Posts Tagged ‘biotechnology’

How Google Glass Will Change Science

 :: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 01-23-2014

Google Glass is still in its infancy, however, the potential breakthroughs that it can offer in the fields of medicine and science are astounding.

Surgeons at the Ohio State University Medical Center are already using the device as a training and consulting tool while in the midst of surgery. Physician wearing Google Glass are able to transmit a live video feed to colleagues and medical students anywhere in the world. This is a true game changer in education as it gives students valuable exposure to live surgery in real-time from a surgeon’s point of view.

Aside from it’s communicational value, Google Glass has the potential to actually be used as an integral part of surgical practice. Physicians hope to be able to call up medical images or other important patient data during the course of surgery.

Now imagine combining Google Glass with procedures that incorporated fluorescently labeled dyes capable of differentiating cancerous tumors from benign growths or nerve from muscle. Surgeons such as Quyen Nguyen are already currently shining light onto labeled tumors and nerves to accomplish this goal (see Lighting up the operating room). With Google Glass, this procedure would become so much easier.

While medical applications sound very cool, what will be of most interest to our readers are the potential laboratory bench applications. How about using Google Glass for fluorescent imaging at the bench? Or calling up protocols while setting up an experiment? The possibilities are endless.

What applications can you imagine for Google Glass in your daily research?

Engineers use DNA “glue” to create self-assembling structures

 :: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 09-10-2013

A team of researchers at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University has found a way to self-assemble complex structures out of bricks smaller than a grain of salt. The self-assembly method could help solve one of the major challenges in tissue engineering: regrowing human tissue by injecting tiny components into the body that then self-assemble into larger, intricately structured, biocompatible scaffolds at an injury site.

The key to self-assembly was developing the world’s first programmable glue. The glue is made of DNA, and it directs specific bricks of a water-filled gel to stick only to each other, the scientists report in the September 9th online issue of Nature Communications.

“By using DNA glue to guide gel bricks to self-assemble, we’re creating sophisticated programmable architecture,” says Peng Yin, Ph.D., a Core Faculty member at the Wyss Institute and senior coauthor of the study, who is also an Assistant Professor of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School. This novel self-assembly method worked for gel bricks from as small as a speck of silt (30 microns diameter) to as large as a grain of sand (1 millimeter diameter), underscoring the method’s versatility.

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Math Trumps Science in Diagnosing Parkinson’s Disease

 :: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 08-07-2012

Although there are no existing biomarkers for Parkinson’s, diagnosis may just be a phone call away.

Now THAT’S the way to use a cell phone

 :: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 07-25-2012

In my opinion, there are waaayyy too many cell phones in schools these days. Ringing, texting, gaming…all of these are annoyances that disturb class and distract students’ attention. However, students at Johns Hopkins have redeemed themselves and renewed my confidence that undergrads can actually utilize cell phones responsibly.

Johns Hopkins biomedical engineering undergraduates have developed a noninvasive way to identify patients suffering from anemia hoping to save thousands of women and children from this dangerous blood disorder in developing nations. The device, HemoGlobe, is designed to convert the existing cell phones of health workers into a “prick-free” system for detecting and reporting anemia at the community level.

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A SMART(er) way to track influenza

 :: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 07-11-2012

Brown University researchers have created a reliable and fast flu-detection test that can be carried in a first-aid kit. The novel prototype device isolates influenza RNA using a combination of magnetics and microfluidics, then amplifies and detects probes bound to the RNA. The technology could lead to real-time tracking of influenza. Results are published in the Journal of Molecular Diagnostics.

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