Researchers at Cambridge University are building artificial bone in the lab, and they’re doing so with what might be considered an unorthodox partner: Lego. The tedious process of building up a sample of artificial bone requires a lot of repetitive dipping of samples into various substances, rinsing, and repeating. So to automate sample creation, the researchers built a couple of inexpensive laboratory robots using Lego Mindstorms.
Much like your four-year-old nephew, RNA can only read three-letter combinations. Called codons, these three DNA-base-pair groups form the phrases that RNA translates into the 21 amino acids that underlie all life. But now, University of Cambridge researcher Jason Chin has engineered more literate RNA, capable of reading codons composed of four base pairs. This expands the possible number of codons from 64 to 320, and opens the door for a whole new line of artificial amino acids.
A half-decade study to track the flu's travels could lead to better vaccines
By Dawn Stover
Posted 04.16.2008 at 2:59 pm 2 Comments
Flu travel patterns:Seasonal influenza strains typically emerge in Asia and spread to the rest of the world along the routes shown here. Courtesy of NASA/University of Cambridge
Where does the flu come from? Scientists at the University of Cambridge and the World Health Organization's Global Influenza Surveillance Network tracked the migrations of flu viruses and discovered that the most common originate in East and Southeast Asia and spread in a distinctive pattern around the world. Understanding how these viruses evolve and travel will lead to better vaccines against flu epidemics that currently infect 5 to 15 percent of the world's population each year.
In a study of London stock traders, elevated hormone levels coincided with above-average profits.
By Dawn Stover
Posted 04.14.2008 at 5:14 pm 0 Comments
A UK Trading Floor: HSBC
When financial-market traders start the day with high testosterone levels, they typically end the day with higher-than-average profits. That's the conclusion of researchers at the University of Cambridge who measured morning and afternoon levels of the hormone in 17 male City of London traders over eight consecutive business days. The findings were made public today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.