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Issue 10, Volume 15, October 2014

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Materials Today
Using an inexpensive 3-D printer, biomedical engineers have developed a custom-fitted, implantable device with embedded sensors that could transform treatment and prediction of cardiac disorders.
BBC News
Meiji University professor Hiroshi Nagashima is creating chimeric pigs, which carry genetic material from two different species, BBC News reports. It starts off by making what Nagashima calls ?a-pancreatic? embryos. Inside the white pig embryo, the gene that carries the instructions for developing the animal?s pancreas has been ?switched off.?
A new surgical adhesive is strong and flexible enough, and biocompatible enough, to be used to help patch heart defects, doing away with the need for sutures or stables.
As many as one in 20 U.S. patients acquire infections during hospital stays, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But antimicrobial material coatings are enabling new infection-fighting strategies when it comes to medical devices.
Korean researchers have developed nanobots that can detect and attack cancer cells, potentially providing a safer and more effective treatment than chemotherapy.
Physics World
Everyday polymer fibres used to create artificial muscles.
Materials Today
Look out, super glue and paint thinner. Thanks to new dynamic materials developed at the University of Illinois, removable paint and self-healing plastics could soon be household products.
New Scientist
Research claiming to have turned adult cells into the most versatile stem cells is now under investigation.
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The International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) is an independent, nonprofit organization established to promote and foster the exchange and dissemination of information and ideas relating to stem cells, to encourage the general field of research involving stem cells and to promote professional and public education in all areas of stem cell research and application.
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New Scientist
Progress has been made towards reversing age-related blindness with stem cells or gene therapy ? but a drug may offer a simpler, and safer, approach.
Popular Science
An Oregon startup has developed a pocket-size invention that uses tiny sponges to stop bleeding fast.
The British press has lately been all a-buzz with the story of Craig Gerrand, MD, consultant orthopedic surgeon at Newcastle-upon-Tyne Hospitals NHS Trust (Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumberland, UK) who used a 3-D printer to replace a large section of a man's pelvis.Craig Gerrand shows off a pelvis model.
The Kurzweil Accelerating Intelligence
Tel Aviv University researchers have developed a computer algorithm that predicts which genes can be ?turned off? to create the same anti-aging effect as calorie restriction. The findings, reported in Nature Communications, could lead to the development of new drugs to treat aging.
New Scientist
Potentially deadly peanut allergy has been cured in nine out of 10 recipients of a treatment that slowly escalates the peanut dose the body can tolerate.
The Kurzweil Accelerating Intelligence
Researchers at UC Santa Cruz (UCSC) have developed a robotic ?nanobiopsy? system that can extract tiny samples from inside a living cell without killing it.
News Bureau Illinois
University of Illinois researchers have developed a new imaging technique that needs no dyes or other chemicals, yet renders high-resolution, three-dimensional, quantitative imagery of cells and their internal structures using conventional microscopes and white light.
The Kurzweil Accelerating Intelligence
A Columbia University research team has demonstrated that integrated circuit technology can be used for a study of signaling in bacterial colonies.
Sometimes Mother Nature has a material solution that is superior to what a chemist might cook up. And that appears to be the case for Carnegie Mellon University's Chris Bettinger and Jay Whitacre, who found that cuttlefish ink provides just the right chemistry and nanostructure to power tiny, ingested electronic devices.
NC State News
North Carolina State University researchers have developed an antibiotic ?smart bomb? that can identify specific strains of bacteria and sever their DNA, eliminating the infection. The technique offers a potential approach to treat infections by multi-drug-resistant bacteria.
The Kurzweil Accelerating Intelligence
A team of Bio-X researchers at Stanford has developed mice whose sensitivity to pain can be dialed up or down simply by shining light on their paws.
The Kurzweil Accelerating Intelligence
A new low-power signal-processing chip that could lead to a cochlear implant that does not require external devices has been developed by researchers at MIT?s Microsystems Technology Laboratory (MTL), together with physicians from Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (MEEI).
The Kurzweil Accelerating Intelligence
To help people with diabetes as they try to keep their blood sugar levels under control, Google is testing a smart contact lens designed to measure glucose levels in tears.
The Kurzweil Accelerating Intelligence
Washington University School of Medicine scientists have developed a wearable display to help surgeons visualize cancer cells, which glow blue when viewed through the eyewear.
Popular Science
Staff Sergeant James Sides lost his right arm in an IED explosion in Afghanistan. Now he's the first patient in an FDA trial testing an implantable, muscle-connected controller for prosthetics.
Looking like they could have been assembled from spare parts for the latest RoboCop, the most advanced lower-leg prosthetics available today are arguably made by BiOM (Bedford, MA). The company's powered artificial ankle is unlike any other commercially available ankle device. The BiOM Ankle System replaces the function of lost muscle and tendon anatomy, stiffening and powering the prosthetic ankle.
Berkeley Lab
Researchers with Berkeley Lab and the University of California (UC) Berkeley have created tactile sensors from composite films of carbon nanotubes and silver nanoparticles similar to the highly sensitive whiskers of cats and rats.
It seems pretty logical: Hearts beat, movement is energy, and electricity produced off the movement could power an implantable medical device such a pacemaker. But over the decades, there has never been an energy-harvesting strategy that really met medical device designers? needs?until now.
New Scientist
A cheap and light version of EEG, run using software on a smartphone, could diagnose epilepsy in places where the disease often goes dangerously untreated.
Popular Science
Who?s getting them, and why scientists are in a race to do it first.
As medical device makers face unprecedented opportunities and challenges created by a rapidly-evolving market, they need to consider the following important issues.
Hutchinson Technology has counted super-precise photochemical etching as a core technology in its evolution over the decades into a $250 million-a-year maker of computer disk suspensions.Now Hutchinson (Hutchinson, MN) is preparing to use the same technology to produce thousands of tiny stainless-steel surgical blades less than an inch in length, about the same size as the disk suspensions that have been Hutchinson?s bread and butter.
Materials Today
Graphene, a form of two-dimensional carbon, has many desirable properties that make it a promising material in many applications. However, its production especially for high-end electronics such as touch screens faces many challenges. This may soon change with a fresh approach developed by NUS researchers that mimics nature.
Materials Today
Researchers in the United States have suggested an alternative way to allocate science funding. The method depends on a collective distribution of funding by the scientific community, requires only a fraction of the costs associated with the traditional peer review of grant proposals and, according to the authors, may yield comparable or even better results.
Apparent victims of overbooking, 5-month-old Dudley the duck and his siblings were berthed in a cage at the K9-1-1 Animal and Rescue Shelter (Sicamous, BC, Canada) with some chickens. One of the chickens attacked the ducks and, in a fight that left his siblings dead, Dudley?s leg was seriously injured and had to be amputated. Dudley was left with only a stump.
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