Biomimetic Implant Provides Hope for Millions of Corneally Blind People with no Reliance on Donor Tissue
The quest for ever-smaller electronic components led an international group of researchers to explore using molecular building blocks to create them. DNA is able to self-assemble into arbitrary structures, but the challenge with using these structures for nanoelectronic circuits is the DNA strands must be converted into highly conductive wires.
Researchers have developed a DNA test to quickly identify secondary infections in COVID-19 patients, who have double the risk of developing pneumonia while on ventilation than non-COVID-19 patients.
The SARS-CoV-2 virus that is causing the COVID-19 pandemic is just one of many different viruses in the coronavirus family. Many of these are circulating in populations of animals like bats and have the potential to "jump" into the human population, just as SARS-CoV-2 did. Researchers in the laboratory of Pamela Björkman, the David Baltimore Professor of Biology and Bioengineering, are working on developing vaccines for a wide range of related coronaviruses, with the aim of preventing future pandemics.
The human organism requires a variety of small molecules, such as sugars or fats, in order to function properly. The composition of these so-called metabolites and their interaction – the metabolism – varies from person to person and is dependent not only on external influences, such as nutrition, but also to a significant extent on natural variations in our genetic make-up. In an international study, scientists from the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) and Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin joined forces with colleagues from the United Kingdom, Australia and the United States and discovered hundreds of previously unknown variations in genes that have a sometimes drastic impact on the concentration of these small molecules in the blood. The researchers have now published their findings in the journal Nature Genetics.