Tech

Less than one per cent of UK children born with congenital heart disease are enrolled in clinical trials looking to improve treatments, research funded by the British Heart Foundation and led by the University of Birmingham and Birmingham Children's Hospital has found.

The study, published in the European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery today, is the first systematic review of its kind into clinical trials in children's heart surgery.

CINCINNATI - Biliary atresia is the most common cause of liver transplants for children in the United States. Now researchers report in Science Translational Medicine finding a strong biomarker candidate that could be used for earlier diagnosis and lifesaving treatments, possibly avoiding more invasive procedures like liver transplant.

Artificial Lights Increasing "Loss of Night," Especially in Some Nations: In a long-term, high-resolution global analysis of night light emissions, researchers report that the artificially lit surface of our planet is still growing - in both size and brightness - in most countries. In fewer countries has it stayed stable or declined, they say.

Soft robotic actuators, which are pneumatic artificial muscles designed and programmed to perform lifelike motions, have recently emerged as an attractive alternative to more rigid components that have conventionally been used in biomedical devices. In fact, earlier this year, a Boston Children's Hospital team revealed a proof-of-concept soft robotic sleeve that could support the function of a failing heart.

Tiny remotely operated robots could be designed to diagnose and treat illness in hard-to-reach areas of the human body, research suggests.

In tests, a swarm of robots measuring a few millionths of a metre long - about the size of a blood cell - were guided magnetically to sites in the stomach of rats.

The robots were manufactured by coating tiny algae with magnetic particles.

They could be tracked in tissue close to the skin's surface by imaging the algae's natural luminescence, and in hard-to-reach deeper tissue by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

The Collaborative Research Centre CRC 1214 at the University of Konstanz has developed a method for synthesising Europium (II) oxide nanoparticles - a ferromagnetic semiconductor that is relevant for data storage and data transport

Antibiotics are commonly used around the world to cure diseases caused by bacteria. But as the World Health Organization and other international bodies have pointed out, the global increase of antibiotic resistance is a rapidly worsening problem. And since antibiotics are also an essential part of modern medicine, as prophylactic treatment during surgeries and cancer therapy, rising resistance of bacteria presents even more of a danger.

Many musicians suffer ear damage. Professional orchestras have therefore taken measures in recent years to reduce the sound levels. Studies now reveal that physical measures, like placing screens between sections or creating more space between them, have little effect. This is due to one's own instrument contributing just as much to the sound level that reaches the ear as all the orchestra's instruments together. So experienced musicians that play alone at home - whether professionals or amateurs - also produce excessive sound levels. The only solution that really helps is earplugs.

Upon first glance, most people wouldn't think alligators or birds were evolutionary cousins. But indeed, reptiles are the closest living relatives of birds, and all descended from the archosaurs, the "ruling reptiles" who once dominated the Earth 250 million years ago.

Archosaurs gave rise to the age of the dinosaurs and, eventually, birds and reptiles as their only living descendants.

A team of bioengineers and bioinformaticians at the University of California San Diego have discovered how the environment surrounding a tumor can trigger metastatic behavior in cancer cells. Specifically, when tumor cells are confined in a dense environment, the researchers found that they turn on a specific set of genes and begin to form structures that resemble blood vessels.