AquaBounty compares their fish (back) with a wild-caught fish of the same age.

Canadians bringing genetically modified salmon to their tables

AquaBounty, a Massachusetts-based company, began growing genetically modified (GM) salmon nearly three decades ago. However, it wasn’t until 2015 that the FDA approved the fish for human consumption. Health Canada made the same decision in 2016. While a current law prevents US sales until a labeling system is established, Canada has imported roughly 5 tons of the GM salmon since May 2016. Although the fish sell unlabeled, Canadians appear to be embracing the next frontier in aquaculture. Continue reading Canadians bringing genetically modified salmon to their tables

Green Turtle

Scientists Grow Turtle Skin to Study New Virus

Thierry Work and a team of wildlife disease researchers are manufacturing reptile skin in the hopes of saving endangered turtles. A virus, ChHV5, has been infecting endangered green sea turtles, causing tumors to grown on the their skin and inside their bodies. The infection eventually weakens the immune system, and leads to death. Studying this virus proved incredibly difficult. Traditional methods of growing viruses to study ChHV5 in the lab … Continue reading Scientists Grow Turtle Skin to Study New Virus

artificial-liver

From Seed to Organ: Growing a Liver

Over 17,000 Americans are currently waiting for liver transplants, with millions more living with chronic liver disease. There simply aren’t enough healthy organs to go around. So why not engineer them? Growing a liver “from scratch” by using its constituent cells could replace the need for whole organ transplants. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology generated hydrogels containing three different types of human cells, … Continue reading From Seed to Organ: Growing a Liver

2000px-DNA_microarray.svg

The Single Cell Revolution: Zooming into human health & disease

by Eric P. Grewal figures by Abby Burrus The human body is made of thousands of types of cells, from neurons to blood cells and skin cells to kidney cells. While these cells differ vastly in shape and purpose, they all share one thing in common—their DNA, the set of “master instructions” that is carried in every cell in an individual. But if all cells … Continue reading The Single Cell Revolution: Zooming into human health & disease

YOKOSUKA, Japan (Dec. 14, 2009) Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Eric Pacheco, from Oxnard, Calif., administers the H1N1 flu vaccine to Interior Communications Electrician 2nd Class Stuart Ringrose at Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Matthew R. White/Released)

New weapon combating flu – caterpillar-grown vaccine

Growing up, every child is familiar with the pain of a seasonal flu shot. However, there is still a chance to catch the flu even with the shot, due to the flu virus’s high variability and adaptability. The major issue with flu vaccine production is a long production time. Using traditional methods, it usually takes 4-6 months for a vaccine to be generated against a particular flu strain, … Continue reading New weapon combating flu – caterpillar-grown vaccine

Concrete

Roman Building Techniques – Stronger Than We Thought

There is something unusual about Roman sea walls: they last for a very long time. In fact, while modern concrete erodes when exposed to seawater and eventually requires replacement, Roman concrete grows even stronger. Professor Marie Jackson at the University of Utah investigated the old concrete using imaging techniques called electron microscopy, X-ray micro-diffraction, and Raman spectroscopy. The Romans made concrete out of a mixture of … Continue reading Roman Building Techniques – Stronger Than We Thought

Gallium

Scientists draw from nature to build a material that is both stiff and tough—a rarity in material science

In material science, it is difficult to engineer a material that is both highly stiff and tough. In the past, scientists have increased the stiffness of soft polymers by adding nano-sized particles of stiff materials (e.g. carbon nanotubes, silica), but this does not increase the toughness. Drawing inspiration from structures in nature that are both stiff and tough, scientists injected a flexible elastomer disc with pockets of liquid gallium. Compared to control structures, the addition of liquid gallium significantly increased the stiffness and toughness of the overall structure. While this study leaves us with several questions, it demonstrates that putting liquid inside of solid doesn’t necessarily make the combined material softer, thus contradicting a long-standing theory in the material-science world. Continue reading Scientists draw from nature to build a material that is both stiff and tough—a rarity in material science