ataxin-7

DailyStar:

Eyes injected with the ataxin-7 ASO retained the ability to see, unlike the control eyes.

The scientists then measured how retinal neurons responded to light stimulation to determine whether the vision improved or deteriorated.

Better vision was correlated with lower levels of ataxin-7 mRNA and there was less accumulation of the misfolded protein.

The treatment suggests it might stop or even reverse blindness.

ASOs and related therapies suggest medical research may create powerful new treatments for many neurodegenerative diseases within the next decade.

I’ve seen a lot of articles in the past about treatments for blindness. This is one of the many that seem really promising and exciting.

To note:

An ASO is a short stretch of DNA that is synthesised to create a sequence that perfectly matches the target RNA

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Successful womb transplant from a dead donor

Ben Spencer for the Daily Mail:

Luisa’s (pictured) delivery last December – weighing 5lb 10oz – proved the procedure can be carried out safely using a dead donor’s womb – giving doctors the confidence to replicate the process

It was a major undertaking, performed against the clock to make sure the womb was implanted before it began to die.

While surgeons removed organs from the dead donor, another team started to prepare Luisa’s mother for her new womb – a procedure which itself took two hours – dissecting blood vessels and creating space in the tissue of her abdomen.

The womb was then lowered into her body and connected to her veins and arteries, ligaments and vaginal canal. Each vessel had to be carefully stitched to the new womb. After surgery, she was in intensive care for two days, then spent six days recovering on a ward.

Ten previous attempts, in the US, Czech Republic and Turkey, to transplant a womb from a dead donor ended in failure.

Dr Srdjan Saso of Imperial College London, part of the British team, said: ‘For those of us involved in uterine transplantation research, this is extremely exciting.

‘This successful demonstration demonstrates a few advantages over live donation. It enables use of a much wider potential donor population, applies lower costs and avoids live donors’ surgical risks.’

Just when you think you’ve seen everything, something like this pops up. Technology is beutiful sometimes.

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An audience

While watching this video, it struck me like it has before. Local TV News stations are amazing. They earn the respect and trust of their audience, and I continually and intrigued and look to replicate that.

What I take from it is this. Know who your audience is, know how to use them, and know how to talk to them.

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Antibiotic venom

Anne Trafton for MIT News:

After performing a systematic study of the antimicrobial properties of a toxin normally found in a South American wasp, researchers at MIT have now created variants of the peptide that are potent against bacteria but nontoxic to human cells.

In a study of mice, the researchers found that their strongest peptide could completely eliminate Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a strain of bacteria that causes respiratory and other infections and is resistant to most antibiotics.

“We’ve repurposed a toxic molecule into one that is a viable molecule to treat infections,” says Cesar de la Fuente-Nunez, an MIT postdoc. “By systematically analyzing the structure and function of these peptides, we’ve been able to tune their properties and activity.”

They tested it and here is the results.

“After four days, that compound can completely clear the infection, and that was quite surprising and exciting because we don’t typically see that with other experimental antimicrobials or other antibiotics that we’ve tested in the past with this particular mouse model,” de la Fuente-Nunez says.

Extremely fascinating.

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Electronics that can withstand 428 degree heat

Researchers at Purdue University have created a new plastic material that can reliably conduct electicity in enviroments up to 220 degrees Celsius (428 F).

Eurekalert:

Most impressive about this new material isn’t its ability to conduct electricity in extreme temperatures, but that its performance doesn’t seem to change. Usually, the performance of electronics depends on temperature – think about how fast your laptop would work in your climate-controlled office versus the Arizona desert. The performance of these new polymer blend remains stable across a wide temperature range.

Extreme-temperature electronics might be useful for scientists in Antarctica or travelers wandering the Sahara, but they’re also critical to the functioning of cars and planes everywhere. In a moving vehicle, the exhaust is so hot that sensors can’t be too close and fuel consumption must be monitored remotely. If sensors could be directly attached to the exhaust, operators would get a more accurate reading. This is especially important for aircraft, which have hundreds of thousands of sensors.

“A lot of applications are limited by the fact that these plastics will break down at high temperatures, and this could be a way to change that,” said Brett Savoie, a professor of chemical engineering at Purdue. “Solar cells, transistors and sensors all need to tolerate large temperature changes in many applications, so dealing with stability issues at high temperatures is really critical for polymer-based electronics.”

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Holiday Desert With Fruit Suspended in Jello-O

A method to grow a self-assembling, functional network of blood vessels at a size relevant for human use has been found by Jason Gleghorn, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering at the University of Delaware and his collegues.

Here’s the ScienceDaily:

The team embedded human blood vessel cells into a gel made of collagen, a protein found in connective tissue such as skin and joints. The goal was to determine the physical conditions necessary to make the cells grow, multiply and connect with each other so that a network of blood vessels assembled itself.

They succeeded.

“It looks kind of like the holiday dessert with fruit suspended in Jell-O,” said Gleghorn of the cells in the collagen gel. “You have a bunch of cells randomly distributed throughout the volume of the gel, and if they are sparsely distributed, it gets very hard for them to talk to each other and form connections to form vessels. The languages they use are chemical signals and physical forces.” The key is to find the sweet spot of stiffness, stiff enough so that neighboring cells can interact with the material and each other, but not so stiff that the cells can’t move.

The team also found that by perturbing their system in a specific way, they could affect the size and shape of the vessel networks under assembly.

“From larger vessels to much smaller microvessels, which are really hard to make, we can now tune the vessel network architecture with the initial starting parameters,” said Gleghorn. This means that the new system could have applications from forming larger vessels deep within the body to tiny capillaries, the teeny vessels in your fingertips.

Gleghorn’s team also found that their lab-grown blood vessels were perfusable, suggesting that blood could flow through them without leaking out of the vessels into surrounding gel. The vessel networks can also form throughout a variety of shaped gels, meaning that this system could be useful for building blood vessel networks in tissues with complicated shapes, such as the meniscus cartilage that pads your knees or a large skin graft for burn patients.

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Blood Test That Can Detect Cancer in 10 Minutes

Fox News:

“Virtually every piece of cancerous DNA we examined had this highly predictable pattern,” he said.

If you think of a cell as a hard-drive, then the new findings suggest the disease needs certain genetic programs, or “apps,” in order to run.

“It seems to be a general feature for all cancer. It’s a startling discovery,” Trau said. “The test to detect cancerous cells can be performed in 10 minutes.”

This will help aid in detecting it early, so you have to really give it to those who discovered this.

I hope it pans out, think of all the lives it could save.

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The Fat Gene

Sophie Tanno for the Daily Mail:

While there are always more natural ways for obese people to shed the pounds, the scientist told Daily Mail Australia he believes the research is important

He revealed the university has received funding from the Australian government to seek out ways of combating obesity.

Professor Keating added that the results show ‘we can potentially make a real difference in the fight again obesity’.

Researchers fed the mice missing the RCAN1 gene various different diets, including the high fat one thought to cause weight gain.

The rodents followed the diet for as little as eight weeks and up to six months. Each time period produced similar results.

Blocking RCAN1 helps transform unhealthy white fat into the healthier brown version, according to the team of researchers.

Eat up.

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Share Ideas and Someone May Share Yours

I don’t want to share things on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, ect. because it’s not personal. It’s not from me to you, it is through a third party. One I have no control over.

This is my space, I can do what I want and I implore you to create your own space so you can do what you want. Share your ideas and maybe someone will share yours.