Device tests thousands of stem cells super fast

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Institute for Molecular Engineering researchers have developed a “lab-on-a-chip” that could help us understand how single stem cells react to different molecules and environments. (Credit: Zhang et al.)

A new “lab-on-a-chip” can examine thousands of individual live cells over a weeklong period, performing experiments that would take more than 1 million steps in a laboratory.

The credit-card-sized, microfluidic device not only saves time and money, but also offers a new glimpse into how single stem cells react to different molecules and environments.

When researchers examined neural stem cells on the device and analyzed the data, they found several new rules that determine the timing and signaling sequences necessary for the cells to differentiate or renew themselves. The finding could have implications in understanding brain development or in treating patients with immunotherapy.

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No Homework! Why Finland’s school system is the best in the world

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Homework is rarely given until students are teenagers.

Our education system is failing our students. There are also a lot of different options presented on how to ‘fix’ it. Everyone has an answer, a promising new way of thinking, a potential magic bullet. Inevitably, we also examine school systems that are working as a part of investigating what to do or not to do with our own. (Infographic)

 

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Toyota’s Plug-In Prius Hybrid Goes Into Testing Across The Globe, On Sale In 2011

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Good news, everyone! The target date for Toyota’s Prius plug-in hybrid (PHEV) is slightly less out of reach than the 2012 window we heard prior: according to Autoblog, it’s now set for late 2011 and the price is deemed “affordable.” Back to the present, as a tease to the world at large, the company’s planning to produce and ship just under 600 of the models over the next six months. That breaks down to around 230 for Japan, 200 for Europe, and just 150 for the ‘States. Government agencies, corporations, and universities are the primary recipients, and interestingly, half of those Euro-bound cars are going straight to Strasbourg, France. The only catch is that it looks like the autos will be sticking with its flashy, hyper-blue paint job — not that we mind one bit, but we can see that bugging a few people out.
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Genetic Testing: Do We Really Want To Know Everything Our Genome Has To Say?

Genetic Testing: Do We Really Want To Know Everything Our Genome Has To Say? 

 

Once impenetrable, the individual genetic code is becoming an open book thanks to kits that scan for genes linked to scores of traits and diseases, from bladder cancer and baldness to male infertility and memory loss.

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Ten Minute Blood Test To Identify Cancer Proteins

Ten Minute Blood Test To Identify Cancer Proteins 

 A microfluidic chip identifies 35 proteins in a drop of blood within 10 minutes.

Measuring proteins in the blood can help doctors determine patients’ cancer risk and monitor the health of the elderly and people with chronic diseases. But current methods for testing these proteins are too expensive and require too much blood to be performed regularly. A microfluidic chip in clinical trials does on a single chip in 10 minutes what normally takes multiple technicians hours to do–and with just a single drop of blood. Researchers hope to make bedside diagnostics based on blood proteins a reality by bringing down the cost of such tests by at least an order of magnitude.

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New Beer Created By Scientists That May Extend Your Life

 

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 Where Can I Sign Up To Help With The Testing?

Beer drinkers might actually have something to celebrate about. Scientists at Rice University have created a beer that could extend your life.

They have named the beverage BioBeer, and the way it works is that it has three genes spliced into a specific brewer’s yeast that produces resveratrol, which is a chemical in red wine thought to protect against diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s and other age-related conditions.

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Our Growing Fear of DNA Testing

 Our Growing Fear of DNA Testing

The much-anticipated benefits of personalized medicine are being lost or diluted for many Americans who are too afraid that genetic information may be used against them to take advantage of its growing availability.

In some cases, doctors say, patients who could make more informed health care decisions if they learned whether they had inherited an elevated risk of diseases like breast and colon cancer refuse to do so because of the potentially dire economic consequences.

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The Convoluted World of Virginity Testing

The Convoluted World of Virginity Testing

Dr. Marc Abecassis, who does two to four hymen restorations a week, with a 23-year-old patient.

Virginity tests merely tell us, as Blank puts it, whether a particular woman “conforms to what people of her time and place believe to be true of virgins.” The most common tests look for evidence only “as experienced and reported by the man who penetrates the virgin’s body.” The “one constant” in the whole process is depressing: “women may not speak for themselves.”
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