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Category: Biomedical Engineering

Rahhal Recipient of 2020 MU Study Abroad Teaching Excellence Award

Tojan Rahhal, assistant dean for inclusive excellence and strategic initiatives and an adjunct professor of Biomedical, Biological and Chemical Engineering in the College of Engineering, is among two recipients of the inaugural MU Study Abroad Teaching Excellence Award. Open to faculty in all academic disciplines, this award recognizes the exceptional and meaningful work carried out by faculty in global teaching, student learning and curriculum design for MU faculty-led study abroad programs. Dr. Robert Sites with the College of Food, Agriculture…

Focused ultrasound opening brain to previously impossible treatments — ScienceDaily

University of Virginia researchers are pioneering the use of focused ultrasound to defy the brain’s protective barrier so that doctors could, at last, deliver many treatments directly into the brain to battle neurological diseases. The approach, the researchers hope, could revolutionize treatment for conditions from Alzheimer’s to epilepsy to brain tumors — and even help repair the devastating damage caused by stroke. Richard J. Price, PhD, of UVA’s School of Medicine and School of Engineering, is using focused soundwaves to…

A highly performing and efficient e-skin for robotic applications

The H-1 robot covered with the electronic skin developed by the researchers. Credit: A. Eckert / TUM. Researchers at Technische Universität München in Germany have recently developed an electronic skin that could help to reproduce the human sense of touch in robots. This e-skin, presented in a paper published in MDPI’s Sensors journal, requires far less computational power than other existing e-skins and can thus be applied to larger portions of a robot’s body. “Our main motivation for developing the…

Heparin, a potent anti-coagulant and the most prescribed drug in hospitals, is currently produced in pigs — ScienceDaily

In a recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), University of California San Diego researchers moved one step closer to the ability to make heparin in cultured cells. Heparin is a potent anti-coagulant and the most prescribed drug in hospitals, yet cell-culture-based production of heparin is currently not possible. In particular, the researchers found a critical gene in heparin biosynthesis: ZNF263 (zinc-finger protein 263). The researchers believe this gene regulator is a key discovery…

Breakthrough in unlocking genetic potential of ocean microbes — ScienceDaily

Researchers have made a major breakthrough in developing gene-editing tools to improve our understanding of one of the most important ocean microbes on the planet. The international project, co-led by scientists at the University of East Anglia (UEA) in the UK, unlocks the potential of the largest untapped genetic resource for the development of natural products such as novel antibacterial, antiviral, anti-parasitic and antifungal compounds. Ocean microbes regulate global cycles of carbon and essential nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus.…

Using sponges to wipe out cancer — ScienceDaily

A sponge found in Manado Bay, Indonesia, makes a molecule called manzamine A, which stops the growth of cervical cancer cells, according to a recent publication in the Journal of Natural Products submitted by researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) and their collaborators. Collaborators include students and investigators at the University of South Carolina (UofSC), College of Charleston, Gadjah Mada University in Indonesia and the University of Malaya in Malaysia. The American Cancer Society estimates that there…

New quantum technology could help diagnose and treat heart condition — ScienceDaily

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a heart condition that causes an irregular and abnormally fast heart rate, potentially leading to blood clots, stroke, heart failure and other heart-related complications. While the causes of AF are unknown, it affects around one million people in the UK with cases predicted to rise at a great cost to the NHS. Currently, AF is commonly diagnosed using an electrocardiogram (ECG), but this can only be done during an episode, so complementary means of diagnosis are…

A new way to study HIV’s impact on the brain — ScienceDaily

Though many negative repercussions of human immunodeficiency virus infection can be mitigated with the use of antiretroviral therapy (ART), one area where medical advances haven’t made as much progress is in the reduction of cognitive impacts. Half of HIV patients have HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND), which can manifest in a variety of ways, from forgetfulness and confusion to behavior changes and motor deficiencies. To better understand the mechanisms underlying HAND, researchers from Penn’s School of Dental Medicine and Perelman School…

A new way of making polymers adhere to surfaces may enable better biomedical sensors and implants — ScienceDaily

Polymers that are good conductors of electricity could be useful in biomedical devices, to help with sensing or electrostimulation, for example. But there has been a sticking point preventing their widespread use: their inability to adhere to a surface such as a sensor or microchip, and stay put despite moisture from the body. Now, researchers at MIT have come up with a way of getting conductive polymer gels to adhere to wet surfaces. The new adhesive method is described in…

A new approach reveals how different tissues contribute to inflammatory diseases such as ulcerative colitis — ScienceDaily

MIT biological engineers have created a multitissue model that lets them study the relationships between different organs and the immune system, on a specialized microfluidic platform seeded with human cells. Using this type of model, sometimes called “organs-on-a-chip” or “physiome-on-a-chip,” the research team was able to explore the role of circulating immune cells in ulcerative colitis and other inflammatory diseases. They also discovered that a metabolic byproduct generated by bacteria living in the human gut plays an important role under…