¿Dé que sirve el dinero si no se puede gastar? ¿De que sirve tener comida si no se puede comer? ¿De que sirve poseer un Ferrari si no se tiene carnet de conducir? ¿De que sirve investigar si no se comparten los hallazgos, los resultados? Comunicar la ciencia es un arte que va más allá … Continuar leyendo »
Los vídeos de Ciencia Express pretenden presentar de forma breve y divertida ideas fundamentales de la ciencia. Están realizados por Mikel Ramírez (@mksual) (animación) con guiones de Enrique Fernández Borja (@Cuent_Cuanticos) para
En Marzo de 2014 el Instituto Joanna Briggs para los cuidados en salud basados en evidencias estableció una nueva guía para determinar los niveles de evidencia y grados de recomendación de las evidencias que se publican. Recordemos que los niveles de evidencia vienen determinados por la fortaleza del diseño de la investigación, y asi los … Continuar leyendo »
La prevención de la mortalidad materno infantil será el tema de los primeros 11 cursos del programa SOS Telemedicina
Mariano Fernandez S.'s insight:
En la Facultad de Medicina de la Universidad Central de Venezuela hay un estudio de televisión. Pacientes reales y modelos anatómicos fueron el punto de apoyo para la creación de las clases y tutoriales que se impartirán en el programa SOS Telemedicina Cursos en línea y que estarán disponibles a partir de este lunes 23 de noviembre.
La propaganda, los titulares de prensa etc en ocasiones inducen a error dando a entender ideas o extrayendo supuestas conclusiones de los avances de la investigación que quieren dar a conocer. Cuando los objetivos de los medios de comunicación distan mucho de los objetivos de la divulgación científica; o cuando no se manejan los conceptos … Continuar leyendo »
Las noticias en verano suelen ser ligeritas: la ola de calor, la plaga de medusas, la actividad chiringuetera copan nuestra atención pero no por eso debemos relajar nuestro espíritu crítico sobre todo cuando a noticias científicas nos referimos. Recientemente se nos ha intentado vender la idea de que la cerveza es “la reina del verano” … Continuar leyendo »
Mathematical modeling enables $100 depth sensor to approximate the measurements of a $100,000 piece of lab equipment.
The system uses a technique called fluorescence lifetime imaging, which has applications in DNA sequencing and cancer diagnosis, among other things. So the new work could have implications for both biological research and clinical practice.
“The theme of our work is to take the electronic and optical precision of this big expensive microscope and replace it with sophistication in mathematical modeling,” says Ayush Bhandari, a graduate student at the MIT Media Lab and one of the system’s developers. “We show that you can use something in consumer imaging, like the Microsoft Kinect, to do bioimaging in much the same way that the microscope is doing.”
The MIT researchers reported the new work in the Nov. 20 issue of the journal Optica. Bhandari is the first author on the paper, and he’s joined by associate professor of media arts and sciences Ramesh Raskar and Christopher Barsi, a former research scientist in Raskar’s group who now teaches physics at the Commonwealth School in Boston.
Fluorescence lifetime imaging, as its name implies, depends on fluorescence, or the tendency of materials known as fluorophores to absorb light and then re-emit it a short time later. For a given fluorophore, interactions with other chemicals will shorten the interval between the absorption and emission of light in a predictable way. Measuring that interval — the “lifetime” of the fluorescence — in a biological sample treated with a fluorescent dye can reveal information about the sample’s chemical composition.
In traditional fluorescence lifetime imaging, the imaging system emits a burst of light, much of which is absorbed by the sample, and then measures how long it takes for returning light particles, or photons, to strike an array of detectors. To make the measurement as precise as possible, the light bursts are extremely short.
The fluorescence lifetimes pertinent to biomedical imaging are in the nanosecond range. So traditional fluorescence lifetime imaging uses light bursts that last just picoseconds, or thousandths of nanoseconds.
Genetic residue from ancient viral infections has been repurposed to play a vital role in acquiring pluripotency, the developmental state that allows a fertilized human egg to become all the cells in the body.
Genetic material from ancient viral infections is critical to human development, according to researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine. They’ve identified several noncoding RNA molecules of viral origins that are necessary for a fertilized human egg to acquire the ability in early development to become all the cells and tissues of the body. Blocking the production of this RNA molecule stops development in its tracks, they found.
