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Radhika Gupta verified badge
Electronics Engineer | Editor at The Surg
September 24, 2017 · 395 Reads

Top stories in science this week

Scientists have modified poliovirus to destroy cancer cells and stop cancer regrowth

Researchers from Duke Cancer Institute have modified poliovirus to attack cancer tumors. The modified virus appears to unleash the body’s own capacity to fight malignancies by activating an inflammation process that counter’s the ability of cancer cells to evade the immune system. Their research provides the first insight into the workings of a therapy that has shown promise in early clinical trials in patients with recurrent glioblastoma, a lethal form of brain cancer.

Reference: Science Translational Medicine


Scientists created the world’s first ‘molecular robot’ capable of building molecules

The tiny robots, which are a millionth of a millimetre in size, can be programmed to move and build molecular cargo, using a tiny robotic arm. Each individual robot can manipulate a single molecule and is made up of just 150 carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen atoms. To put that size into context, a billion of these robots piled on top of each other would still only be the same size as a single grain of salt.

Reference: Nature

Scientists used gene editing to reveal role of key genes in human embryo development

Researchers have used genome editing technology to reveal the role of a key gene in human embryos in the first few days of development. This is the first time that genome editing has been used to study gene function in human embryos, which could help scientists to better understand the biology of our early development.

Reference: Nature

New ‘Labyrinth’ chip could help monitor aggressive cancer stem cells from blood

Inspired by the Labyrinth of Greek mythology, a new chip etched with fluid channels sends blood samples through a hydrodynamic maze to separate out rare circulating cancer cells into a relatively clean stream for analysis. It is already in use in a breast cancer clinical trial.

Reference: Cell Systems

Researchers are fusing proteins to develop a vaccine that could prevent tooth decay

The researchers tested a fusion of proteins to prevent the development of dental caries. Better known as dental cavities, caries is caused by the bacteria Streptococcus mutans (S. mutans). In lab tests using mice and rats, a vaccine prototype of the protein fusion was administered through the nasal cavities.

Reference: Scientific Reports

Scientists have developed a new portable blood testing kit using sound waves

Scientists have developed a new method for testing blood via sound waves, which could lead to a compact, portable testing kit that’s simpler and more straightforward than the equipment in use today. The test targets exosomes – tiny packets released by cells to carry messages around the body, including information about disease. Intercept those packets, and you can learn a lot about the body’s health.

Reference: PNAS

Physicists quantum teleported patterns of light for the first time

Wrapping your messages up with quantum weirdness is a great way to avoid sneaky eavesdropping, but in its current form it’s more like Morse code than high speed ADSL broadband. That could be set to change with a radical advancement in quantum technology that copies entangled patterns of light to help relay quantum codes, potentially opening the way for quantum communications with an infinite number of channels to send encrypted transmissions.

Reference: Nature Communications

Scientists have discovered an inexpensive biomaterial that could replace plastic laminates

An inexpensive biomaterial that can be used to sustainably replace plastic barrier coatings in packaging and many other applications has been developed by researchers, who predict its adoption would greatly reduce pollution.

Reference: Nanoscale

Researchers identified ‘exosomes’ as the missing link to insulin resistance in diabetes

Chronic tissue inflammation resulting from obesity is an underlying cause of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. But the mechanism by which this occurs has remained cloaked, until now. In a new paper, researchers identified exosomes — extremely small vesicles or sacs secreted from most cell types — as the missing link.

Reference: Cell

Researchers sequenced an 18-million-year-old worm that has survived by cloning itself

Researchers have sequenced a tiny, asexual, 18 million-year-old worm species that has survived without sexual reproduction by cloning itself. This could provide insight into how humans could someday create clones that survive for generations.

Reference: Current Biology

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