Researchers in Canada are developing a new blood test that they say shows promise of becoming a quicker and more accurate method for diagnosing whether patients with chest pain are having a heart attack. The test could save lives by allowing quicker intervention to prevent more advanced heart damage and could improve the quality of life for heart attack survivors, they say. In preliminary lab studies, the test produced results in just five minutes and had a 99 percent accuracy rate, according to the researchers.
With the same compound the body uses to clot blood, scientists at Virginia Commonwealth University have created a nano-fiber mat that could eventually become a “natural bandage.” Spun from strands of fibrinogen 1,000 times thinner than a human hair, the fabric could be placed on a wound and never taken off — minimizing blood loss and encouraging the natural healing process.
Molecular wires are seen by scientists as one key to producing ever-smaller and faster electronic circuits and switches, like those used in computers and complex electronic devices. These “nanowires,” so called because they have dimensions on the order of a nanometer (a billionth of a meter), allow high rates of electron transfer and associated low resistance, or impedance to the flow of current. Now, research focused on finding good candidate materials for these wires is giving scientists a better understanding of how they work.
From time immemorial, every living thing has shared the same basic set of building blocks — 20 amino acids from which all proteins are made. That is, until now: A group of scientists say they have, for the first time, created an organism that can produce a 21st amino acid and incorporate it into proteins completely on its own. The research should help probe some of the central questions of evolutionary theory. The project could eventually give concrete answers to questions that have generally been regarded as purely speculative: Is 20 the ideal number of basic building blocks? Would additional amino acids lead to organisms with enhanced function? Why has the genetic code not evolved further?
Duke University chemists say they’ve come up with a way to grow carbon nanotubes — a.k.a. Buckytubes — that vary in size far less than those produced previously. The technique could help with the development of nanostructures with electronic properties reliable enough to use in molecular-sized circuits.