Archive for the ‘biotech/medical’ category: Page 11

Mar 26, 2024

Music and genomes: Beethoven’s genes put to the test

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics, media & arts

To what extent are exceptional human achievements influenced by genetic factors? This question, dating back to the early days of human genetics, seems to be easier to address today as modern molecular methods make it possible to analyze DNA of individuals throughout history. But how reliable are the answers in this day and age?

Mar 26, 2024

Plasma Cell Neoplasms (Including Multiple Myeloma)—Patient Version

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Plasma cell neoplasms occur when abnormal plasma cells form cancerous tumors in bone or soft tissue.

When there is only one tumor, the disease is called a plasmacytoma. When there are multiple tumors, it is called multiple

Learn more about multiple treatment, statistics, research, and clinical trials.

Mar 26, 2024

Cryptic diversity of cellulose-degrading gut bacteria in industrialized humans

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Previously undescribed human gut bacteria that aid in the digestion of plant cellulose are scarce in urban societies but abundant in ancient and hunter-gatherer microbiomes, according to a new Science study.

Mar 26, 2024

Specific Gut Microbes are Linked to a Lower Risk of Infection

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, health

There are trillions of microbes in the human gastrointestinal tract, each of which expresses its own genome, and carries out a variety of biochemical processes. Gut microbes can generate a variety of molecules that can have a significant impact on human health, such as vitamins, specially modified bile acids, and short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs).

SCFAs have fewer than six carbon atoms, and are found in a few major forms, including acetate, propionate, and butyrate. When we eat fibers that are tough to digest, gut microbes metabolize them instead, and generate SCFAs. Many links have been found between butyrate and human health; it is thought to have roles in the maintainence of epithelial barriers, prevention of gut inflammation in the gut and colorectal cancer, and oxidative stress relief.

Mar 26, 2024

Nanospikes: A Novel Approach to Virus-Killing Surfaces

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health

What non-invasive methods can be developed to kill viruses on site? This is what a recent study published in ACS Nano hopes to address as a team of international researchers have developed a silicon surface containing nanospikes capable of preventing viruses from replicating or killing them entirely. This study holds the potential to help develop a passive way of mitigating the spread of viruses within a myriad of environments, including scientific laboratories and healthcare facilities.

“Our virus-killing surface looks like a flat black mirror to the naked eye but actually has tiny spikes designed specifically to kill viruses,” said Dr. Natalie Borg, who is a senior lecturer in the STEM | Health and Biomedical Sciences at RIMT University and a co-author on the study. “This material can be incorporated into commonly touched devices and surfaces to prevent viral spread and reduce the use of disinfectants.”

For the study, researchers at the Melbourne Centre for Nanofabrication took inspiration from insects, some of which possess their own version of nanospikes on their wings that can damage fungi and bacteria. To produce the nanospikes, the team blasted smooth silicon wafers with ions, resulting in nanospikes measuring 290 nanometers in height and 2 nanometers thick, the latter of which is 30,000 times thinner than a human hair. They then tested their new material on the hPIV-3 virus, which is responsible for causing pneumonia and bronchitis, finding their nanospikes exhibited a 96 percent success rate in either preventing the virus from replicating or shredding them to pieces completely.

Mar 26, 2024

From autism to Alzheimer’s: A large-scale animal study links brain pH changes to wide-ranging cognitive issues

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

A global collaborative research group comprising 131 researchers from 105 laboratories across seven countries has published a paper in eLife. The study identifies brain energy metabolism dysfunction leading to altered pH and lactate levels as common hallmarks in numerous animal models of neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders, such as intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorders, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depressive disorders, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Mar 26, 2024

Scientists Create Designer Chromosomes In Landmark Genetic Engineering Feat

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

PHILADELPHIA — Scientists at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine have developed a new method to create human artificial chromosomes (HACs) that could revolutionize gene therapy and other biotechnology applications. The study, published in Science, describes an approach that efficiently forms single-copy HACs, bypassing a common hurdle that has hindered progress in this field for decades.

Artificial chromosomes are lab-made structures designed to mimic the function of natural chromosomes, the packaged bundles of DNA found in the cells of humans and other organisms. These synthetic constructs have the potential to serve as vehicles for delivering therapeutic genes or as tools for studying chromosome biology. However, previous attempts to create HACs have been plagued by a major issue: the DNA segments used to build them often link together in unpredictable ways, forming long, tangled chains with rearranged sequences.

The Penn Medicine team, led by Dr. Ben Black, sought to overcome this challenge by completely overhauling the approach to HAC design and delivery. “The HAC we built is very attractive for eventual deployment in biotechnology applications, for instance, where large-scale genetic engineering of cells is desired,” Dr. Black explains in a media release. “A bonus is that they exist alongside natural chromosomes without having to alter the natural chromosomes in the cell.”

Mar 26, 2024

Breaking Physics: How Solitons Bend Time, Space, and Rules

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

If it walks like a particle, and talks like a particle… it may still not be a particle. A topological soliton is a special type of wave or dislocation that behaves like a particle: it can move around but cannot spread out and disappear like you would expect from, say, a ripple on the surface of a pond. In a new study published in Nature, researchers from the University of Amsterdam demonstrate the atypical behavior of topological solitons in a robotic metamaterial, something which in the future may be used to control how robots move, sense their surroundings, and communicate.

Topological solitons can be found in many places and at many different length scales. For example, they take the form of kinks in coiled telephone cords and large molecules such as proteins. At a very different scale, a black hole can be understood as a topological soliton in the fabric of spacetime. Solitons play an important role in biological systems, being relevant for protein folding and morphogenesis – the development of cells or organs.

Continue reading “Breaking Physics: How Solitons Bend Time, Space, and Rules” »

Mar 26, 2024

Study unveils protein signatures for early detection of endometrial cancer in cervico-vaginal fluid

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

In a recent study published in eBioMedicine, researchers evaluated proteomic signatures in blood plasma and cervicovaginal fluid for endometrial cancer detection.

Study: Detection of endometrial cancer in cervico-vaginal fluid and blood plasma: leveraging proteomics and machine learning for biomarker discovery. Image Credit: mi_viri/

Mar 26, 2024

Understanding the link between brain tumour and movement disorder

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

A brain tumor is the growth of abnormal cells in the brain or the area near it including nerves, pituitary gland, pineal gland, and membranes that cover the surface of the brain. Sometimes it can happen in the brain tissue as well. Brain tumours can be cancerous (malignant) or it can be non-cancerous (benign). However, both of them can be potentially life-threatening.

On the other hand, movement disorders refer to a cluster of neurological conditions that can either cause increased movements or decreased movements. For the unversed, brain tumours that are specifically affecting the brainstem, can sometimes cause various movement disorders.

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