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Air Pollution Cut Lifespans in China

July 8, 2013 3:53 pm | by LOUISE WATT - Associated Press - Associated Press | News | Comments

A new study links heavy air pollution from coal burning to shorter lives in northern China. Researchers estimate that the half-billion people alive there in the 1990s will live an average of 5½ years less than their southern counterparts because they breathed dirtier air.

Printing Artificial Bone

June 17, 2013 10:51 am | News | Comments

Researchers working to design new materials that are durable, lightweight and environmentally sustainable are increasingly looking to natural composites for inspiration. While they have come up with hierarchical structures in the design of new materials, going from a computer model to the production of physical artifacts has been a challenge. Now, researchers have developed an approach that allows them to turn their designs into reality.

Implantable Electronics Will Detect Transplant Rejections

June 11, 2013 11:37 am | News | Comments

New technology under development is paving the way for low-cost electronic devices that work in direct contact with living tissue inside the body. The first planned use of the technology is a sensor that will detect the very early stages of organ transplant rejection.

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Polymer Foams Treat Aneurysms

June 11, 2013 10:40 am | News | Comments

An innovative method for treating potentially fatal brain aneurysms by filling them with foam-like plastics is a step closer to clinical trials after demonstrating an ability to promote healing at unprecedented levels. The treatment makes use of special plastics called polyurethane-based shape memory polymer foams (SMPs) and is considered a significant milestone in the development of the treatment of aneurysms.

Flying Robot Controlled Using the Mind

June 6, 2013 10:25 am | News | Comments

Researchers have developed a new noninvasive system that allows people to control a flying robot using only their mind. The study goes far beyond fun and games and has the potential to help people who are paralyzed or have neurodegenerative diseases.

Brain Visualization Prototype Promising for Precision Medicine

June 3, 2013 10:38 am | News | Comments

The ability to combine all of a patient’s neurological test results into one detailed, interactive “brain map” could help doctors diagnose and tailor treatment for a range of neurological disorders, from autism to epilepsy. But before this can happen, researchers need a suite of automated tools and techniques to manage and make sense of these massive complex datasets. 

3-D Printing Goes From Fantasy to Reality

June 2, 2013 9:37 am | by MARTHA MENDOZA - AP National Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

Invisalign, a San Jose company, uses 3-D printing to make each mouthful of customized, transparent braces. Mackenzies Chocolates, a confectioner in Santa Cruz, uses a 3-D printer to pump out chocolate molds. And earlier this year, Cornell University researchers used a 3-D printer, along with...

Liquid-repelling Paper May Yield New Biomedical Diagnostics

May 29, 2013 10:35 am | News | Comments

Paper is known for its ability to absorb liquids, making it ideal for products such as paper towels. But by modifying the underlying network of cellulose fibers, etching off surface “fluff” and applying a thin chemical coating, researchers have created a new type of paper that repels a wide variety of liquids– including water and oil.

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Lab-based Skin Test Predicts Adverse Drug Reactions

May 28, 2013 11:46 am | News | Comments

A simple lab-based skin test which eliminates the risk of adverse reactions to new drugs, cosmetics and household chemicals has been developed by team of researchers. It uses real human skin and immune cells to show any reaction such as a rash or blistering indicating a wider immune response within the body. 

Smartphones Become Handheld Biosensors

May 24, 2013 9:43 am | News | Comments

Researchers and physicians in the field could soon run on-the-spot tests for environmental toxins, medical diagnostics, food safety and more with their smartphones. Researchers have developed a cradle and app for the iPhone that uses the phone’s built-in camera and processing power as a biosensor to detect toxins, proteins, bacteria, viruses and other molecules.

Turning Up the Heat on Biofuels

May 17, 2013 11:26 am | News | Comments

The production of biofuels from lignocellulosic biomass would benefit on several levels if carried out at temperatures between 65 and 70 degrees Celsius. Researchers with the Energy Biosciences Institute (EBI) have employed a promising technique for improving the ability of enzymes that break cellulose down into fermentable sugars to operate in this temperature range.

Study Suggest New Roles for ECMO

May 17, 2013 10:48 am | News | Comments

Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), a procedure traditionally used during cardiac surgeries and in the ICU that functions as an artificial replacement for a patient's heart and lungs, has also been used to resuscitate cardiac arrest victims in Japan, Taiwan and South Korea.

‘Brainbow’ Imaging Gets Upgraded

May 16, 2013 11:31 am | News | Comments

The breakthrough technique that allowed scientists to obtain one-of-a-kind, colorful images of the myriad connections in the brain and nervous system is about to get a significant upgrade. A group of Harvard researchers has made a host of technical improvements in the “Brainbow” imaging technique.

