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Tag Archives: Light

What is keeping your kids up at night? Turning off electronics helps everyone sleep better

What is keeping your kids up at night? Turning off electronics helps everyone sleep better

Sleep, or lack thereof, and technology often go hand in hand when it comes to school-aged kids. Nearly three out of four children (72%) between the ages of 6 and 17 have at least one electronic device in their bedrooms while sleeping, according to a National Sleep Foundation survey Continue reading

Single gene controls jet lag, study finds

Single gene controls jet lag, study finds

Scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have identified a gene that regulates sleep and wake rhythms. The discovery of the role of this gene, called Lhx1, provides scientists with a potential therapeutic target to help night-shift workers or jet lagged travelers adjust to time differences more quickly Continue reading

Elusive viral ‘machine’ architecture finally rendered

Elusive viral ‘machine’ architecture finally rendered

For half a century biologists have studied the way that the lambda virus parks DNA in the chromosome of a host E. coli bacterium and later extracts it as a model reaction of genetic recombination. Continue reading

New hand-held device uses lasers, sound waves for deeper melanoma imaging

New hand-held device uses lasers, sound waves for deeper melanoma imaging

A new hand-held device that uses lasers and sound waves may change the way doctors treat and diagnose melanoma, according to a team of researchers from Washington University in St. Louis. The instrument, described in a paper published today in The Optical Society’s (OSA) journal Optics Letters , is the first that can be used directly on a patient and accurately measure how deep a melanoma tumor extends into the skin, providing valuable information for treatment, diagnosis or prognosis. Continue reading

Noninvasive brain control: New light-sensitive protein enables simpler, more powerful optogenetics

Noninvasive brain control: New light-sensitive protein enables simpler, more powerful optogenetics

Optogenetics, a technology that allows scientists to control brain activity by shining light on neurons, relies on light-sensitive proteins that can suppress or stimulate electrical signals within cells. This technique requires a light source to be implanted in the brain, where it can reach the cells to be controlled Continue reading

Exploring how the nervous system develops

Exploring how the nervous system develops

The circuitry of the central nervous system is immensely complex and, as a result, sometimes confounding. When scientists conduct research to unravel the inner workings at a cellular level, they are sometimes surprised by what they find. Patrick Keeley, a postdoctoral scholar in Benjamin Reese’s laboratory at UC Santa Barbara’s Neuroscience Research Institute, had such an experience Continue reading

Details of calcium ‘safety-valve’ in cells explained

Details of calcium ‘safety-valve’ in cells explained

Sometimes a cell has to die — when it’s done with its job or inflicted with injury that could otherwise harm an organism. Conversely, cells that refuse to die when expected can lead to cancer. So scientists interested in fighting cancer have been keenly interested in learning the details of “programmed cell death.” They want to understand what happens when this process goes awry and identify new targets for anticancer drugs. Continue reading

Progress on detecting glucose levels in saliva: New biochip sensor

Progress on detecting glucose levels in saliva: New biochip sensor

Researchers from Brown University have developed a new biochip sensor that can selectively measure concentrations of glucose in a complex solution similar to human saliva. The advance is an important step toward a device that would enable people with diabetes to test their glucose levels without drawing blood. The new chip makes use of a series of specific chemical reactions combined with plasmonic interferometry, a means of detecting chemical signature of compounds using light Continue reading

Measuring fine dust concentration via smartphone

Measuring fine dust concentration via smartphone

Big cities in the smog: Photos from Beijing and, more recently, Paris clearly illustrate the extent of fine dust pollution. But what about our direct environment? What is the pollution concentration near our favorite jogging route? Continue reading

Going beyond the surface: New tech could take light-based cancer treatment deep inside the body

Going beyond the surface: New tech could take light-based cancer treatment deep inside the body

Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is an effective treatment for easily accessible tumors such as oral and skin cancer. But the procedure, which uses lasers to activate special drugs called photosensitizing agents, isn’t adept at fighting cancer deep inside the body. Thankfully, that’s changing due to new technology that could bring PDT into areas of the body which were previously inaccessible. Continue reading