Understanding the roots of CAVD
The diminutive size of our aortic valve belies its essential role in pushing oxygen-rich blood from the heart into the aorta, our body’s largest vessel, and from there to all other organs. Yet for decades, researchers have focused less on damaged valves than on atherosclerosis, the gradual hardening of the blood vessels themselves. Thanks, in part, to pigs at the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Arlington Agricultural...
Technique highlights relationship between connectivity and IQ
A new and relatively simple technique for mapping the wiring of the brain has shown a correlation between how well connected an individual’s brain regions are and their intelligence, say researchers at the University of Cambridge. In recent years, there has been a concerted effort among scientists to map the connections in the brain – the so-called ‘connectome’ – and to understand how this relates to human behav...
Double strike against tuberculosis
In search of new strategies against life-threatening tuberculosis infections, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM), as well as Harvard University and Texas A&M University in the USA have found a new ally. They discovered a substance that interferes with the mycomembrane formation of the bacterium. It is effective even in low concentrations and when combined with known antibiotics their effectiveness is improved by up to 100-fo...
More accurate cancer detection makes use of nanoparticles
Using light-emitting nanoparticles, Rutgers University-New Brunswick scientists have invented a highly effective method to detect tiny tumours and track their spread, potentially leading to earlier cancer detection and more precise treatment. The technology could improve patient cure rates and survival times.
Paving the way for hardware neural networks
Researchers have shown how to write any magnetic pattern desired onto nanowires, which could help computers mimic how the brain processes information. Much current computer hardware, such as hard drives, use magnetic memory devices. These rely on magnetic states – the direction microscopic magnets are pointing – to encode and read information.
Scientists solve the enigma of brain data
Cracking the German Enigma code is considered to be one of the decisive factors that hastened Allied victory in World War II. Now researchers have used similar techniques to crack some of the brain’s mysterious code. By statistically analysing clues intercepted through espionage, computer science pioneers in the 1940s were able to work out the rules of the Enigma code, turning a string of gibberish characters into plain language to exp...
How neurons help us make memory-based decisions
Research from Caltech provides insight into how the brain works to recall memories and make decisions based on episodic memories. This research may one day lead to better understanding of diseases that affect memory such as Alzheimer's disease.
Magnetic fields can control bacteria
Queen’s University researchers are using magnetic fields to influence a specific type of bacteria to swim against strong currents, opening up the potential of using the microscopic organisms for drug delivery in environments with complex microflows – like the human bloodstream.
Brain stimulation system receives FDA Approval
Boston Scientific has announced that it has received approval from the US FDA for the Vercise Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) System. DBS is used to treat the symptoms of Parkinson's disease (PD), a degenerative condition that affects more than one million people in the United States and ten million worldwide. DBS works by stimulating a targeted region of the brain through implanted leads that are powered by a device called an implantable pulse...
May the Force be with you
Luke Skywalker’s bionic hand is a step closer to reality for amputees in this galaxy. Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have created an ultrasonic sensor that allows amputees to control each of their prosthetic fingers individually. It provides fine motor hand gestures that aren’t possible with current commercially available devices. The first amputee to use it, a musician who lost part of his right arm five year...