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Archive for the ‘bioengineering’ category

Aug 8, 2022

Tiny Motors Take a Big Step Forward: First-Ever Solid-State Optical Nanomotor

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, energy, nanotechnology, transportation

Motors are ubiquitous in our everyday lives — from cars to washing machines, even if we rarely notice them. A futuristic scientific field is working on the development tiny motors that could power a network of nanomachines and replace some of the power sources we currently use in electronic devices.

Researchers from the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin created the first ever solid-state optical nanomotor. All previous iterations of these light-driven motors reside in a solution of some sort, which limited their potential for the majority of real-world applications. This new research was published recently in the journal ACS Nano.

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Aug 6, 2022

New Invention Restores Life-Saving Cells

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, nanotechnology

Stem cells that might save a baby’s life and be utilized to treat illnesses like lymphoma and leukemia are found in the umbilical cord of newborns. Because of this, many new parents decide to preserve (“bank”) the umbilical cord blood’s abundant stem cells for their child. However, since gestational diabetes destroys stem cells and makes them useless, parents are not given this choice in the 6 to 15% of pregnancies who are impacted by the illness.

In a study that will be published in the journal Communications Biology, bioengineers at the University of Notre Dame have now shown that a new approach may heal the injured stem cells and allow them to once again grow new tissues.

Specially-created nanoparticles are the key component of this new strategy. Each spherical nanoparticle may store medication and deliver it specifically to the stem cells by attaching it to the surface of the cells. These nanoparticles are about 150 nanometers in diameter or about a fourth of the size of a red blood cell. The particles deliver the medication gradually as a result of their unique tuning, which makes them very effective even at very low dosages.

Aug 4, 2022

New method mass-produces antitumor cells to treat blood diseases and cancer

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, chemistry, genetics

A Purdue University chemical engineer has improved upon traditional methods to produce off-the-shelf human immune cells that show strong antitumor activity, according to a paper published in the peer-reviewed journal Cell Reports.

Xiaoping Bao, a Purdue University assistant professor from the Davidson School of Chemical Engineering, said CAR-neutrophils, or chimeric antigen receptor neutrophils, and engraftable HSCs, or , are effective types of therapies for blood diseases and cancer. Neutrophils are the most abundant white cell blood type and effectively cross physiological barriers to infiltrate solid tumors. HSCs are specific progenitor that will replenish all blood lineages, including neutrophils, throughout life.

“These cells are not readily available for broad clinical or research use because of the difficulty to expand ex vivo to a sufficient number required for infusion after isolation from donors,” Bao said. “Primary neutrophils especially are resistant to genetic modification and have a short half-life.”

Aug 4, 2022

Yale-developed technology restores cell, organ function in pigs after death

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, chemistry, ethics, life extension

Within minutes of the final heartbeat, a cascade of biochemical events triggered by a lack of blood flow, oxygen, and nutrients begins to destroy a body’s cells and organs. But a team of Yale scientists has found that massive and permanent cellular failure doesn’t have to happen so quickly.


The researchers stressed that additional studies are necessary to understand the apparently restored motor functions in the animals, and that rigorous ethical review from other scientists and bioethicists is required.

The experimental protocols for the latest study were approved by Yale’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee and guided by an external advisory and ethics committee.

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Aug 3, 2022

Finally, an answer to the question: AI — what is it good for?

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, robotics/AI

Got a protein? This AI will tell you what it looks like.


AlphaFold was recognized by the journal Science as 2021’s Breakthrough of the Year, beating out candidates like Covid-19 antiviral pills and the application of CRISPR gene editing in the human body. One expert even wondered if AlphaFold would become the first AI to win a Nobel Prize.

The breakthroughs have kept coming.

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Aug 3, 2022

An engineering breakthrough using DNA could unlock the quantum computing revolution

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, chemistry, computing, quantum physics

Scientists from the University of Virginia School of Medicine and collaborators used the building blocks of life to potentially revolutionize electronics.

The scientists utilized DNA to guide a chemical reaction that would overcome the barrier to Little’s superconductor, which was once thought to be “insurmountable”, a press statement reveals.

