For my students and all interested in science news.

 

s-c-i-guy:

Artificial blood ‘will be manufactured in factories’
It is the stuff of gothic science fiction: men in white coats in factories of blood and bones.

But the production of blood on an industrial scale could become a reality once a trial is conducted in which artificial blood made from human stem cells is tested in patients for the first time.


It is the latest breakthrough in scientists’ efforts to re-engineer the body, which have already resulted in the likes of 3d-printed bones and bionic limbs.


Marc Turner, the principal researcher in the £5 million programme funded by the Wellcome Trust, told The Telegraph that his team had made red blood cells fit for clinical transfusion.


Prof Turner has devised a technique to culture red blood cells from induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells – cells that have been taken from humans and ‘rewound’ into stem cells. Biochemical conditions similar to those in the human body are then recreated to induce the iPS cells to mature into red blood cells – of the rare universal blood type O.
“Although similar research has been conducted elsewhere, this is the first time anybody has manufactured blood to the appropriate quality and safety standards for transfusion into a human being,” said Prof Turner.
There are plans in place for the trial to be concluded by late 2016 or early 2017, he said. It will most likely involve the treatment of three patients with Thalassaemia, a blood disorder requiring regular transfusions. The behaviour of the manufactured blood cells will then be monitored.
“The cells will be safe,” he said, adding that there are processes whereby cells can be removed.
The technique highlights the prospect of a limitless supply of manufactured type-O blood, free of disease and compatible with all patients.
“Although blood banks are well-stocked in the UK and transfusion has been largely safe since the Hepatitis B and HIV infections of the 1970s and 1980s, many parts of the world still have problems with transfusing blood,” said Prof Turner.
However, scaling up the process to meet demand will be a challenge, as Prof Turner’s laboratory conditions are not replicable on an industrial scale. “A single unit of blood contains a trillion red blood cells. There are 2 million units of blood transfused in the UK each year,” he said.
Currently, it costs approximately £120 to transfuse a single unit of blood. If Prof Turner’s technique is scaled up efficiently, it could substantially reduce costs.
Dr Ted Bianco, Director of Technology Transfer at the Wellcome Trust, said: “One should not underestimate the challenge of translating the science into routine procedures for the clinic. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the challenge Professor Turner and colleagues have set out to address, which is to replace the human blood donor as the source of supply for life-saving transfusions.”
For the moment, factories of blood remain the stuff of fiction.
source

s-c-i-guy:

Artificial blood ‘will be manufactured in factories’

It is the stuff of gothic science fiction: men in white coats in factories of blood and bones.

But the production of blood on an industrial scale could become a reality once a trial is conducted in which artificial blood made from human stem cells is tested in patients for the first time.

It is the latest breakthrough in scientists’ efforts to re-engineer the body, which have already resulted in the likes of 3d-printed bones and bionic limbs.

Marc Turner, the principal researcher in the £5 million programme funded by the Wellcome Trust, told The Telegraph that his team had made red blood cells fit for clinical transfusion.

Prof Turner has devised a technique to culture red blood cells from induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells – cells that have been taken from humans and ‘rewound’ into stem cells. Biochemical conditions similar to those in the human body are then recreated to induce the iPS cells to mature into red blood cells – of the rare universal blood type O.

“Although similar research has been conducted elsewhere, this is the first time anybody has manufactured blood to the appropriate quality and safety standards for transfusion into a human being,” said Prof Turner.

There are plans in place for the trial to be concluded by late 2016 or early 2017, he said. It will most likely involve the treatment of three patients with Thalassaemia, a blood disorder requiring regular transfusions. The behaviour of the manufactured blood cells will then be monitored.

“The cells will be safe,” he said, adding that there are processes whereby cells can be removed.

The technique highlights the prospect of a limitless supply of manufactured type-O blood, free of disease and compatible with all patients.

“Although blood banks are well-stocked in the UK and transfusion has been largely safe since the Hepatitis B and HIV infections of the 1970s and 1980s, many parts of the world still have problems with transfusing blood,” said Prof Turner.

However, scaling up the process to meet demand will be a challenge, as Prof Turner’s laboratory conditions are not replicable on an industrial scale. “A single unit of blood contains a trillion red blood cells. There are 2 million units of blood transfused in the UK each year,” he said.

Currently, it costs approximately £120 to transfuse a single unit of blood. If Prof Turner’s technique is scaled up efficiently, it could substantially reduce costs.

Dr Ted Bianco, Director of Technology Transfer at the Wellcome Trust, said: “One should not underestimate the challenge of translating the science into routine procedures for the clinic. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the challenge Professor Turner and colleagues have set out to address, which is to replace the human blood donor as the source of supply for life-saving transfusions.”

For the moment, factories of blood remain the stuff of fiction.

source

laboratoryequipment:

Fruit Flies have Latent BioluminescenceNew research from Stephen Miller, associate professor of biochemistry & molecular pharmacology, shows that fruit flies are secretly harboring the biochemistry needed to glow in the dark — otherwise known as bioluminescence.The key to activating this latent ability is a novel synthetic analog of D-luciferin developed at Univ. of Massachusetts Med School. The findings, published in PNAS, suggest that the inherent biochemistry needed for bioluminescence is more common than previously thought. Synthetic luciferins can unmask latent enzymatic activity capable of producing light in animals not known for their luminescence. The discovery expands the scope of bioluminescence imaging for research, and adds new tools for the noninvasive studying of ongoing biological processes.Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/04/fruit-flies-have-latent-bioluminescence

laboratoryequipment:

Fruit Flies have Latent Bioluminescence

New research from Stephen Miller, associate professor of biochemistry & molecular pharmacology, shows that fruit flies are secretly harboring the biochemistry needed to glow in the dark — otherwise known as bioluminescence.

