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Radhika Gupta verified badge
Electronics Engineer | Editor at The Surg
June 3, 2018 · 646 Reads

Top stories in science this week

Biologists program cells in the first step towards tissues that regrow and self-repair

How do complex biological structures — an eye, a hand, a brain — emerge from a single fertilized egg? This is the fundamental question of developmental biology, and a mystery still being grappled with by scientists who hope to one day apply the same principles to heal damaged tissues or regrow ailing organs.

Reference: Science

 

Engineers created cell-like nanorobots that clear bacteria and toxins from blood

Engineers have developed tiny ultrasound-powered robots that can swim through blood, removing harmful bacteria along with the toxins they produce. These proof-of-concept nanorobots could one day offer a safe and efficient way to detoxify and decontaminate biological fluids.

Reference: Science Robotics

An artificial nerve system gives prosthetic devices and robots a sense of touch

This milestone is part of Bao’s quest to mimic how skin can stretch, repair itself and, most remarkably, act like a smart sensory network that knows not only how to transmit pleasant sensations to the brain, but also when to order the muscles to react reflexively to make prompt decisions.

Reference: Science

Researchers have devised a system to make tiny DNA-based robots move on demand

The discovery could one day enable nano-robots to manufacture objects — such as drug-delivery devices — as quickly and reliably as their full-size counterparts. Previously, researchers could only move DNA indirectly, by inducing chemical reactions to coax it to move certain ways, or introducing molecules that reconfigure the DNA by binding with it. Those processes take time.

Reference: Nature Communications

Engineers have developed an AI to predict the onset of epileptic seizures

Epileptic seizures strike with little warning and nearly one-third of people living with epilepsy are resistant to treatment that controls these attacks. More than 65 million people worldwide are living with epilepsy.

Reference: Neural Networks

Researchers developed highly stretchable hydrogels for high-res 3D printing

Researchers from SUTD and HUJI have developed the most stretchable 3D printed hydrogel in the world — it can be stretched up to 1300 percent. The hydrogel is also suitable for UV curing based 3D printing techniques, enabling it to be used for high resolution complex geometric printing.

Reference: Journal of Materials Chemistry B

Novel microscopy technique developed to analyze the formation of cell membrane

Focal adhesions are large specialized proteins that are located in the area where a cell membrane meets the extracellular matrix (ECM), a collection of molecules surrounding the cells that provide support and regulate micromechanical signals to the cells. Examining focal adhesions is one of the key elements to understanding how a cell proliferates, differentiates, and migrates — which can help in the treatment of diseases like cancer.

Reference: Science & Applications

Scientists develop material that could regenerate dental enamel and bone

Enamel, located on the outer part of our teeth, is the hardest tissue in the body and enables our teeth to function for a large part of our lifetime despite biting forces, exposure to acidic foods and drinks and extreme temperatures. This remarkable performance results from its highly organised structure.

Reference: Nature Communications

Researchers have used AI to learn how a nanoparticle’s structure affects the way it scatters light

Researchers have used a computational neural network, a form of artificial intelligence, to ‘learn’ how a nanoparticle’s structure affects the way it scatters light, based on thousands of examples. The approach may help physicists tackle research problems in ways that could be orders of magnitude faster than existing methods.

Reference: Science Advances

Researchers have visualized for the first time how a protein switches off cell signaling and blocks cancer growth

Researchers have visualized for the first time how the protein SOCS1 ‘switches off’ cell signalling to dampen immune responses and block cancer growth. The atomic-level structure of SOCS1 binding to its partner protein JAK could guide the development of drugs that alter disease-causing cell signalling pathways, and may have applications for treating some blood cancers, including leukaemias.

Reference: Nature Communications

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