Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Making meat from stem cells

Making meat from stem cells will be a quite useful technology in the future, e.g. if the food chain on Earth collapses or for the astronauts on long distance journeys.
Also, it will benefit the Earth, as it will reduce the water consumption, waste, and carbon emission, all related to the livestock farming.


DNA sequencer as a USB key

DNA sequencers are getting smaller and smaller. Check out this one, it is a USB key DNA sequencer from Nanopore.
It is disposable and limited to 1Gbp of sequence, but it has a great potential to introduce DNA sequencing as a home application to hobbyists in the near future. This will definitively increase the number of human genome sequences available for the analysis world-wide, as the 'home genomics' becomes more popular and affordable.
Currently the price of this DNA sequencer is ranging from 500-900 dollars.


Nanopore press release:

Friday, February 17, 2012

DNA nano-robots specifically target cancer cells

An interesting and quite promising research came out recently and it has a pretty appealing topic name: DNA robots!

Basically, the nano-robot is a specially assembled DNA 'origami' with the tubular shape that can attach therapeutic molecules inside the tube (e.g. antibodies). It also has an outside lock (made of a double helix DNA) that keeps the tubular structure closed and is sensitive to the special molecules on the target cells' surface. Such nano-robot can specifically target the desired cell type, attach to these cells and deliver an antibody load to them.



How to search history in Google Chrome via date

It is very frustrating that you can not specify a date in the Google Chrome and search history for that particular day.
However, instead of going page by page to find the desired date, you can modify the URL of the Chrome's history to jump to a certain page directly.

Modify: chrome://history/
To: chrome://history/#p=N

Where N is a page number. Like this you will be able to find the desired date much faster.

Friday, February 10, 2012

NASA Biocapsule

The capsules containing nanopores, like the NASA Biocapsule, may be one of the most important discoveries in medicine. Among many possible applications, the ones that will most probably be commercialized in the future are concerning diseases like type 2 diabetes, hereditary disorders caused by the dysfunctional gene, etc. Basically any disorder where a healthy protein needs to be synthesized and secreted may be treated with this technique. The cells that will make a healthy protein will be inside the capsule, they will not trigger the immune response, and in return will synthesize the needed protein and release it into the body by diffusion.

The capsules' porous nature allows protein to pass through their walls, but the nanostructures are strong enough and small enough to keep the cells in one place. In the treatment of type 2 diabetes, the capsule would contain pancreatic islet cells (human or animal) with both glucose-sensing and insulin secretion function. In the case of hereditary disorders, cell lines that produce the protein of interest will fill the capsules.

This appears to be a way to implant foreign cells without the body being able to reject them and without them being able to leave the capsule.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Moral in animals

As humans, we tend sometimes to have this feeling that there’s something special about our morals. It seems that even rats have this urge to help. Amazing article about altruistic behavior in rat: