Could biotechnology stop aging? The answer may be yes, no, or something in between, depending on who is being asked and what it means to “stop” aging. For those at one end of the spectrum— life extension seekers (including some deep-pocketed Silicon Valley investors)—the answer is “yes.” They believe biotechnology will lengthen human life spans to range anywhere from 1,000 years to forever. But for most, the answer is more nuanced and involves a dream of extended healthspan, rather than immortality.
The second NeuroCAS event in October 2018 was attended by researchers and entrepreneurs across the fields of bio-signals and neurotechnology. This collaborative workshop provided an opportunity for those within the larger biomedical circuits and systems community interested in brain activity and neurotechnology to interact, hear perspectives outside of their community, and discuss current challenges as well as new opportunities across the fields of electrocorticography and brain-body axis interfaces.
Most genetic testing requires a doctor’s prescription. In April 2017, however, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave genetics company 23andMe the go-ahead to sell DNA tests assessing the user’s level of risk for ten health conditions, including Parkinson’s disease and late-onset Alzheimer’s disease.
Around 2008, endoscopists David Carr-Locke and Petros Benias began to notice an unfamiliar pattern in the bile duct during endomicroscopy, which didn’t look like anything they knew from pathology.
Innovative researchers are employing flexible, rather than rigid materials in combination with new design approaches as part of the emerging field of biomedical soft robotics. The idea is to generate tools that conform to and interact with the human body in a much more natural and lightweight way, providing better treatment options for clinicians and translating into better outcomes for patients.
Maintaining sterility in emergency and operating rooms can be challenging, especially in cases of highly infectious disease outbreaks or toxic spills. A simple nick in a surgical glove could have deadly consequences. But, now, a variety of promising new materials in development may lead to everything from self-healing gloves and bandages to bone, blood vessel, and muscle scaffolding implants that could repair themselves the way tissues do.
Nuclear medicine has come a long way in a short time. Over the past three decades alone, it has taken two major steps forward and is now on the precipice of yet another advance that could begin to have a real impact on cancer care within the year.
Of the key technologies listed as “ready to propel industries and transform our world” in the 2017 report Top 50 Emerging Technologies: Growth Opportunities of Strategic Imperative, most fall under the scope of BME. Issued by the major market research and analysis company Frost and Sullivan, the report’s findings are no surprise to those who are heavily invested in this field.
Genetic testing services abound, but consumers opting to use them should be aware of the pitfalls.
In early September—when the rains from Hurricane Harvey finally subsided in Houston, Texas—Seth Pedersen loaded up his pickup truck with sample collection kits, waders, rubber boots, buckets, and a small aluminum fishing boat. Pedersen, a second year graduate student in environmental engineering at Rice University, was on a mission to test the water in homes flooded by Hurricane Harvey.