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Imaging Via Nanoparticles Could Monitor Cancer and Other Diseases

MIT chemists have developed new nanoparticles that can simultaneously perform magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and fluorescent imaging in living animals. Such particles could help scientists to track specific molecules produced in the body, monitor a tumor’s environment, or determine whether drugs have successfully reached their targets. The researchers have demonstrated the use of the particles, which carry distinct sensors for fluorescence and MRI, to track vitamin C in mice. Wherever there is a high concentration of vitamin C, the particles show a strong fluorescent signal but little MRI contrast. If there is not much vitamin C, a stronger MRI signal is visible but fluorescence is very weak. The researchers are now working to enhance the signal differences that they get when the sensor encounters a target molecule such as vitamin C. They have also created nanoparticles carrying the fluorescent agent plus up to three different drugs. This allows them to track whether the nanoparticles are delivered to their targeted locations. These particles could also be used to evaluate the level of oxygen radicals in a patient’s tumor, which can reveal valuable information about how aggressive the tumor is. Source:

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Technique Enables Imaging of Transparent Organisms

Researchers at the RIKEN Quantitative Biology Center in Japan and the University of Tokyo have developed a method that combines tissue decolorization and light-sheet fluorescent microscopy to take extremely detailed images of the interior of individual organs and even entire organisms. The work allows scientists to make tissues and whole organisms transparent, and then image them at extremely precise, single-cell resolution. The method, called CUBIC (Clear, Unobstructed Brain Imaging Cocktails and Computational Analysis), was used to take images of mouse brains, hearts, lungs, kidneys, and livers, and then was attempted on infant and adult mice. In all cases, they could get clear tissues. The method could be used to study how embryos develop or how cancer and autoimmune diseases develop at the cellular level, leading to a deeper understanding of such diseases and perhaps to new therapeutic strategies. The group plans to allow for the rapid imaging of whole bodies of adult mice or larger samples such as human brains, and to apply this technology to further our understanding of autoimmune and psychiatric diseases. Source:

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VINCENT Systems Prosthetics Give Patients A New Feel For Life

The human hand is a biomechanical marvel, but our hands are easy to take for granted because we depend on them all day long. People without all or part of their hands, however, know full well the value of what is missing as they struggle to perform even simple, everyday tasks.

Posted in: Medical, White Papers, MDB

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Researchers Develop a Way to Control Material with Voltage

A new way of switching the magnetic properties of a material using just a small applied voltage, developed by researchers at MIT and collaborators elsewhere, could signal the beginning of a new family of materials with a variety of switchable properties. The technique could ultimately be used to control properties other than magnetism, including reflectivity or thermal conductivity. The first application of the new finding is likely to be a new kind of memory chip that requires no power to maintain data once it’s written, drastically lowering its overall power needs. This could be especially useful for mobile devices, where battery life is often a major limitation.

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Garnet Ceramics Could Be the Key to High-Energy Lithium Batteries

Scientists at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have discovered exceptional properties in a garnet material that could enable development of higher-energy battery designs. The ORNL-led team used scanning transmission electron microscopy to take an atomic-level look at a cubic garnet material called LLZO. The researchers found the material to be highly stable in a range of aqueous environments, making the compound a promising component in new battery configurations.

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Energy Metering MCUs

Atmel(R) Corporation (San Jose, CA) has expanded its Atmel | SMART portfolio of energy metering products with the introduction of the SAM4C32 dual-core secure MCU, along with the SAM4CMS32 and SAM4CMP32 for residential, commercial and industrial metering applications. The new system-on-chip (SoC) solutions have 2MB of cache- enabled dual-bank flash and are pin-pin compatible with existing 512KB and 1MB devices in the portfolio. Atmel's SAM4Cx series are built on a dual-core 32-bit ARM(R) Cortex(R)-M4 architecture with flexible firmware metrology capability up to a class 0.2 accuracy designed to meet WELMEC requirements for the separation of legal metrology, applications and communications. For more information, click here.

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Protocol Analyzer

Keysight Technologies, Inc. (Santa Rosa, CA) has introduced the U4301B PCIe(R) protocol analyzer for engineers developing PCIe Gen3 systems. The U4301B supports all PCIe speeds from 2.5 GT/s (Gen1) through 8 GT/s (Gen3) and link widths from x1 through x16. The analyzer comes standard with analysis tools to validate PCIe LTSSM (link training and status state machine) processes, as well as NVM (non-volatile memory) Express and AHCI (advanced host controller interface) transactional protocol operations. New interposers support the latest storage devices that use SFF-8639 and M.2 connectors. The U4301B PCIe analysis module works in an AXIe chassis. For more information, click here.

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