Scientists captured how a single cell develops into an entire organism (zebrafish)
In three landmark studies, researchers report how they have systematically profiled every cell in developing zebrafish and frog embryos to establish a roadmap revealing how one cell builds an entire organism. The findings represent a catalogue of genetic ‘recipes’ for generating different cell types and provide an unprecedented resource for the study of developmental biology and disease.
In a new meta-analysis, scientists linked 44 genomic variants to major depression
A new meta-analysis of more than 135,000 people with major depression and more than 344,000 controls has identified 44 genomic variants, or loci, that have a statistically significant association with depression.
Reference: Nature Genetics
Researchers have developed prosthetic arms that can provide controlled sensory feedback
Losing an arm doesn’t have to mean losing all sense of touch, thanks to prosthetic arms that stimulate nerves with mild electrical feedback. Researchers have developed a control algorithm that regulates the current so a prosthetics user feels steady sensation, even when the electrodes begin to peel off or when sweat builds up.
Reference: Science Robotics
Researchers 3-D print electronics and cells directly on skin for the first time
In a groundbreaking new study, researchers used a customized, low-cost 3-D printer to print electronics on a real hand for the first time. The technology could be used by soldiers on the battlefield to print temporary sensors on their bodies to detect chemical or biological agents or solar cells to charge essential electronics.
Reference: Advanced Materials
Scientists have finally obtained the structure of telomerase, paving way for new drugs for ageing, cancer
Telomerase, because of its role in cancer and ageing, has long been a target of drug companies who want to block it to stop the uncontrolled cell growth characteristic of cancer or boost it to create a fountain of youth. The structure of the enzyme complex has been a mystery, however, until now. Scientists have finally obtained a detailed picture of the architecture of the RNA-protein complex, a breakthrough for drug design.
Researchers have used genetic engineering to turn off a gene that regulates cholesterol levels
Biomedical engineers have used a CRISPR/Cas9 genetic engineering technique to turn off a gene that regulates cholesterol levels in adult mice, leading to reduced blood cholesterol levels and gene repression lasting for six months after a single treatment. This marks the first time researchers have delivered CRISPR/Cas9 repressors for targeted therapeutic gene silencing in adult animal models.
Reference: Nature Communications
Zika virus was used to eliminate a tumour in the central nervous system of rodents
A group of Brazilian researchers confirmed for the 1st time in vivo the efficiency of Zika virus in infecting CNS tumor cells — tests even showed that the resulting viral particles were less harmful than the ones created from infection of healthy cells. The team’s plans include applying for patent on pharmaceutical kit and moving on to clinical trial phase in near future.
Reference: Cancer Research
New 3D imaging system makes back surgery safer, faster and less expensive
Researchers develop a new way to make back surgery safer, faster and more cost effective. Scientists have developed and tested a 3-dimensional, real-time optical tracking system, like a ‘Google Maps’ for the body.
Reference: Operative Neurosurgery
Researchers have built the world’s smallest optical implantable biodevice
Researchers have built a new optical device no bigger than the edge of a coin. The device includes a photovoltaic cell that is powered by infrared light and emits blue light. Using infrared light allows the device to be implanted several centimeters deep into the body, while the emission of blue light can be used for optogenetic control of brain patterns.
Reference: AIP Advances
Researchers build 3D-printed, drug-filled dentures to fight against infections
To better treat these infections, called denture-related stomatitis, University at Buffalo researchers have turned to 3-D printers, using the machines to build dentures filled with microscopic capsules that periodically release Amphotericin B, an antifungal medication.
Reference: Materials Today Communications