First Human Clone Embryos Created From Adults’ Skin Cells
"Scientists have created cloned embryos from the cells of two adults. This feat is the first hard evidence that it’s possible to create clones from cells taken from adult humans. The idea is that in the future, doctors could create cloned embryos of patients when the patients need an organ transplant, for example, or a set of new immune cells. The cloned embryos would serve as a source of stem cells for creating perfectly personalized transplants, no matter how old people are when they first get sick."
IF EVER a technology were ripe for disruption, it is the microscope. Benchtop microscopes have remained essentially unchanged since the 19th century—their shape a cartoonist’s cliché of science akin to alchemical glassware and Bunsen burners. And that lack of change has costs. Microscopes are expensive (several hundred dollars for a reasonable one) and need to be serviced and maintained. Unfortunately, one important use of them is in poor-world laboratories and clinics, for identifying pathogens, and such places often have small budgets and lack suitably trained technicians. (via Cheap microscopes: Yours to cut out and keep | The Economist)
Google unveils ‘smart contact lens’ to measure glucose levels
Google has said it is testing a “smart contact lens” that can help measure glucose levels in tears. It uses a “tiny” wireless chip and a “miniaturised” glucose sensor embedded between two layers of lens material. The firm said it is also working on integrating tiny LED lights that could light up to indicate that glucose levels have crossed certain thresholds. But it added that “a lot more work” needed to be done to get the technology ready for everyday use. “It’s still early days for this technology, but we’ve completed multiple clinical research studies which are helping to refine our prototype,” the firm said in a blogpost. “We hope this could someday lead to a new way for people with diabetes to manage their disease.” (via BBC News - Google unveils ‘smart contact lens’ to measure glucose levels)
Doctors in Sweden say nine women have successfully received transplanted wombs and will soon try to become pregnant. But the radical new procedure, which relies on donations from living relatives, has its critics.
To date, no baby has ever been born from a transplanted womb. Two previous attempts, one in Saudi Arabia and one in Turkey, both failed to produce babies. But the new procedure, which is 10 years in the making, appears to be quite promising — so promising, in fact, that embryos may be planted later this year. (via Io9)
The Kite Patch is a little square sticker that emits a cloak of chemical compounds that block a mosquito’s ability to sense humans. Image: ieCrowd
Mosquitos were born to bite us, and aside from lighting worthless tiki candles, haplessly swatting them away, or resorting to spraying toxic DEET all over ourselves, there’s really not a whole lot we can do about it. Imagine then, if you could be encapsulated in an anti-mosquito bubble simply by wearing a small square sticker. Not only would it save mosquito-magnets like myself some really uncomfortable moments, it could be a major game changer in the way we prevent mosquito-borne illnesses like Malaria, Dengue Fever, and West Nile Virus.
The good news is that a sticker like this is not some far away concept dreamed up by scientists in a lab–it’s actually a real thing that you’ll likely be able to find on the shelves of your local Walgreens sometime in the not-so-distant future.