Technology

Each cell in the body contains a whole genome, 3 billion of "letters" known as bases, so the data packed into a few DNA molecules could fill an entire hard drive.

Instead of having one reference genome for study, more and more people are having their DNA sequenced, and that is a truly massive amount of data that will require massive computational and storage capabilities beyond anything previously anticipated, says a new assessment from computational biologists and computer scientists at the University of Illinois and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.


If you suffer from chronic muscle pain a doctor will likely recommend for you to apply heat to the injury, but how do you wrap that heat around a joint?

A team has come up with therapeutic heat in a light, flexible design. 

Other teams have come up with similar devices, but no one was able to create something that didn’t rely on exotic materials or a complex fabrication process which leads to high price tags. The new mesh doesn't need carbon nanotubes and gold, it uses silver nanowires. 
Nothing will make you feel like Tony Stark more than being able to change the shape of displays with your hands, pulling objects and data out of the screen and playing with them in mid-air.

Right now, that's just in an Avengers movie. Instead, we live in a world of flat-screen displays, even though the real world is not flat, it has hills and valleys, people and objects. Being able to manipulate a display and drag features into a 3-D world is the purpose of GHOST (Generic, Highly-Organic Shape-Changing Interfaces), an EU research project designed to tap humans’ ability to reason about and manipulate physical objects through the interfaces of computers and mobile devices.

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.