Who would have guessed that something as fine as silk could be so sturdy? That's what a team of scientists are learning as they've proven that silk, reduced down to a thin film wrapped around antibiotics and vaccines can help extend their shelf life. It's a development that could be critical to bringing key medicines to the Third World.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins University have designed a lab-on-a-chip that moves blood through a tiny device, using ramps to gradually sift cells according to weight and size. It functions like a tiny pinball machine: targeted items are isolated by the ramps they can't navigate, and are funneled to the side like little gutter balls.
Dental visits are filled with that uneasy feeling until you hear whether you have a cavity. If you do have a cavity, that uneasy feeling is turned to dread. Would it make you feel better to learn that a new filling procedure could work to kill bacteria and even help regrowth in vulnerable area of the tooth?
Researchers have discovered a new brain stem cell, which could have great implications for the future of medicine. The stem cells can form various types of cells, including new brain cells, which could possibly be the key to healing many brain injuries.
Last week surgeons at the University of Maryland Medical Center performed the most extensive face transplant ever completed. 37-year-old Richard Lee Norris received donor skin from his scalp to his neck as well as a new nose, tongue, jaw bones and teeth.
Studies recently concluded on astronauts who have flown long-term missions that could point to serious problems with prolonged exposure to microgravity. This adds to the list of physical concerns NASA is addressing when considering long-term space travel.
Origami paper folding has long been a traditional art form, but now researchers at the University of Texas at Austin have been inspired to use paper folding as a way to test for diseases. The idea expands on existing paper sensor tests, but the folding allows it to detect more complex substances and diseases.
Weight-loss drugs generally work in one of two ways: they suppress your appetite so that you eat less, or they attempt to reduce the amount of fat that your body absorbs. Neither of these methods deal with the fat that you already have, but a new drug that targets those cells has shown some promising results in primate trials.
The first human genome cost $3 billion to sequence back in 2003. By 2009, the cost to sequence someone's genome had dropped to more like $50,000. Next year, the target is a mere $1,000, and it'll only take two hours to completely identify all six billion of the base pairs in your DNA to tell you what you're likely to die from first.
We're not even at the point where we're allowed to get all up in people's stem cells to help cure diseases, but researchers are already thinking ahead to how we can use stem cells to treat genetic diseases, which should be impossible. Or, it was impossible, until we just did it.