Archive for microfluidics

june 2015

injecting electronic scaffolds into the brain

Injectable device delivers nano-view of the brain
Harvard Gazette — June 8, 2015

  • Discovery of a way to inject nanofabricated electronic scaffolds into the brain without causing inflammation.
  • Scaffolds, etched like microchips, can be precisely located to monitor and stimulate tissue processes and regenerate neurons. They are flexible and “like to interact with neurons.”

new techniques for profiling a single cell

Beyond Average
Stephanie Dutchen, Harvard Medical News — May 21, 2015

  • “Different cells in a tissue use the same genome in amazingly diverse ways…”
  • …”even embryonic stem cells are not uniform…”
  • Thousands of single cell profiles can be generated per day using the Drop-Seq and inDrops techniques. This is up from the previous profile generation rate of 96 single cell profiles per day.

Single-cell analysis hits its stride
Lisa Girard, Broad Communications — May 21, 2015

  • Analyzing variations between the same cell type is faster and more straightforward now that each cell can be assigned a unique DNA barcode.
  • Microfluidic techniques allow each cell to interact with an outside DNA fragment. The DNA breaks up the cell and “reverse transcribes” the cell’s mRNA into a unique DNA barcode.
  • When the tissue cells are sequenced and sorted, variation can be traced back to an individual cell using its barcode.
  • Labs can buy droplets with DNA fragments for use in barcoding for 6 cents each.

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October 2014: 1

Blood Cleanser for Sepsis
“Dialysis-like ‘biospleen’ quickly filters bacteria, fungi and toxins”
Kristen Kusek, Harvard Medical News — September 15, 2014

Cancer Immunotherapy on the Cusp
“HMS discoveries inspire treatments that free the immune system to fight tumors”
Elizabeth Cooney, Harvard Medical News — September 5, 2014

Pancreatic Cancer Insight
“Study reveals gene expression patterns in circulating tumor cells”
Sue McGreevey, Harvard Medical News — September 24, 2014

Scientists discover an on/off switch for aging cells
“The switch controls the growth of telomeres, the timekeepers of cells”
Salk Institute News — September 19, 2014

Sensory Sensitivity
“Stimulation and deprivation alter vascular structure in the brain”
Stephanie Dutchen, Harvard Medical News — September 4, 2014

Zebrafish Model of a Learning and Memory Disorder Shows Better Way to Target Treatment
Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania — September 11, 2014

Dark matter

Particle detector finds hints of dark matter in space
“Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer detects positrons in cosmic ray flux that hint at dark matter’s origin”
Jennifer Chu, MIT News Office —  September 18, 2014

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March 2014: 5

Bacterial reporters that get the scoop
Kristen Kusek, Press Contact, Wyss Institute, Harvard University — Mar 17, 2014

Bone Repair by Silk
“Silkworm-derived surgical devices may be superior to metal and synthetics-based plates and screws in bone.\”
Bonnie Prescott, Harvard Medical News — March 11, 2014

Cells get ready for their close-up
“New microscopy technique captures 3-D images of cells as they flow through a microfluidic channel”
Anne Trafton, MIT News Office — March 20, 2014

Researchers develop device that simulates gastro-intestinal tract
University of Huddersfield, UK — March 28, 2014

The Aging Brain Needs REST
“Research implicates new player in Alzheimer’s and other dementias”
Stephanie Dutchen, Harvard Medical News — March 19, 2014

Multiple RNA functions

A novel mechanism for fast regulation of gene expression
“Messenger RNA normally tells cellular machinery which protein to make. But sometimes it has a secret mission as well”
Diana Lutz, Newsroom, Washington University St. Louis — March 18, 2014

Study of complete RNA collection of fruit fly uncovers unprecedented complexity
“1,468 new genes discovered”
Indiana University Bloomington Newsroom — March 17, 2014

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November 2013: 3

It’s RNA’s World, We’re Just Living In It
Kevin Jiang, Science Life, University of Chicago Hospitals — November 12, 2013

Listen to this: Research upends understanding of how humans perceive sound
Tracie White, Stanford University School of Medicine — November 20, 2013

Stem cell therapy may become effective treatment for osteoarthritis
“Cartilage damage, inflammation and pain reduced after injecting stem cells from bone marrow”
Erasmus Medical Center press release, Netherlands — November 11, 2013

Unnecessary Testing?
“Study finds inappropriate laboratory testing throughout medicine”
Bonnie Prescott, Harvard Medical News — November 18, 2013

Computer is learning common sense

Carnegie Mellon Computer Searches Web 24/7 To Analyze Images and Teach Itself Common Sense
“NEIL Program Labels Images, Learns Associations With Minimal Help From People”
Byron Spice, Carnegie Mellon News Office — November 20, 2013


When water flows uphill
Luke Groskin, Science Friday video — November 21, 2013
(also on YouTube)


Quantum Dot Sphere
Julie Leibach, Science Friday Picture of the Week — September 26, 2013

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August 2013: 2

Developing cancer drugs
“Researchers find therapeutic potential in ‘undruggable’ target”
Joseph Caputo, Harvard Gazette Science, June 17, 2013

Mouse retinas grown in lab
“Transplanted cells can function in rodents’ eyes”
Tina Hesman Saey, — July 22, 2013

Reprogrammed cells generate blood vessels
“Researchers’ findings could make crucial difference in treatment of cardiovascular disease”
Sue McGreevey, Massachusetts General Hospital Public Affairs — July 15, 2013

Surgical tool smokes out cancer in seconds
“Sniffing for telltale molecules, method analyzes tissue with every cut”
Christy Gelling, — July 18, 2013

Systems biology tunes in to cancer networks
“…understanding the networks of molecular interactions inside cancer cells”
Tom Siegfried, — July 22, 2013

Science Friday videos

Building a Liver From Stem Cells
July 5, 2013

Can White Blood Cells Spread Cancer?
July 5, 2013


Particles defy gravity, float upstream
“Inspired by tea leaves’ reverse route, physicists demonstrate that water’s surface tension allows unexpected movement” — July 2, 2013

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August 2013: 1

Forging the Correct Link: A Step Toward Understanding the Origins of Life on Earth
C. Rose Kennedy, PhD student, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Harvard University
Science in the News Flash — June 15, 2013

Making connections in the eye
“Wiring diagram of retinal neurons is first step toward mapping the human brain”
Anne Trafton, MIT News Office — August 7, 2013

Research points toward better colonoscopy
“New technology offers three-dimensional images, making it easier to detect precancerous lesions”
Anne Trafton, MIT News Office — July 31, 2013

The brains behind research on the brain
“Mehmet Fatih Yanik develops tools to answer some of the central questions in neuroscience”
Helen Knight, MIT News Correspondent — July 31, 2013

Potassium channels

How to Block a Potassium Channel: Just Add Water (video)
Matt Wood, Science Life, University of Chicago science blog — July 31, 2013

Water molecules control inactivation and recovery of potassium channels
University of Chicago newsroom — July 31, 2013

Science of Placebo Conference

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, June 19 and 20, 2013

Day 1 videos
Placebos, words, and drugs — what’s the difference?  Fabrizio Benedetti
Studying the person: Brain mechanisms of placebo analgesia  Tor Wager

Day 2 videos
Tne neurobiology of placebo and delusion, Predrag Petrovic,
Placebo effects in clinical practice, Ted Kaptchuk

Sound waves

A layer of tiny grains can slow sound waves
“Layer of microscopic spheres offers new approach to controlling acoustic waves”
David L. Chandler, MIT News Office — August 4, 2013

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