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University of Texas

Medical

Cheap, simple test detects a single virus in urine straight from the source

As Zika has reminded the world, viruses are still a major threat to a healthy populace. One of the key components to battling them is detection, but methods to do so can often be costly and complicated, which means they're not always available to the populations that most need them. Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin (UT) have joined the ranks of others seeking to make affordable virus detection more accessible to the masses by coming up with a method that uses an electrode thinner than a human cell to pick up the destructive bugs in urine.

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Electronics

High performance transistors created on flexible plastic sheets

Using a technique known as nanoimprint lithography, researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and partners have created a breakthrough method to allow the simple manufacture of inexpensive, high-performance, wireless-capable, flexible Metal Oxide Semiconductor Field Effect Transistors that overcome many of the operation problems encountered in devices manufactured using standard techniques. Created on large rolls of pliable plastic, these MOSFETs could be used to make a host of devices ranging from wearable electronics to bendable sensors.
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Medical

Non-invasive treatment produces 98 percent prostate cancer cure rate

Traditional approaches to tackling prostate cancer are generally quite effective, with a 80 to 90 percent cure rate, but a new method, known as Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT) could revolutionize the practice. The results of an extensive five-year study have now been published, showing that the method, which requires far fewer hospital visits than conventional radiation therapy, has a cure rate of 98.6 percent.Read More

Medical

Light reflectance fine tunes prostate cancer surgery

When a patient is diagnosed with prostate cancer, doctors often decide to remove the gland and some of the surrounding tissue, but the procedure isn't always perfect, and in some cases either too little or too much tissue is removed. A new technique might significantly improve the accuracy of the procedure, using a reflected light technology to detect left-behind cancer cells during the surgery.Read More

Energy

Liquid hydrocarbon fuel created from CO2 and water in breakthrough one-step process

As scientists look for ways to help remove excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, a number of experiments have focused on employing this gas to create usable fuels. Both hydrogen and methanol have resulted from such experiments, but the processes often involve a range of intricate steps and a variety of methods. Now researchers have demonstrated a one-step conversion of carbon dioxide and water directly into a simple and inexpensive liquid hydrocarbon fuel using a combination of high-intensity light, concentrated heat, and high pressure.Read More

Medical

Nanoparticles used to take on late-stage liver cancer

Treating late-stage liver cancer can be extremely difficult, with drugs that prove effective in healthy organs causing high levels of toxicity when introduced to cirrhotic livers. A newly-developed nanoparticle delivery system could improve the situation, with early tests showing it to be effective as a non-toxic treatment in experiments with laboratory mice.Read More

Electronics

Self-healing gel to repair and connect electronic circuits

Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin may have found a solution to one of the key problems holding back flexible, bendable electronics and soft robotics from mass production. Electronic circuits tend to crack and break when repeatedly subjected to bending or flexing, but a new self-healing gel may automatically repair these flaws as they develop.Read More

Biology

Sensor to detect Earth’s magnetic field discovered in an animal for very first time

It has been a long-held belief in scientific circles that many creatures navigate across land, through water, and through the skies using the Earth’s magnetic field for guidance. Now scientists and engineers working at The University of Texas at Austin (UT) have finally discovered the organic mechanism responsible for this in an animal. Looking just like a microscopic TV antenna, the structure has been found in the brain of a tiny roundworm that uses it to work out which way to burrow through the soil. This breakthrough may help scientists discover how other species with internal compasses use the magnetic field of our planet to pilot their course.Read More

Robotics

Harmony rehab robot guides recovery

Until now, rehabilitation exoskeletons have generally been one-armed, and haven't been of much help in providing the sort of two-arm training that many patients need to recover coordination for carrying out daily tasks. Researchers at the Cockrell School of Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin have now developed Harmony, a two-armed, robotic exoskeleton that uses mechanical feedback and sensor data to provide therapy to patients with spinal and neurological injuries.Read More

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