Fully implantable, optoelectronic systems for battery-free, multimodal operation in neuroscience research have been developed by the researchers at the University of Arizona. Optogenetics is a biological technique that uses light to turn specific neuron groups in the brain on or off. For example, researchers might use optogenetic stimulation to restore movement in case of paralysis or, in the future, to turn off the areas of the brain or spine that cause pain, eliminating the need for - and the increasing dependence on - opioids and other painkillers. The first iterations of optogenetics involved sending light to the brain through optical fibers, which meant that test subjects were physically tethered to a control station. Researchers went on to develop a battery-free technique using wireless electronics, which meant subjects could move freely.
It should be no surprise to most readers that finding an alternative to non-renewable natural resources is a key topic in current research. Some of the raw materials required for manufacturing many of today's plastics involve non-renewable fossil resources, coal, and natural gas, and a lot of effort has been devoted to finding sustainable alternatives. 2,5-Furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA) is an attractive raw material that can be used to create polyethylene furanoate, which is a bio-polyester with many applications. Scientists at the Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) have developed and analyzed a novel catalyst for the oxidation of 5-hydroxymethyl furfural, which is crucial for generating new raw materials that replace the classic non-renewable ones used for making many plastics.
A team of BYU researchers, backed by funding from the U.S. Figure Skating Association, have created a prototype device that helps measure jumping performance for figure skaters - kind of like a FitBit for ice skating. The waist-mounted device uses an accelerometer, a gyroscope, and a magnetometer to identify when a skater performs a jump and then calculates the height and rotation speed of the jump. Jumps are the No. 1 thing that skaters and coaches want information about. Most overuse injuries are likely related to the landing specifically. The researchers haven’t, in the past, really had a good way of measuring those forces.
Large, human cardiac-muscle patches created in the lab have been tested, for the first time, on large animals in a heart attack ( lat. Vitium Cordis) model. This clinically relevant approach showed that the patches significantly improved recovery from heart attack injury. The results are a step closer to the goal of treating human heart attacks by suturing cardiac-muscle patches over an area of dead heart muscle in order to reduce the pathology that often leads to heart failure. The research was led by Jianyi 'Jay' Zhang, M.D., Ph.D., the chair of the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UniAlB) Biomedical Engineering, a joint department of the UAB School of Medicine and the UAB School of Engineering.
The most efficient malaria treatments in the last three decades have been based on artemisinin combination therapies. The 2015 Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded for the discovery of artemisinin in the 1970s. Unfortunately, drug resistance against artemisinin is a growing threat against the current drug regime. Thus, the need for developing novel kinds of drugs is pressing. Unless new drugs are found, malaria mortality will almost certainly turn to a new rise. However, an international researchers' team, including Professor Inari Kursula from the University of Oulu (UniOulu), identified a new antimalarial compound and its two target proteins. The results may lead to the development of novel drugs against malaria.
The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UniAlB) researchers noticed that using three biomarkers, instead of the current recommendation of two, is more effective at detecting and staging chronic kidney disease and predicting end-stage renal disease and death. Chronic kidney disease (CKD) affects 26 million American adults, according to the National Kidney Foundation (NKF). People with diabetes, hypertension and a family history of kidney disease, plus African-Americans, Hispanics, Pacific Islanders, Native Americans and seniors are at an increased risk for developing the disease. But early detection often can help prevent the progression of kidney disease to kidney failure.