Studying our natural internal bacteria could help doctors cure diseases that affect millions
By Virginia HughesPosted 03.07.2011 at 11:00 am 7 Comments
When Jake Harvey visits the clinical center at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, he is usually dirty, itchy and wheezing—not the happiest state of affairs for a 14-year-old boy. But his doctors require that for 24 hours prior to each visit, he refrain from bathing, or using the inhaler that soothes his asthma, or applying the ointment that softens his eczema. In order to study his illness, they need him to be in as close to his natural state as possible.
It’s been a big week for the world of the small. In a new microscope breakthrough, researchers have figured out how to use a minuscule sheet of light to produce movies of living cells, revealing mitosis in action and illuminating cells' three-dimensional architecture with the greatest detail ever seen.
Just in time to take advantage of the latest round of iPad hysteria, optics researchers at the Universities of Glasgow and Bristol are launching a novel new iPad app. But this new application doesn't let you manipulate your bank account, your current scrabble match, or your media collection. It lets you manipulate microscopic particles.
Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the Weill Cornell Medical College have found a new means to hunt viruses the old fashioned way: by luring them in for the kill. Using artificial, protocellular “honey pots,” the researchers have devised a way to trap deadly human viruses and terminate them with extreme prejudice.
A new microscope combines a normal optical scope with a see-through microsphere superlens, beating the diffraction limit of light and shattering the limits of optical microscopes.
With the new method, there is theoretically no limit on how small an object researchers will be able to see. It could potentially see inside human cells and examine live viruses for the first time.
If you’ve ever wondered what it might be like to have an extra arm, a team of Swedish researchers would love to show you. Scientists at the medical university Karolinska Institutet were wondering the same thing, so they set up an experiment to find out. It turns out it’s possible to experience having three arms at the same time.
Antimatter is a very fickle medium; infinitely interesting to study, it tends to disappear in a burst of gamma rays when it comes into contact with absolutely anything (anything that’s considered ordinary matter, anyhow). That property makes it difficult to get a good look at antimatter, so a team of researchers at the UC San Diego is building the world’s largest antimatter container.
Tiny-fingered researchers at the University of Michigan have created this computer, the world's first complete millimeter-scale computing system. It is a prototype designed to be implanted in a human eye, to monitor internal pressure there for signs of glaucoma.
We're always suckers for a good art/science mashup, so perhaps it's no surprise that we're feeling pretty good about today's release of the 2010 International Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge winners. This year's winning entries included
the most detailed 3-D model of the HIV virus ever made (above), a sweeping infographic primer on the many ways fungi impact our lives, and a non-interactive media project that tracked 3,000 pieces of garbage from their origins in Seattle to destinations across the U.S.
Some of the greatest discoveries in science have been total accidents — Alexander Fleming's use of penicillin, Wilson and Penzias' discovery of the cosmic microwave background, etc. Today, scientists announced they've once again unintentionally made a monumental discovery: A cure for baldness. OK, only in mice.
Still, the finding — involving a chemical compound that blocks a stress hormone — could lead to human hair loss treatments, the scientists say. The researchers have applied for a patent on the use of the compound for hair growth.