When insulin is secreted from beta cells in the pancreas to control glucose levels in the blood stream, GABA is also released from the cells to calm them so that the cells can prepare for the next pulse of insulin secretion. Having a stable insulin level is key to the functioning of a healthy pancreas.
Between walking at a leisurely pace and running for your life, human gaits can cover a wide range of speeds. Typically, we choose the gait that allows us to consume the least amount of energy at a given speed. For example, at low speeds, the metabolic rate of walking is lower than that of running
Cells are incredibly adept at creating complex molecules, like therapeutics, and can do so much better than many of our best factories. Synthetic biologists look to re-engineer cells to make these molecules for specific needs, including pharmaceuticals and energy applications. But the trial-and-error process is difficult and time-consuming, and often competes with the cell’s other
A team of researchers from New York University has engineered nanoscale protein micelles capable of both delivering chemotherapeutic drugs and of being tracked by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The innovation falls into the category of “theranostics,” meaning that it combines diagnostic capability and drug delivery, allowing researchers to administer therapy while also non-invasively monitoring the
The underlying structure-function relationship of living tissues depends on structural and hierarchical anisotropy. Clinical exploitation of the interplay between cells and their immediate microenvironment has rarely used macroscale, three-dimensional (3-D) constructs. Biomechanical robustness is an important biomimetic factor that is compromised during biofabrication, limiting the relevance of such scaffolds in translational medicine. In a recent
Researchers at Utah State University have developed new devices to mechanically stress human cells in the lab. In a study published in Lab on a Chip, researchers Elizabeth Vargis, a USU assistant professor of biological engineering and Farhad Farjood, a Ph.D. student in Vargis’ Lab, wanted to better understand the triggers of age-related macular degeneration
With today’s technology, we can 3-D-print sculptures, mechanical parts, prosthetics, even guns and food. But a team of University of Utah biomedical engineers have developed a method to 3-D-print cells to produce human tissue such as ligaments and tendons, a process that will greatly improve a patient’s recovery. A person with a badly damaged ligament,
“Lego block” artificial cells that can kill bacteria have been created by researchers at the University of California, Davis Department of Biomedical Engineering. The work is reported Aug. 29 in the journal ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces. “We engineered artificial cells from the bottom-up — like Lego blocks — to destroy bacteria,” said Assistant Professor
Kids learn better with a friend. They’re more enthusiastic and understand more if they dig into a subject with a companion. But what if that companion is artificial? Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have built a robot, named Minnie, to serve as a reading buddy to middle school kids, and Minnie’s new friends grew
Fluorescence-based biosensing and bioimaging technologies are widely used in research and clinical settings to detect and image various biological species of interest. While fluorescence-based detection and imaging techniques are convenient to use, they suffer from poor sensitivity. For example, when a patient carries low levels of antigens in the blood or urine, the fluorescent signal
Getting robots to do things isn’t easy: usually scientists have to either explicitly program them or get them to understand how humans communicate via language. But what if we could control robots more intuitively, using just hand gestures and brainwaves? A new system spearheaded by researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL)
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have devised what they call a “neuronal cookbook” for turning skin cells into different types of neurons. As reported today in the journal Nature, the research opens the door to studying common brain conditions such as autism, schizophrenia, addiction and Alzheimer’s disease under reproducible conditions in a dish. “The
Researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) in Beer-Sheva, Israel have demonstrated for the first time the feasibility of a robotic system that plays Tic Tac Toe with rehabilitation patients to improve real-life task performance. The interdisciplinary research team designed a game with a robotic arm to simulate “3D Functional Activities of Daily Living”
A new RAND Corporation paper finds that artificial intelligence has the potential to upend the foundations of nuclear deterrence by the year 2040. While AI-controlled doomsday machines are considered unlikely, the hazards of artificial intelligence for nuclear security lie instead in its potential to encourage humans to take potentially apocalyptic risks, according to the paper.
A University of Cambridge researcher is calling for the voices of women to be given a fairer platform at a leading scientific conference. Dr Heather Ford and her colleagues analysed data from the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting and found that, overall; female scientists are offered fewer opportunities than men to present their research.
Probably the last place anyone would want to find airborne polychlorinated biphenyl compounds (PCBs) is in the kitchen, yet that’s exactly where scientists detected their presence, according to a new report in ACS’ journal Environmental Science & Technology. They say that the PCBs, which are widely considered carcinogenic, are unwanted byproducts of sealant breakdown in
Spine deformities, such as idiopathic scoliosis and kyphosis (also known as “hunchback”), are characterized by an abnormal curvature in the spine. The children with these spinal deformities are typically advised to wear a brace that fits around the torso and hips to correct the abnormal curve. Bracing has been shown to prevent progression of the
Researchers are now able to use induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) to form a model of human adult-like cardiac muscle by introducing electric and mechanical stimulation at an early stage. Since this muscle is similar to the adult heart, it could serve as a better model for testing the effects of drugs and toxic substances