Computational creativity and the future of AI

Medication

A simplified illustration of the nanowafer (Image: ACS)

As anyone who has ever used medicinal eyedrops will know, it's hard to get the things into your own eye. Soon, however, they could be replaced by tiny drug-containing polymer "nanowafers" that are applied to the eye like a contact lens. Those wafers would proceed to gradually dissolve, releasing medication throughout the day.  Read More

The customized bubbles are made using a combination of soap-like components that transform...

As if soap bubbles don't spread enough happiness on their own, scientists have discovered a way of coating them in biomolecules with a view to treating viruses, cancer and other diseases. The technology has been developed at the University of Maryland, where researchers devised a method of tricking the body into mistaking the bubbles for harmful cells, triggering an immune response and opening up new possibilities in the delivery of drugs and vaccines.  Read More

Lead scientist Ronald Evans consuming an 'imaginary meal,' of the type that fexaramine cou...

When we eat a meal, our body detects that we've consumed calories and responds by burning fat in order to make room for them. The catch for the weight-conscious is that if we don't burn off those newly-arrived calories, they just end up being stored as more fat. For people with metabolic disorders or other conditions, exercise just isn't enough to keep that from happening. Soon, however, a newly-developed drug could help. It triggers the body's "burning fat to make space for calories" response, even when the patient hasn't eaten anything.  Read More

The 'tanning bed for mice' used in the research

Excessive exposure to sunlight is the leading cause of skin deterioration, causing it to age prematurely. We need some exposure, however, in order to synthesize vitamin D – plus who wants to stay in the shade all the time? Using a good sunscreen definitely helps, although scientists from the University of British Columbia are taking things a step farther – they're developing a drug that could ultimately prevent the sunlight-related aging of skin.  Read More

Artist's rendering of synthetic platelets that mimic, and outperform, natural platelets (I...

The skin is the body's first line of defense against infection. And when this barrier is broken, or an internal organ is ruptured, it is the process of coagulation, or clotting, which relies largely on blood cells called platelets, that seals the breach and stems the flow of blood. Researchers at UC Santa Barbara have now synthesized nanoparticles that mimic the form and function of platelets, but can do more than just accelerate the body's natural healing processes.  Read More

A batch of exVive3D three-dimensional liver models (Photo: Organovo)

When a medication enters the bloodstream, it ends up being concentrated in the liver – after all, one of the organ's main functions is to cleanse the blood. This means that if a drug is going to have an adverse effect on any part of the body, chances are it will be the liver. It would seem to follow, therefore, that if a pharmaceutical company wanted to test the safety of its products, it would be nice to have some miniature human livers on which to experiment – which is just what San Diego-based biotech firm Organovo is about to start selling.  Read More

Clinical trials are set to begin in 2015 on the potential of a common blood pressure drug ...

A study at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) has shown that verapamil, a drug widely used to treat high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat and migraine headaches, is able to completely reverse diabetes in animal models. The UAB team will now move onto clinical trials to see if the same results are repeated in humans.  Read More

The Memo Box system provides reminders for users to take their medication

While forgetting to take the trash out might irritate your better half, forgetting to take your medication could have far more serious consequences. Memo Box is a device designed to replace the familiar plastic seven-day pill boxes that works in conjunction with a smartphone app to ensure you and your loved ones take prescribed medication at the right time, and in the right dose.  Read More

An existing overdose-treatment drug is now being tested in nasal spray form (Photo: Shutte...

Heroin overdoses are typically treated using injections of a medication that resuscitates the victim. That's fine if paramedics are doing it, but not everyone feels comfortable giving someone else a needle. That's why scientists at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) are developing a nasal spray that does the job.  Read More

Diagram of the capsule releasing its pharmaceutical payload into the intestinal lining (Im...

MIT, working together with the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), has pioneered a method of drug distribution with the potential to dispense with traditional subcutaneous injections. The system uses a small capsule coated with microneedles in order to administer medicines directly into the lining of the intestine.  Read More

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