Good news for the countless people across the globe suffering from some kind of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), which includes a large proportion of those dealing with skin cancer. Australian researchers have discovered the “stop signal” gene for SCC that is absent in virtually every SCC tumor they looked at. Without it, cells replicate uncontrolled causing a tumor, but knowing what gene is missing gives researchers the means to develop new strategies to treat and prevent this common form of cancer.
Back in 2009 when the H1N1 pandemic was sweeping the globe--it would leave about 17,000 people dead by the beginning of 2010, with confirmed cases in more than 200 countries--waves of anxiety followed in its wake. For most, it was a fear of an illness that seemed at the time indiscriminate, unstoppable, and incurable. For the virologists and drug developers trying to battle the virus, it stemmed from the fact that H1N1 was so poorly understood. This new strain of influenza A was a hybrid borrowing genetic elements from a handful of flu viruses, and researchers weren't just without tools--they didn't even know for sure what tools might be useful.
What constitutes consciousness--not in the philosophical sense, but clinically speaking--has been a matter of great debate in scientific circles lately, particularly as new technological applications allow neuroscientists to peek deeper into the brains of those thought to be in vegetative states. Now, a cheap and portable EEG device has been developed that has detected signs of consciousness in three people previously thought to be in vegetative states.
The thing about growing working organs in the lab is that the whole enterprise is completely mind-blowing. Yet we just keep doing it, and so we keep blowing minds. The latest: a team of researchers at Japan’s RIKEN Center--the same group who earlier this year engineered a mouse retina that is the most complex tissue ever engineered--have now derived a working pituitary gland from mouse stem cells.
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.
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.
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.
Capturing the motion of macromolecules will help researchers make better HIV drugs
By Mara GrunbaumPosted 10.19.2011 at 10:14 am 0 Comments
Early every morning, before dawn if he can, Hashim Al-Hashimi goes running. Six miles, rain or shine, summer heat or bitter Michigan cold (Al-Hashimi works at the University of Michigan). His chosen route is hilly for a reason. Just at the uphill crests—when the muscle pain is sharpest and the body most wants to quit—that’s when his mind is sharpest. “Most of my thinking is at the top of a hill,” he says.
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.