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Smartphone Microscope Brings Single-virus Detection to Remote Locations

September 25, 2013 12:01 pm | News | Comments

Scientists are reporting an advance in smartphone-based imaging that could help physicians in far-flung and resource-limited locations monitor how well treatments for infections are working by detecting, for the first time, individual viruses.

Smartphone 'Microscope' Detects a Single Virus

September 16, 2013 12:09 pm | News | Comments

Your smartphone now can see what the naked eye cannot: A single virus and bits of material less than one-thousandth of the width of a human hair. A team of researchers has created a portable smartphone attachment that can be used to perform sophisticated field testing to detect viruses and bacteria without the need for bulky and expensive microscopes and lab equipment. 

Imaging Technique Brings 3-D IR to Full Color

August 6, 2013 11:35 am | News | Comments

A research collaboration has combined Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy with computed tomography (CT-scans) to create a non-destructive 3-D imaging technique that provides molecular-level chemical information of unprecedented detail on biological and other specimens with no need to stain or alter the specimen.

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Nanocrystals Possible Future of Biomed Imaging

August 1, 2013 11:45 am | News | Comments

Tiny silicon crystals caused no health problems in monkeys three months after large doses were injected, marking a step forward in the quest to bring such materials into clinics as biomedical imaging agents, according to a new study. The findings suggest that the silicon nanocrystals, known as quantum dots, may be a safe tool for diagnostic imaging in humans.

Microscope Converted into Billion-pixel Imaging System

July 30, 2013 11:02 am | News | Comments

Engineers have devised a method to convert a relatively inexpensive conventional microscope into a billion-pixel imaging system that significantly outperforms the best available standard microscope. Such a system could greatly improve the efficiency of digital pathology, in which specialists need to review large numbers of tissue samples.

Tiny Algae Gives Hope for New Biofuels

July 24, 2013 11:58 am | News | Comments

Newly trialed native algae species provide real hope for the development of commercially viable fuels from algae, scientists have found. The researchers have identified fast-growing and hardy microscopic algae that could prove the key to cheaper and more efficient alternative fuel production. 

Biomaterials Can Benefit from 'Mussel' Strength

July 24, 2013 10:56 am | News | Comments

Researchers have unraveled the secret to byssus threads, the tiny natural bungee cords that mussels use to dangle loosely from rocks, piers or ships. Byssus threads, they found, are composed of a well-designed combination of soft, stretchy material on one end and much stiffer material on the other.

Nano-coating Can Preserve Vaccines

July 22, 2013 11:19 am | News | Comments

For the first time, scientists are working on developing a ‘nano-coating’ that would protect a vaccine from its environment both in transit and for storage. Using the latest chemistry advances, researchers hope to show how nano-silica can be grown around individual vaccine molecules, enabling a vaccine to be taken anywhere in the world without refrigeration.

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Microparticle Delivery Trick Could Lead to 3-D Tissues

July 10, 2013 10:06 am | News | Comments

Researchers are now reporting advances in complex three-dimensional structures development using gelatin-based microparticles to deliver growth factors to specific areas of embryoid bodies, aggregates of differentiating stem cells. 

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.

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.

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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.

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.

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.

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