While it's important that dogs know some basic obedience commands at the very least, training them can be a monotonous and frustrating experience. Well, perhaps before too long, we could have computers doing the job for us. They're already being used to teach dogs to sit, at North Carolina State University.Read More
The emerging field of immunotherapy has uncovered some powerful new weapons in the fight against cancer, but tumor cells can be quite crafty in the way they go undetected by our immune system. In an advance that could play a part in neutralizing these stealthy attributes, researchers have developed a microneedle patch that can be worn on the skin to more effectively deliver immunotherapy drugs directly to the site of a melanoma.Read More
It might be a little hard to stomach, but using maggots to clean up wounds is a technique that has been in use for centuries. By selectively devouring dead flesh and leaving healthy tissue intact, these loathsome larvae have offered a cheap way of treating wounds, but not necessarily a quicker one. Now scientists are looking to hasten the healing process by genetically modifying maggots to produce a human growth factor while they go about their business.Read More
Carbon boasts the ability to exist in different forms and phases, and now researchers have discovered Q-carbon, a distinct new solid phase of carbon with the potential to make converting carbon into diamonds as easy as making toast (if you make toast with a high powered laser beam). It's early days yet, but researchers are already claiming that Q-carbon is magnetic, electro-conductive, glows in the dark, is relatively inexpensive to make and has stolen the crown of "world's hardest substance" from diamond.
Scientists are increasingly turning to nanoparticles in search of new ways to treat cancer. Tiny nanorobots that wade through the bloodstream and microscopic particles that blow up diseased cells are a couple of menacing examples. But none sound quite so ominous as a new technique under development at North Carolina State University (NCSU). Its researchers have designed liquid metal particles they describe as "Nano-Terminators" that latch onto cancer cells to more effectively deliver drugs that kill them off.Read More
Humans communicate primarily in a verbal manner, while dogs rely more on visual cues. While this can make communication between the two species challenging at the best of times, it's particularly difficult when the human is unable to see the dog – as is the case with blind people and their guide dogs. As a result, it may not always be possible for owners to know when their guide dogs are stressed. An experimental new harness, however, may be able to help.Read More
Powered prosthetic legs are a bit like supercars – they're brilliant pieces of engineering, but they need regular expert care to keep them at peak performance. That can be an expensive and time-consuming necessity, so biomedical engineer s at North Carolina (NC) State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are developing an algorithm that automatically tunes artificial limbs while walking.
Norovirus is a nasty bug that brings about inflammation in the stomach and intestines leading to pain, nausea, diarrhea and sometimes even death. It affects around 20 million people per year in the US, but despite its rampant nature, questions remain over how exactly it is transmitted. To shed further light on how one of the world's most common pathogens spreads between humans, scientists have built a vomiting machine to study its behaviour when projected into the air.Read More
If someone is wheezing, it usually means that they have a respiratory problem. Soon, however, a wheeze-analyzing wearable device may allow doctors to know what sort of respiratory problem a patient has – and how serious it is.Read More
Radiation generally comes under the heading of "things you want to stay away from," so it's no surprise that radiation shielding is a high priority in many industries. However, current shielding is bulky and heavy, so a North Carolina State University team is developing a new lightweight shielding based on foam metals that can block X-rays, gamma rays, and neutron radiation, as well as withstanding high-energy impact collisions.Read More
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