A new DNA-based logic circuit can sense the signs of cancer, compute that a cell is cancerous, and then cause it to self-destruct, researchers say. The cell-level diagnostic system could be used for drug screening or perhaps for disease treatment, killing tumors while leaving healthy cells alone.
Researchers at UCLA have built a cheap, optics-free holographic microscope capable of detecting bacteria like E. coli in things like water, food, and blood. And by cheap, we mean really cheap. The researchers say it costs less than $100 to build.
Anyone who has ever had a stomach bug knows it can really subdue your spirits as well as your appetite. But other parts of the gut microbiome can have the opposite effect, and make you feel great. Irish researchers have found a type of gut bacteria that seems to have directly interacted with the brains of mice, reducing stress and depression.
A new heat-sensitive gel and glue combo is a major step forward for cardiovascular surgery, enabling blood vessels to be reconnected without puncturing them with a needle and thread. It represents the biggest change to vascular suturing in 100 years, according to Stanford University Medical Center researchers.
Doctors whose bodies are regularly exposed to x-rays may be adapting at the cellular level to protect themselves against radiation, according to a new study. The research hints that humans could adapt to withstand radiation exposure.
Researchers at Cambridge claim they’ve engineered the first animal with artificial information embedded in its genetic code in such a way that it generates biological molecules that have never been seen before in nature. That is, it churns out an amino acid that is wholly new, rather than one of the 20 found in natural living things.
You may have heard of this scheme before: during periods of serious drought, a huge tugboat or fleet of tugboats could be tethered to an iceberg and hauled to areas where water is scarce, providing drinking water and irrigation stores to stave off famine. The idea was originally floated by an engineer named Georges Mougin in the 1970s, and though it was laughed out of development back then, it’s enjoying a kind of renaissance today.
Scientists hard at work at eradicating malaria have often focused on the malaria-carrying mosquito, creating solutions ranging from genetic modification to malaria-attacking fungi to stinky sock lures (and about a billion more). The latest is a radiation treatment that effectively makes some male mosquitoes sterile--which, due to the particular mating habits of these mosquitoes, could have a drastic effect on mosquito populations.
Two MIT researchers have cracked some fundamental problems with high resolution 3-D imaging using a novel gelatinous interface and computer-vision algorithms that, in tandem, can easily and portably provide imaging resolutions that were previously only possible with large and expensive laboratory gear. The resulting high-quality, 3-D models can be manipulated on a computer screen to a variety of ends ranging from quality control to criminal forensics to dermatology.
Researchers at Georgia Tech have found that a little vibration goes a long way toward upping a person’s sense of touch. Using a glove of their own design, they’ve found that they can heighten tactile sensitivity by applying a small, high-frequency vibration to the side of the fingertip.