When it comes to gold we generally associate higher quantities with higher values, but UK researchers are finding the precious metal can be invaluable in very small doses as well. Scientists in Scotland have devised a novel way to continuously monitor for blood clots with a little bit of gold and a laser.
When a strain of antibiotic-resistant bacteria begins an assault on the human body, doctors usually have few tools to fall back on, save more antibiotics and crossed fingers. But a group of researchers is developing a new weapon in the fight against potentially threatening bacteria, taking a page from DARPA's playbook. Rather than attacking the bacteria directly, researchers are disrupting their communications, causing coordinated attacks to fall apart before they've begun.
Every year, 800,000 Americans elect to have a tiny metal-mesh tube inserted into their coronary artery to prop it open and improve blood flow to cardiac muscle tissue. It's an easy choice — the alternative entails cracking open the chest and operating on a stopped heart. The tube, or stent, is permanent, but the vessel hardens over it within months. After that, it becomes a nuisance. The metal blocks x-rays and MRI scans, and it can catch blood cells and form a dangerous clot. Now medical-equipment manufacturer Abbot Laboratories has developed a stent that opens the artery and then simply disintegrates.