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Updated by Afik Gal, MD,MBA on Oct 20, 2014
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New healthcare technologies

Broad Institute Gets Patent on Revolutionary Gene-Editing Method

The Harvard-MIT genomic science institute stays mute on how it will assert control over the tools expected to speed cures and change gene therapy. One of the most important genetic technologies developed in recent years is now patented, and researchers are wondering what they will and won't be allowed to do with the powerful method for editing the genome.

Genome Editing

Over the last decade, as DNA-sequencing technology has grown ever faster and cheaper, our understanding of the human genome has increased accordingly. Yet scientists have until recently remained largely ham-fisted when they've tried to directly modify genes in a living cell. Take sickle-cell anemia, for example.

Tiny 3D-Printed Organs Aim for 'Body on a Chip'

Hyun-Wook Kang oversees the 3D printer that will be used to print miniature organs for the "body on a chip" system.Credit: WIFM. Miniature human organs made by 3D printing could create a "body on a chip" that enables better drug testing. That futuristic idea has become a new bioprinting project backed by $24 million from the U.S.

'Body on a chip' used for drug tests

Miniature human organs developed with a modified 3D printer are being used to test new vaccines in a lab in the US. The "body on a chip" project replicates human cells to print structures which mimic the functions of the heart, liver, lung and blood vessels.

Biochip mimics how the body produces platelets so they could be made in a lab

When you hear about blood shortages, that doesn't just mean there's a shortage of donated red blood cells. It could also mean platelets, a blood component that Sven Karlsson described as Band-Aids of the bloodstream, because they're necessary for blood clot formation to help stop bleeding.

The first 3D printed organ -- a liver -- is expected in 2014

Printed tissue could vastly improve drug testing Computerworld - Approximately 18 people die every day waiting for an organ transplant. But that may change someday sooner than you think -- thanks to 3D printing.

3D-Printed Human Embryonic Stem Cells Created for First Time

Researchers have developed a 3D printer that prints human embryonic stem cells. Credit: Dr Will Shu / Biofabrication Imagine if you could take living cells, load them into a printer, and squirt out a 3D tissue that could develop into a kidney or a heart.

New Device Prints Human Tissue

Organovo will supply 3D bio-printers to research institutions investigating human tissue repair and organ replacement.Credit: Organovo Invetech has delivered what it calls the "world`s first production model 3D bio-printer" to Organovo, developers of the proprietary NovoGen bioprinting technology. Organovo will in turn supply the devices to institutions investigating human tissue repair and organ replacement.

Tissue Printer to Fabricate Artificial Blood Cells

3-D printers that fabricate interestingly shaped foods or plastic wrenches certainly have their place, but a new technique that prints out artificial blood cells may take the technology to the next level by actually saving lives.

The Regeneration of Organs Can Soon Be Commonplace

"What Nanotronics does, we work with a lab that regenerates the esophagus. This is kind of interesting, because this was by chance, but I had esophageal cancer," says Matthew Putman, the co-founder and C.E.O. of Nanotronics, a high-tech microscopy and software company specialized in rapid testing and cutting edge computerized analysis tools.

Deal Aims to Grow "Humanized" Organs in Pigs for Transplantation

A San Diego startup that specializes in re-engineering genes and a multi-billion-dollar biotech giant in Silver Springs, MD, say they are now working together on an audacious goal-developing "humanized" organs in pigs that can be transplanted into humans.

Touching Sounds, Missing Limbs, And Other Weird Haptic Surfaces

Covering our entire bodies and existing as our largest perceptive organ, the potential power of skin has somehow been woefully underutilized by technologists. But with touch and gesture technologies having become increasingly ubiquitous over the past few years, the world may finally be ready for the next generation of haptic technology applications.

NeuroSky developing brain sensors to control things with thoughts

Read more: A San Jose-based company called NeuroSky is building sensors to detect your brain activity, so you can control things with your thoughts. The applications for this kind of technology is endless - and is best known in the gaming community - but the company raised funding today to push into the health and fitness market.

Are you ready for virtual taste? | KurzweilAI

We've talked about robot burger makers. How about virtual tasting, so you could sample your burger before buying it, without grossing everyone out - even taste a pizza before having it delivered? A National University of Singapore (NUS) researcher has taken an early step in that direction.

From robot tech to humans: hardware to

MOSCOW - After working for several years to give robots the ability to see and detect objects, the founders of Moscow-based Oriense logically decided to bring their promising tech to humans. Oriense started development last November and combines a Primesense sensor (similar to Microsoft's Kinect camera) with its own software.

Implants offer hope in fight against retinitis pigmentosa

The disease retinitis pigmentosa (RP) includes a number of subtly different vision disorders, thought to ultimately arise from an inherited retinal degeneration. For sufferers, the consequences of the condition can be drastic: cells in the retina fail to function properly, often starting with peripheral rod cells and progressing to the central cone cells, and progressive sight loss results.

Hearing implant

Biomedical researchers say they may have taken the next step in restoring high-quality hearing for patients who benefit from cochlear implants.


MicroCHIPS is pioneering the next generation of drug delivery and biosensing

Proteus Digital Health

Proteus's Digital Health Feedback System is designed to provide actionable information that can improve patient care and self-health management

Scientists make smart 'tattoos' to store data & deliver meds

Wearables are not going to be just clunky watches or nerdy glasses. Researchers announced this weekend they have created a wearable device as thin as a temporary tattoo - essentially, a wearable skin - that can store data and deliver drugs.

U.S.'s first stool bank supplies hospitals with fecal transplants for C. difficile treatment

If you're eating, you might want to stop before you read this. A nonprofit called OpenBiome is operating the U.S.'s first human stool bank. Yes, read that right. In a...

Pfizer joins the microbiome movement, enlisting Second Genome for obesity study

Scientific understanding of the microbiome - the ecosystem of bacteria in the gut - has matured to the point where the pharmaceutical industry recognizes it as a critical part of drug discovery, says Peter DiLaura, CEO of Second Genome.

Liquid Metal Used to Reconnect Severed Nerves

Chinese biomedical engineers have used liquid metal to transmit electrical signals across the gap in severed sciatic nerves. The work raises the prospect of a new treatment for nerve injuries, they say. When peripheral nerves are severed, the loss of function leads to atrophy of the effected muscles, a dramatic change in quality of life and, in many cases, a shorter life expectancy.

Carbon nanotubes can act as implanted sensors long-term

Carbon nanotubes can act as sensors for up to a year when implanted under the skin or injected into the bloodstream for short-term monitoring, according to new research published at Nature Nanotechnology. The sensors take advantage of carbon nanotubes' natural fluorescence, which brightens or dims when coupled to a molecule that binds to a specific target.

Health info tattoo wins Intel Make It Wearable award

Intel has announced the winner in the second round of the of its Make It Wearable contest, Visionary Track. Student, maker and DIY enthusiast Mael Flament proposed an invisible tattoo that contains our health information. Med. History 2.0 would be easily scanned and updated regularly.