Slow and Steady Drug Delivery Keeps Biomedical Devices Kicking

Researchers from MIT have developed a novel method to locally deliver drugs and prevent immune activity around implanted biomedical devices over several months. The method is based on the formation of crystals of immunosuppressive drugs, which can be included in devices and slowly dissolve over the course of months. While this method substantially increases the length of time tested devices can function, difficulty of crystallizing certain drugs or introducing them into specific devices may prove to be a challenge in adapting this method to other systems. Even so, for many cases, this method will likely substantially reduce the difficulty of maintaining device stability for extended periods of time. Continue reading Slow and Steady Drug Delivery Keeps Biomedical Devices Kicking

The New Trojan Horse: Using tumor cells to kill tumors

Cancer immunotherapy exploits our immune system to kill cancerous cells. Recently, researchers have discovered a novel way to do this. They engineered cells that are programmed to die and injected them into tumor. They have successfully shown that the dying cells is able to kill tumor cells via recruitment of the immune system. This strategy might be a potential new method to improve the efficacy of current cancer immunotherapy methods. Continue reading The New Trojan Horse: Using tumor cells to kill tumors

Human endurance is not limitless

Imagine you’re running a race. But this is no normal race—this is a 140-day trek from Huntington Beach, CA to Washington, D.C. Welcome to Race Across the USA, a seemingly-superhuman feat that provides the perfect laboratory to study human endurance. After all, extreme athletes push their bodies to the proverbial “limit”—but what, exactly, is this limit? That’s what a new study published in Science Advances … Continue reading Human endurance is not limitless

Need to jog your memory? A zap to the brain could help

As you read this article, you may not be consciously trying to memorize each sentence, but the words do need to stick around temporarily. After all, you have to remember what you just read to understand the full article. This is your working memory, sometimes called “short-term memory,” and it allows us to remember things just long enough to complete a task. Its decline is … Continue reading Need to jog your memory? A zap to the brain could help

Genetic editing of human embryos in the United States ignites debate

In December 2018, a Chinese researcher, He Jiankui, shocked the world when he revealed the birth of the world’s first genetically edited babies. While it is clear that Jiankui egregiously violated university regulations and ethical standards, his announcement has since ignited a heated international dialogue about the permissibility of human embryonic gene editing. Currently, there are scientists in the United States working in university laboratories, … Continue reading Genetic editing of human embryos in the United States ignites debate

Oral bacteria may be responsible for Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s disease is the leading cause of dementia. It progressively worsens multiple aspects of health over time, from short-term memory loss to behavioral changes to loss of bodily functions. The actual cause of Alzheimer’s is currently unknown. One widely-accepted hypothesis proposes that Alzheimer’s is caused by the accumulation of misfolded proteins in the brain. Unfortunately, many drugs targeting misfolded proteins perform poorly in clinical trials, … Continue reading Oral bacteria may be responsible for Alzheimer’s disease

How Marijuana Exposure Affects Developing Babies’ Brains

As states have begun to legalize marijuana, its use has been more openly discussed. While the effects of other commonly used drugs, such as alcohol, have been studied extensively, the effects of marijuana – especially on developing babies during pregnancy – have been much less studied and less widely publicized. This relative silence from the scientific community has affected the public’s opinion on the safety … Continue reading How Marijuana Exposure Affects Developing Babies’ Brains