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New Biomaterial Can Improve Implant Success

May 15, 2013 12:16 pm | News | Comments

Expensive, state-of-the-art medical devices and surgeries often are thwarted by the body’s natural response to attack something in the tissue that appears foreign. Now, engineers have demonstrated in mice a way to prevent this sort of response.

Chemistry Breakthrough Yields New Imaging Dye

May 13, 2013 1:30 pm | News | Comments

From microscopes to nuclear imaging scanners, imaging technology is growing ever more vital for the world's hospitals, whether for the diagnosis of illness or for research into new cures. Imaging technology requires dyes or contrast agents of some sort. Current contrast agents and dyes are expensive, difficult to work with and far from ideal. Now, chemists have discovered a new dye and proved its worth against the dyes currently available.

Device Extracts DNA in Minutes

May 6, 2013 3:51 pm | News | Comments

Take a swab of saliva from your mouth and within minutes your DNA could be ready for analysis and genome sequencing with the help of a new device. Engineers and NanoFacture, a Bellevue, Wash., company, have created a device that can extract human DNA from fluid samples in a simpler, more efficient and environmentally friendly way than conventional methods.

Study Evaluates Nanomaterial Toxicity

May 6, 2013 9:52 am | News | Comments

For the first time, researchers from institutions around the country have conducted an identical series of toxicology tests evaluating lung-related health impacts associated with widely used engineered nanomaterials (ENMs). The study provides comparable health risk data from multiple labs, which should help regulators develop policies to protect workers and consumers who come into contact with ENMs.

App Lets Amputees Self-program Bionic Hands

May 3, 2013 1:37 pm | by KATHY MATHESON - Associated Press - Associated Press | News | Comments

Double-amputee Jason Koger used to fly hundreds of miles to visit a clinician when he wanted to adjust the grips on his bionic hands. Now, he's got an app. Koger came to Philadelphia this week to demonstrate the i-limb ultra revolution, a prosthetic developed by the British firm Touch Bionics. Using a stylus and an iPhone, Koger can choose any of 24 grip patterns that best suit his needs.

FDA to Review Antibacterial Soap Safety

May 2, 2013 5:54 pm | by MATTHEW PERRONE - AP Health Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

It's a chemical that's been in U.S. households for more than 40 years, from the body wash in your bathroom shower to the knives on your kitchen counter to the bedding in your baby's basinet. But federal health regulators are just now deciding whether triclosan — the germ-killing ingredient found in an estimated 75 percent of antibacterial liquid soaps and body washes sold in the U.S. — is ineffective, or worse, harmful.

'Blindfolded' Surgery Performed with Haptic-enhanced Robot

May 2, 2013 11:11 am | News | Comments

Surgeons, using a new man-machine interface, were able to successfully perform simulated robotic surgical procedures using only their sense of touch. Despite all of the advances in robotics, the ability to provide the operator of a robotic system with a sense of touch (haptics) still remains a significant problem.

Troubling Levels of Toxic Metals Found in Cosmetics

May 2, 2013 10:14 am | News | Comments

A new analysis of the contents of lipstick and lip gloss may cause you to pause before puckering. Researchers tested 32 different lipsticks and lip glosses and detected lead, cadmium, chromium, aluminum and five other metals, some of which were found at levels that could raise potential health concerns.

Robots Reach Through Clutter with Tactile Sensing

May 1, 2013 9:59 am | News | Comments

Whether reaching for a book out of a cluttered cabinet or pruning a bush in the backyard, a person’s arm frequently makes contact with objects during everyday tasks. Animals do it too, when foraging for food, for example. Much in the same way, robots are now able to intelligently maneuver within clutter, gently making contact with objects while accomplishing a task.

Bugs Produce Diesel on Demand

April 25, 2013 10:41 am | News | Comments

It sounds like science fiction but a team from the University of Exeter, with support from Shell, has developed a method to make bacteria produce diesel on demand. While the technology still faces many significant commercialisation challenges, the diesel, produced by special strains of E. coli bacteria, is almost identical to conventional diesel fuel.

Reproductive Effects of Pesticides Span Generations

April 22, 2013 12:58 pm | News | Comments

Researchers studying aquatic organisms called Daphnia have found that exposure to a chemical pesticide has impacts that span multiple generations– causing the so-called “water fleas” to produce more male offspring, and causing reproductive problems in female offspring.

Hologram-like 3-D Brain Decodes Migraine Pain

April 19, 2013 11:00 am | News | Comments

Wielding a joystick and wearing special glasses, pain researcher Alexandre DaSilva rotates and slices apart a large, colorful, 3-D brain floating in space before him. Despite the white lab coat, it appears DaSilva's playing the world's most advanced virtual video game.

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