Killer T cells (green and red), or cytotoxic T cells, surround a cancer cell (blue, center).
Immunotherapy has the potential to eliminate tumors, but works best for select patients. Engineering T cells to bypass cancer’s defenses could help expand treatment eligibility to more patients.
As a material, bacteria’s ability to rapidly multiply and adapt to different conditions is an asset.
Gschmeissner/Science Photo Library via Getty Images
The walls of your house could someday be built with living bacteria. Synthetic biologists are engineering microbes into living materials that are cheap and sustainable.
Advances in artificial intelligence and technology have allowed researchers to better explore the mechanisms behind neurostimulation.
Iryna Spodarenko/iStock via Getty Images
Existing brain connections may influence the effectiveness of neurostimulation. Tailoring treatments to each individual brain could expand the number of conditions brain stimulation can treat.
A new polymer could help the medicine go down easier.
Hiroshi Watanabe/DigitalVision via Getty Images
While pills are more practical than injections or infusions, digestion in the stomach prevents many drugs from being taken orally. Better drug design could change this.
Dendritic cells (green) produce cytokines like IL-12, which can train T cells (pink) to attack tumors.
Victor Segura Ibarra and Rita Serda/National Cancer Institute via Flickr
One promising cancer treatment has been in the works for decades, but severe side effects have kept it out of the clinic. A reengineered version may offer a way to safely harness its potent effects.
How many X chromosomes you have can affect your health.
John M Lund Photography Inc/Digital Vision via Getty Images
A one-size-fits-all approach may not be best for treating cardiovascular disease. Taking sex chromosomes into account could make for more effective and equitable care.
Gary Yost, Unsplash
We can fine-tune bacteria using algorithms to help them produce the things we need, from antibiotics to methane.
Anything that moves or processes tiny amounts of fluid is a microfluidic device.
Chris Neils/Albert Folch
Electronics are not the only technology to have been miniaturized. Using the strange behavior of fluids in tiny spaces, microfluidic devices are critical to medicine, science and the modern world.
The need for donated organs can be addressed using a novel 3D-printing technique.
Printing organs could reduce the need for human donor organs. And 3D printed organs using a patient’s own cells would increase successful organ transplants by reducing the risk of rejection.
Scientists are still piecing together the puzzle of how the brain works.
Yuichiro Chino/Moment via Getty Images
A bioengineer explains how a clearer picture of brain structure and function may fine-tune the ways brain surgery attempts to correct structure and medication tries to correct function.
Individuals working together as one.
Orit Peleg and Jacob Peters
A swarm of honeybees can provide valuable lessons about how a group of many individuals can work together to accomplish a task, even with no one in charge. Roboticists are taking notes.
The technology of producing biological parts is advancing, raising new legal and regulatory questions.
Bioprinting, an offshoot of 3D printing, is advancing so rapidly that regulators have been caught off guard. Two legal scholars argue patients and manufacturers would benefit from clearer rules.
Scientists working together with local people to create an eco-sea wall to protect against coastal erosion.
A biodegradable sea wall is cheaper than a concrete wall. In addition, it’s easy for local people to replicate.
Meat of the future might be quite different from meat of the past.
Stanley Kubrick, photographer, LOOK Magazine Photograph Collection, Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, LC-USZ6-2352.
It’s relatively easy to grow a bunch of animal cells to turn into a burger. But to grow a steak made of cultured meat is a trickier task. Bioengineers must create organized, three-dimensional tissues.
A robot’s hand holds an artificial heart.
Ociacia / Shutterstock.com
Health care relies on increasingly sophisticated devices for implanting into the body or monitoring it. Yet most med school graduates are not versed in engineering. That needs to change.
The colour of gold nanoparticles in suspension varies according to the size of the nanoparticles.
Nanotechnology brings together multiple science disciplines to create devices that mimic the refinements of nature. It’s difficult – and exhilarating.
Cancer is the leading cause of death in the world.
Julio C. Valencia, NCI Center for Cancer Research
Synthetic biology allows us to engineer biological cells. This could help us tackle cancer in remarkable ways.
Victor Frankenstein’s mistakes serve as cautionary lessons.
If Mary Shelley wrote the book today, Victor would surely be a synthetic biologist. But those fiddling with living things in 2018 have hopefully learned from her cautionary tale.
Delivering genetic material is a key challenge in gene therapy.
Invitation image created by Kstudio
One big challenge for gene therapies is delivering DNA or RNA safely to cells inside patients’ bodies. New nanoparticles could be an improvement over the current standard – repurposed viruses.
Will your cellphone be able to communicate with bacteria in your body?
Bacteria image via www.shutterstock.com.
New research works out how to translate between the language of biology – molecules – and the language of microelectronics – electrons. It could open the door to new kinds of biosensors and therapeutics.