Dr. John Ramunas and his team of scientists at Stanford University School of Medicine may have just found the microscopic Fountain of Youth by elongating telomeres, or DNA "handles," expanding the life span of cells. The implications of this? Combatting aging, cancer, grafts, transplants, and more. Take that, Ponce de Leon.
Oxitec, a British biotech company, is combatting the spread of Zika virus, dengue fever, yellow fever and chikungunya, by reducing the mosquito population through genetic engineering. Or rather, letting the bugs limit themselves. Fewer mosquitos? Fewer diseases spread.
More than 12 million people in the U.S. stop breathing periodically at night due to a serious sleep disorder called Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Even more concerning, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine estimates that 80 to 90 percent of adults with OSA are currently undiagnosed. Rutgers-based scientist Dr. Judith Neubauer and her team are working tirelessly to solve the mysteries of OSA and develop a treatment for this potentially life-threatening condition.
A new piece of biotechnology can give us insight into medical conditions, improve laboratory testing, streamline drug screening, and help commercialize personalized medicine. It simply models the basic function of healthy and diseased human organs using artificial materials. The best part? It's the size of your pinky. Welcome to the world of Homo chippiens.
Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome, or HGPS, affects 1 in every 20 million people worldwide and causes premature aging as well as early death. On a mission to defeat this devastating disease, Dr. Karima Djabli may have just found a solution to treating HGPS and understanding the aging process- something sitting right on our own dinner tables.
Living with convergence insufficiency is no easy feat and any treatment that can ease symptoms of CI is a step in the right direction. Interactive and fun video game therapy is promising because of its appeal for kids. Thanks to Dr. Alvarez’s research, many children may soon be playing their way to better sight.
SIDS is the unexplained death, usually during sleep, of a seemingly healthy baby less than a year old. Diagnosed by a process of elimination, often after an autopsy, SIDS shows no apparent pattern between victims. Dr. Neubauer has dedicated the better part of her professional life to researching the neurobiology of respiratory control, particularly as it relates to SIDS. Her team has focused on the ability of the rat nervous system to regulate hypoxia, or the lack of oxygen in body tissues, which is one possible cause of SIDS.
Dr. Uhrich’s passion for science is contagious. She inspires her students, colleagues and especially young women considering becoming scientists. Her research with PolyAspirin is a “wacky” idea come to life that promises to improve delivery systems for pain-relieving drugs as well as the lives of a countless number of patients.
Cocaine is a small molecule used commonly as a recreational drug. It prevents the brain from removing “feel-good” chemicals so that the user experiences a drug high. A new vaccine could stop cocaine before it reaches the brain. The vaccine could offer an alternative approach to block the “euphoria” associated with drug intake.
Convergence insufficiency is an eye condition that causes headaches and/or double vision when the patient focuses on a nearby object. Dr. Tara Alvarez and her students designed a video game based on the game “Galactica” that functions as vision therapy while still creating an engaging environment. Dr. Alvarez believes that this is truly the future of vision therapy for convergence insufficiency and possibly other ocular disorders.