Share December, 2017 Scientists Warn Against Gene Drives Gene-drive systems have the potential to control wild populations of invasive species, prevent the spread of insects that carry pathogens (e.g., mosquitos), and even eliminate herbicide resistance in plants. Despite their incredible potential, two scientists are issuing a warning against using self-propagating gene drives for animal conservation purposes. Long Carbon Nanotubes: Just as Dangerous as Asbestos Exposure to long carbon nanotubes can cause mesothelioma — the same form of incurable lung cancer caused by exposure to long-fiber asbestos, according to a new long-term study on mice. Dipstick Can Bind and Purify DNA in Less Than 30 Seconds Traditionally, extracting and amplifying DNA from a biological sample has required a series of complex and cumbersome steps that can only be performed in a laboratory. Now, Univ. of Queensland researchers — led by Jimmy Botella, professor of plant biotechnology, and Michael Mason, a postdoctoral research fellow — have developed a dipstick that can capture and purify nucleic acids from a wide range of plant, animal, and microbe samples without specialized equipment. Nanosized Abacus Enables Simultaneous Computing and Storage Technology more than 4,000 years old just got an optical upgrade. A new take on the abacus uses light pulses and nanoscale phase-change materials (PCMs) to do simple arithmetic and store the results simultaneously. The photonic abacus may not replace the computing architecture of your Mac or PC, but it could offer advantages for optical switching in information transfer. Stem Cells Mimic the Blood-Brain Barrier Medical researchers have long searched for a method of circumventing the blood-brain barrier (BBB) in order to more effectively deliver therapeutic compounds to the central nervous system (CNS) and brain. Now, a team of scientists from the Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison has developed a step-by-step approach to recreate brain endothelial cells in the lab, which will allow researchers to more easily study drug transport across the BBB. Unusually Shaped Nanoparticles Could Carry Drugs Into Tumor Cells Nanoparticles that assemble into tubes and ellipsoids instead of spheres could streamline the delivery of anticancer drugs into tumor cells. New Skin Patch Pits Melanin Against Melanoma A skin patch dotted with microneedles can deliver a dose of melanoma-preventing immunotherapy to the skin. Its secret ingredient? Melanin, the dark pigment found in skin, hair, and eyes. Copyright Permissions: Would you like to reuse content from CEP Magazine? It’s easy to request permission to reuse content. Simply click here to connect instantly to licensing services, where you can choose from a list of options regarding how you would like to reuse the desired content and complete the transaction.