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Radhika Gupta verified badge
Electronics Engineer | Editor at The Surg
April 1, 2018 · 475 Reads

Top stories in science this week

Scientists discovered what seems to be a brand new human organ

Researchers have identified a previously unknown feature of human anatomy with implications for the function of all organs, most tissues and the mechanisms of most major diseases.

Reference: Scientific Reports

 

Scientists developed a memory-restoring prosthetic for the human brain

This is the first time scientists have been able to identify a patient’s own brain cell code or pattern for memory and, in essence, ‘write in’ that code to make existing memory work better, an important first step in potentially restoring memory loss.

Reference: Journal of Neural Engineering

Scientists have created a material that changes color like a chameleon skin

Biological tissues have complex mechanical properties — soft-yet-strong, tough-yet-flexible — that are difficult to reproduce using synthetic materials. Researchers have now managed to produce a biocompatible synthetic material that replicates tissue mechanics and alters color when it changes shape, like chameleon skin. It promises new materials for biomedical devices.

Reference: Science

Scientists have discovered a new process in the body that can switch off inflammation

Scientists have discovered a new metabolic process in the body that can switch off inflammation. They have discovered that ‘itaconate’ — a molecule derived from glucose — acts as a powerful off-switch for macrophages, which are the cells in the immune system that lie at the heart of many inflammatory diseases including arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and heart disease.

Reference: Nature

Scientists developed a paperlike LCD that is thin, flexible, tough and cheap

Optoelectronic engineers have manufactured a special type of LCD that is paper-thin, flexible, light and tough. With this, a newspaper could be uploaded onto a flexible paperlike display that could be updated as fast as the news cycles. It sounds futuristic, but scientists estimate it will be cheap to produce, perhaps only costing $5 for a 5-inch screen.

Reference: Applied Physics Letters

Researchers have created a new method that speeds up 3-D printing of imaging lenses

Researchers have used 3-D printing to make high-quality customized lenses quickly and at low-cost, which could be used for optical imaging, vision correction, and disease diagnosis.

Reference: Advanced Materials

Scientists have developed sugar-coated nanosheets to selectively target pathogens

Scientists have developed a process for creating ultrathin, self-assembling sheets of synthetic materials that can function like designer flypaper in selectively binding with viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens. The new platform could potentially be used to inactivate or detect pathogens.

Reference: ACS Nano

Scientists develop novel chip for fast and accurate disease detection at low cost

A novel invention holds promise for a faster and cheaper way to diagnose diseases with high accuracy. They have developed a tiny microfluidic chip that could effectively detect minute amounts of biomolecules without the need for complex lab equipment.

Reference: Nature Communications

Revolutionary brain-mapping technique provides new blueprint for cortical connections

In classical models of the visual system, information flows from ‘primary’ visual cortex (V1) to more specialized, downstream areas that focus for example on image movement or image form. However, the details of how individual cells carry this information are not understood.

Reference: Nature

Researchers have developed a technique which could increase the sensitivity of MRI

The new technique works by increasing the strength of the magnetic field produced by molecules, and hence increasing their signal when measured by MRI. The team engineered specific defects in diamond crystals that exert a controlled quantum mechanical influence over the nuclear spins in nearby molecules, including potentially those used in metabolic imaging of brain tumours, making them ‘line up’ (polarise) in a specific orientation.

Reference: Nature Communications

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