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Discriminating Antibiotics

Researchers at Penn State have developed an antibiotic that targets a specific species of bad bacteria,...
Researchers at Penn State have developed an antibiotic that targets a specific species of bad bacteria, without harming the good ones in your gut(Credit: phodopus/Depositphotos)

Antibiotics are effective at killing bacteria (for now, at least), but they aren’t very picky, indiscriminately wiping out both good and bad bacteria. This can upset the fragile balance of your microbiome, which is increasingly being linked to general health and wellbeing. Now, researchers at Penn State have developed a new approach to make a drug that can single out a specific, opportunistic bacteria known as C. difficile. read more

First 3D Printed Human Corneas

Co-author Dr. Steve Swioklo (left) and Prof. Che Connon, with a 3D-printed cornea
Co-author Dr. Steve Swioklo (left) and Prof. Che Connon, with a 3D-printed cornea(Credit:Newcastle University)

There’s a limited supply of donor human corneas, meaning that not everyone who needs an eyesight-saving transplant can get one. As a result, biosynthetic corneas have recently been developed. These could become quicker and easier to produce, as scientists have now successfully 3D-printed the things. read more

We Could Soon Have Unlimited Transplant Organs

Futuristic ‘smart’ tissues could grow into any organ and automatically connect to the bodies of transplant patients, study reveals

Scientists have created synthetic tissues that can rebuild themselves into any part of the body, a new study reveals.

The researchers developed a new compound that mimics DNA’s instructions for cells to turn into various tissues.

Using this method, the University of California, San Francisco team could effectively automate these cells to take on various structures and colors, a process akin to what happens in the early stages of natural embryonic development.

Exerting this level of control to create complex biological forms indicates that scientists may soon be able to stop 3D-printing organs and grow them the way nature does instead. read more

New Drug Delivery for Brain Cancer

An artist's rendition of MIT's new nanoparticles, which can carry two forms of drug to combat...
An artist’s rendition of MIT’s new nanoparticles, which can carry two forms of drug to combat brain cancer(Credit: Stephen Morton)

Glioblastoma is one of the most deadly forms of cancer. Affecting the brain, those unlucky enough to receive a diagnosis don’t have many treatment options – and usually a median life expectancy of just over a year. Now, researchers at MIT have developed nanoparticles that could provide hope, crossing the blood-brain barrier and delivering two types of drugs to fight tumors. read more

Enzymes Cause Cancer to Die of Old Age

Cancer hijacks a natural anti-aging enzyme to make itself immortal, and now scientists have found a...
Cancer hijacks a natural anti-aging enzyme to make itself immortal, and now scientists have found a way to counteract that process(Credit: Sashkin7/Depositphotos)

At the cellular level, aging and cancer are two sides of the same coin. The mechanism that limits a cell’s lifespan can be slowed down, but that can turn them cancerous, as they divide unchecked.

Now, scientists at EPFL have found a way to manipulate that mechanism to effectively turn off cancer’s immortality, letting it die slowly and naturally. read more

Supplement May Reverse Aging

Researchers have found that a commercially available supplement can improve dilation of a subjects’ arteries by...
Researchers have found that a commercially available supplement can improve dilation of a subjects’ arteries by 42 percent in response to increased blood flow(Credit:idcde/Depositphotos)

Much mystery surrounds the physiological processes by which humans age, but scientists are learning more all the time. With this knowledge come new possibilities around how we can not only slow them down, but possibly even reverse them. A new breakthrough at the University of Colorado is the latest advance in the area, demonstrating how a chemically altered nutritional supplement may well reverse aging of the blood vessels, in turn giving cardiovascular health a vital boost. read more

Tobacco Antibiotics Attacks Superbugs

La Trobe researchers have isolated a peptide from tobacco flowers that could be a promising new...
La Trobe researchers have isolated a peptide from tobacco flowers that could be a promising new antibiotic candidate(Credit: La Trobe University)

The world is in desperate need of new antibiotics, as bacteria continue to evolve and develop resistance to the ones we have. Now, researchers at La Trobe University have found a peptide in the flower of a tobacco plant that could be the first of a brand new kind of antibiotic, hopefully helping us avoid the looming doomsday of superbugs. read more

Oral Insulin Moving to Final Stages of Testing

Insulin in a pill is one step closer to reality as clinical trials progress
Insulin in a pill is one step closer to reality as clinical trials progress(Credit: SergIllin/Depositphotos)

For decades researchers have worked to find a way to orally administer insulin effectively to patients with diabetes. Now this game-changing treatment is one step closer to reality, with pharmaceutical company Oramed embarking on a final Phase 2b human clinical trial to prove the efficacy of its oral insulin before moving to the final stages of trials and registrations that could bring the treatment to market within a few short years. read more

Handheld Skin Printer

From left to right, associate professor Axel Guenther, Navid Hakimi and Richard Cheng with the skin...
From left to right, associate professor Axel Guenther, Navid Hakimi and Richard Cheng with the skin printer(Credit: Liz Do)

Four years ago, we heard how researchers had created a microwave-oven-sized 3D printer that could produce sheets of skin for treating burns. Now, some of the same scientists have developed a handheld device that prints skin directly onto deep wounds. read more

A Cancer Kill Switch

Researchers at Northwestern University have developed a way to trigger an ancient cancer "kill switch" hidden...
Researchers at Northwestern University have developed a way to trigger an ancient cancer “kill switch” hidden in our genes(Credit: ralwel/Depositphotos)

Cancer is one of our most persistent enemies, but while we now have advanced immune systems to fight the good fight, how did early multicellular life manage to stave it off? A genetic “kill switch” seems to have been the original weapon of choice, and now researchers at Northwestern University believe they’ve discovered a way to trigger that mechanism. This knowledge could potentially pave the way to a therapy where cancer cells commit suicide, which would be impossible for cancer cells to adapt a resistance to. read more