COFFEE BREAK NEWS FOR LIFE SCIENTISTS

Surgery

Autonomous Robot Surgeon Finally Outperforms Humans in Soft Tissue Operation

The first in vivo soft tissue surgery completed by an autonomous robot is in the books, and in impressive fashion. While robots, and even autonomous robots, have been used in surgery before, they have failed to meet the high expectations set for them, especially when it comes to soft tissue. Until this study, autonomous surgical robots had only been useful for operations on solid body structures such as bone,

Viruses

Viruses That Can Help Regulate Human Immune System

Viruses, small infectious agents that replicate only inside the living cells of other organisms, have been around for billions of years. They can infect all types of life forms, from microorganisms, plants and animals to humans. It has been estimated that there are 10 to the power of 31 viruses on Earth, but humans don’t just live in a viral world, we are also part virus ourselves. Viruses actually comprise up to the 8% of the human genome and these so called endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) represent ancient viral infections that became integrated into the human genome. 

Antibiotics

New Synthesis Technique Leads to Over 300 Candidate Antibiotics

The combination of drug misuse, reductions in antimicrobial research by the pharmaceutical industry, and the rapid evolution capabilities of microorganisms has resulted in pathogenic bacteria with stronger and stronger drug resistance. This is an issue that some fear if not handled correctly, could lead to the evolution of a “superbug” that is resistant to everything in our arsenal.

Connectome

Connectome: A Promising “ome” for Determining Nervous System Development

One of the hottest trends in life sciences research for the past few years has been the development of subfields of study focused on specific, complex networks within biological systems. These subfields are quite recognizable due to the common suffix ‘-ome’, and there is now an exciting and extensive list of “omes” starting with arguably the grandfather of them all, the genome.

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