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Radhika Gupta verified badge
Electronics Engineer | Editor at The Surg
July 15, 2017 · 268 Reads

Top stories in science this week

Scientists have engineered a silicon heart that beats like a real one

It looks like a real heart. And this is the goal of the first entirely soft artificial heart: to mimic its natural model as closely as possible. The silicone heart has been developed by Nicholas Cohrs, a doctoral student in the group led by Wendelin Stark, Professor of Functional Materials Engineering at ETH Zurich. The reasoning why nature should be used as a model is clear. Currently used blood pumps have many disadvantages: their mechanical parts are susceptible to complications while the patient lacks a physiological pulse, which is assumed to have some consequences for the patient.

Reference: Artificial Organs

We finally know how cancers use fake viruses to grow and resist treatment

Some types of cancer have a rather cunning way to give themselves a boost by tricking healthy cells inside tumours into popping out particles that look like viruses.This mimicry has puzzled oncologists for years, but a new study explains exactly what’s going on inside these cells, opening the way to new diagnostic tools and possibly novel treatments for some of the most aggressive forms of cancer.

Reference: Cell

Researchers have successfully teleported a photon from Earth to Space

Not long ago, in the early 1990s, scientists only speculated that teleportation using quantum physics could be possible. Since then, the process has become a standard operation in quantum optics labs around the world. In fact, just last year, two separate teams conducted the world’s first quantum teleportation outside of a laboratory. Now, researchers in China have taken the process a few steps further: they successfully teleported a photon from Earth to a satellite orbiting more than 500 km (311 mi) away.

Reference: arxiv.org

 A GIF has been encoded into the DNA of a live bacteria for the first time

Researchers working to test the potential and limits of DNA storage have used CRISPR to insert an animated image or GIF into the genomes of live E. coli bacteria. They converted each individual pixel in the GIF into nucleotides, the components of the DNA molecule.The ability to convert bits of information into nucleotides would make it possible to save massive amounts of data in microscopic molecules and carry them with you — even embedded in your skin.

Reference: Nature

The smallest star ever known to Mankind has been just discovered

Astronomers have discovered the smallest star known to science: EBLM J0555–57Ab, about the size of Saturn, is 600 light-years from Earth. This tiny star may help us understand more about fusion and how to find distant worlds that can sustain life. This, along with its proximity to parent star EBLM J0555–57A, made finding the tiny star a real challenge. Initially, EBLM J0555–57Ab was suspected of being an exoplanet as it orbited in front of its parent star. Only closer examination of the measurements revealed its true nature.

Reference: arxiv.org

Biological markers have been finally discovered to detect brain injury

Neuroscientists at the University of Birmingham have identified biomarkers that can indicate whether the brain has suffered injury after an accident. Due of this discovery, doctors will now be able to quickly diagnose & reduce secondary brain damage at an early time.

Reference: Scientific Reports

Scientists show more evidence to support the planet nine theory

In 2016, one decade after Pluto was downgraded to the status of dwarf planet, Caltech researchers proposed the existence of a new Planet Nine. Their conclusion was based largely on the distribution of objects in the space known as the Kuiper Belt, and not long after their data was released, it was challenged for possible observational bias.Now, two astronomers from the Complutense University of Madrid have used a new technique that’s less susceptible to this observational bias to analyze the space where Planet Nine could be lurking.

Reference:  Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (MNRAS).

Brain-like activity has been observed in the immune system

Researchers discover brain like activity in the immune system. The Nature study reveals T cells in the immune system transfer dopamine to B cells, providing motivation for these cells to produce antibodies and battle infection. The researchers hope their findings will help develop treatments to make immune response to vaccines and infections faster, and slow autoimmune conditions.

Reference: Nature

Drinking coffee reduces risk of death from all causes, study finds

People who drink around three cups of coffee a day may live longer than non-coffee drinkers, a landmark study has found. The findings come from the largest study of its kind, in which scientists analysed data from more than half a million people across 10 European countries, including the UK, to explore the effect of coffee consumption on risk of mortality.

Reference: Annals of Internal Medicine

NASA just confirmed that it can’t afford to send humans on Mars

NASA has been talking about getting humans to Mars for years, and continues to provide updated plans for getting there.Unfortunately, though, NASA’s chief of human spaceflight, William H. Gerstenmaier, just announced that the agency can’t achieve the Mars goal on its current budget.

Reference: arstechnica.com

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