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Radhika Gupta verified badge
Electronics Engineer | Editor at The Surg
April 22, 2018 · 329 Reads

Top stories in science this week

Researchers designed a new soft robots that can move on their own

If Star Wars’ R2-D2 is your idea of a robot, think again. Researchers have reported a new class of soft robot, composed of ultrathin sensing, actuating electronics and temperature-sensitive artificial muscle that can adapt to the environment and crawl, similar to the movement of an inchworm or caterpillar.

Reference: Advanced Materials



Using human stem cells, researchers create 3-D model of the brain

Researchers are leveraging gene-editing tools and mini-organs grown in the lab to study the effects of DISC1 mutations in cerebral organoids — ‘mini brains’ — cultured from human stem cells.

Reference: Translational Psychiatry

People with vitamin D deficiency may be at much greater risk of developing diabetes

The scientists studied a cohort of 903 healthy adults (mean age: 74) with no indications of either pre-diabetes or diabetes during clinic visits from 1997 to 1999, and then followed the participants through 2009. Vitamin D levels in blood were measured during these visits, along with fasting plasma glucose and oral glucose tolerance.

Reference: PLOS One

Researchers have developed a thin film that converts heat from electronics into energy

Nearly 70 percent of the energy produced in the United States each year is wasted as heat. Much of that heat is less than 100 degrees Celsius and emanates from things like computers, cars or large industrial processes. Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley, have developed a thin-film system that can be applied to sources of waste heat like these to produce energy at levels unprecedented for this kind of technology.

Reference: Nature Materials

Gene-edited stem cells show promise against HIV in non-human primates

Gene editing of bone marrow stem cells in pigtail macaques infected with simian/human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV) significantly reduces the size of dormant ‘viral reservoirs’ that pose a risk of reactivation.

Reference: PLOS Pathogens

New microscope captures detailed 3-D movies of cells deep within living systems

Merging lattice light sheet microscopy with adaptive optics reveals the most detailed picture yet of subcellular dynamics in multicellular organisms. By combining two imaging technologies, scientists can now watch in unprecedented 3-D detail as cancer cells crawl, spinal nerve circuits wire up, and immune cells cruise through a zebrafish’s inner ear.

Reference: Science

Scientists find a way to bend and stretch diamond, one of the hardest materials on Earth

Diamond isn’t the first material that springs to mind when it comes to bending and stretching, but scientists have found a way to manipulate one of the hardest minerals on Earth – and it could lead to a slew of technological advances.

Reference: Science

Scientists discovered that a certain protein can slow the growth of cancer in intestinal tissue

A new mechanism for regulating stem cells in the intestine of fruit flies has been discovered. In addition, it was discovered that a certain protein can slow the growth of tumors in intestinal tissue. A better understanding of these mechanisms can teach us more about how diseases in human intestines occur, as well as contribute to the development of new medicine to cure them.

Reference: Stem Cell Reports

HIV-1 Viruses transmitted at birth are resistant to antibodies in mother’s blood

Of the genetically diverse population of HIV-1 viruses present in an infected pregnant woman, the few she might transmit to her child during delivery are resistant to attack by antibodies in her blood, according to new research.

Reference: PLOS Pathogens

New infection prevention tool improve transparency and standardization of practice

Researchers developed a new colour-coded visual tool called Infection Risk Scan, or IRIS, which is set to make it easier for healthcare workers to measure in which areas a hospital complies with guidelines and where it needs to implement measures to improve infection control and the use antimicrobial therapies, according to new research.

Reference: Antimicrobial Resistance & Infection Control

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