Qubits, the quantum analog of a digital bit, are envisioned as the building blocks of the future of computation. The quantum bit is special because of its ability to be in simultaneous values of 0 and 1, while digital bits can only be a 0 or a 1, not both. The calculations of quantum problem become exponentially more difficult as larger qubit computations are required: … Continue reading Performing a 51 qubit computation
by Michael Vinyard figures by Jovana Andrejevic and Michael Vinyard Why do we have cures and medicines for some diseases but not others? Surprisingly, it is not because we cannot make the medicines; it is because we do not know enough about the diseases that need new medicines. To span the chasm between understanding the biology of a disease and successfully treating patients, we must foster … Continue reading Small-Molecule Probes: Bridging the gap between understanding and curing disease
by Katherine J. Wu figures by Neal Atsuka Are we flushing the next big cancer treatment down the toilet? Probably not – but the contents of our feces could very well be influencing how our bodies respond to cancer drugs. As it turns out, everybody poops – and everybody poops more than poop. I’m talking, of course, about the gut microbiota – the enormous collection … Continue reading Immunotherapy, with a Side of Poo: How gut microbes influence cancer treatment
Ever wonder why we make snot? Mucus lines our respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts, acting as a sticky glue that traps unwanted substances before they can get into the body. However, research from Jeremy Barr’s lab in Melbourne, Australia has shown that there might be a lot more to the story of snot. Barr and his team have found that mucus contains a far higher concentration … Continue reading Bacteria-killing viruses: an army of disease-fighters within us?
by Colin O’Leary figures by Rebecca Clements News of viral epidemics spreads faster than the viruses themselves. Once the virus arrives, how do we determine where it came from? How do scientists monitor the arrival and spread beyond keeping track of the number of cases at a given time? Instead of sifting through medical records in search of the first infected person—the elusive “patient zero”—studying the … Continue reading A DNA-based view reveals hidden Zika spread
by Christopher Gerry Graduate school teaches you to accept how much you don’t know. Being a liberal arts college graduate and a current Ph.D. student in chemistry, I know—and gratefully accept—that I’m not an expert in federal tax law. So I initially didn’t imagine that I’d be writing about the tax reform bill that was passed through the House of Representatives earlier this month; that’s … Continue reading Tax Reform Punches Down
Printing human body parts was once limited to science fiction. Now, thanks to companies such as Cellink, the technology has become a reality. The Swedish company is already able to print life-size human ears and noses, and is currently working on growing cartilage and skin cells for testing drugs in clinical trials. Bioprinting works by using bio-ink, a liquid made from cellulose and alginate that can be mixed with … Continue reading Nose running? Don’t worry, just print a new one