Reached Via a Mind-Reading Device, Deeply Paralyzed Patients Say They Want to Live

Reached Via a Mind-Reading Device, Deeply Paralyzed Patients Say They Want to Live

Reached Via a Mind-Reading Device, Deeply Paralyzed Patients Say They Want to Live

In 1995, Jean-Dominique Bauby suffered a massive stroke that left him paralyzed and speechless, with only the ability to blink his left eyelid. Using just that eye, he silently dictated his memoir, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, later adapted into a film.

Bauby suffered from “locked-in syndrome,” in which patients are completely paralyzed except for some eye movement. Some patients eventually lose even the ability to blink, cutting off all contact with the world and raising questions of whether they are still fully conscious and, if so, whether they still wish to live.

Read More

Gene-Edited Skin Could Be Its Own Blood-Sugar Sensor

Gene-Edited Skin Could Be Its Own Blood-Sugar Sensor

Gene-Edited Skin Could Be Its Own Blood-Sugar Sensor

For diabetics, the constant finger pricks to obtain a blood drop and measure its glucose level is an annoyance. But it’s essential, too. Out-of-whack blood sugar can be fatal.

That’s why engineers have tried for decades to create a noninvasive glucose sensor,  but developing one has proved difficult. It’s just not feasible to accurately measure sugar levels through the skin.

Read More

A Potent Tool to Treat Pancreatic Cancer May Already Be in Your Body

A Potent Tool to Treat Pancreatic Cancer May Already Be in Your Body

A Potent Tool to Treat Pancreatic Cancer May Already Be in Your Body

What if tiny, naturally occurring bubbles emitted by cells could be harnessed as a powerful way to treat the most lethal cancers? Scientists are trying to do that for pancreatic cancer, a largely incurable disease.

When they were discovered more than 30 years ago, these microscopic sacs—called exosomes—were thought to be nothing more than the cell’s waste products. But more recent research has revealed that they help cells communicate with one another by carrying valuable cargo—like proteins and RNA, a genetic messenger molecule—to other cells.

Read More

A Potent Tool to Treat Pancreatic Cancer May Already Be in Your Body

A Potent Tool to Treat Pancreatic Cancer May Already Be in Your Body

A Potent Tool to Treat Pancreatic Cancer May Already Be in Your Body

What if tiny, naturally occurring bubbles emitted by cells could be harnessed as a powerful way to treat the most lethal cancers? Scientists are trying to do that for pancreatic cancer, a largely incurable disease.

When they were discovered more than 30 years ago, these microscopic sacs—called exosomes—were thought to be nothing more than the cell’s waste products. But more recent research has revealed that they help cells communicate with one another by carrying valuable cargo—like proteins and RNA, a genetic messenger molecule—to other cells.

Read More

A Potent Tool to Treat Pancreatic Cancer May Already Be in Your Body

A Potent Tool to Treat Pancreatic Cancer May Already Be in Your Body

A Potent Tool to Treat Pancreatic Cancer May Already Be in Your Body

What if tiny, naturally occurring bubbles emitted by cells could be harnessed as a powerful way to treat the most lethal cancers? Scientists are trying to do that for pancreatic cancer, a largely incurable disease.

When they were discovered more than 30 years ago, these microscopic sacs—called exosomes—were thought to be nothing more than the cell’s waste products. But more recent research has revealed that they help cells communicate with one another by carrying valuable cargo—like proteins and RNA, a genetic messenger molecule—to other cells.

Read More

The Thorny Question of Whether Humans Can Observe Single Photons

The Thorny Question of Whether Humans Can Observe Single Photons

The Thorny Question of Whether Humans Can Observe Single Photons

Can humans see single photons? That sounds like a relatively simple question to answer, but the problem is turning out to be more thorny and convoluted than anybody suspected. But it also one that profoundly influences our reasonable expectations for future sensors.

Read More