Science & academia

Sick woman, stomach pain and hands on abdomen

U.K. researchers identify and treat major cause of inflammatory bowel disease

For the first time, a major trigger in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and related conditions has been identified, and existing drugs can stamp it out, in what scientists call a “massive step” in successfully treating these debilitating chronic conditions. Researchers at the Francis Crick Institute, in collaboration with University College London (UCL) and Imperial College London (ICL), have uncovered a problem gene enhancer that stimulates action along a specific biological pathway that causes IBD inflammation.

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Holding breast cancer ribbon

New blood test can predict breast cancer return

An “ultra-sensitive” new blood test developed and tested by Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) London can predict if breast cancer will return years before the disease shows up on scans, researchers say. It picks up traces of a tumor’s DNA before a full relapse and was found to be 100% accurate at predicting which patients would see their cancer return. It is hoped that the test can allow treatment to start earlier and improve survival rates.

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Car HUD

Chinese scientists discover way to make batteries more efficient

A new water-based battery design is safer and more energy-efficient than traditional lithium-ion batteries, researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences claim. Today’s lithium batteries have enabled the rise of EVs, but their flammable organic electrolytes make them a fire risk, and their energy density puts a cap on EV driving range. The new water-based design replaces those combustible components with a safer, more stable water-based electrolyte that can pack way more energy into the same space.

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Cancer Cells under microscope

Thousands in the U.K. to trial breakthrough personalized cancer vaccines

Under the new scheme from the U.K. National Health Service, the first of its kind in the world, patients who meet the eligibility criteria and agree to have a blood test and sample of their cancer tissue analyzed will gain immediate access to clinical trials for the new vaccines that experts say represent a new dawn of treatments for cancer. While research into cancer vaccines is at an early stage, trials have already shown they can be effective at killing off any remaining tumor cells after surgery and dramatically cut the risk of cancer returning.

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Cryo sauna for whole body cryotherapy

Cryo-cooling breakthrough slashes the energy cost of serious cold by 71%

Cryogenic cooling is used to preserve tissues, eggs, sperm, and embryos and CAT scanners, CERN’s massive particle accelerators, and the James Webb Space Telescope possible. It may also one day be the key to making fusion power or quantum computers a reality. However, it is also quite energy-intensive. Fortunately, researchers at the U.S.’s National Institute of Standards & Technology have recently discovered a way to reach near-absolute zero up to 3.5 times faster or using about 71% less energy.

Cryo-cooling breakthrough slashes the energy cost of serious cold by 71% Read more

Aral Sea time lapse 1989 2014

Uzbekistan plants millions of acres of forest where the Aral Sea once lay

Instead of trying to restore what used to be the world’s third largest lake, officials from the Uzbekistan Forestry Agency and locals are trying to plant a new forest where it once rested. The main purpose of the afforestation project it to curb the harmful sandstorms and improve the ecosystem by planting desert-tolerant plants. The initiative has so far planted 4.2 million acres of forest, with up to 494,000 acres of new forest planned for 2024.

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Wooden satellite

Japanese scientists build world’s first wooden satellite

The satellite dubbed LignoSat, a collaboration between Kyoto University and the company Sumitomo Forestry, is reportedly slated for launch in September onboard a SpaceX rocket. If successful, the tiny device — just four inches on each side — could represent a major breakthrough in space sustainability efforts. The idea is that it’ll burn up entirely upon reentry, vastly reducing its environmental impact compared to traditional metal spacecraft.

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A neuron or nerve cell is an electrically excitable cell

Breakthrough synapse-regenerating ALS pill moves to phase 2 human trials

Spinogenix, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company based in California, has developed SPG302, a unique once-a-day pill that regenerates the gaps, called synapses, between neurons to restore communication in ALS patients. Following promising results from clinical trials to evaluate the drug’s safety, the FDA has approved the company’s Investigational New Drug application, paving the way for further trials and a possible watershed moment in the treatment of the fatal disease.

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Cargo ship at sunset

New piloting approach cuts cargo ship emissions by 17.3% in first trials

Currently, most cargo ships go as quickly as they can from port A to port B. When they get there, they sit still and wait at idle, continuing to burn fuel, until it’s time for them to dock. The Blue Visby Solution simply tells the ships to slow down, so they arrive at port right on time. Pushing all that bulk through the water at a slower speed cuts down hugely on hydrodynamic drag, so the engines burn considerably less fuel.

New piloting approach cuts cargo ship emissions by 17.3% in first trials Read more

Ambulance and EMT workers at night

Researchers develop a ‘game-changing’ blood test for stroke detection in the field

Stroke is the top cause of disability worldwide—and the second leading cause of death—but early intervention can prevent severe consequences, and a new tool could be a game-changer. Researchers at Massachusetts’ Brigham and Women’s Hospital developed a new test by combining blood-based biomarkers with a clinical score to identify patients experiencing large vessel occlusion strokes (LVO) with high accuracy.

Researchers develop a ‘game-changing’ blood test for stroke detection in the field Read more