Fishy feeling

A new study has found that fish have emotions. The study, published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, found that zebrafish responded to stress by an increase in body temperature, or what it known as an “emotional fever.” It’s been suggested that such a thing only exists in mammals, birds and reptiles, but the new research proves otherwise. Scientists placed six zebrafish groups in tanks divided by plexiglass into six chambers, each containing water of a different temperature. Each tank w...
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Army Ants

Ants are well-known for building with their bodies, but a new study has shown that army ants can optimize traffic flow using bridges that move. Army ants are a predatory nomadic species, they raid other insect colonies and are always on the move, without a permanent nest. In this lifestyle, finding the shortest foraging path with sufficient workforce left over is crucial. The new research shows they adjust their bridges to find that balance. A gap in an ant’s path might be a daunting obstacle fo...
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Speedy Microscopic Submarines powered by Light

A team from Rice University has developed single-molecule nanosubmarines that could eventually be used to deliver medicines directly inside the body. Back in 2006, this same group developed nanocars, a single-molecule vehicle with four wheels, axles, and independent suspensions that could be “driven” across a terrestrial surface. Unfortunately, many of the nano-scale devices developed since then either required or emitted toxic chemicals. Several years ago, however, a new motor developed by a gr...
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Drug prevents Type 1 diabetes in mice

A compound that blocks the synthesis of hyaluronan, a substance generally found in in all body tissue, protects mice from getting Type 1 diabetes.Nadine Nagy and Paul Bollyky and their colleagues found that a drug helped prevent the onset of Type 1 diabetes in mice. They hope to find out if the drug will work similarly in humans. Type 1 diabetes, formerly called juvenile diabetes, afflicts one in 300 people in the United States. A compound that blocks the synthesis of hyaluronan, a substance ...
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Our Bodies, our Microbial Clouds.

We leave a trail of microbes on every surface we touch, from pens and keyboards to door handles and elevator buttons. Everywhere you go, in everything you do, you are surrounded by an aura of microbes. They drift down from your hair when you scratch your head, they fly off your hand when you wave to your friend, and they spew out of your mouth when you talk. Even when you sit around doing nothing, you’re sitting in your own, personal microbial bubble. In addition to leaving our mark on surfaces,...
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More than 11 moles on your arm could indicate higher risk of melanoma.

People who have more than 11 moles on their right arm could have a higher risk of skin cancer. Researchers at King’s College London have investigated a new method that could be used by GPs to quickly determine the number of moles on the entire body by counting the number found on a smaller ‘proxy’ body area, such as an arm. Naevus (mole) count is one of the most important markers of risk for skin cancer despite only 20 to 40 per cent of melanoma arising from pre-existing moles. The risk is thoug...
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Lack of sleep zaps cell growth, brain activity.

Lack of adequate sleep can do more than just make you tired. It can short-circuit your system and interfere with a fundamental cellular process that drives physical growth, physiological adaptation and even brain activity, according to a new study from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Albrecht von Arnim, a molecular biologist based in the Department of Biochemistry and Cellular and Molecular Biology, studied plants but said the concepts may well translate to humans. His team examined h...
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Scientists Can Now 3D-Print The Building Blocks of Life

Scientists have developed a 3D-printing method capable of producing highly uniform blocks of embryonic stem cells. These cells are capable of generating all cell types in the body and could be used as the ‘Lego bricks’ to build tissue constructs, larger structures of tissues, and potentially even micro-organs. They could also be used for stem cell regulation and expansion, regenerative medicine, drug screening studies, and potentially even for the construction of micro-organs. “It was really ...
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Artificial Foam Heart Created

Cornell University researchers have developed a new lightweight and stretchable material with the consistency of memory foam that has potential for use in prosthetic body parts, artificial organs and soft robotics. The foam is unique because it can be formed and has connected pores that allow fluids to be pumped through it. The foam starts as a liquid, so researchers can pour it into a 3D printed mould in order to form the heart, adding appropriate valves to the finished structure. This means...
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GM pig organs could soon be transplanted into humans

Pig organs could soon be transplanted into patients after Harvard University scientists discovered a way to genetically modify pig DNA so it is more compatible with humans. Scientists have spent decades trying to engineer pig tissue so that it would not be rejected by the human body, but the immune system has always prevented success. A major hurdle in transplanting pig organs into humans has been overcome by the scientists. All pig DNA carries the porcine endogenous retrovirus which infects ...
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NASA: Studying twins for a year in space

A Northwestern-led research team is one of 10 NASA-funded groups across the country studying identical twins Scott and Mark Kelly to learn how living in space for a long period of time, such as a mission to Mars affects the human body. While Scott spends a year in space, his brother, Mark, also a veteran NASA astronaut, will remain on Earth, as a ground-based control. The study will allow researchers to understand how the long-term exposure to space impacts the human brain and body and how the s...
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Aspirin’s disease-fighting abilities

A new study provides key insights into aspirin's disease-fighting abilities. A recent study led by researchers at the Boyce Thompson Institute (BTI) shows that salicylic acid, an active metabolite of aspirin, blocks HMGB1, an inflammatory protein associated with a wide variety of diseases. Aspirin is one of the oldest and most commonly used medicines, but many of its beneficial health effects have been hard for scientists and physicians to explain. Researchers have identified a key targ...
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Drug disarms deadly C. difficile bacteria without destroying healthy gut flora

Scientists find way to disarm deadly bacteria without destroying the good ones in your gut. The new discovery of a drug that blocks the intestinal pathogen without killing resident, beneficial microbes may prove superior to antibiotics, currently the front-line treatment for infection. Nearly half a million Americans get infected in a single year by Clostridium difficile, a dangerous bacteria that causes life-threatening diarrhea. It kills 15,000 people a year. It's the most common cause o...
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Turn your body into a touchscreen interface

Skinput, a new technology, listens to the vibrations of your body and turns it into a touching interface. One of the newest invention ideas in interface devices is Skinput which is the product of a collaboration between Carnegie Mellon's Harrison, Desny Tan and Dan Morris of Microsoft Research. Previous attempts at using projected interfaces used motion-tracking to determine where a person taps. Skinput uses a series of sensors to track where a user taps on his arm. It uses a different and no...
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Rubber That Can Use Energy from body movements to Generate Power

Power-generating rubber material could harness walking and other movement to charge electronic devices. Researchers at Princeton University have recently invented a new energy-harvesting rubber material composed of ceramic nanoribbons that could harvest energy from your breathing and walking. This material is composed of ceramic nanoribbons embedded onto silicone rubber sheets which generates electricity when flexed and is highly efficient at converting mechanical energy to electrical ener...
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Smart Pills for collecting data inside the body

Imagine if a vitamin sized pill could collect medical data from your body. Companies such as SmartPill have come out with wireless devices contained in tiny capsules to collect information from inside the body. The SmartPill capsule includes miniaturized sensors or cameras, a printed circuit board and tiny batteries that work to collect medical data as it makes its way through a person's gastrointestinal tract. Once swallowed, the device collects the required information, stores the data a...
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