Working with guinea pigs, Johns Hopkins scientists have created what is believed to be the first biologic pacemaker for the heart, paving the way for a genetically engineered alternative to implanted electronic pacemakers. The advance, reported in the Sept. 12 issue of Nature, uses gene therapy to convert a small fraction of guinea pigs heart muscle cells into specialized "pacing" cells.
"We now can envision a day when it will be possible to recreate an individuals pacemaker cells or develop hybrid pacemakers -- part electronic and part biologic," says Eduardo Marbán, M.D., Ph.D., Michel Mirowski professor at Hopkins Institute of Molecular Cardiology, adding that clinical applications are still a few years away.
"Most applications of gene therapy try to cure a disease caused by a single defective or missing gene, but we used the cells genes as a tool box to tweak its function," adds Marbán. "This is akin to turning a clunky old car into a hot rod -- if you have the parts and expertise, it can be done."
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Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers
Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...
Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.
At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...
3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects
A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...
Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.
For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...
What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.
To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...
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