Restoring movement to a quadriplegic patient

Researchers have successfully restored some movement to the fingers, hand, and wrist of a quadriplegic patient by using recorded signals from his motor cortex, allowing him to perform daily living activities such as pouring from a bottle and stirring the contents. Systems that work by translating neural activity into signals for robotic devices, such as […]

The in-game view of Quantum Moves with an optical tweezer (the vertical blue line), and a single trapped atom denoted by the purple liquid above the blue line. The blue circle indicates where the players should touch the screen.  A movie showing the Quantum Moves game studied by the researchers is available to watch. (Image credit: ScienceAtHome)

Solving quantum physics problems with computer games

Computer gamers can teach quantum physicists a thing or two! At least according to  the results of a study using an online game platform called Quantum Moves, which presents problems in quantum physics as games. So far the games have been played 500,000 times by about 10,000 different players. The research confirmed that using the […]

Use ‘em or lose ‘em – The case for teaching navigational skills

Schools should teach navigational and map reading skills to ensure future generations do not lose their innate ability to navigate in the world, so says Roger McKinlay, former president of the Royal Institute of Navigation in the United Kingdom. In this commentary, the author argues that turning to technology erodes our innate ability to orientate, […]

This image shows a cell carrying an RNA-targeted Cas9 system. (Image credit: David Nelles of the University of California, San Diego)

Tracking RNA in real time

By modifying the CRISPR-Cas9 system, typically used for genetic editing, researchers are able to visually track the movement of RNA in living cells. The researchers believe this could be used to study disease-related RNA processes. Many diseases are related to errors in RNA and RNA transcription, such as different cancers and autism. In the future […]


A bird’s eye view of birds

The view seen by humans (left) and drones (right) when trying to count seabird populations from either the ground or the air. (Image credits: Jarrod Hodgson) A new study compares the accuracy of monitoring of sea bird colonies by UAVs and traditional human ground counts and demonstrates that population estimates can be improved with this […]

Measuring the munchies – how much THC is in marijuana edibles?

A new way to more accurately measure the amount of cannabinoids in marijuana edibles was presented at the meeting of the American Chemical society March 15, 2016. In the past measurements were frequently inaccurate as the sugars, fats, and starches found in most edibles would clog the analytical device. By using dry-ice and a silica […]

Monocytes — a kind of white blood cell — carrying drug-loaded backpacks (red). (The scale bar is 5 µm.) (Image credit: Roberta Polak & Rosanna Lim)

Improving the cellular backpack

Medicine can be delivered to specific parts of the body by fitting it inside a “backpack” and attaching it to white blood cells. This targeted drug delivery means other tissues of the body aren’t affected, and side effects are limited.  Original research presented at a meeting of the American Chemical Society on March 17, 2015.

Growing hearts in 3D

Growing realistic human tissue outside the body is now possible thanks to the recently developed “person-on-a-chip” according to researchers at University of Toronto. The new technology, called AngioChip, could one day be used to repair or even replace damaged organs. In the meantime the researchers believe their development offers a new tool for discovering and testing […]

A completed ear structure printed with the Integrated Tissue-Organ Printing System. (Image credit: Credit: Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine)

Printing living bones may be possible

Printing bones and cartilage could be the way of the future. Using specialized ‘bioprinters’, researchers have been able to “print” cells into layered patterns reconstructing human body parts. Current 3D printers are unable to create bone and cartilage with enough structural stability. By combining bioprinters with biodegradable polymer materials researchers were able to “create” the […]

Lab in a suitcase provides real-time monitoring of Ebola

Testing the DNA of the Ebola virus on-site in the field in less than a day is now possible thanks to a new system developed by researchers. Real-time genomic surveillance will provide information on the virus and its rate of evolution – as well as characterizing its response to treatments and vaccines. The kit weighs […]

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