The key to activating this latent ability is a novel synthetic analog of D-luciferin developed at Univ. of Massachusetts Med School. The findings, published in PNAS, suggest that the inherent biochemistry needed for bioluminescence is more common than previously thought. Synthetic luciferins can unmask latent enzymatic activity capable of producing light in animals not known for their luminescence. The discovery expands the scope of bioluminescence imaging for research, and adds new tools for the noninvasive studying of ongoing biological processes.

Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/04/fruit-flies-have-latent-bioluminescence

iteza asked
What's the chemistry behind the avocado?

compoundchem:

As avocados ripen, they release a gas called ethylene, created when starch begins to convert into sugar, which facilitates the ripening process. Ethylene is also given off by various other fruits including bananas and apples - this means that, if you put an avocado in a bag with another ethylene producing fruit, you can accelerate its ripening.

In terms of its composition, the avocado consists mainly of fatty acids such as oleic acid and linoleic acid, shown below.

image

Avocados turn brown as they react with oxygen in the air. This is because one of the enzymes they contain, called polyphenol oxidase, polymerises compounds in the avocado to produce polyphenols, which manifest as brown colouration.

kqedscience:

Study Reveals New Suspect in the “Great Dying” Mass Exinction Murder MysteryThe latest microbial hypothesis published in a recent paper addresses the ongoing drama of the “Great Dying”, a monstrously deadly event that occurred about 250 million years ago and drove some 90 percent of the world’s species to extinction.Learn more from geologist Andrew Alden at KQED Science.

kqedscience:

Study Reveals New Suspect in the “Great Dying” Mass Exinction Murder Mystery

The latest microbial hypothesis published in a recent paper addresses the ongoing drama of the “Great Dying”, a monstrously deadly event that occurred about 250 million years ago and drove some 90 percent of the world’s species to extinction.

Learn more from geologist Andrew Alden at KQED Science.

discoverynews:

X-Ray Tech Penetrates Rock, Detects Diamonds
In the endless hunt for diamonds in ore, the elusive gems are more frenemy than best friend. A new X-ray technology being developed in Germany promises to locate diamonds deep in rock. Read more

discoverynews:

X-Ray Tech Penetrates Rock, Detects Diamonds

In the endless hunt for diamonds in ore, the elusive gems are more frenemy than best friend. A new X-ray technology being developed in Germany promises to locate diamonds deep in rock. Read more

fleshcoatedtechnology:

Scientists create sensor for night vision contact lenses

It may seem like the stuff from spy and superhero movies but scientists have created “the first room-temperature light detector that can sense the full infrared spectrum” which, according to researchers at the University of Michigan, can be made so thin that it can be easily stacked on night vision contact lenses.
Back in 2011 some speculated that Seal Team Six used night vision contact lenses in the operation that killed Osama Bin Laden. Those rumors were never substantiated, but this invention is very real…

[read more]

fleshcoatedtechnology:

Scientists create sensor for night vision contact lenses

It may seem like the stuff from spy and superhero movies but scientists have created “the first room-temperature light detector that can sense the full infrared spectrum” which, according to researchers at the University of Michigan, can be made so thin that it can be easily stacked on night vision contact lenses.

Back in 2011 some speculated that Seal Team Six used night vision contact lenses in the operation that killed Osama Bin Laden. Those rumors were never substantiated, but this invention is very real…

[read more]

kqedscience:

Scientists Create an Unprecedented Map of the Developing Human Brain
“Scientists released the most detailed map ever made of the fetal human brain today. It contains a massive amount of information about gene activity at a crucial time in development — just as the cerebral cortex is developing. The scientists believe it holds important clues about the biological origins of disorders like autism, as well as insights into what makes the human brain unique.
Halfway through gestation, a human brain could fit in the palm of your hand. But it’s around this time that the cortex, which is responsible for many of our cognitive capabilities, is starting to take shape, says neuroscientist Ed Lein of the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle, who led the new study.”
Learn more from wired: http://goo.gl/NV8l0f

kqedscience:

Scientists Create an Unprecedented Map of the Developing Human Brain

Scientists released the most detailed map ever made of the fetal human brain today. It contains a massive amount of information about gene activity at a crucial time in development — just as the cerebral cortex is developing. The scientists believe it holds important clues about the biological origins of disorders like autism, as well as insights into what makes the human brain unique.

Halfway through gestation, a human brain could fit in the palm of your hand. But it’s around this time that the cortex, which is responsible for many of our cognitive capabilities, is starting to take shape, says neuroscientist Ed Lein of the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle, who led the new study.”

Learn more from wiredhttp://goo.gl/NV8l0f

futurescope:

TED: Hugh Herr - The new bionics that let us run, climb and dance

Hugh Herr is building the next generation of bionic limbs, robotic prosthetics inspired by nature’s own designs. Herr lost both legs in a climbing accident 30 years ago; now, as the head of the MIT Media Lab’s Biomechatronics group, he shows his incredible technology in a talk that’s both technical and deeply personal — with the help of ballroom dancer Adrianne Haslet-Davis, who lost her left leg in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, and performs again for the first time on the TED stage.

[Hugh Herr] [Biomechatronics]

futurescope:

Albert Maysles: The Secret of Trees

What do trees know that we don’t? 13-year-old inventor Aidan realized that trees use a mathematical formula to gather sunlight in crowded forests. Then he wondered why we don’t collect solar energy in the same way.

[GE Focus Forward] [read more: NYTimes - The Artificial Leaf Is Here. Again.]