New Placenta-on-a-Chip technology could prevent birth defects and save lives

New Placenta-on-a-Chip technology could prevent birth defects and save lives

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Studying the effects that different drugs that pregnant women take during their pregnancies on their unborn children is complex, difficult and expensive, this technology could help save lives and reduce the likelihood of unwelcome birth defects.   Recently we’ve seen the creation of Brain in...

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Smartphone app uses selfies to detect Pancreatic Cancer

Smartphone app uses selfies to detect Pancreatic Cancer

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Every year thousands of people die from Pancreatic Cancer, one of the most deadly forms of cancer, but now people can screen for it in the comfort of their own home using just their smartphone and an app.   Better screening tools for all Cancer...

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Empatica’s smartwatch predicts Epileptic seizures

Empatica’s smartwatch predicts Epileptic seizures

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Epileptic seizures are debilitating, but they can also be fatal, this latest breakthrough pre-warns people before they have them.   Embrace is a smartwatch of a different kind. It’s able to tell time, analyse sleep patterns, and, more crucially, it’s also able to tell if you’re about...

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Nanoparticles help researchers accurately locate metastasising cancers

Nanoparticles help researchers accurately locate metastasising cancers

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Until now it has been hard, almost impossible, to identify how Cancer spreads around the body, and that’s made metastasising cancers harder to treat.   Following on from a recent announcement from another team that they’ve managed to use a simple blood test to detect...

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New polymer tears up anti-biotic resistant bacteria from the inside out

New polymer tears up anti-biotic resistant bacteria from the inside out

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As the number of superbugs and anti-biotic resistant bugs increase, we need to find new novel ways of fighting them.   A research team composed of scientists from the A*Star Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, and IBM, have produced a new macromolecule that can target...

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Semi-synthetic cells could revolutionise everything from sensors to healthcare

Semi-synthetic cells could revolutionise everything from sensors to healthcare

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The ability to create semi-synthetic cells that have both organic and inorganic properties opens up a whole world of new use cases that span everything from biotech to new forms of manufacturing.   The more we study natural biological cells, the more we learn about...

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Novoheart has grown real, miniature hearts in jars that beat like the real thing

Novoheart has grown real, miniature hearts in jars that beat like the real thing

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Trying to demonstrate that new drugs don’t have any negative impacts on a patients heart is difficult, but this new technology provides research organisations with a fast, cheap way to test their new drugs without the risks.   Beating rhythmically and suspended in a jar,...

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New smartphone app lets users detect fatal heart conditions at home

New smartphone app lets users detect fatal heart conditions at home

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Being able to detect fatal heart conditions before they kill you is a good thing… enough said.   The most common type of Arrhythmia, a form of atrial fibrillation, is an irregular beating of the heart that can lead to stroke, blood clots, or heart...

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World’s first stem cell bone tissue transplant is a success

World’s first stem cell bone tissue transplant is a success

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF When patients loose part of a bone, for example, to Cancer, often there is no way to get the bones to grow or fuse together again resulting in amputation, this breakthrough will prevent that.   Medical history was made at Emek Medical Center in Afula...

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Ultrasound on a smartphone, Butterfly Network release the iQ

Ultrasound on a smartphone, Butterfly Network release the iQ

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Healthcare in many countries is expensive and difficult to access, tools like these help democratise access to vital services helping people live longer, healthier lives.   Engineer Jonathan Rothberg became famous for creating the world’s first DNA sequencer on a chip called the Ion Torrent back in...

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New Cancer “Vaccine” wipes out cancer in mice, human trials next

New Cancer “Vaccine” wipes out cancer in mice, human trials next

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Cancer ruins millions of lives every year, but now, thanks to an army of researchers and new powerful technologies and tools it might just be possible we’re seeing a tiny chink of light at the end of the tunnel.   The eradication of cancer has...

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Scientists have reverse engineered the genome of a man who died 200 years ago

Scientists have reverse engineered the genome of a man who died 200 years ago

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Many of today’s emerging technologies are aimed at keeping us alive, and helping edge us closer towards immortality, but what if we could bring our relatives back from the dead?   Hans Jonatan was born in the Caribbean in 1784, migrated to Iceland in 1802, and...

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FDA approves use of world’s first neuro controlled exoskeleton

FDA approves use of world’s first neuro controlled exoskeleton

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Today millions of people in the world, for a variety of reasons, have trouble moving their bodies, but new brain controlled exoskeletons could help them regain their movement and rehabilitate them at the same time.   People familiar with the Terminator series from the 1980’s...

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Scientists observe epigenetic memories being passed down 14 generations

Scientists observe epigenetic memories being passed down 14 generations

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The evidence that events experienced by our ancestors is passed down from them to us through our genes is mounting.   The most important set of genetic instructions we all get comes from our DNA, passed down through generations, but increasingly, as I’ve discussed before, it’s...

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Bioengineers hack biology to turn living tissue into any shape they want

Bioengineers hack biology to turn living tissue into any shape they want

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF One of the largest ascending mega trends is Synthetic Biology, and as our command and understanding of the natural world increases it will help transform our world in ways you never thought possible.   It turns out that many of the complex folded shapes that...

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World first as Chinese scientists clone two monkeys, raising fears humans could be next

World first as Chinese scientists clone two monkeys, raising fears humans could be next

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF So far monkeys have proven resistant to cloning, but now that barrier has been broken, and many suggest it leaves the way open for a day when we can see the first cloned humans.   Last week Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua, the world’s first...

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Breakthrough genetic treatment slows the progression of Huntingdons Disease

Breakthrough genetic treatment slows the progression of Huntingdons Disease

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Huntingdons Disease is a debilitating condition that slowly kills a patients brain cells and there is no cure for it, now though a new treatment slows down its progression, and one day it might halt it altogether.   This week people suffering from Huntington’s Disease...

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Google’s AI is helping scientists unravel the mysteries of the human genome

Google’s AI is helping scientists unravel the mysteries of the human genome

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF With the advent of personalised medicine and new revolutionary gene  treatments, being able to interpret and make sense of the vast volumes of human genomic data in order to better predict disease indicators and outcomes, and provide patients with better treatments, will become increasingly crucial....

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World’s first in vivo human gene editing trial goes without a hitch

World’s first in vivo human gene editing trial goes without a hitch

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF There are tens of millions of people around the world with incurable inherited conditions and diseases, and being able to swap in new genes and replace faulty genes in vivo will be nothing less than revolutionary.   In a world first researchers in the US...

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AI can now identify your health problems but just looking at you

AI can now identify your health problems but just looking at you

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Millions of people around the world go untreated because doctors can’t diagnose, or sometimes even see, their symptoms, but now AI can use photos to identify health conditions in seconds not days, weeks or years.   Patient number two was born to first-time parents, late...

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