Technology

A team of bioengineers at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH), led by Ali Khademhosseini, PhD, and Nasim Annabi, PhD, of the Biomedical Engineering Division, has developed a new protein-based gel that, when exposed to light, mimics many of the properties of elastic tissue, such as skin and blood vessels. In a paper published in Advanced Functional Materials, the research team reports on the new material's key properties, many of which can be finely tuned, and on the results of using the material in preclinical models of wound healing.


A Dutch feminist pro-choice activist organization, Women on Waves, has been using a drone to drop abortion pills across the Polish-German border.

The aim of the flight has been to highlight Poland’s restrictive abortion laws – a consistent topic of debate since the fall of communism in 1989.

Abortion was available virtually on demand in Poland between 1956 and 1989. Under state socialism, difficult living conditions or a difficult personal situation were grounds for termination. But in 1993, the country’s comparatively liberal abortion laws were comprehensively overturned. With post-communism came one of the most restrictive abortion laws in Europe.

Mosquitoes have been called the deadliest animal on the planet due to the diseases they spread.

Why feed them?

By using science, giving them an artificial buffet may lead to fewer of them, says Stephen Dobson, a University of Kentucky professor of medical and veterinary entomology. His work on developing artificial blood for mosquitoes has made him a Grand Challenges Explorations winner, in an initiative funded by the Bill&Melinda Gates Foundation.

The artificial blood he developed will allow people in remote areas around the world to sustain colonies of mosquitoes, even in those areas with limited resources and difficult logistics.


A new test can accurately predict within minutes if an individual has Ebola  and is the first to show that a point-of-care EVD test is faster than and as sensitive as a conventional laboratory-based molecular method used for clinical testing during the recent outbreak in Sierra Leone.

This new rapid diagnostic test could cut back on the lengthy process usually required to confirm if a patient has Ebola, help identify case contacts, and ultimately curb the spread.


A  small, highly skilled team at Moorfields Eye Hospital transform the lives of people who have lost their eyes to accidents and disease. Each year, they work with their clients to create around 1,400 customized, detailed prosthetics, many of which replace eyes.

Modern prosthetic eyes are far removed from the old misconceptions about ‘glass eyes’, combining modern materials, craftsmanship and artistry in an entirely unique way. In this film, ocularist David Carpenter talks us through the entire process of how a single prosthetic eye is made.


CC-BY: Ben Gilbert/Wellcome Images
A new Internet tool that will allow any investigator, physician or patient to analyze genes according to their evolutionary profile and find associated genes. It combines genomics and informatics to enables the rapid, cost-free identification of genes responsible for diseases, by inputting results from genetic mapping studies concerning suspected genes, and identifying connections to known genes with association to diseases.

The twin revolutions of genomics and informatics are changing the face of biomedical research. Every day all over the world, millions of genetic sequences — from disease-related genes to complete genomes of plants, animals, bacteria and viruses — are resolved, identified and dissected. 

A telecommunications law academic in Australia has recommended for laws to be enacted criminalising the application of face recognition technology to visual images online that enable the identity of a person or people to be ascertained without their consent.


Men with an elevated, genetically inherited risk for prostate cancer could be routinely identified with a simple blood or urine test, scientists at UC San Francisco and Kaiser Permanente Northern California have concluded, potentially paving the way to better or earlier diagnosis.

The study, which compared 7,783 men with prostate cancer to 38,595 men without the disease, is available online and will be published in an upcoming issue of the journal Cancer Discovery.


I write drafts on paper. It would be nice if the electronic versions of documents looked similar to the drafts. It would be even better is the same paper-like form could be used for a web site with all its menus and an eBook with all the chapters. In this blog, I will go over the technology stack I use to present the same simple text on a web site and an eBook. This works for a static web site (things are added only once in a while). One needs to be comfortable with open source software, and tweaking other people's code a little.

HTML, CSS, and Javascript
You no longer have to look to science fiction to find the cyborg. We are all cyborgs now. Mobile phones, activity trackers, pacemakers, breast implants and even aspirins all act as biological, cognitive or social extensions and enhancements of our bodies and minds. Some have even predicted that human beings as we know them will be replaced by technically enhanced, god-like immortal beings within 200 years. Or at least rich people will.