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======================== Newsletter
Issue 8, Volume 15, August 2014

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The Kurzweil Accelerating Intelligence
A team of researchers led by scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies has generated three-dimensional kidney structures from human stem cells for the first time, opening new avenues for studying development and diseases of the kidneys and discovery of new drugs that target human kidney cells.
Young animals are known to repair their tissues effortlessly, but can this capacity be recaptured in adults? A new study from researchers at the Stem Cell Program at Boston Children?s Hospital suggests that it can.
Researchers at the University of Iowa have created a bio patch to regenerate missing or damaged bone by putting DNA into a nano-sized particle that delivers bone-producing instructions directly into cells via genes.
The Kurzweil Accelerating Intelligence
UK researchers have used inkjet printing technology to successfully use ganglion cells and glial cells taken from the eye as "ink" in printing retinal patterns.
Popular Science
The first FDA-approved artificial retina, the Second Sight Argus II, does what was once thought impossible: gives sight to the blind.
Researchers at IBM Research ? Almaden (San Jose CA) and the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN; Singapore) have discovered a new superantibiotic derived from ordinary polyethylene terephthalate (PET), a common, and commonly recycled plastic.
What if you could program a broken or damaged object to regenerate itself - replenishing the damaged or missing components, and extending its lifetime - instead of replacing it or requiring costly repairs? Now University of Pittsburgh researchers have developed computational models of a new polymer gel that could do just that.
The Kurzweil Accelerating Intelligence
Yale neuroscientist Gordon Shepherd has created the first 3D-printed neuron with help from the Yale Center for Engineering Innovation and Design (CEID).
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This Month's Top Site
The aim of the British Society for Gene and Cell Therapy is to accelerate scientific progress and promote ethical and efficient transfer of gene- and cell-based technologies from the laboratory into the clinic. Gene and cell therapy is an area where co-operation between ALL the interested parties - general public, patients, scientists, government and the media - is vital for the optimal development of these technologies and treatments, and BSGCT is working towards becoming this pro-active interface. To this end, their website presents itself with dedicated useful information, and also specialized areas dedicated to education, events and outreach & grants.
New Articles on European Cells and Materials Journal
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Biomaterials World News
It is possible to distinguish aggregations of the proteins believed to cause Alzheimer s, Parkinson s, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob ("mad cow") diseases from normal proteins by using a multiphoton laser technique, researchers at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden the Polish Wroclaw University of Technology have discovered.
New Scientist
Five children with a genetic disease that wipes out their immune system have successfully been treated with gene therapy.
New Scientist
Diatoms have been modified while still alive to incorporate sulphur-bearing molecules that can harness chemical cargo.
The Kurzweil Accelerating Intelligence
ETH-Zurich biotechnologists have constructed an implantable genetic regulatory circuit that monitors blood-fat levels. In response to excessive levels, it produces a messenger substance that signals satiety (fullness) to the body. Tests on obese mice revealed that this helps them lose weight.
The Scientist
The causes of a cell s three-dimensional structure remain a fundamental mystery of cell biology.
Materials Today
An approach to writing artificial cell membranes on graphene using a nanoscaled tip has been developed in a new study. With our bodies containing around 100 trillion cells, each enclosed in a cell membrane that holds numerous proteins, ion channels and other biomolecules that carry out vital functions, these biomimetic membranes could lead to a range of medical and biotechnology applications, including in biosensors and drug delivery and screening.
MIT News
MIT chemists have built a sensor using carbon nanotubes that can monitor nitric oxide (NO) in living animals for more than a year.
Researchers at Chongqing University in China have adapted capsule endoscopy to allow for detecting tiny quantities of "occult" blood for screening of early-stage gastric cancer.
Materials Today
Johns Hopkins engineers and cardiology experts have teamed up to develop a fingernail-sized biosensor that could alert doctors when serious brain injury occurs during heart surgery. By doing so, the device could help doctors devise new ways to minimize brain damage or begin treatment more quickly.