The discovery comes on the heels of a Stanford study earlier this year showing that early human embryos are packed full of what appear to be viral particles arising from similar left-behind genetic material. “We’re starting to accumulate evidence that these viral sequences, which originally may have threatened the survival of our species, were co-opted by our genomes for their own benefit,” said Vittorio Sebastiano, PhD, an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology. “In this manner, they may even have contributed species-specific characteristics and fundamental cell processes, even in humans.”
Sebastiano is a co-lead and co-senior author of the study, published online Nov. 23 in Nature Genetics.Postdoctoral scholar Jens Durruthy-Durruthy, PhD, is the other lead author. The other senior author of the paper is Renee Reijo Pera, PhD, a former professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Stanford who is now on the faculty of Montana State University.
Sebastiano and his colleagues were interested in learning how cells become pluripotent, or able to become any tissue in the body. A human egg becomes pluripotent after fertilization, for example. And scientists have learned how to induce other, fully developed human cells to become pluripotent by exposing them to proteins known to be present in the very early human embryo. But the nitty-gritty molecular details of this transformative process are not well understood in either case.
The researchers knew that a type of RNA molecules called long-intergenic noncoding, or lincRNAs, have been implicated in many important biological processes, including the acquisition of pluripotency. These molecules are made from DNA in the genome, but they don’t go on to make proteins. Instead they function as RNA molecules to affect the expression of other genes.
Sebastiano and Durruthy-Durruthy used recently developed RNA sequencing techniques to examine which lincRNAs are highly expressed in human embryonic stem cells. Previously, this type of analysis was stymied by the fact that many of the molecules contain highly similar, very repetitive regions that are difficult to sequence accurately.
They identified more than 2,000 previously unknown RNA sequences, and found that 146 are specifically expressed in embryonic stem cells. They homed in on the 23 most highly expressed sequences, which they termed HPAT1-23, for further study. Thirteen of these, they found, were made up almost entirely of genetic material left behind after an eons-ago infection by a virus called HERV-H.
HERV-H is what’s known as a retrovirus. These viruses spread by inserting their genetic material into the genome of an infected cell. In this way, the virus can use the cell’s protein-making machinery to generate viral proteins for assembly into a new viral particle. That particle then goes on to infect other cells. If the infected cell is a sperm or an egg, the retroviral sequence can also be passed to future generations.
HIV is one common retrovirus that currently causes disease in humans. But our genomes are also littered with sequences left behind from long-ago retroviral infections. Unlike HIV, which can go on to infect new cells, these retroviral sequences are thought to be relatively inert; millions of years of evolution and accumulated mutations mean that few maintain the capacity to give instructions for functional proteins.
After identifying HPAT1-23 in embryonic stem cells, Sebastiano and his colleagues studied their expression in human blastocysts — the hollow clump of cells that arises from the egg in the first days after fertilization. They found that HPAT2, HPAT3 and HPAT5 were expressed only in the inner cell mass of the blastocyst, which becomes the developing fetus. Blocking their expression in one cell of a two-celled embryo stopped the affected cell from contributing to the embryo’s inner cell mass. Further studies showed that the expression of the three genes is also required for efficient reprogramming of adult cells into induced pluripotent stem cells.
A global survey focusing on mobile health apps shows the majority of those companies and developers who produce them are dissatisfied with the reception their apps receive on the market, and say performance falls short of their goals. The report by German market research company research2guidance also indicated a changing profile of the developers and businesses behind these apps, along with their priorities.The survey also sought to explore some of the distinguishing characteristics of successful mobile health app
Mobile and social technology makes patients feel empowered in caring for their diabetes, leading to tangible health improvements in just a few weeks as well as a heightened sense of control, according to a paper presented Wednesday at the American Medical Informatics Association conference in San Francisco.A three-month experiment with bimonthly text messages, a Web portal and home-based medical devices produced an average weight decrease of 3.5 pounds and a mean reduction in hemoglobin A1c levels from 7.41 to 6.77 percent, reported Dr. Kendall Ho, director of the eHealth Strategy Office at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. (The A1c number is significant, Ho said, because anything below 7 percent indicates good control of Type 2 diabetes.)
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