Scientists Aim Gene-Targeting Breakthrough Against COVID-19

Scientists at Berkeley Lab and Stanford have joined forces to aim a gene-targeting, antiviral agent called PAC-MAN against COVID-19.

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Engineers develop low-cost, high-accuracy GPS-like system for flexible medical robots

Roboticists at the University of California San Diego have developed an affordable, easy to use system to track the location of flexible surgical robots inside the human body. The system performs as well as current state of the art methods, but is much less expensive.

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Discovery of new biomarker in blood could lead to early test for Alzheimer’s disease

UC San Diego researchers discovered that high blood levels of RNA produced by the PHGDH gene could serve as a biomarker for early detection of Alzheimer’s disease. The work could lead to the development of a blood test to identify individuals who will develop the disease years before they show symptoms.

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Composing New Proteins with Artificial Intelligence

Proteins are the building blocks of life and scientists have long studied how to improve them or design new ones. Traditionally, new proteins are created by mimicking existing proteins or manually editing their amino acids. This process is time-consuming, and it is difficult to predict the impact of changing an amino acid. In APL Bioengineering, researchers explore how to create new proteins by using machine learning to translate protein structures into musical scores, presenting an unusual way to translate physics concepts across domains.

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Advances in Computer Modeling, Protein Development Propel Cellular Engineering

A review of recent work in biophysics highlights efforts in cellular engineering, ranging from proteins to cellular components to tissues grown on next-generation chips. Author Ngan Huang said the fast pace of development prompted her and her colleagues to take stock of promising areas in the field as well as hurdles researchers can expect in coming years. They discuss their work in this week’s APL Bioengineering.

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NIH announces $1 million prize competition to target global disease diagnostics

The National Institutes of Health has launched a $1 million Technology Accelerator Challenge (TAC) to spur the design and development of non-invasive, handheld, digital technologies to detect, diagnose and guide therapies for diseases with high global and public health impact. The Challenge is focused on sickle cell disease, malaria and anemia and is led by NIH’s National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB).

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UAH research into developing artificial lymph nodes has immunotherapy implications

Research into engineering artificial organs that mimic the functions of human lymph nodes at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) has garnered one of its professors a $507,777 National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) Award.

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