The company is lighting the way for 3D printed organs and edible meat of the future after developing a slice of functioning liver by printing layers of liver cells.
As the liver is an organ that naturally regenerates itself, it makes it perfect for this project and Organovo's lastest printed liver was fully functioning for 40 days, which was a 700 per cent increase on the company's previous effort last April that lasted five days.
The 3D printed liver filters out toxins and drugs to keep in nutrients, but the company has yet to master the ability to integrate blood vessels using 3D printing, hence why this example dies after 40 days as these are what keeps a normal liver alive and healthy.
Organovo's 3D printed liver can be made using a patients own stem cells, meaning it wouldn't get rejected upon implant.
The company is hoping to deliver slices of liver in the 3D Human Liver Project next year, which aims to offer a means of testing drugs on human tissue without risking harming humans.
just last spring, a massive star exploded in a galaxy 3.7 billion years away, collapsed in to a black hole, and produced the biggest cosmic explosion ever witnessed. this was briefly visible in the constellation of leo.
this event created an enormous gamma wave burst, which whizzed harmlessly past earth.
if we had indeed been in its path, our atmosphere would have been blown off and the planet would have been turned in to a cinder. no technology or force on earth could have saved us, even if we had had advanced notice.
Revolutionary membrane can keep your heart beating perfectly forever
You're looking at a rabbit's heart beating outside the animal that once hosted it. It's alive, pumping blood on its own thanks to a revolutionary electronic membrane that may save your life by keeping your heart beating at a perfect rate.
The thin, circuit-lined stretchable membrane has been developed by scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Washington University in St. Louis and may arrive to human hearts in 10 to 15 years.
They custom made it to precisely fit the shape of the rabbit's heart: First, while the rabbit was still alive, they scanned it and created a 3D model using computer aided tomography. They manufactured the model in a 3D printer, which they used as a mold to create the membrane. After that they took the heart out, applied the membrane, and kept it beating at a perfect pace.
Scientists have found the first direct evidence that the universe expanded incredibly quickly in the microseconds after the Big Bang.
They found these signatures of cosmic inflation as gravitational waves from the Big Bang from the cosmic microwave background radiation of our universe. These gravitational waves rippled through our infant universe during an explosive period of growth called inflation when the universe expanded by 100 trillion trillion times, in less than the blink of an eye.
That inflation happened about 13.82 billion years ago , as the universe expanded from nothingness to the vastness of space as we see it today:
The major announcement came from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Here's the technical data and papers that go along with the announcement from the group at the Bicep (Background Imaging of Cosmic Extragalactic Polarization) project.
"This work offers new insights into some of our most basic questions: Why do we exist? How did the universe begin?," astrophysicist Avi Loeb, who wasn't a member of the study team said in a statement about the Harvard-Smithsonian research. "These results are not only a smoking gun for inflation, they also tell us when inflation took place and how powerful the process was."
Here's the kind of data they are working with, this image of the cosmic microwave background radiation from the Plank telescope. The information derived from this gravity wave data will give us an idea of what the universe was like when it just came into existence:
Gravitational waves were the last untested prediction of Albert Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity. The BICEP researchers were analyzing data from the early universe to find the signals of these waves. According to cosmologists on twitter, the result was significant.
"It's been called the Holy Grail of cosmology," Hiranya Peiris, a cosmologist from University College London, told The Guardian. "It would be a real major, major, major discovery."
Nature News notes this discovery is likely to get a Nobel Prize:
"This is a totally new, independent piece of cosmological evidence that the inflationary picture fits together," says theoretical physicist Alan Guth of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, who proposed the idea of inflation in 1980. He adds that the study is "definitely" worthy of a Nobel prize.
The researchers used a specialized telescope called Bicep (Background Imaging of Cosmic Extragalactic Polarization) at the south pole to gather their data.
Here's a great post for more details on cosmic inflation, from Sean Carroll at the Preposterous Universe.
There are still reasons not to get ahead of ourselves. This new data will need to be scrutinized by other scientists and confirmed by other experiments.
Lotus-Shaped Rainforest Guardian Skyscraper Harvests Rain To Fight Fires In Amazon
In these times of global weirding, natural disasters can strike without rhyme or reason. Tornadoes, earthquakes, and forest fires appear more frequently and with more fury, even in areas as wild as the Amazon. To help protect this vital rainforest ecosystem from the destructive threat of fire, Chinese designers Jie Huang, Jin Wei, Qiaowan Tang, Yiwei Yu, and Zhe Hao conceived of a massive watertower skyscraper such as the world has never seen to stand watch over the Amazon. Called the “Rainforest Guardian,” this massive structure would serve as a water tower, a forest fire station, a weather station, and a scientific research center all rolled into one.
The general shape of the Rainforest Guardian Skyscraper is inspired by the lotus flower, a plant well known for its ability to survive for many decades in a watery environment. Like the lotus flower, the Rainforest Guardian would feature a spherical flat platform at its highest point, connected to the ground by a series of external arteries or “roots.”
Oliver Pike, the lead researcher on the study, said the process was one of the most elegant demonstrations of Einstein's famous relationship that shows matter and energy are interchangeable currencies. "The Breit-Wheeler process is the simplest way matter can be made from light and one of the purest demonstrations of E=mc2," he said.
Writing in the journal Nature Photonics, the scientists describe how they could turn light into matter through a number of separate steps. The first step fires electrons at a slab of gold to produce a beam of high-energy photons. Next, they fire a high-energy laser into a tiny gold capsule called a hohlraum, from the German for "empty room". This produces light as bright as that emitted from stars. In the final stage, they send the first beam of photons into the hohlraum where the two streams of photons collide.
The scientists' calculations show that the setup squeezes enough particles of light with high enough energies into a small enough volume to create around 100,000 electron-positron pairs.
Synthetic small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) are an indispensable tool to investigate gene function in eukaryotic cells1, 2 and may be used for therapeutic purposes to knock down genes implicated in disease3. Thus far, most synthetic siRNAs have been produced by chemical synthesis. Here we present a method to produce highly potent siRNAs in Escherichia coli. This method relies on ectopic expression of p19, an siRNA-binding protein found in a plant RNA virus4, 5. When expressed in E. coli, p19 stabilizes an ~21-nt siRNA-like species produced by bacterial RNase III. When mammalian cells are transfected by them, siRNAs that were generated in bacteria expressing p19 and a hairpin RNA encoding 200 or more nucleotides of a target gene reproducibly knock down target gene expression by ~90% without immunogenicity or off-target effects. Because bacterially produced siRNAs contain multiple sequences against a target gene, they may be especially useful for suppressing polymorphic cellular or viral genes.
The researchers above invented a method in which to produce si-RNA's from bacteria. Why is this a major development?
1) siRNA's produced from bacteria(pro-siRNAs) are produced by molecular machinery(RNase III) and produce siRNA's from all reading frames, as well as sense and antisense strands. What does this mean? This creates siRNA mixtures that have have greater mRNA targets that can silence target genes more effectively. In essence, pro-siRNA's are more effective than their synthetically produced counterparts.
2)This method is cheaper and more efficient than synthetic production of siRNA. Methods can be easily modified for large scale production and distribution.
3) This will probably be the future of medicine and is a promising area of research that have far reaching applications in all biological industries.