New Gene-Editing Tool

Chinese scientists have begun the first human trials using the CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing tool by treating patients...Chinese scientists have begun the first human trials using the CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing tool by treating patients with lung cancer(Credit: chepko/Depositphotos)

The powerful gene-editing CRISPR-Cas9 technique is a promising tool in the fight against conditions like retinal degradation, muscular dystrophy and HIV, but so far trials have been restricted to cultured cells and laboratory mice. read more

3D Printed Face Reconstruction

A cancer survivor whose face was ravaged by a tumor, leaving him with a large hole where his eye, nose and cheekbone had been, has become the first person to receive a 3D printed face prosthesis made with a smart phone.

Married former salesman Carlito Conceiçao has lived with the hole and an uncomfortable prosthetic that kept falling off since 2008 – but now a ground-breaking procedure used a free app on a smartphone to build and print a 3D image of the missing part of his face.

Researchers now hope to train as many people as possible to make the affordable and practical technology accessible in remote areas of the world where people have minimal health care services. read more

Our Brains Also Sag with Age

The numerous folds which cover our brains change over time, becoming slacker as we age, according to a study.

What’s more, this slacking was seen to be more pronounced in those with Alzheimer’s disease.

Researchers believe that learning more about how the mechanisms which control how folding changes with age could potentially be used to help diagnose brain diseases and spot dementia.

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Researchers mapped the brains of 1,000 people found the folds covering their brains (pictured) changed with age, with the cortex losing elasticity and becoming more slack
Researchers mapped the brains of 1,000 people found the folds covering their brains (pictured) changed with age, with the cortex losing elasticity and becoming more slack

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A Virus for Alcoholism

About 17 million adults and more than 850,000 adolescents had some problems with alcohol in the United States in 2012.

Long-term alcohol misuse could harm your liver, stomach, cardiovascular system and bones, as well as your brain.

Chronic heavy alcohol drinking can lead to a problem that we scientists call alcohol use disorder, which most people call alcohol abuse or alcoholism.

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Long-term alcohol misuse could harm your liver, stomach, cardiovascular system and bones, as well as your brain. Chronic heavy alcohol drinking can lead to a problem that we scientists call alcohol use disorder, which most people call alcohol abuse or alcoholism
Long-term alcohol misuse could harm your liver, stomach, cardiovascular system and bones, as well as your brain. Chronic heavy alcohol drinking can lead to a problem that we scientists call alcohol use disorder, which most people call alcohol abuse or alcoholism

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How is that Cancer Moonshot Progressing?

by: the Common Constitutionalist

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Recognizing, as I’m sure we all do, that every speech Barack Obama has ever given is a work of oratory genius and each monologue is more memorable than the last, I ask that you think back to his final State of the Union speech.

Amongst the ramblings from one statist government giveaway to the next, was a segment on what the President classified as the White House Cancer Moonshot. Obama stated on January 12, 2016 that, “last year Vice President Biden said that with a new moonshot, America can cure cancer.”

I’m not making light of this statement, and certainly not of Biden, for he lost his son Beau Biden to brain cancer in May of 2015.

Obama continued by saying that, “last month he [Biden] worked with Congress to give scientists at the National Institutes of Health, the strongest resources they’ve had in over a decade.” He received a standing ovation from virtually ever member in the chamber.

This is my problem. Not that Biden lost his son to cancer and wishes for no one else to suffer the way his son and family did. I get that. It’s the way almost everyone in government proposes to solve the problem. It’s always the same. The federal government ponies up billions of dollars of our money to fund quasi-government science projects, which rarely if ever accomplish anything. read more

Artificial Pancreas Automates Insulin Delivery

For the first time, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a so-called artificial...
For the first time, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a so-called artificial pancreas designed to both monitor and inject insulin automatically, requiring minimal input from the user(Credit: Medtronic)

Monitoring blood-glucose levels and injecting insulin to keep them in a safe range is a never-ending headache for sufferers of type 1 diabetes. A number of research projects have made promising steps recently to promise easier ways of doing things, and now this type of convenience is set to move out of the lab and into the real-world. For the first time, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a so-called artificial pancreas designed to both monitor and inject insulin automatically, requiring minimal input from the user. read more

Camera Mounted Plaque Shaving Catheter

The Pantheris system can not only spot blockages in blood vessels, but it can help doctors...
The Pantheris system can not only spot blockages in blood vessels, but it can help doctors shave them away as well

The impact of ever-miniaturizing electronics can be felt right across the spectrum of technological advancement, but as we are beginning to see, one place where it can have a truly profound impact is in the human body. The latest example of this is a tiny camera no bigger than a grain of salt, which can be fixed to the end of a catheter and fed into arteries to provide surgeons tasked with removing plaque a live view from within. read more

Elastic Bone Will Aid Implants

An implant in the shape of a section of the human spine, 3D-printed using the new...
An implant in the shape of a section of the human spine, 3D-printed using the new ink(Credit:Adam E. Jakus, Northwestern University)

When it comes to surgically replacing sections of missing or damaged bone, there are two main approaches: harvesting pieces of bone from elsewhere in the body, or using shaped metallic implants. That said, harvesting bone is invasive and painful, while metallic implants won’t grow along with the patient. read more

Faster-Acting Insulin Found in the Slow Cone Snail

The cone snail uses insulin to stun its predators

The cone snail uses insulin to stun its predators (Credit: Baldomero Olivera)

An at times urgent need for insulin has given rise to quick-fire solutions that can take effect in as few as 15 minutes, but in a scenario where every second can make a difference there is always room for improvement. This has led scientists to look for an even faster-acting insulin from a notoriously slow-moving source, finding the insulin in a certain type of snail venom can begin working in a third of the time of the fastest insulins currently on the market.

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Scientists Have Found a Way to Alter how You Feel About Someone

We are often urged not to judge a book by its cover when meeting someone new, but scientists have found a way to alter how you might feel about someone by tweaking your response to their face.

Researchers have developed a technique that allows them induce either positive or negative feelings about other people’s faces.

They were able to get participants in the study to feel more warmly towards faces of people they had never met before or less keen on other faces at will, all without those taking part realising they were being manipulated.

Scientists have developed a technique that allows them to identify brain activity associated with specific emotional responses (some examples above). They showed they could then promote this activity in participants by rewarding them whenever it appeared

Scientists have developed a technique that allows them to identify brain activity associated with specific emotional responses (some examples above). They showed they could then promote this activity in participants by rewarding them whenever it appeared

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