Symmetry is an inherent part of development. As an embryo, an organism’s brain and spinal cord, like the rest of its body, organize themselves into left and right halves as they grow. But a certain set of nerve cells do something unusual: they cross from one side to the other. New research in mice…
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Researchers at the University of Toronto say a sleep disorder that causes people to act out their dreams is the best current predictor of brain diseases like Parkinson’s and many other forms of dementia.
"Rapid-eye-movement sleep behaviour disorder (RBD) is not just a precursor but also a…
A manned mission to Mars is necessary for our ‘species to survive’, says NASA chief Charles Bolden as he plots a three-step plan to land humans on the red planet by 2030.
Diagnosis by Light: Shrinking Chemical Labs Onto Optical Fibers
Lab-on-fiber sensors could monitor the environment and hunt for disease inside your body
Imagine an entire laboratory that fits inside a case the size of a tablet computer. The lab would include an instrument for reading out results and an array of attachable microsize probes for detecting molecules in a fluid sample, such as blood or saliva. Each probe could be used to diagnose one of many different diseases and health conditions and could be replaced for just a few cents.
This scenario is by no means a pipe dream. The key to achieving it will be optical glass fibers—more or less the same as the ones that already span the globe, ferrying voluminous streams of data and voice traffic at unmatchable speeds. Their tiny diameter, dirt-cheap cost, and huge information-carrying capacity make these fibers ideal platforms for inexpensive, high-quality chemical sensors.
We call this technology a lab on fiber. Beyond being an affordable alternative to a traditional laboratory, it could take on tasks not possible now. For instance, it could be snaked inside industrial machines to ensure product quality and test for leaks. It could monitor waterways and waste systems, survey the oceans, or warn against chemical warfare. One day, maybe as soon as a decade from now, it could be injected into humans to look for disease or study the metabolism of drugs inside the body.
Read the full article (via spectrum.ieee.org)
This technology is really remarkable it’s the innovation in the medical field that will ultimately change the way doctors diagnose patients. However, how this technology is implemented in the future may also take a toll on the health care system as we know it. People won’t go to a Radiologist any more if this technology can identify Glioblastoma multiforme without expert analysis. Technology becomes more affordable as time goes on. Can this new form of scanning mean the end of many professional specializations? Only time will tell.
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A gargantuan star, measuring 1,300 times the size of our sun, has been uncovered 12,000 light-years from Earth — it is one of the ten biggest stars known to exist in our galaxy. The yellow hypergiant even dwarfs the famous stellar heavyweight Betelgeuse by 50 percent. While its hulking mass may be impressive, astronomers have also realized that HR 5171 is a double star with a smaller stellar sibling physically touching the surface of the larger star as they orbit one another. Read more