In a breakthrough that is sure to thrill optical ailment sufferers and stoners everywhere, a team of Auburn University researchers has invented a new kind of drug-delivering contact lens that could make the medicinal eye drop a thing of the past. Their lenses are the first to deliver drug doses evenly for as long as the lens is worn, a method that is roughly 100 times more effective than putting sporadic eye drops in the eye.
Add one more item to the list of things machines can do better than humans: Examine and diagnose breast cancer. Stanford researchers have developed new software that can automatically evaluate microscopic images of breast cancer and make determinations about its aggressiveness and type, offering patients an accurate prognosis. It's more accurate than a human doctor, as it turns out.
The system brings cancer pathology, which has largely been unchanged since the Great Depression, firmly into the 21st century.
A new, finely tuned light-based treatment kills cancer cells in mice without harming the tissue around them, and could conceivably used to treat a wide range of human cancers, researchers say. The therapy is much more precise than other light-therapy methods attempted to date, and it has the potential to replace chemotherapy and radiation.
Heart attacks strike about 1.2 million people every year in America alone, many of them fatally. Of those, most are caused by coronary artery disease--the biggest killer of both men and women in the U.S.--and something like 70 percent of those strike without warning. Coronary artery disease is sneaky like that. Symptoms generally don't outwardly manifest themselves until someone is on the floor, short of breath, wondering what just kicked them in the chest. Doctors battling these cardiac blockages generally enter the fight at a severe disadvantage.
At the University of Nottingham, a team of researchers is spearheading an ambitious project that could pull synthetic biology out of its niche and into the mainstream. With help from researchers elsewhere in the U.K., the U.S., Israel, and Spain, the team is trying to create a "reprogrammable cell" that can act as the in vivo cell equivalent to a computer's operating system.
Noted geneticist Snoop Dogg once said--and I'm paraphrasing here--that no matter where one goes in life, one's surroundings during one's formative years stay with one for life. No matter where you go, you can't change where you're from (I think Prof. Dogg was actually calling back to an old Comrads lyric from the song Homeboyz--I'm sure you all will correct me in the comments). Findings published today in the International Journal of Epidemiology suggest that he may have been correct--socio-economic status and living standards early in life may actually cause changes to your DNA that you carry with you for life, regardless of how your living conditions change along the way.
Trevor Prideaux was having trouble texting. Prideaux, who was born without his left forearm, used to have to balance his smartphone on his prosthetic arm or lay it on a flat surface to text, dial, or otherwise take advantage of the technology. So with some help form the Exeter Mobility Center in Devon, UK, the 50-year-old Prideaux has become the first person to have a smartphone dock embedded in his prosthetic limb.
Today in things that are just plain neat: a mashup of 3-D printing and augmented reality that is helping molecular researchers test potential drug molecules in the lab. At the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif., teams are making physical models of biological viruses and then testing them using an added layer of AR wizardry.
For the first time, scientists using a combination of gene-editing technologies have corrected mutations in a patient's own induced stem cells. The breakthrough could pave the way toward reprogramming a person's own cells to cure genetic diseases, rather than using transplanted organs and drug therapies.
Helmet sensors have been used for years to try to gauge the nuances and consequences of head injuries in contact sports like football, but now a team at Stanford University is hoping mouth guards loaded with sensors can gather head injury data on a much larger scale, helping researchers determine exactly what the human brain’s threshold is for those jarring, slot-receiver-coming-across-the-middle impacts.