Research News

February 29, 2016

Engineered Swarmbots Rely on Peers for Survival

Duke University researchers have engineered microbes that can’t run away from home; those that do will quickly die without protective proteins produced by their peers. Dubbed “swarmbots” for their ability to survive in a crowd, the system could be used as a safeguard to stop genetically modified [...]

February 23, 2016

Pratt Pouch Project Funded in Ecuador

GSK and Save the Children have awarded $226,600 to a program that uses a Duke innovation to help prevent mothers from passing HIV to their newborn children in Ecuador. The project uses a product dubbed the “Pratt Pouch”—which looks similar to a fast-food ketchup packet—to deliver anti-HIV [...]

February 18, 2016

Rapidly Building Arteries that Produce Biochemical Signals

Duke engineers have developed a technique to make artificial arteries that naturally produce biochemical signals vital to their functions. The technique is also ten times faster than current methods for tissue engineering of blood vessels. Arterial walls have multiple layers of cells, including the [...]

February 08, 2016

West, Hawkins, Johnson Elected to the National Academy of Engineering

Jennifer West, the Fitzpatrick Family University Professor of Engineering at Duke University, has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE)—one of the highest professional distinctions for engineers. Also among the 80 new members announced by the NAE today are Kristina Johnson, [...]

February 04, 2016

How Gut Inflammation Sparks Colon Cancer

Chronic inflammation in the gut increases the risk of colon cancer by as much as 500 percent, and now Duke University researchers think they know why. Their new study points to a biomarker in the cellular machinery that could not only serve as an early warning of colon cancer, but potentially be [...]

January 05, 2016

Traveling Salesman Uncorks Synthetic Biology Bottleneck

Researchers have created a computer program that will open a challenging field in synthetic biology to the entire world. In the past decade, billions of dollars have been spent on technology that can quickly and inexpensively read and write DNA to synthesize and manipulate polypeptides and proteins [...]

January 04, 2016

CRISPR Treats Genetic Disorder in Adult Mammal

Researchers have used CRISPR to treat an adult mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. This marks the first time that CRISPR has successfully treated a genetic disease inside a fully developed living mammal with a strategy that has the potential to be translated to human therapy. Researchers [...]

November 23, 2015

An Eagle-Eye, Real-Time View of Neural Activity

Researchers have devised a way to watch the details of your neurons at work. Every second of every day, the 100 billion neurons in your brain are capable of firing off a burst of electricity called an action potential up to 100 times per second. For neurologists trying to study how this [...]

October 28, 2015

Trying a New Pulse for Pain Relief

For people with incurable chronic pain, a small device that periodically stimulates the spinal cord with a small electric pulse can bring much needed relief. But the implantable devices don’t work for everyone. And when they do work, only about 60 percent of patients experience a halving of pain [...]

October 26, 2015

CRISPR Brings Precise Control to Gene Expression

Researchers have demonstrated the exceptional specificity of a new way to switch sequences of the human genome on or off without editing the underlying genetic code. Originally discovered as an antiviral system in bacteria, CRISPR/Cas9 is one of the hottest topics in genetic research today. By [...]

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