If a genetically or synthetically engineered organism gets into the environment, how will we tell it apart from the millions of naturally occurring microorganisms? Recently, the US government and research scientists have identified a need for new tools that can detect engineered organisms that have been accidentally or intentionally released beyond the lab. With scientists from Raytheon and other universities, WPI chemical engineer Eric Young is helping develop a detection tool based on DNA signatures.
In solving a scientific mystery, researchers from the University of Houston and the nation's national laboratories also discovered a new avenue for clearing toxins from water, including wastewater produced by hydraulic fracturing.
Can the properties of composite materials be predicted? Empa scientists have mastered this feat and thus can help achieve research objectives faster. This leads, for instance, to better recycling techniques and electrically conductive synthetic materials for the solar industry.
EPFL chemists have synthesized the first ever functional non-native metal hydrogenase.
Acquiring images of ultrafast processes is a technology vitally needed for many cutting-edge physical, chemical, and biological studies. The latest research conducted by City University of Hong Kong (CityU) and Xi'an Jiaotong University has successfully developed a novel compressed ultrafast photographic technique, enabling both an ultra-high frame rate and a large frame number. Having overcome the existing limitations, the new technique offers an important tool for observing complex transient processes on the femtosecond (10-15second) timescale.
Researchers at the University of Washington unveiled a new strategy to keep proteins intact and functional in synthetic biomaterials for tissue engineering. Their approach modifies proteins at a specific point so that they can be chemically tethered to the scaffold using light. Since the tether can also be cut by laser light, this method can create evolving patterns of signal proteins throughout a biomaterial scaffold to grow tissues made up of different types of cells.
Researchers have identified how the human brain is able to determine the properties of a particular object using purely statistical information: a result which suggests there is an 'inner pickpocket' in all of us.
Researchers at McMaster University have invented a stable, affordable way to store fragile vaccines for weeks at a time at temperatures up to 40C, opening the way for life-saving anti-viral vaccines to reach remote and impoverished regions of the world.
Endangered penguins respond rapidly to changes in local fish numbers, and monitoring them could inform fisheries management and marine conservation.
Medical University of South Carolina investigators have exploited a metabolic quirk of certain cancers known as glutamine addiction to identify a potential new therapy for esophageal cancer. After characterizing the pathway involved in cancer progression, they tested a new combination treatment in both cells and animal models, with promising results. The next step is to secure funding to bring the new combination regimen to clinical trial. Their findings are reported in Nature Communications.