Archive for the ‘biotech/medical’ category: Page 2296

Jan 19, 2017

Brain stimulation used like a scalpel to improve memory

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Precise memory, rather than general memory, is critical for knowing details such as the specific color, shape and location of a building you are looking for, rather than simply knowing the part of town it’s in. This type of memory is crucial for normal functioning, and it is often lost in people with serious memory disorders.

“We show that it is possible to target the portion of the brain responsible for this type of memory and to improve it,” said lead author Joel Voss, assistant professor of medical social sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “People with brain injuries have problems with precise memory as do individuals with dementia, and so our findings could be useful in developing new treatments for these conditions.”

By stimulating the brain network responsible for spatial memory with powerful electromagnets, scientists improved the precision of people’s memory for identifying locations. This benefit lasted a full 24 hours after receiving stimulation and corresponded to changes in brain activity.

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Jan 19, 2017

On-demand pain relief, triggered by light

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, materials, quantum physics

It will be amazing how this advances with Quantum.

Once injected into the body, a new material can repeatedly release small bursts of local anesthetic when zapped by low-intensity, near-infrared light for one minute (Nano Lett. 2016, DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.6b03588). The material’s developers, who have tested it in rats, say the on-demand system could make pain management safer and more effective, and give patients more control.

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Jan 19, 2017

Equipping Insects for Special Service

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, drones

Draper combines navigation and neuromodulation to guide insects

CAMBRIDGE, MA – The smallest aerial drones mimic insects in many ways, but none can match the efficiency and maneuverability of the dragonfly. Now, engineers at Draper are creating a new kind of hybrid drone by combining miniaturized navigation, synthetic biology and neurotechnology to guide dragonfly insects. The system looks like a backpack for a dragonfly.

DragonflEye, an internal research and development project at Draper, is already showing promise as a way to guide the flightpath of dragonflies. Potential applications of the technologies underpinning DragonflEye include guided pollination, payload delivery, reconnaissance and even precision medicine and diagnostics.

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Jan 19, 2017

Will synthetic biology help us to eliminate age-related diseases?

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, chemistry, computing, genetics, health, life extension

A quick look at synthetic biology and its potential for health and treating age-related diseases.

All living organisms contain an instruction set that determines what they look like and what they do. These instructions are encoded in the organism’s DNA within every cell, this is an organism’s genetic code (or “genome”).

Mankind has been altering the genetic code of plants and animals for thousands of years, by selectively breeding individuals with desired features. Over time we have become experts at viewing and manipulating this code, and we can now take genetic information associated with the desired features from one organism, and add it into another one. This is the basis of genetic engineering, which has allowed us to speed up the process of developing new breeds of plants and animals.

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Jan 19, 2017

CellAge 1-month campaign extension announced

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

Some exciting news from about their current senescent cell therapy campaign.

While the CellAge campaign has done a great job thus far, with over 200 backers raising $11,000+ to better target dysfunctional “senescent” cells in the body, many supporters have let us know that the holidays, along with other concurrent fundraisers, have made it challenging to contribute.

In response we have decided to announce a 1-month extension for the CellAge campaign, and give the generous members of our community greater opportunity to support this important research.

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Jan 19, 2017

Computers Made of Genetic Material Will Revolutionize Our World

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing, genetics, nanotechnology

Researchers have been able to create tiny structures for conducting electricity by using DNA and gold plating. This new nanostructure could be the foundation of future electronics as soon as improvements are made on this breakthrough development.

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Jan 19, 2017

Indian scientists design ‘magic’ DNA for low cost breast cancer detection

Posted by in category: biotech/medical


Indian scientists have designed high precision DNA probes for breast cancer detection, which they claim can bring down costs of diagnostics ten-fold.

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology — Guwahati relied on ‘magic bullets’ of science, a class of molecules called aptamers, that can bind to virtually any molecule, clasping it in a firm lock-and-key fit.

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Jan 19, 2017

Men, work-related stress may cause cancer

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, employment

Dear men, beware! Prolonged exposure to work-related stress may increase likelihood of cancer. The findings indicate that the link was observed in men, who had been exposed to 15 to 30 years of work-related stress and in some cases, more than 30 years. According to the study published in journal of Preventive Medicine, prolonged exposure of men to work-related stress has been linked to an increased likelihood of lung, colon, rectal and stomach cancer and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Researchers at INRS and Université de Montréal in Canada conducted the study to assess the link between cancer and work-related stress perceived by men throughout their working life. On average, the study participants had held four jobs, with some holding up to a dozen or more during their working lifetime. A link between work-related stress and cancer was not found in participants who had held stressful jobs for less than 15 years. Significant links to five of the eleven cancers considered in the study were revealed.

The most stressful jobs included firefighter, industrial engineer, aerospace engineer, mechanic foreman, and vehicle and railway-equipment repair worker and for the same individual, stress varied depending on the job held. The study also shows that perceived stress is not limited to high work load and time constraints. ‘One of the biggest flaws in previous cancer studies is that none of them assessed work-related stress over a full working lifetime, making it impossible to determine how the duration of exposure to work-related stress affects cancer development,’ the authors explained. ‘Our study shows the importance of measuring stress at different points in an individual’s working life,’ the authors noted.

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Jan 19, 2017

Jekyll & Hyde Tale Unfolding Within The Human Brain May Explain Neurodegenerative Disease

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Interesting write up by Stanford on Astrocytes and neurodegenerative diseases. One area that I will be interested in finding research is any ties to Dystonia as Astrocytes own impact to the central nervous system.

Judging from the very terms used to designate brain research — neuroscience, neuro logy, neuro biology — you might figure nerve cells (or neurons, as brain scientists like to call them) are the only cells in the brain worth knowing about or, indeed, the only cells resident in that organ.

Not true. In fact, neurons account for a measly 10 percent of the cells in a healthy human brain. And over the past 25 years Stanford brain scientist Ben Barres, MD, PhD, has arguably done as much as any human on earth to advance the status of the 90 percent of cells in the brain that aren’t neurons. Among those are a particularly interesting group called astrocytes because of their star-shaped appearance, and they were the focus of a just-published study by Barres’ group.

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Jan 19, 2017

Manufacturing could be revolutionized by synthetic biology

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, computing

The emerging discipline of synthetic biology sits at the crux of the intersection between design, biology, computing and manufacturing…[I]t appears more and more probable that we are on the cusp of a paradigm shift, where…biology is adopted as the next big manufacturing technology.

[The objective of Ginkgo Bioworks, an “organism design” company,] is to take synthetic biology techniques to an industrial level, machine-injecting DNA sequences into baker’s yeast creating “living organism” products like perfumes, sweeteners, cosmetics and other things that are typically extracted from plants.

There are two main potential benefits from the technology. Replacing consumption of finite natural resources with lab-grown alternatives, and the potential to replicate actual genes to produce authentic fragrances replacing chemical synthetic scented products that currently dominate the marketplace.

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