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Radhika Gupta verified badge
Electronics Engineer | Editor at The Surg
May 27, 2018 · 338 Reads

Top stories in science this week

For the first time, scientists take a look at the earliest decisions that shape a human embryo

For the first time, scientists have shown that a small cluster of cells in the human embryo dictates the fate of other embryonic cells. The discovery of this developmental ‘organizer’ could advance research into any human diseases, and it suggests we have more in common with birds than meets the eye.

Reference: Nature

 

Researchers develop bacteria in a pill that may one day track your body’s chemistry

By combining engineered biological sensors together with low-power wireless electronics, we can detect biological signals in the body and in near real-time, enabling new diagnostic capabilities for human health applications. The researchers created sensors that respond to heme, a component of blood, and showed that they work in pigs. They also designed sensors that can respond to a molecule that is a marker of inflammation.

Reference: Science

New tech developed for decoding neuromuscular signals that control prosthetics

Researchers have developed new technology for decoding neuromuscular signals to control powered, prosthetic wrists and hands. The work relies on computer models that closely mimic the behavior of the natural structures in the forearm, wrist and hand. The technology could also be used to develop new computer interface devices for applications such as gaming and computer-aided design.

Reference: IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering

Nuclear physicists leap into quantum computing with first simulations of atomic nucleus

Scientists have now simulated an atomic nucleus using a quantum computer. The results demonstrate the ability of quantum systems to compute nuclear physics problems and serve as a benchmark for future calculations.

Reference: Physical Review Letters

Mice regrow brain tissue after stroke with bioengineered gel

The brain has a limited capacity for recovery after stroke and other diseases. Unlike some other organs in the body, such as the liver or skin, the brain does not regenerate new connections, blood vessels or new tissue structures. Tissue that dies in the brain from stroke is absorbed, leaving a cavity, devoid of blood vessels, neurons or axons, the thin nerve fibers that project from neurons.

Reference: Nature Materials

Engineer develops 3D printer that can create complex biological tissues

Scientists have developed a specially adapted 3D printer to build therapeutic biomaterials from multiple materials. The advance could be a step toward on-demand printing of complex artificial tissues for use in transplants and other surgeries.

Reference: Advanced Materials

Researchers have created a novel material that may lead to self-healing robots

Many natural organisms have the ability to repair themselves. Now, manufactured machines will be able to mimic this property. Researchers have created a self-healing material that spontaneously repairs itself under extreme mechanical damage.

Reference: Nature Materials

Scientists developed a synthetic epigenetic code that can activate genes on demand to treat disease

A team of researchers developed a synthetic molecular code to script gene activation. The process could help lead to future gene-based therapies for a wide array of diseases.

Reference: Journal of the American Chemical Society

A ‘quick and robust’ blood test was developed that can detect liver damage before symptoms appear

Chemists have developed a ‘quick and robust’ blood test that can detect liver damage before symptoms appear, offering what they hope is a significant advance in early detection of liver disease. Their new method can detect liver fibrosis, the first stage of liver scarring that can lead to fatal disease if left unchecked, from a blood sample in 30-45 minutes.

Reference: Advanced Materials

Researchers have identified a new inherited brain developmental disease

A significant number of children are born with growth delays, neurological defects and intellectual disabilities every year across the world. While specific genetic mutations have been identified for some patients, the cause remains unknown in many cases. Identifying novel mutations would not only advance our understanding of neurological diseases in general, but would also help clinicians diagnose children with similar symptoms and/or carry out genetic testing for expecting parents.

Reference: eLife

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