The retina is a lush layered field of tissue lining the back of the eye, a complex mix of specialized cells that serve as a transfer station where light signals are absorbed and sent to the brain to be translated into sight.
Researchers from University of Wisconsin, Madison have now created these unique retina cells from lowly skin cells -- opening the possibility that patients with damaged or diseased retinas might some day be able to grow themselves a cure from their own skin.
When I was a kid, the only animal I wanted for a pet was a dinosaur. Seeing as non-avian dinosaurs had been extinct for around 65 million years, I settled for an iguana. However, new research at McGill University in Canada may finally bring me that pet dino I've been waiting 20 years for.
With the White House Council of Advisors on Science and Technology estimating that this winter's swine flu outbreak could lead to 30,000 to 90,000 deaths in the US (on top of the usual 30,000 deaths that occur from seasonal flu), the government has ramped up its effort to vaccinate as many Americans as possible against H1N1. In fact, the vaccination effort is so large, it may constitute the largest vaccination program in human history.
Just months ago, North Korea set the Japanese and American militaries on alert with its ill-advised, and failed, attempt to send a payload-bearing rocket into space. This morning, a much friendlier South Korea succeeded in doing exactly that, though the research satellite that South Korea Space Launch Vehicle-1 was ferrying failed to find its intended orbit.
Chemotherapy is notorious for the toll it takes on the entire body. It kills cancer cells, sure, but it kills a lot of healthy cells, too. But soon a new advance in carbon chemistry may replace the shotgun blast of chemo with a radiation sniper shot.
Developments in genetics are now making it possible to invite custom-engineered symbiotic creatures into our bodies to help perform the functions we can't. In two separate developments, scientists have created a strain of bacteria that stimulates insulin production in the stomach of diabetic mice, and a different strain that produces a protein that treats the stomach disease colitis. This is the first time genetically engineered bacteria have been used directly as therapeutic agents.
In one corner, we have the "hairy" frog, Trichobatrachus robustus, hailing from Cameroon.
In the other corner, meet the Spanish ribbed newt, Pleurodeles waltl, hailing from the Iberian peninsula.
Which skin-busting, bone-poking amphibian will win the PopSci deathmatch?
Human activity has widely affected our planet, reshaping surfaces, moving or extinguishing species, and warming the air and water. Now scientists say our reach has been extended even further -- warming oceans may even start to shift the Earth's axis of rotation.
By Emily StonePosted 08.24.2009 at 4:15 pm 8 Comments
An enemy missile has no strategic value if its computer is down. A high-power-microwave emitter can disable a missile's electronics on the launchpad, leaving bystanders unharmed -- and now Texas Tech University engineers have a plan to scale down the truck-size tech.
For all the visualizations, artist's renderings and animations of the birth of our universe, it is still exceedingly hard to imagine the Big Bang: from nothing emerges everything.
But what if you could create a big bang on a lab bench -- make a model of the universe's emergence. University of Maryland engineering professor Igor Smolyaninov has proposed just that, describing the opportunity to create a "toy big bang" using precisely designed metamaterials that are mathematically analogous to certain conditions of the real-world big bang.