Organic Solar Cells Starting To Take Off In The Renewable Energy Field

Organic Solar Cells Starting To Take Off In The Renewable Energy Field

 The flexible solar module is as small as the page of a book.

In the race to renewable energy, organic solar cells are now really starting to take off. They can be manufactured easily and cheaply, they have low environmental impact, and since they are compatible with flexible substrates, they could be used in many applications such as packaging, clothing, flexible screens, or for recharging cell phones and laptops.

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Study Shows The Human Heart Can Grow New Cells

Study Shows The Human Heart Can Grow New Cells

Heart muscle cells can be grown from human embryonic stem cells, but new research suggests the adult heart can grow new cells, too. 
 

The human heart has a notorious reputation for being unable to heal itself, but new research suggests it is capable of at least some self-repair. Using carbon dating to gauge the age of heart cells, scientists have found that low numbers of new heart cells are continuously being created throughout a person’s life. This raises the possibility that we may one day be able to use drugs to directly stimulate this regenerative capacity to patch up damaged hearts, rather than relying on cell-transplantation therapies.

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Cheaper And More Reliable Lithium-Ion Batteries

Cheaper And More Reliable Lithium-Ion Batteries

Lithium-ion cells that use polymer electrolytes can be affordably packaged in compact, flexible pouches  

A new incarnation of lithium-ion batteries based on solid polymers is in the works. Berkeley, CA-based startup Seeo, Inc. says its lithium-ion cells will be safer, longer-lasting, lighter, and cheaper than current batteries. Seeo’s batteries use thin films of polymer as the electrolyte and high-energy-density, light-weight electrodes. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is now making and testing cells designed by the University of California, Berkeley spinoff.

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Light-Bending Nanoparticles Could Lead To Superlenses, Invisibility Cloaks

 Light-Bending Nanoparticles Could Lead To Superlenses, Invisibility Cloaks

Directional scattering of an incoming electromagnetic wave by oriented nanocups.

Researchers at Rice University have created a metamaterial that could light the way toward high-powered optics, ultra-efficient solar cells and even cloaking devices.

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Electrical Stimulation Through The Spinal Cord May Ease Parkinson’s Symptoms

Electrical Stimulation Through The Spinal Cord May Ease Parkinson’s Symptoms

Neural activity in the brain of a Parkinsonian rat before (top) and after (bottom) electrical stimulation is applied to its spinal cord.  

Delivering electrical stimulation to the spinal cord through tiny, platinum electrodes could ease the severe motor deficits of Parkinson’s disease as effectively as a much more intrusive procedure currently in clinical use, according to a new study in rodents. If the findings are confirmed in humans, scientists say, the procedure could dramatically improve treatment for the disease by making electrical therapies safer and more broadly available.

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Why Are A Majority Of People Resistant To Cancer?

Why Are A Majority Of People Resistant To Cancer? 

 Dividing cancer cells

Every year, millions of people are diagnosed with cancer – a remarkably high number. But what about the flipside of those statistics? That is, two out of three people never get cancer, and more than half of heavy smokers don’t get cancer, either. A recent study points out this overlooked fact, and suggests that researchers might discover something by asking why so many people are resistant to the often deadly disease.

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Mini Submarines To Explore Human Body Nearing Reality

Mini Submarines To Explore Human Body Nearing Reality 

 

Ever since the 1966 Hollywood movie, doctors have imagined a real-life Fantastic Voyage  a medical vehicle shrunk small enough to “submarine” in and fix faulty cells in the body. Thanks to new research by Tel Aviv University scientists, that reality may be only three years away.

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Microtool Inspired By Human Hand

Microtool Inspired By Human Hand 

 The gripper closed around tissue.

Using the human hand as a model, scientists at Johns Hopkins University and its medical school have developed a microscopic tool that might one day be used inside the body. The tool, a clawlike gripper less than a millimeter in diameter, could grab cells from tissue for a biopsy, for example.

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Transplanted Stem Cells Undo Birth Defects

Transplanted Stem Cells Undo Birth Defects 

 Neural stem cells, tagged green with a fluorescent dye, have been transplanted among the brain cells (red) of a mouse born with brain damage after its mother was given heroin during pregnancy.

By injecting stem cells directly into the brain, scientists have successfully reversed neural birth defects in mice whose mothers were given heroin during pregnancy. Even though most of the transplanted cells did not survive, they induced the brain’s own cells to carry out extensive repairs.

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