A built-in camera and artificial intelligence can improve the speed and grasping ability of a prosthetic hand, as shown in tests with people missing a hand. Test results and a description of the technology developed by engineers at Newcastle University in the U.K. appear in yesterday's issue of the Journal of Neural Engineering.
A coalition of three medical centers in the U.S. is leading a comprehensive research initiative to find treatments and eventually cures for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. The collaboration, known as Answer ALS, plans to amass a coordinated knowledge base about ALS across a range of disciplines, and make their findings freely available to colleagues worldwide to speed development of therapies.
Engineers at Stanford University designed a wireless circuit implanted under the skin for sending light-activated signals to nerve cells in lab mice. The researchers are seeking a simple, self-contained technique for sending electrical signals to the brain and nervous systems with optogenetics, the use of light energy to influence activities of genes sensitive to light.
New York University’s engineering school is developing a new type of protein-based gel materials that respond to and replicate natural biochemical processes. The research team is investigating ways of making hydrogels from engineered proteins derived from E. coli bacteria that can then be refined into substances imitating natural processes to help heal wounds, detect changes in vital signs, or deliver drugs.
In-vitro fertilization often fails due to poor egg health, with the decline in egg health largely due to a reduction in the eggs’ energy production. A clinical study of cellular energy treatments for women using IVF shows the treatments increased pregnancy rates compared to women receiving standard IVF alone.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins University wrote a computer model that gives clinicians an early and accurate warning that a patient is developing sepsis, a life-threatening complication of infections. Current diagnostic methods, say the authors, can spot sepsis only in advanced stages, when there is little time for clinicians to respond.
Biochemists at Scripps Research Institute reported on an enzyme derived from naturally-occurring bacteria that shows in lab tests can remove nicotine in the blood, with potential as a drug to help smokers quit. The Scripps team tested the enzyme NicA2, derived from Pseudomonas putida, as a way to break down and destroy nicotine in the bloodstream before it reaches the brains of people who smoke, thus blocking its addictive mechanism and helping people break the habit.
Results of an intermediate-stage clinical trial show a drug candidate to treat growth hormone deficiency in children given once a week, works about as well as a current therapy requiring a daily injection. The daily injection requirement often puts emotional burdens on parents and difficulties keeping with the daily injection schedule.