March 23, 2018

Week In STEM-12 Sept

Cancer patient receives 3-D printed ribs

After being diagnosed with a chest wall sarcoma, a 54-year-old Spanish man’s surgical team made the decision to remove his sternum and a portion of his rib cage and replace it with an implant. This cancer patient has now received a 3-D printed titanium sternum and rib implant.

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World’s biggest manmade wave created in Netherlands

Scientists at the Deltares Research Institute in the Netherlands have built a machine that creates the world’s largest artificial wave.

They say replicating the sea at its most treacherous will help them to develop new flood defence technology to help them to cope with rising sea levels.

Our science correspondent Rebecca Morelle has been given exclusive access to the facility.

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Smart cells teach neurons to heal themselves

As a potential treatment for Parkinson’s disease, scientists have created smarter immune cells that produce and deliver a healing protein to the brain while also teaching neurons to begin making the protein for themselves.

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Nigerian student tests home-made cancer cure for doctorate

A student at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) is trying to find scientific support for the claim that a herbal remedy her Nigerian family have used for generations can treat cancer.

Hajara Alfa said family and friends from city of Kaduna where she was born and raised have for years sworn by the healing powers of the powdered bark of the Boswellia odorata – a tree which grows in the region.

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China aims for Moon’s far side

China is planning the first ever landing of a lunar probe on the far side of the Moon, an engineer has said.

The Chang’e 4 mission is planned for sometime before 2020,and could eventually lead to the placement of a radio telescope for use by astronomers. The Moon’s far side would be shielded from radio transmissions from Earth, making it an excellent location for sensitive instruments.

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Electrostatic netting opens a whole new world of malaria vector control

Conventional methods of mosquito control are becoming less effective over time, and researchers seek alternatives to existing techniques in an effort to stay one step ahead of adaptation. Now, a group of health and ecological science researchers in Johannesburg, South Africa,report the use of an electrostatic coating that binds insecticide particles.

The authors report that the method delivers such high levels of insecticides to mosquitos that even those with high levels of resistance are killed effectively. It consists of a coating, originally developed to trap and bind airborne pollen, which is applied on different substrates, including conventional mosquito netting for deployment in households. The coating has an that binds particles via polarity. Though such techniques have been effectively applied in agriculture, this study is the first to demonstrate efficacy against disease-carrying mosquitos.

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Epileptic African Lion Treated At Pittsburgh Zoo

Razi, age 6, has idiopathic epilepsy, a neurological disease that causes intermittent seizures. He was diagnosed two years ago and was having about two seizures a year. This summer, though, they started happening monthly.

This diagnosis is extremely rare – so rare, Ginger Sturgeon, director of animal health, says she’s never heard of another African Lion with it.

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New Particles That May Break Known Laws of Physics

At the smallest scales, everything in the universe can be broken down into fundamental morsels called particles. TheStandard Model of particle physics—the reigning theory of these morsels—describes a small collection of known species that combine in myriad ways to build the matter around us and carry the forces of nature.

Yet physicists know that these particles cannot be all there is—they do not account for the dark matter or dark energy that seem to contribute much of the universe’s mass, for example. Now two experiments have observed particles misbehaving in ways not predicted by any known laws of physics, potentially suggesting the existence of some new type of particle beyond the standard zoo.

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Can Alzheimer’s Be Transmitted?

Prions are the misshapen proteins that replicate by inducing normal proteins to misfold and aggregate in the brain, leading to rare diseases such as mad cow and kuru. In recent years, scientists have discovered that similar processes of protein misfoldingare at work in many neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Now, a study in Nature reveals the first evidence for human-to-human transmission of the misfolded proteins that underlie the pathology of Alzheimer’s disease.

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Battle against time to bank world’s threatened seeds

Just over an hour’s drive from London, down winding lanes lined with oak and beech trees, lies a concrete and glass building housing scientists tasked with a Herculean mission — to safeguard the future of food. TheKew Millennium Seed Bank is the hub of a global conservation network that aims, by 2020, to store a quarter — or 75,000 — of the world’s plant species, with a particular focus on the most endangered, economically important and endemic. It is, as its director Jonas Mueller describes, “the biggest conservation project on earth”.

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Egyptian Method Filters Seawater In Minutes

Researchers at Alexandria University in Egypt have unveiled a cost-effective desalination technology which can filter highly salty water in minutes.

The technology is based on membranes containing cellulose acetate powder, produced in Egypt. The powder, in combination with other components, binds the salt particles as they pass through, making the technique useful for desalinating seawater.

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An innovative device that generates light from gravity

GravityLight lamp was created to help solve this problem since it is moved only by gravity, with no need for battery, sunlight or electricity to operate and consequently helping thousands of people around the world.

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Scientists produce cancer drug from rare plant in lab

Stanford scientists produced a common cancer drug — previously only available from an endangered plant — in a common laboratory plant. This work could lead to a more stable supply of the drug and allow scientists to manipulate that drug to make it even safer and more effective.

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