Showing posts from December, 2021

3D printed shoes help treat aging vulture's bumblefoot, twice

Pododermatitis, commonly known as bumblefoot, is the inflammation of the skin of the paw. It is a common bacterial infection and inflammatory reaction that usually occurs on the feet of birds, rodents, and rabbits. If left untreated, pododermatitis causes various difficulties such as pressure sores, tissue swelling, and calluses, which can be debilitating and even lethal. A 3D printed silicone shoe can help reverse this inflammation and promises a better future for bumblefoot patients. Walter, a 21-year-old female hooded vulture. was suffering from bumblefoot. Researchers at the Keio-National University of Singapore Connective Ubiquitous Technology for Embodiments Center (NUS-CUTE) spent two intensive months in the creative development of this 3D printed shoe to treat Walter’s bumblefoot. Mandai Wildlife Group, formerly known as Wildlife Reserves Singapore, is a self-funded organisation based in Singapore which manages the majority of zoos in the country. The acting deputy vice pres

Researchers Develop a New Smart Bandage That Can Monitor Your Painful Wounds Remotely

Image credit: National University of Singapore/ YouTube In research conducted at the National University of Singapore (NUS), scientists have invented a smart bandage that contains wearable sensors and can monitor chronic wounds wirelessly through an app . Chronic wounds are those wounds that do not follow the normal timelines of healing as well as the repairing process. Bleeding can occur randomly in these wounds, which also show changes in their pH level as an outcome of infection. Additionally, external pressure, trauma, inflammatory factors also affect these wounds which can lead to severe pain, stress, and discomfort. (Also read about the role of chitin in healing chronic wounds ) The treatment and diagnosis of a chronic wound are challenging as the healthcare provider has to rely on physical inspections and visual examinations, to monitor the growth of the wound.  This method is also troublesome for the patient as s/he has to visit the hospital multiple times, making it a time-con

Scientists Develop New Catalysts That Produce Hydrogen in a Cheaper and Less Polluting Way

Image credit: Akitada31/ Pixabay Oregon State University (OSU) researchers have developed advanced catalysts for clean hydrogen production. Catalysts are used in industries to speed up a chemical reaction. They make the production of several materials easier, quicker and more efficient. Their studies have shown that clean hydrogen can be produced with much higher efficiency and at a low cost as compared to hydrogen production with commercially available catalysts. What Have Researchers Found? Catalysts are substances that increase the rate of a chemical reaction without undergoing any permanent change in themselves. "In facilitating reaction processes, catalysts often experience changes in their structure,"said Zhenxing Feng, a chemical engineering professor at OSU. Sometimes, the changes are irreversible, and other times reversible . An irreversible restructuring is the main cause of the degradation of a catalyst's stability, leading to the loss of its activity that dec

Experiments with mutant bacteria lead to the tiny recreation of Van Gogh's Starry Night.

Image credit: Rice University Scientists have figured out how to turn millions of predatory bacteria into spirals that look like Vincent Van Gogh's The Starry Night . Myxococcus Xanthus is a species of myxobacteria that is capable of exhibiting different forms of self-organizing behaviour according to its environment and has been investigated as a model for social cooperation and bacterial gene regulation over the years. Bacteria are usually known to be selfish but M. Xanthus is different as it needs to find and recognize kin to survive. Researchers uncovered a previously unknown activity while analyzing M. Xanthus mutants that overexpress two proteins that cells employ to distinguish near relatives: self-organization into millimetre-sized circles. Oleg Igoshin , a professor of bioengineering at Rice University and senior scientist at Rice’s Center for Theoretical Biological Physics stated "When you overexpress that protein, you can see these circular aggregates emerge after f

New Study shows Urban farming yields at par with conventional farming. Uses less pesticides

Image credit: Syced/ Wikimedia Commons According to citizen science research conducted by the University of Sussex, urban farmers in the UK were able to gather one kilogram of insect-pollinated fruits and vegetables per square metre which also falls within the range of conventional farming. Urban farming may contribute to local food security, but it is not scalable due to its labor-intensive nature. It is, nevertheless, more sustainable, productive, and environmentally friendly when compared to traditional agriculture. According to some estimates, urban vegetables might offer up to 20% of the world's food. Over the years, urban farming has received very little attention and research compared to conventional farming and its methods. Dr. Beth Nicholls , a UK Research and Innovation Future Leaders Fellow at the University of Sussex presented the initial results at Ecology Across Borders on Wednesday 15 th December at Liverpool in the U.K. Ecology Across Borders is a program conduct

Scientists Have Found That Asthma May Reduce the Risk of Brain Tumors

   Photo by Robina Weermeijer on Unsplash Asthma is a condition in which a person’s airways become narrow, inflamed, and swell and generate extra mucus, making it difficult for him to breathe. This is a common disease.  Globally, 300 million people are estimated to be currently affected by this disease. Interestingly, a recent study conducted at the Washington University School of Medicine found that people with asthma are less prone to developing brain tumors. What Have Scientists Found?  T-cells are a part of the immune system that originate from stem cells in the bone marrow. Usually, these cells protect the body from infections but one can also find them in action when a person develops asthma. In the study, scientists found that asthma forces the T-cells to behave in a manner that causes lung inflammation but halts the growth of brain tumors.  The study available in Nature Communications proposed that reprogramming or altering T-cells in brain tumor patients could be a new way

Microplastics from take away food are worsening antibiotic resistance crisis says study

Photo by Oliur on Unsplash The styrofoam container that you gladly use to take out food is contributing to rising antibiotic resistance. Antibiotic resistance develops when microorganisms like bacteria and fungi develop the potential to overthrow the drugs that are meant to kill them. The recent research carried out by Rice University scientists has shown that styrofoam supports antibiotic resistance in bacteria and provides a suitable environment for their further growth. How Does Styrofoam Add To Antibiotic Resistance? Styrofoam is a special type of styrene polymer used for making food containers. When it is discarded, it’s broken down into microplastics (small plastic pieces in the environment resulting from the degradation of consumer products) that provide a comfortable environment not only for the microbes and chemical impurities but in addition to the free-floating genetic supplies that transfer the ability of resistance to the microbes, researchers say. A paper published in

Scientists Now Know Why Neurons Consume Energy Even When at Rest

Synaptic vesicles release neurotransmitters. Image credit: Scientists at Weill Cornell Medicine have recently solved the mystery behind why the brain cells or neurons consume energy even at rest. The mystery has puzzled them for years and now the answer to this question lies in a study published in Science Advances. What Have Scientists Found? In the study, scientists have recognized tiny capsules known as synaptic vesicles as a vital source of energy utilisation in inactive neurons. Synaptic vesicles are tiny, electron-lucent vesicles that are clustered at presynaptic terminals. They store neurotransmitters (the body's chemical messengers that transmit messages between neurons) and release them by exocytosis (the process of release of substances out of the cell) in the presence of calcium. These neurotransmitters play a vital role in nerve conduction. During nerve conduction, the neurotransmitters are fired from synaptic vesicles to send a si

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