Scientists achieve direct brain-to-brain communication in humans

A team of neuroscientists from Harvard Medical School (USA), Starlab Barcelona (Spain) and Axilum Robotics (France) have achieved a world-first: direct brain-to-brain communication in humans. The messages were sent over a distance of 8,000km (5,000 mi) from a person in France to the recipient in India, and did not require any invasive surgery to be performed. The paper has been published in PLOS ONE. Continue reading

Sound waves may hold potential to diagnose whether tumour will spread

Scientists from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA), Pennsylvania State University (University Park, PA), and Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, PA) have collectively published a paper on cell separation using sound waves. The study initially focused on separating tiny plastic beads varying from 7.3 to 9.9 microns in diameter, resulting in 97% sorting accuracy. They then moved on to separating white blood cells (20 microns) and MCF-breast cancer tumour cells (12 microns), achieving 71% accuracy. The potential for this tool holds great significance in the medical field as finding tumour cells in the blood indicates the spreading of a tumour. When a tumour is about to spread, some cells migrate into the blood via a process called extravasation and travel to another site in the body. Continue reading

Biological signatures of mutated cells could be the key to tracing the origin of cancer in patients

A new tool, currently in development by researchers at Stanford University, can detect fatty acids produced by mutated cancer cells. These fatty acids are produced via the reassembling of glucose and glutamine that has been ingested. The metabolism of these molecules are regulated in normal cells via proto-oncogenes; genes which code for proteins that help to regulate cell growth and differentiation. Mutated proto-oncogenes are called oncogenes, and these cause an increase the amount of glucose and glutamine metabolised, and subsequently have the capability to cause cancer. Continue reading