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 […]
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Right now, it prints proteins. In the far future, it could print human babies on Mars. Craig Venter and Elon Musk have even discussed how printed life could help terraform Mars.
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 […]
Ray Kurzweil, Google’s director of engineering, is a well-known futurist who seems to have a penchant for accurate predictions. Most recently, he has again reiterated his prediction that the so-called technological singularity will happen by 2045. For Kurzweil, this doesn’t translate to an end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it scenario courtesy of artificially intelligent (AI) machines. Rather, it means human beings will become […]
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.
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 […]
The World Health Organization says we need to step up the fight against a dozen bacteria that are growing resistant to all the antibiotics we have to treat them. One of the scariest features of the antibiotic resistance crisis — which has been accelerated by how we overuse these drugs — is that pharmaceutical […]