Aug 1, 2022

An Advanced New Sensors project Giving New Life to Prosthetics and Robotic Limbs

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, cyborgs, robotics/AI

In medicine, a prosthesis, or a prosthetic implant, is an artificial device that replaces a missing body part, which may be lost through trauma, disease, or a condition present at birth. A pioneering project to develop advanced pressure sensors for use in robotic systems could transform prosthetics and robotic limbs. The innovative research project aspires to develop sensors that provide enhanced capabilities to robots, helping improve their motor skills and dexterity, through the use of highly accurate pressure sensors that provide haptic feedback and distributed touch.

It is led by the University of the West of Scotland (UWS), Integrated Graphene Ltd, and supported by the Scottish Research Partnership in Engineering (SRPe) and the National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland (NMIS) Industry Doctorate Programme in Advanced Manufacturing. This is not for the first time when the team of highly talented researchers have decided to bring the much needed transformative change in prosthetics and robotic limbs.

The human brain relies on a constant stream of tactile information to carry out basic tasks, like holding a cup of coffee. Yet some of the most advanced motorized limbs — including those controlled solely by a person’s thoughts — don’t provide this sort of feedback. As a result, even state-of-the-art prosthetics can often frustrate their users.

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Aug 1, 2022

A transhuman biohacker implanted over 50 chips and magnets in her body

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, computing, transhumanism

‘Tis all in the senses.

On her blog, Lepht Anonym describes herself as “a faceless, genderless British biohacker. It lacks both gods and money and likes people, science, and practical transhumanism.” Anonym practices, sometimes referred to as grinding — a subculture of biohacking — DIY surgery to insert electronic hardware under the skin.

At the Grinderfest in 2019, Anonym inserted a little “pirate box” device in her upper right arm.

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Jul 30, 2022

A ‘consciousness conductor’ synchronizes and connects mouse brain areas

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, genetics, mapping, neuroscience

For scientists searching for the brain’s ‘control room, an area called the claustrum has emerged as a compelling candidate. This little-studied deep brain structure is thought to be the place where multiple senses are brought together, attention is controlled, and consciousness arises. Observations in mice now support the role of the claustrum as a hub for coordinating activity across the brain. New research from the RIKEN Center for Brain Science (CBS) shows that slow-wave brain activity, a characteristic of sleep and resting states, is controlled by the claustrum. The synchronization of silent and active states across large parts of the brain by these slow waves could contribute to consciousness.

A serendipitous discovery actually led Yoshihiro Yoshihara, team leader at CBS, to investigate the claustrum. His lab normally studies the sense of smell and the detection of pheromones, but they chanced upon a genetically engineered mouse strain with a specific population of brain cells that was present only in the claustrum. These neurons could be turned on using optogenetic technology or selectively silenced through , thus enabling the study of what turned out to be a vast, claustrum-controlled network. The study by Yoshihara and colleagues was published in Nature Neuroscience on May 11.

They started out by mapping the claustrum’s inputs and outputs and found that many higher-order brain areas send connections to the claustrum, such as those involved in sensation and motor control. Outgoing connections from the claustrum were broadly distributed across the brain, reaching numerous brain areas such as prefrontal, orbital, cingulate, motor, insular, and entorhinal cortices. “The claustrum is at the center of a widespread brain network, covering areas that are involved in cognitive processing,” says co-first author Kimiya Narikiyo. “It essentially reaches all higher brain areas and all types of neurons, making it a potential orchestrator of brain-wide activity.”

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Jul 29, 2022

ACS Synthetic Biology Call for Papers for Synthetic Cells

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biological

Living organisms offer extensive diversity in terms of their phenotypes, metabolic processes, and adaptation to various niches. However, the basic building blocks that create this diversity are remarkably similar. How can we advance our understanding of the fascinating mechanisms that drive biological complexity and how can we harness biological components to build entirely new materials and devices?

A new Special Issue from ACS Synthetic Biology will focus on this dynamic topic, including contributions that deconstruct as well as build up and mimic biological systems. The resulting work serves both to test our scientific understanding and to extend known biology to develop new concepts and applications. The issue will be led by Associate Editor Michael Jewett with Guest Editors Kate Adamala, Marileen Dogterom, and Neha Kamat.

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