So much for going off your meds. University of Florida researchers have created an ingestible pill capsule fitted with a tiny microchip and antenna that alerts doctors or family members each time a pill is taken. Miss a dose and you're busted.
Glaucoma is a tricky ailment to manage; rather than being a single disease, it's actually a cluster of diseases with various manifestations that, taken as a whole, are the second leading cause of blindness. But medical microtechnology firm Sensimed has engineered a sensor-laden contact lens that glaucoma sufferers can wear around-the-clock, helping doctors not only manage the potentially debilitating disease, but also learn more about how the mysterious condition works.
In a move that could significantly alter the future of genetic medicine and the industry around it, a US District Court judge invalidated seven patents for human genes linked to breast and ovarian cancer, on the grounds that genes are discovered, not created. The ruling opens up challenges against the patents held by numerous companies on thousands of human genes, and jeopardizes an industry business model based on exclusive rights to gene treatment.
The brain is the body's most complicated biological machine, and as such it can be very difficult to service when something goes wrong; after our neural wiring is put in place, at a very young age, altering or rebuilding it becomes extremely challenging.
Finding large-scale sources of kinetic energy to turn turbines isn't easy. But while there are only so many roaring rivers and flat, windy plains from which to harvest nature's natural motions, there's no shortage of tiny, random vibrations all around us. Now researchers at the University of Michigan have developed mini-generators that harness these.
By Clay Dillow and Denise NgoPosted 03.23.2010 at 1:25 pm 2 Comments
Billed as "a unique collaboration between science and design," IMPACT! – an exhibition that recently wrapped at the Royal College of Art in Kensington, UK – explored the many ways physical sciences and engineering overlap to leave their marks on our ecnomies, our policies, and our everyday lives.
Measuring sensors and actuators can turn any old hip implant into a smart network that helps patients avoid implant problems and may even actively regenerate bone. This "smart hip" system has already been demonstrated successfully on animals.
A current prototype allows physicians to activate the "smart hip" via wireless Bluetooth and a computer. The network of actuators which help stimulate bone growth at the implant's surface has also undergone tests in cell studies as well as animals.
The ability to reprogram the immune system is one of the most sought-after goals in medicine. Now researchers are closer than ever to pulling it off in patients with Type 1 diabetes, one of whom happens to be our correspondent
By Catherine PricePosted 03.15.2010 at 10:46 am 27 Comments
A sign rests on the windowsill in the office of Jeffrey Bluestone, director of the Immune Tolerance Network and the Diabetes Center at the University of California at San Francisco. Measuring nearly three feet across, it reads "Club Bluestone" in pink and blue neon. It's the sort of artifact you'd expect to find in a bar. But Bluestone is a world-renowned immunobiologist; his father-in-law had the sign made for him in the late 1980s when Bluestone was working long hours in his lab at the University of Chicago.
Despite coming from a range of different backgrounds, everyone whose genome has been fully sequenced has had one thing in common: they were all healthy. But now, two teams have decoded the first genomes of people who carry genetic diseases, with one group also performing the first-ever full sequencing of an entire nuclear family.