When someone suffers from a gastrointestinal disorder such as celiac disease, Crohn's disease or irritable bowel syndrome, it's standard practice for doctors to take a look at the state of their small intestine. This is typically done by having them drink a rather unpleasant-tasting barium solution, and then submitting to x-rays, an MRI or ultrasound. According to scientists at New York's University at Buffalo, however, all of those imaging techniques have serious shortcomings. Their proposed solution? A stiff drink of nanojuice.
Deep-tissue optical imaging may soon be getting easier – or at least, the images may soon be getting sharper. That’s because an international team of scientists have developed photoluminescent nanoparticles that are able to shine through over three centimeters (1.2 inches) of biological tissue. If attached to anomalies deep beneath the skin, the nanoparticles could allow those anomalies to be seen more clearly from the outside.
is a hugely promising field, but while remarkable new treatments and diagnostic tests are being developed, questions remain
about the long term effects of nanoparticles on our bodies. Adding to our understanding of these issues, researchers have now reported that the use of quantum dots - tiny luminescent crystals that can be used to monitor disease
at a cellular level - appears to be safe in primates over a one-year period.
Hexavalent chromium compounds are a key ingredient in coatings used to rust-proof steel. They also happen to be carcinogenic. Researchers, therefore, have been looking for non-toxic alternatives that could be used to keep steel items from corroding. Recently, scientists from the University at Buffalo announced that they have developed such a substance. It’s a varnish that incorporates graphene, the one-atom-thick carbon sheeting material that is the thinnest and strongest substance known to exist.
If the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey
taught us anything, it’s that computers know when we’re telling a lie. While that may not actually be the case for most computers in real life, it could
be if they’re running a program created by scientists from the University at Buffalo. Building on a previous psychological study, the team produced software that allowed a computer to assess a speaker’s eye movements, to determine whether or not they were telling the truth in a prerecorded conversation. It turns out that the computer was able to correctly able to spot their lies with 82.5% accuracy. According to the researchers, a trained human interrogator only manages a success rate of about 65%.