Synthetic biology could yield microbes that fight cavities and produce vitamins.
This time-lapse video shows tightly packed balls of DNA being washed over a sequencing array. The array is designed so that the balls (white spots) stick to specific spots. The concentration of DNA balls that stick to the array increases over time. This tight packing of DNA strands decreases the amount of reagents needed in the sequencing reaction, lowering the cost of sequencing a genome.
In 2007, researchers in Europe studied the health effects of resveratrol, a compound found in red wine. Part of the study included testing mice’s endurance by having them run on a treadmill. Here, the mouse on the right was fed resveratrol, while the mouse on the left was untreated. The treated mouse ran longer and harder than its running mate. This year, researchers conducted a study using a new compound, SRT1720, which targets the same pathway as resveratrol. Again, they tested the mice on the treadmill and found that mice fed this compound showed a similar improvement in performance.
This video shows a patch of engineered heart tissue "beating" in response to electrical field stimulation. Rat heart cells are embedded in a scaffold that mimics the properties of the heart.
In this video of a mouse embryo, made 8.5 days after conception and one day after the heart has begun to form, the heartbeat is visible. The video was made using a variation on a technique called optical-coherence tomography. It’s being used by researchers at the University of Houston to take the highest resolution video yet of the developing mammalian heart. Their goal is a better understanding of why one percent of US infants are born with cardiovascular problems.
Biomedical editor Emily Singer had a diffusion tensor scan, a variation of MRI that allows scientists to visualize the brain’s white matter, at UCLA. Neuroscientist Andrew Frew used brain imaging software from BrainLab to create these movies, highlighting different sections of white matter.
Richard Haier, a psychologist and emeritus professor at the University of California, Irvine, explains how brain imaging is shedding light on intelligence.
Anne Wojcicki and Linda Avey, founders of the personal-genomics company 23andMe, talk about their goals for the company and the drive to personalize medicine.
This video combines different types of brain imaging to visualize a brain tumor in a female patient. Superimposed on a picture of the patient’s head are black and white images generated from traditional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) presented sequentially in three different axes: side to side, front to back, and top to bottom. The tumor is then shown in yellow in the left hemisphere of the brain. Scientists further analyzed the data collected from the MRI to map the network of nerve fibers in the brain, seen here as red, green, and purple fibers. Neurosurgeons use these maps during surgery to remove the tumor to avoid damaging fiber tracts that are linked to important brain functions.
Scientists grew cardiac muscle cells on a thin polymer film, then tested the cells’ ability to contract. As they contract, the cells distort the shape of the polymer.