For expecting parents, 24 weeks is an important milestone. It’s a little more than halfway through pregnancy, and it’s at this age that the fetus has at least a fighting chance of surviving outside its mother’s body. The odds of survival aren’t great—only about half of babies birthed at this age survive—but it’s possible.
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This past summer, a plane went into a stomach-churning ascent and plunge 30,000 feet over the Gulf of Mexico. The goal was not thrill-seeking, but something more genuinely daring: for about 25 seconds at a time, the parabolic flight lifted the occupants into a state of simulated weightlessness, allowing a high-tech printer to spit out cardiac stem cells […]
Dentists and patients alike want to know how to make dental work less traumatic — and one possible solution may be to combine it with virtual reality. That’s why researchers in the UK enlisted 80 people who needed a cavity filled or a tooth pulled, and separated them into three groups. They gave the […]
Wi-Fi can pass through walls. This fact is easy to take for granted, yet it’s the reason we can surf the web using a wireless router located in another room. But not all of that microwave radiation makes it to (or from) our phones, tablets, and laptops. Routers scatter and bounce their signal off objects, illuminating […]
Brain surgery is precision business, and one slip can spell doom for affected patients. Even in one of the most skilled jobs in the world, human error can still be a factor. Researchers from the University of Utah are looking to provide less opportunity for those errors to occur. A robot that the team is […]
There’s a revolution happening in biology, and its name is CRISPR. CRISPR (pronounced “crisper”) is a powerful technique for editing DNA. It has received an enormous amount of attention in the scientific and popular press, largely based on the promise of what this powerful gene editing technology will someday do.
The ability to regenerate body parts has always been a fascinating prospect, inspiring characters like Wolverine who can instantly heal themselves and regrow body parts they’ve lost — and now regeneration has inspired scientific research. Many species in the animal kingdom can regenerate: arthropods (like scorpions) can regrow appendages, some annelids (like worms) can regenerate […]
By this time next year, if all goes according to plan, the world’s first human head transplant will have taken place, Italian surgeon Sergio Canavero has revealed. In early 2015, Canavero made headlines around the world when he announced that he would perform the ground-breaking surgery within two years. Now, he has revealed in an […]
In this sequence, a spinach leaf is stripped of its plant cells, a process called decellularization, using a detergent. The process leaves behind the leaf’s vasculature. Researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) were able to culture beating human heart cells on such decelluralized leaves. Credit: Worcester Polytechnic Institute Researchers face a fundamental challenge as they […]
We have learned how to manipulate the code of life. Why this hasn’t received more attention is beyond me. Synthetic Biology is a multidisciplinary field that often defies definition. Yet despite its complexity, it is a remarkably easy field to apply once you’ve learned the science behind it. From a computer, you can input your […]