Syncing Fireflies…

Topics: Biology, Biomimetics, Biotechnology, Computer Modeling, Mathematics In Japanese folk traditions, they symbolize departing souls or silent, ardent love. Some Indigenous cultures in the Peruvian Andes view them as the eyes of ghosts. And across various Western cultures, fireflies, glow-worms, and other bioluminescent beetles have been linked to a dazzling and at times contradictory arrayContinue reading “Syncing Fireflies…”

Cellulose Shoes…

Topics: Additive Manufacturing, Biology, Biotechnology, Environment, Genetics, Nanotechnology For Hermes, the Greek god of speed, these bacterial sneakers would have been just the ticket. Modern Synthesis co-founders Jen Keane, CEO, and Ben Reeve, CTO, are now setting out to make them available to mere mortals, raising a $4.1 million investment to scale up production. Keane, a graduateContinue reading “Cellulose Shoes…”

Soap-Like Properties…

Topics: Biology, Biotechnology, DNA, Molecules DNA molecules are not fixed objects – they are constantly getting broken up and glued back together to adopt new shapes. Davide Michieletto explains how this process can be harnessed to create a new generation of “topologically active” materials. Call me naive, but until a few years ago I had never realizedContinue reading “Soap-Like Properties…”

Zombie Apocalypse…

Topics: Biology, COVID-19, DNA, Economics, Environment, Evolution, Existentialism Ed Rybicki, a virologist at the University of Cape Town in South Africa, concentrated his article in Scientific American on the viruses dominating the news cycle in the early 2000s: Ebola, Marburg, and HIV. Not comforting, but he said, “HIV, which is thought to have first emergedContinue reading “Zombie Apocalypse…”

Microbots and Chemo…

Topics: Biology, Cancer, Chemotherapy, Robotics Chemotherapy disrupts cancer cells’ ability to reproduce by frustrating cell division and damaging the cells’ DNA. In response to the pharmaceutical onslaught, cancer cells acquire mutations that reduce the therapy’s effectiveness. Compounding the challenge of fighting cancer: Under chemical and other stresses, mutation rates increase. A team led by PrincetonContinue reading “Microbots and Chemo…”

Breadbaskets and War…

Topics: Biology, Civics, Civil Rights, Climate Change, Democracy, Existentialism, Politics The cornucopia’s history lies in Greek mythology. There are a lot of different stories it might have originated from, but the most common one tells the story of the lightning god, Zeus. As an infant, Zeus was in great danger from his father, Cronus. ZeusContinue reading “Breadbaskets and War…”

Fantastic Plastic…

Topics: Artificial Intelligence, Biology, Computer Science, Materials Science Researchers in the US have developed a perovskite-based device that could be used to create a high-plasticity architecture for artificial intelligence. The team, led by Shriram Ramanathan at Purdue University, has shown that the material’s electronic properties can be easily reconfigured, allowing the devices to function like artificial neuronsContinue reading “Fantastic Plastic…”

RNA and Covid-19…

Topics: Biology, Biotechnology, COVID-19, Diversity in Science, NIST, Research, Women in Science Scientists track and monitor the circulation of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, using methods based on a laboratory technique called polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Also used as the “gold standard” test to diagnose COVID-19 in individuals, PCR amplifies pieces of DNA byContinue reading “RNA and Covid-19…”

ACE2 Gum and Covid…

Topics: Biology, Biotechnology, COVID-19, Research To advance a novel concept of debulking virus in the oral cavity, the primary site of viral replication, virus-trapping proteins CTB-ACE2 were expressed in chloroplasts and clinical-grade plant material was developed to meet FDA requirements. Chewing gum (2 g) containing plant cells expressed CTB-ACE2 up to 17.2 mg ACE2/g dry weightContinue reading “ACE2 Gum and Covid…”

Your Brain on Covid…

Topics: Biology, COVID-19, DNA, Research Note: I have friends who thankfully survived infection now affected by this phenomenon. The article thus grabbed my attention. SARS-CoV-2 appears to travel widely across the cerebral cortex “Brain fog” is not a formal medical descriptor. But it aptly describes an inability to think clearly that can turn up inContinue reading “Your Brain on Covid…”