March 11, 2014
Cambridge scientists film embryo implantation for the first time
(Reuters) – Cambridge University biologists have cracked the so-called ‘black box’ of embryonic development, a mystery which has long puzzled scientists. The researchers have found a way to record the earliest stages of an embryo’s growth and have filmed for the first time ever, the moment of implantation, opening new possibilities for improved methods of IVF treatment and regenerative medicine.
February 28, 2014
Clinical trial shows stem cell injections reduce low back pain (w/ video)
(Medical Xpress) – A single injection of stem cells into degenerative discs reduced low back pain for at least 12 months according to results of a 100-patient, phase II, international clinical trial that included researchers at the Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center. W. Jeremy Beckworth, MD, assistant professor of Orthopaedics and Rehab Medicine, was part of the trial that used injections of bone marrow stem cells called mesenchymal precursor cells (MPCs) to reduce pain. On average researchers found a pain reduction greater than 50 percent at 12 months.
Phantom limb pain relieved when amputated arm is put back to work (w/ video)
(Medical Xpress) – Max Ortiz Catalan, researcher at Chalmers University of Technology, has developed a new method for the treatment of phantom limb pain (PLP) after an amputation. The method is based on a unique combination of several technologies, and has been initially tested on a patient who has suffered from severe phantom limb pain for 48 years. A case study shows a drastic reduction of pain.
February 26, 2014
Protecting the nanotechnology workforce
(Free ebooks) – Nanotechnology—the manipulation of matter on a near-atomic scale to produce new materials and devices—has the ability to transform many industries, from medicine to manufacturing, and the products they produce. By 2020, the National Science Foundation estimates, nanotechnology will have a $3 trillion impact on the global economy and employ 6 million workers in the manufacture of nanomaterial-based products, of which 2 million may be manufactured in the United States [NSF 2011]. Nanomaterials may present new challenges to understanding, predicting, and managing potential health risks to workers.
Video of virus-sized particle trying to enter cell
(Phys.org) – Tiny and swift, viruses are hard to capture on video. Now researchers at Princeton University have achieved an unprecedented look at a virus-like particle as it tries to break into and infect a cell. The technique they developed could help scientists learn more about how to deliver drugs via nanoparticles—which are about the same size as viruses—as well as how to prevent viral infection from occurring.
February 20, 2014
How gene therapy targest liver cells [video]
(Scientific American) – Advances in gene therapy over the past 15 years are finally allowing investigators to safely treat a growing number of carefully selected patients with a broad range of defective or missing genes, as reported by Ricki Lewis in the March issue of Scientific American. One of the biggest obstacles researchers have learned to overcome is the immune system’s propensity to over-react when thousands of copies of the stripped-down viruses carrying normal genes are injected into the body, mistakenly treating them as foreign invaders.
February 19, 2014
Plastic surgery offered for bullied kids
(CNN) – CNN’s Piers Morgan talks to Dr. Thomas Romo and one of his clients about offering plastic surgery to bullied kids.
February 14, 2014
A drug-dealing robot that upends the pharmacy model
(Wired) – The technical backbone of PillPack is a suite of drug-dealing robots. A large, beige machine in PillPack’s New Hampshire office is filled with a cornucopia of curatives which are dispensed into the plastic packets. The strip of dose packs is then fed through another robot that reviews each plastic packet for quality control purposes before a team of pharmacists double check the prescriptions and send them off to patients.
January 16, 2014
In ‘Transcendence’, Johnny Depp plays a brilliant scientist whose mind is allowed to live on and evolve through artificial intelligence, after his body is attacked. (U.S.A. Today)
January 14, 2014
Sam Berns, boy with ‘aging disease’ progeria, dies at 17
The 17-year-old boy who became the face of the progeria, the “Benjamin Button” disease, has died. Sam Berns died Friday from complications of the disease. Progeria is a fatal genetic condition that causes rapid aging. He was diagnosed at just 22 months old. His parents, Dr. Leslie Gordon and Dr. Scott Berns, reacted to his diagnosis by creating the Progeria Research Foundation in 1999 to find the cause of the disease and a cure. (ABC News)
January 9, 2014
Stem cell trial seeks longer lives for victims of deadly ALS
Researchers at Emory University in the United States are hoping to extend the lives of patients diagnosed with the deadly neuro-degenerative disease, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). ALS kills by destroying a patient’s nervous system but in clinical trials, the scientists say injections of neural stem cells show promise in slowing the disease’s progress. Ben Gruber reports. (Reuters)
December 16, 2013
El Salvador abortion ban
Strongly influenced by Catholic teachings, the country of El Salvador now forbids all abortions. Fred de Sam Lazaro reports from San Salvador on the consequences for many women when abortion is considered murder, regardless of the circumstances. (PBS)
November 25, 2013
Terminally ill prof teaches end-of-life lessons
David Oliver has spent decades teaching others how to care for dying patients. Now, he is terminally-ill with Stage 4 cancer. But the medical school professor at the University of Missouri is using death as a teachable moment, using his own case, and the Internet. (CBS News)
November 18, 2013
Design fiction: Grow your own, life after nature
“GROW YOUR OWN… is a new exhibition created by Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin that invites you to consider some of the potentially ground-breaking applications and uncertain implications of synthetic life. Tackling the provocative questions that designing life raises, GROW YOUR OWN… gives you the opportunity to help shape future discussions around synthetic biology – an emerging approach to genetic engineering, bringing together engineers, scientists, designers, artists and biohackers to design ‘living machines’. (Wired)
November 12, 2013
Invention could scope out counterfeit drugs
Malaria kills hundreds of thousands of people in Africa annually, and it sickens millions more. Medicine can keep the disease in check and save lives. But up to half the drugs in Africa may be substandard—and up to a third may be counterfeit. At the moment, there’s no easy way to reliably test a drug in the field. That could change if a new technology called PharmaCheck, developed by researchers at Boston University, moves from prototype to reality. (Scientific American)
Ruling on NYC disaster plans for disabled may have far reach
A year after Superstorm Sandy stranded many New Yorkers without power for days, a federal judge has ruled that New York City’s emergency plans violate the Americans with Disabilities Act. Those shortcomings, the judge found, leave almost 900,000 residents in danger, and many say the ruling could have implications for local governments across the country. (NPR)
January 22, 2013
Nanotechnology in the media
The media can have a significant influence on the public image of science and technology, in the specific case nanotechnology. This is true in particular if only a small percentage of the population only comes directly into contact with such fields of research. (Nanowerk)
May 2, 2011
Fifty-two Bio-Fiction videos
*They’ve been busy as video curators over at Vienna’s “Synthetic Biology Science, Art and Film Festival.” *There are literally dozens of these remarkable efforts — and they invite you to spend all day rating them. http://bio-fiction.com/videos/
Biotech-labs around the world are busy in the field of Synthetic Biology – a new approach to engineer “life” and living systems. Synthetic biology aims at applying engineering principles to biology. The DNA of an organism is no longer manipulated, but programmed on a computer and built up from scratch. Bio:Fiction is the Synthetic Biology Science, Art and Film Festival, taking place at the Museum of Natural History in Vienna, Austria from 13-14th of May 2011. The Bio:Fiction festival provides information and dialogue about synthetic biology in an attractive, factual and entertaining way. (Wired)
April 20, 2011
TR10: Synthetic Cells
Designing new genomes could speed the creation of vaccines and biofuel-producing bacteria. (MIT Technology Review)
April 13, 2011
Multiple Births and In-Vitro Fertilization
Video – Dr. Karen Boyle discusses embryo splits in IVF procedures. (ABC News)
January 18, 2011
Made in India, Film Trailer