Team to create realistic model of human vocal cords
Our vocal cords, two multilayered folds of tissue located above the trachea, produce voice when air passes between them and sets them into vibration. (more…)
A scalyhead sculpin is a small, rather drab, nondescript fish.
But “stripped” to its skeleton and stained, it suddenly becomes a striking specimen in vivid blues and crimson.
Striking enough to be among the 14 photos by Adam Summers, University of Washington professor of biology, in his “Cleared: The Art of Science” on display now through spring 2014 at the Seattle Aquarium. (more…)
In yeast at least, the aging process appears to reduce an organism’s ability to silence certain genes that need to be silenced. Now researchers at Brown University who study the biology of aging have shown that the loss of genetic control occurs in fruit flies as well. Results appear online in the journal Aging.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Biologists at Brown University have found a way to measure the effects of aging by watching the ebb and flow of chromatin, a structure along strands of DNA that either silences or permits gene expression. In several newly published experiments they show that gene silencing via chromatin in fruit flies declines with age. (more…)
Researchers from North Carolina State University have for the first time successfully coated polymer implants with a bioactive film. The discovery should improve the success rate of such implants – which are often used in spinal surgeries.
The polymer used in these implants, called PEEK, does not bond well with bone or other tissues in the body. This can result in the implant rubbing against surrounding tissues, which can lead to medical complications and the need for additional surgeries. (more…)
Mathematics anxiety can prompt a response in the brain similar to when a person experiences physical pain, according to new research at the University of Chicago.
Using brain scans, scholars determined that the brain areas active when highly math-anxious people prepare to do math overlap with the same brain areas that register the threat of bodily harm—and in some cases, physical pain. (more…)
In a new study, Brown University researchers demonstrate a new tool for visually tracking in real-time the transformation of a living population of stem cells into cells of a specific tissue. The “molecular beacons,” which could advance tissue engineering research, light up when certain genes are expressed and don’t interfere with the development or operation of the stem cells.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — A novel set of custom-designed “molecular beacons” allows scientists to monitor gene expression in living populations of stem cells as they turn into a specific tissue in real-time. The technology, which Brown University researchers describe in a new study, provides tissue engineers with a potentially powerful tool to discover what it may take to make stem cells transform into desired tissue cells more often and more quickly. That’s a key goal in improving regenerative medicine treatments. (more…)
EAST LANSING, Mich. — Why, after millions of years of evolution, do organisms build structures that seemingly serve no purpose?
A study conducted at Michigan State University and published in the current issue of The American Naturalist investigates the evolutionary reasons why organisms go through developmental stages that appear unnecessary.
“Many animals build tissues and structures they don’t appear to use, and then they disappear,” said Jeff Clune, lead author and former doctoral student at MSU’s BEACON Center of Evolution in Action. “It’s comparable to building a roller coaster, razing it and building a skyscraper on the same ground. Why not just skip ahead to building the skyscraper?” (more…)
For treatment of vocal fold disorders, UD researchers look to insect protein
A one-inch long grasshopper can leap a distance of about 20 inches. Cicadas can produce sound at about the same frequency as radio waves. Fleas measuring only millimeters can jump an astonishing 100 times their height in microseconds. How do they do it? They make use of a naturally occurring protein called resilin.
Resilin is a protein in the composite structures found in the leg and wing joints, and sound producing organs of insects. Highly elastic, it responds to exceptionally high rates of speed and demonstrates unmatched resilience after being stretched or deformed. (more…)