Nanowires

  Nanowires are thin structures measuring 0.000000001 meters in diameter, which is so thin that they essentially behave as if they only have one-dimension. This one-dimensional nature gives nanowires a ton of interesting electrical and magnetic properties, which are super useful in electronics and medical devices, especially as they are getting smaller and smaller. Nanowires can be made from a number of different materials. The grey columns in this … Continue reading Nanowires

‘Pacemaker for the brain’ may help prevent seizures and treat movement disorders

Anyone who has ever been scolded for talking over someone knows that speaking and listening simultaneously is a hard thing to do. Conducting an intelligent conversation requires active listening, understanding the received knowledge, and crafting a meaningful response, which often requires blending the new information with one’s own experiences. On a microscopic scale, each neuron in the brain must do exactly this – listen to … Continue reading ‘Pacemaker for the brain’ may help prevent seizures and treat movement disorders

Nano-antidote provides long-term protection against nerve agents

Nerve agents are toxic chemicals that disrupt signals in the nervous system. They can be absorbed easily through skin contact or by breathing. Exposure to nerve agents interferes with nerve cell signaling and prevents muscles from relaxing, quickly leading to muscle paralysis and eventually death by asphyxiation or cardiac arrest. Treatment is possible but must be administered within minutes of exposure. No long-term vaccine or … Continue reading Nano-antidote provides long-term protection against nerve agents

Recycling Carbon Dioxide with Copper Catalysts

The Earth is undergoing climate change due to human activity. One facet of this change is the Greenhouse Effect, where molecules in the atmosphere trap heat, resulting in globally increasing temperatures. Carbon dioxide is a molecule produced in dangerous amounts by activities like farming and burning fossil fuels. Thus far, sustainably converting carbon dioxide to useful chemicals has been difficult, but scientists at the Lawrence … Continue reading Recycling Carbon Dioxide with Copper Catalysts

3D Printed Robot Plays Jingle Bells and More on the Piano

When looking for the perfect soundtrack to accompany your holiday celebrations, consider putting away the traditional albums and opting for this technologically savvy rendition of Jingle Bells instead.  The performer, the latest work from Josie Hughes and colleagues at the University of Cambridge, is none other than a robot hand designed to play the piano without moving its fingers.  While it may not be a … Continue reading 3D Printed Robot Plays Jingle Bells and More on the Piano

A Joint Effort: Inheritance of Mitochondrial DNA from Both Parents

Researchers at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center have found evidence in three families for inheritance of mitochondrial DNA from both mothers and fathers, in contrast to the conventional belief that this genetic transmission is exclusively maternal. This discovery opens new doorways in molecular biology and genetics to understand this inheritance pattern, and properly harnessing the process could dramatically reduce chances of inheriting mitochondrial disorders. Continue reading A Joint Effort: Inheritance of Mitochondrial DNA from Both Parents

Later school start times may help improve school performance

We can all relate to the dreaded early morning alarm, and the oh-so tempting snooze button.  Sufficient sleep is critical for health, cognitive function, and overall quality of life. Chronic sleep deprivation can be detrimental to physical health, behavior and mental wellbeing at any stage of life, and especially in adolescence. To make things worse, the onset of puberty lengthens the biological clocks of teens, … Continue reading Later school start times may help improve school performance

Treating knee osteoarthritis with a nanoparticle injection

Osteoarthritis is a joint disease that occurs when the cartilage (the flexible and slippery tissue that protects the ends of bones in the joints) wears away, causing bones to rub against each other. Common causes of osteoarthritis include aging, sports injuries, and excess body weight. Scientists from Tsinghua University and Shanghai Jiao Tong University have developed nanoparticles that can be injected as lubricant into the … Continue reading Treating knee osteoarthritis with a nanoparticle injection

The Actual Master of Disguise: The Flu

Influenza A is the virus responsible for the Spanish Flu pandemic, which wiped out 3-5% of the human population in the early 20th century. The annual influenza outbreak occurs in the autumn and winter, although it is not normally deadly for healthy adults. There is currently no vaccine providing permanent protection against influenza A because the virus mutates and changes so often, requiring a yearly … Continue reading The Actual Master of Disguise: The Flu