effectively as synthetic chemical baits that can be expensive and complicated to mix. If so, good old fashioned human stink could become a key tool for curbing malaria infections.
Something to reflect on over your lunch break today: Scientists are developing a new approach for producing human-derived gelatin in large enough quantities to be a commercially viable replacement for the animal-based gelatins used in all kinds of gelatin-like desserts, candies, and other foodstuffs as well as pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. Think about that next time you crack open a mid-afternoon pudding snack.
It’s been brutally hot here in the Midwest, with heat indices hovering in the 110-112 range for the past few days and signs pointing to another heat wave this weekend. So this new flower-based ice cream from Fraunhofer Labs sounds mighty appealing.
It has no dairy, gluten, animal fats or protein, and it’s cholesterol-free, says Fraunhofer. The ice cream is now on sale at a German supermarket chain.
What a week for stem cell-related surgeries. Not seven days ago surgeons in Europe announced the successful transplantation of the world’s first lab-grown organ--a trachea--grown from a patient’s own stem cells, and now Japanese researchers are saying they’ve grown and successfully transplanted new stem-cell derived teeth in mice.
This month in amazing medical procedures, it’s all about Europe. Last week we learned that a pan-European team of researchers and doctors have successfully pulled off the first transplant of a synthetic organ grown from the patient’s own stem cells.
A new strain of the gonorrhea bacteria can resist all available antibiotics, doctors say. Gonorrhea is one of the world’s most common sexually transmitted diseases, so this could portend a major threat to public health.
This should actually not be surprising, because for some time now, just one class of drug has been able to successfully treat the infection.
Surgeons working at Karolinska University Hospital in Sweden have taken a huge step forward for regenerative medicine by successfully executing the world’s first synthetic organ transplant. The donor-less transplant saved the life of a 36-year-old cancer patient, who is doing well now after having received a new windpipe grown from his own stem cells.
Sometimes, the look on someone’s face says it all. More often, our facial expressions are nuanced. More often still, we misinterpret the bevy of information conveyed by the people’s changing expressions. So a Cambridge researcher--with some help from an MIT colleague--set out to build a kind of decoder for facial cues. The result: a pair of glasses that deciphers what a person is feeling and transmit that meaning to the person wearing them.
It seems like the Japanese always have the coolest technology--in this case quite literally. The hip new way to stay cool in an increasingly energy-conscious Japan: cooling foam or gel spray-cans that go right on the skin and provide an instant cool down.
Wouldn’t it be easier to deal with disease if our bodies just fixed themselves? That’s asking quite a bit from our physiologies, but Israeli researchers are working on tiny nano-computers that could do the job for us. They envision tiny machines made of biomolecules that autonomously troll the body looking for disease, computing a diagnosis and delivering drugs all at the same time.
Glasses have been passively correcting human vision for centuries, using tricks of light to compensate for various visual impairments. But there are some conditions--like age-related macular degeneration--that simple lenses can’t correct. So Oxford University researchers are getting proactive with a pair of frames packed with technologies usually found in gaming consoles and smartphones to give greater independence and self sufficiency to those suffering from more serious optical ailments.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.