Researchers from Japan have bred genetically engineered chickens that lay eggs carrying interferon beta, a protein known to fight diseases like cancer and hepatitis. The method could eventually cut the cost of producing this important cancer-fighting agent by 90 percent.
The world’s first widespread human testing of a universal flu vaccine against influenza has begun in the UK. Rather than focusing on antibody production, the new vaccine stimulates the immune system to boost influenza-specific T-cells and aims to protect the elderly who are particularly susceptible.
Scientists from Stanford discovered that oxytocin is crucial for newly described brain circuitry involved in social interactions. The finding may offer clues to unlock treatment for social aversion, which could help people with depression, schizophrenia, and autism.
Bioengineers from the Californian Institute of Technology developed DNA robots that can autonomously walk, sort, and work together – all at once. The robots are “programmed” to transport molecules into predetermined locations and may provide many intriguing applications in medicine and nanoengineering.
Researchers developed a new method for transforming adult human skin cells directly into motor neurons without the need for stem cells. The technique has the potential to help researchers better understand diseases of motor neurons and could lead to progress in regenerative medicine.
Researchers developed a new approach to cell therapy that uses nanoparticles to deliver genetic material that induces changes in the cell´s transient gene expression. An approach that is faster and cheaper to develop, more customizable and as simple as ‘just add water’.
Night shift work has been consistently associated with higher risk for cardiovascular disease, cancer, insomnia, depression and irritable bowel syndrome. Exposure to light at night is not only leaving scars on people’s well being but is affecting wildlife and entire ecosystems, it wastes energy, money and gives astronomers headaches.
Artificial womb to serve as a surrogate mother, a heart made of spider silk protein, a nose “growing” on your arm, bioengineered blood vessels and more. New technologies and techniques that will make us feel like we are living in a sci-fi movie are already here.
Sperm concentration among men from Western countries declined by more than 50 percent in less than 40 years. There is a large decrease in sperm quality among men from North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand a study reports. The even more disturbing fact is that the decline doesn’t seem to be leveling off. If it continues or possibly even increases among men living in these countries, this will be a major problem for fertility and reproduction.
Snakebite at first glance does not seem to be a problem, which should concern a modern human. Despite numerous achievements in the field of pharmacology, it is however among the most neglected diseases of our era.
Grim statistics provided by the WHO (World Health Organisation) show that, each year, 5 million bites occur, leading to 150,000 deaths and a striking 400,000 amputations. The lucky ones who manage to avoid a deadly outcome of snakebite envenoming are often mentally and physically scarred for life.