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University of Washington

— Medical

Beer compounds could hold the key to better pharmacueticals

By - January 31, 2013 2 Pictures
A beer a day might not keep the doctor away but hops, one of the basic ingredients in beer brewing, could be good for you. In a development that could lead to better drug treatments of diabetes and cancer, University of Washington research associate professor of chemistry, Werner Kaminsky, has determined the exact structure of humulones and their derivatives – the acids in hops that give beer its distinctive bitter taste. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

Nanostructured fabric could protect women against pregnancy and HIV

By - December 6, 2012 1 Picture
While condoms are the only things that protect against both unwanted pregnancies and HIV, a lot of people aren’t big fans of stopping to put them on. Additionally, women are sometimes put in an awkward role, needing to pressure the man to use the thing – although female condoms certainly do exist, their bulkiness makes them rather unpopular. Now, however, a team of scientists from the University of Washington are working on a type of dissolvable fabric that could be used by women both for contraception and HIV protection. Read More
— Medical

New tech converts regular paper into powerful medical diagnostic tool

By - October 8, 2012 2 Pictures
A group of researchers at the University of Washington has found a way to isolate and identify medically interesting molecules using little more than scraps of office paper, a Ziplock bag and a cheap diluted solvent. If properly developed, the system – which requires minimal costs and know-how to build and operate – could be made to administer a wide range of medical tests nearly free of charge. Read More
— Science

Chemical found to temporarily restore sight in blind mice

By - July 26, 2012 1 Picture
Researchers have discovered a chemical that makes cells in the retinas of blind mice sensitive to light, temporarily restoring some vision. They are working on an improved compound that they hope could one day be used to restore sight in human patients suffering from retinitis pigmentosa, the most common form of inherited blindness, and macular degeneration, the most common cause of acquired blindness in the developed world. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

FDA approves first drug to prevent HIV infection

By - July 24, 2012 1 Picture
While there are many methods for preventing HIV transmission that work in principle (abstinence, safe sex, monogamy to some extent), in practice efforts to prevent new HIV infections have reached a plateau - about 50 thousand new cases are reported every year in the United States and no progress has been made on reducing this number for at least 15 years, with the overall rate of infection remaining stable since at least 2004. In response to the almost complete lack of effective prevention methods, the U.S. FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has now approved the prophylactic use of the anti-retroviral combination drug Truvada, to reduce the risk of people acquiring HIV. Read More
— Science

Lab-grown human blood vessels could help study diseases, grow tissues for transplant

By - June 1, 2012 3 Pictures
A team of bioengineers at the University of Washington has developed the first structure for growing small human blood vessels in the laboratory. The vessels behave remarkably like those in a living human and offer a better and much more modular approach to studying blood-related diseases, testing drugs and, one day, growing human tissues for transplant. Read More
— Science

Lotus leaf inspires new diagnostic technology

By - May 14, 2012 3 Pictures
Lately we’re hearing more and more about tiny medical and environmental diagnostic devices, that can perform a variety of tests using very small fluid samples. Working with such small samples does present a challenge, however – how do you thoroughly mix tiny amounts of different fluids, or wrangle individual drops for analysis? According to a team of scientists from the University of Washington, the answer lies in the lotus leaf. Read More
— Space

The blistering hot exoplanet where it snows

By - March 12, 2012 7 Pictures
Today's weather on HD 189733 b: It will be hazy with high wispy clouds. The wind will be steady from the east at speeds approaching 6000 miles per hour. Daytime temperatures will average a balmy 800 degrees C (1,472 degrees F), while the equatorial hot spot at 30 degrees longitude is expected to top 900 degrees C (1,652 degrees F). But, there is a high chance of silicate snow showers, with accumulations expected except in the vicinity of the hot spot. Read More
— Robotics

Open-source project intends to advance robotic surgery

By - January 13, 2012 3 Pictures
A couple of years ago, the Willow Garage robotics company gave ten of its PR2 robots away to deserving research groups. The idea behind the project was that these groups would use the PR2s for robotics research, then share their discoveries with each other, thus advancing the field farther than would be possible if they each had to build their own unique robots from scratch. Now, a similar but unrelated project is underway, and this time the robots are designed specifically to perform surgery. Read More
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