Researchers from North Carolina State University have for the first time successfully coated polymer implants with a bioactive film. The discovery should improve the success rate of such implants -- which are often used in spinal surgeries.
New research is paving the way for new, smart prosthetics that connect directly to the nervous system. The benefits are more versatile prosthetics with intuitive motor control and realistic sensory feedbac - in essence, they could one day return dexterity and the sensation of touch to an amputee.
A Basque research consortium has managed to halt the progress of colon cancer and its metastasis in the liver in an experimental model with mice. This advance, that may open a new path for the future treatment of such pathologies, has been achieved by creating molecules which interfere with the adhesion of tumour cells to other cells of the organism.
Researchers have given rats the ability to "touch" infrared light, normally invisible to them, by fitting them with an infrared detector wired to microscopic electrodes implanted in the part of the mammalian brain that processes tactile information. The achievement represents the first time a brain-machine interface has augmented a sense in adult animals.
Digesting lignin, a highly stable polymer that accounts for up to a third of biomass, is a limiting step to producing a variety of biofuels. Researchers at Brown have figured out the microscopic chemical switch that allows Streptomyces bacteria to get to work, breaking lignin down into its constituent parts.