In a major breakthrough for regenerative medicine, scientists have partially restored vision in a blind man using an emerging technique called optogenetics. The approach involved injecting the patient’s eye with genes that code for light-sensitive proteins found in green algae, and represents the first successful clinical application of the technology, which enabled the patient to locate and identify objects for the first time in decades.
While there’s evidence of volcanic activity in Mars’ ancient past, it was presumed to have been quiet for millions of years. But now, orbiters have spotted a large volcanic deposit that appears to be relatively fresh – only about 53,000 years old – which may lend weight to the idea that the Red Planet was recently, or still is, habitable for subsurface microbes.
By turning modern scientific tools on an antibiotic discovered 70 years ago, researchers have unearthed a previously unknown mechanism it uses to pierce and pop superbugs like balloons. Promisingly, the scientists have also demonstrated how this approach to taking out bacteria can be supercharged by combining it with other antibiotics, potentially offering a new form of defense against deadly, drug-resistant bacteria.
Tiny robots could serve all kinds of useful functions, but shrinking their actuators has proven challenging. Now researchers at the University of Wollongong (UOW) in Australia have made artificial muscles that surpass your puny natural ones, inspired by the “supercoiling” of DNA strands.
A fascinating new study from a team of US researchers has used machine learning techniques to develop algorithms that can analyze naturalistic driving data and detect mild cognitive impairment and dementia in a driver. The work is still in the preliminary stages, however, the researchers claim it could be possible in the future to detect early signs of dementia using either a smartphone app or devices incorporated into car software systems.
Launched in 2018 on a mission to study the Sun from close proximity, NASA’s Parker Solar Probe continues to edge closer and closer to its target, setting one new record after another. The latest came during a close approach today, where the spacecraft exceeded blistering speeds of 330,000 mph (532,000 km/h) as it began its eighth loop of the Sun.