University of Leeds biologists have made an important breakthrough in developing the drugs of the future. Their work on targeting individual genes for more effective and cheaper drug testing opens the way to treatments for a huge range of diseases including diabetes and atherosclerosis, which leads to strokes and heart attacks.
Making new pharmacological ‘tools’ to explore individual genes is an enormous challenge, but vital for public health. “Testing specific genes gives us fundamental knowledge on how we could predict and prevent disease,” said Professor David Beech. “It also plays the crucial role of confirming valid gene ‘targets’ before the pharmaceuticals industry carries out complex and expensive research and development. The problem is that tools which hit just one gene-product - or protein - are extremely rare.”
The University’s £5m integrative membrane biology centre, which opened in October, has become a hub for research on ion channels – ‘doors’ controlling the movement of ions including sodium and calcium into the body’s cells. Abnormalities in these channels cause many diseases, so they are often the focus of drugs.
Claire Jones | alfa
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Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.
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Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
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In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
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By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
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