Neurologist and writer Oliver Sacks passed away today at the age of 82. Sacks is best known for his writing, which brought neurological case studies to life for a general audience. »
In the not-too-distant future, patients with damaged hearts or livers might receive tissue patches grown in a lab. This week, researchers announced an important development toward that goal: A biodegradable scaffold that allows strips of beating heart tissue to snap together like Velcro. »
Healthy tissues are like healthy ecosystems: Both composed of diverse populations. But in tumors, a single, malignant cell type often dominates. A new computer model is helping researchers understand why, and it could pave the way to more effective cancer treatments.
In the not-too-distant future, tiny robotic fish could be cruising around inside our our bodies, delivering drugs and cleaning up toxins. This week, engineers at the University of San Diego unveiled the first prototype: a chemically powered, magnetically controlled swimmer. »
The flu vaccine: A tedious annual chore, but necessary unless you want to spend a week bed-ridden and barfy. Still, wouldn’t it be great if one jab could protect you for life? A lifetime flu vaccine isn’t impossible, and we’re making progress toward one, but we’ve still got a ways to go. »
It seems like cruel fate that some folks are naturally thin, while others have to work tirelessly to control their weight. But in the future, we may be able to level the playing field, because scientists have just discovered a ‘metabolic master switch’ that determines whether fat-producing adipocytes store or burn… »
Projectile vomiting: Disgusting, yes, but also your body’s natural way of dealing with being sick. Oh, and a great way to spread your vile germs to others, according to research conducted with the lovely vomit simulator depicted above. »
The stock market is tanking, North and South Korea are on the brink of war, and a cartoon character from a dystopian future is the most popular candidate for US President at the moment. But don’t despair. While most things are garbage, there are some things in the world that aren’t. Like this adorable kid who just got… »
Guys, imagine for a moment what life would be like if you couldn’t feel your penis. That can happen to men with some kinds of spinal injuries, or who were born with a condition called spina bifida. Their penises can still sense touch, but a break in the spinal cord means the signal never makes it to the brain.
The stethoscope is a staple of modern medicine; but in parts of the developing world, off-the-shelf models are prohibitively expensive. That’s why a team of doctors and hackers in Gaza has started 3D printing their own. »
The bite of a Brazilian wandering spider might not kill you, but it can make you wish you were dead. The cocktail of toxins in its venom produces a suite of not-so-delightful effects like swelling, intense pain, paralysis, and if you’re male, a painful erection that lasts for hours. »
Some strains of human papillomavirus (HPV) can cause cervical cancer, so you often hear about it as a ‘female’ sexually-transmitted infection. It’s not — it’s a human thing, and all humans can get infected. Here’s what happens when males get it. »
Magnets. You already know what they are and everything about them. Or do you? Magnets are crucial to many more emerging technologies than you might expect. The tried-and-true magnet is about to change everything–from how we drive and treat cancer to how we play sports. »
Allergic to penicillin? Then you could be shot full of something that came out of a Sardinian sewer. Here’s the backstory of the important medicine that we found floating around in our own feces. »
Doctors have been trying to find simpler and more convenient ways of giving patients drugs for years. Now a team of researchers at North Carolina State University has just developed a device that’s about as hassle free as can be: It looks like a bandaid, and it releases drugs automatically when the skin flexes and… »
In news that sounds straight out of a dystopian Margaret Atwood novel, surgeons managed to keep a genetically modified pig heart alive inside a baboon for 945 days before it failed last month. “Xenotransplantation” experiments like this may one day lead to doctors raising pigs for organ transplants. »