The Kurzweil Accelerating Intelligence
Researchers* from Malaysia and the UK have used a new multi-material 3D printer to create realistic, low-cost model of the skull for use by students in practicing neurosurgical techniques.
Not long ago, Medtech Pulse posted an informative video highlighting the efforts of Lawrence Bonassar, associate professor of biomedical engineering at Cornell University (Ithaca, NY) to create body parts such as ears using a 3-D printer and "ink" composed of living cells.
Medtronic, Inc. has announced the first-in-human implant of the world?s smallest pacemaker: the Micra Transcatheter Pacing System (TPS).
British boiler engineer Tal Golesworthy has created an implantable device to fix a pumping problem with his heart. He was even able to convince doctors that the device could be effective at addressing connective tissue defects caused by Marfan syndrome, an inherited disease linked to cardiovascular problems. Nine years ago, Golesworthy developed a device to treat the aortic complications stemming from the disease.
An artificial heart built with space tech precision. (Courtesy of Carmat)The French Health Authority ANSM has approved for human trials a new artificial heart made by French medtech company Carmat S.A.
The Micra pacemaker is about the size of a vitamin tablet. Medtronic engineers knew seven years ago that they wanted to build a pacemaker an order of magnitude smaller than what was out there.
Researchers have gained new information about the processes that promote freezing of cells within tissues, which could ultimately lead to novel approaches for preventing tissue injury during cryopreservation, they report in the Nov. 5 issue of the Biophysical Journal (open access), a Cell Press publication.
A brain stimulation technique that is used to treat tough cases of depression could be considerably improved with a new headpiece designed by University of Michigan engineers.
NUS News
Drawing inspiration from how beetles and tree frogs keep their feet attached to submerged leaves, National University of Singapore (NUS) researchers have developed the first effective process, called "face-to-face transfer", to grow and transfer high-quality graphene on silicon and other stiff substrates.
Materials Today
Traditional plastics, or polymers, are electrical insulators. In the seventies a new class of polymers that conduct electricity like semiconductors and metals was discovered by Alan J.Heeger, Alan G. MacDiarmid and Hideki Shirakawa. This was the motivation for their Nobel Prize in Chemistry year 2000. Now Xavier Crispin, Docent in organic electronics at Linkoping University s Department of Science and Technology, has led a project where no fewer than twenty researchers from five universities worldwide have collaborated to prove that polymers can also be semimetals.
A Silicon Valley company called Evena Medical is betting that smart glasses will help nurses when it comes to the classic problem of finding a vein in an obese or elderly patient s arm. A nurse can put on Evena s Eyes-On Glasses System and clearly see the veins underneath the skin.
New Scientist
A device that keeps an eye on what you're looking at could one day make transferring files between devices as easy as shifting your gaze.
New Scientist
A battery created by packing sodium ions in among melanin molecules could be used in medical implants that are safe to swallow.
University of East Anglia - Communications Office
Computer scientists from the University of East Anglia are developing a virtual birthing simulator that will help doctors and midwives prepare for unusual or dangerous births.
New Scientist
Paralysed people with locked-in syndrome, who can't control any part of their body may soon be able to communicate just by listening to voices.
Materials Today
Materials scientists at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have now created a new type of transistor that mimics the behavior of a synapse. The novel device simultaneously modulates the flow of information in a circuit and physically adapts to changing signals.
The Kurzweil Accelerating Intelligence
Motorola Mobility, owned by Google, has filed a patent application (US20130297301), published last week, for a system "that comprises an electronic skin tattoo* capable of being applied to a throat region of a body".
The FDA has approved marketing of four diagnostic devices from Illumina (a manufacturer of DNA sequencing machines) for "next generation sequencing" (NGS) - meaning the devices can now quickly and cheaply read and interpret large segments of the genome (the set of genetic information in your body) in a single test.
The Scientist
The Scientist s annual competition uncovered a bonanza of interesting technologies that made their way onto the market and into labs this year.
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