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Archive for the 'Future Medicine' Category

DNA nanosensors profile gene activity to reveal state of cells

Posted by Jim Lewis on November 18th, 2011

Small DNA molecules fluoresce in the presence of specific transcription factors, sensing which genes are being expressed in that cell, potentially allowing cancer treatments to be personalized, and the quality of stem cells to be monitored.

Leveraging nanoforces to increase biosensor sensitivity

Posted by Jim Lewis on November 16th, 2011

This contribution has been forwarded by Ivo Rivetta. The primary forces on the nanometer scale are scaled versions of what we experience on a day to day basis. Instead of gravity, surface forces such as water tension and electric charge dominate. As an example, compare wet basketballs and wet sand. The weight of the basketballs [...]

Carbon nanotube muscles could propel future medical nanorobots (video)

Posted by Jim Lewis on October 31st, 2011

Yarn woven from carbon nanotubes provides a thousand times more rotation than is obtained from other artificial muscles, and could be made into motors to provide propulsion for micrometer-sized medical nanorobots.

Viruses guide nano-assembly of biomaterials

Posted by Jim Lewis on October 27th, 2011

This contribution has been forwarded by Ivo Rivetta. Researchers at UC Berkeley have taken a bioinspired approach to control the nanostructure of deposited thin films. In living organisms, the orientation of collagen in tissue determines its properties: For instance, a number of blue-skinned animals, including the mandrill monkey, derive their coloring not from pigment, but [...]

Destroying cancer cells by incorporating an artificial biological computer

Posted by Jim Lewis on October 14th, 2011

A complex piece of DNA that acts as a biological computer when it is inserted into cells determines whether or not the cell is a specific type of cancer cell, and if so, initiates the suicide of that cell.

Magnetic nanoparticles to cook brain cancer go into trial in patient

Posted by Jim Lewis on October 12th, 2011

Nanotechnology has been applied to produce various types of nanoparticles that can deliver toxic agents specifically to the cancer cells. Many of these approaches have shown promise in animal studies. One approach using magnetic nanoparticles has now gone into trials in patients. From “Nano-therapy that cooks deadly brain tumors advances in Germany,” by Ryan McBride: [...]

Nanotechnology for Heart Repair Advances

Posted by Jim Lewis on September 29th, 2011

Growing heart cells in a scaffold containing gold nanowires produces a tissue patch that is thicker and in which the cells beat synchronously as they do in healthy heart tissue.

A four-artificial-neuron network from 112 DNA strands

Posted by Jim Lewis on July 22nd, 2011

A neural network made from 112 DNA strands organized into four artificial neurons was trained with four pieces of information to answer questions.

DNA nanotechnology provides detailed monitoring of single cells

Posted by Jim Lewis on July 19th, 2011

DNA nanotechnology provides cell-surface sensors for real-time monitoring of single cells, including potential use in personalized medicine to test which drugs would be suitable for which individuals.

Nanotechnology therapy for head and neck cancer shows promise

Posted by Jim Lewis on July 15th, 2011

A nanotechnology therapy using targeted dendrimers shows promise against head and neck cancer in experiments in which human tumors are implanted into immunocompromised mice.

First synthetic organ transplant made possible by nanotechnology

Posted by Jim Lewis on July 11th, 2011

The world’s first synthetic organ transplant was a replica windpipe made from a nanocomposite scaffold seeded with the patient’s own adult stem cells.

Nanotechnology protects mice infected with lethal dose of flu virus

Posted by Jim Lewis on June 20th, 2011

Treatment of mice previously infected with a lethal dose of flu virus with a nanotechnology-based drug lowered viral load a thousand fold.

Medical nanorobots win poll on engineering's Next Big Thing

Posted by Jim Lewis on May 10th, 2011

A poll of NewScientist readers selected medical nanorobots as the technology that will have the biggest impact on human life in the next 30 years.

Protein, RNA, DNA: Nanotechnology finds a multitude of paths to attack cancer cells

Posted by Jim Lewis on May 2nd, 2011

Protein, RNA, DNA provide very different molecular architectures for nanotechnology to adopt to deliver drugs to cancer cells while sparing healthy cells.

'Good Cholesterol' nanoparticles silence cancer-promoting genes and destroy cancer cells

Posted by Jim Lewis on April 27th, 2011

‘Good Cholesterol’ nanoparticles are non-toxic and use the need of cancer cells for HDL cholesterol to deliver RNA molecules to silence the expression of cancer-promoting genes.

Nanotechnology boosts anticancer drug cocktail many times over

Posted by Jim Lewis on April 22nd, 2011

Porous silica nanoparticles covered with a lipid bilayer deliver large doses of drugs and kill cancer cells a million fold better than do simple liposomes.

Nanotechnology promises low-cost method to squash superbugs

Posted by Jim Lewis on April 14th, 2011

Novel biodegradable nanoparticles destroy membranes of drug-resistant ‘superbugs’ without harming blood cell membranes.

Physicist and television host sees future for nanotechnology and AI

Posted by Jim Lewis on March 24th, 2011

In a review of physicist and television host Michio Kaku’s latest book, Foresight advisor Glenn Reynolds finds reason for optimism, but also cause for concern in the career choices of today’s brightest minds.

Time magazine cover article on the Singularity, Ray Kurzweil, AI and nanotechnology

Posted by Jim Lewis on February 17th, 2011

A cover article in Time magazine portrays the Singularity, Ray Kurzweil, AI, life extension, and nanotechnology as “an idea that rewards sober, careful evaluation.”

Molecular machine switches magnetic state at room temperature

Posted by Jim Lewis on January 29th, 2011

Irradiation with two wavelengths of visible light switches the position of a nitrogen atom close to a nickel ion, and in the process switches the magnetic state of the nickel ion.