Plants have a sophisticated machinery to convert solar energy from sunlight into chemical energy and food. The visual system of organisms based on photosensitive proteins and transduction, helps organisms find food and survive. Jellyfish bioluminescence improve survival and reproduction. Thus, optogenetics, a new frontier in light-activated therapies, is just an extension of light as a driving force in natural evolution.
Sound Machines 2.0 is not a techno punk rock band. It’s not even a human music group – it’s a self-playing, auto-composing robot quintet, designed by the engineering firm Festo. By using advanced artificial intelligence technology, this “band” analyzes the acoustic fingerprints of existing musical pieces and then generates and executes its own original compositions.
This past spring, scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the Tokyo Institute of Technology, and the University of Sheffield designed a miniature ingestible robot that unfolds inside a patient to act as a micro-surgeon, performing rudimentary non-invasive operating procedures. The origami robot, which is made out of a durable, dry, pig-intestine-derived material, is wrapped into a dissolvable pill capsule and uses external magnetic fields to steer itself along the stomach wall, performing programmed operations such as stitching up internal wounds, delivering medicine, or removing accidentally swallowed objects.
Biochemist and neurobiologist Michael Lin is developing smart biological therapies that may finally provide the “magic bullet” for cancer. He sat down with Probe Magazine to discuss his dreams and current research projects, and give a few words of advice to STEM students.
Short for “clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats”, CRISPR is a DNA-based system that allows the user to have unparalleled control and precision in genome editing. CRISPR applications are constantly being refined as new research, particularly from Stanford, helps increase our understanding of this system.