Stanford University Medical Center researchers have identified a protein responsible for ensuring correct skull growth in newborn mice. The protein, called Noggin, inhibits fusion of bony plates in the skull until developmentally appropriate. The scientists hope that Noggin may one day replace surgery as a way to treat premature skull fusion in infants.
"About 1 in 2,000 children has growth plates in their skull that fuse prematurely," said Michael Longaker, MD. "The brain is rapidly expanding in size during the first two years of life. If the brains container - the skull - cant expand in a similar fashion, you have a big problem." Left untreated, the condition can lead to mental retardation, blindness and seizures, as well as a severely misshapen head.
Longaker, a pediatric craniofacial surgeon at Lucile Packard Childrens Hospital and a professor of surgery at the School of Medicine, can correct the defect by removing sections of fused bone from an infants skull. But the operation is complex. And because its difficult to accurately predict how much room is needed for expansion, the procedure may need to be repeated as the brain grows.
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Solar cells based on perovskite compounds could soon make electricity generation from sunlight even more efficient and cheaper. The laboratory efficiency of these perovskite solar cells already exceeds that of the well-known silicon solar cells. An international team led by Stefan Weber from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz has found microscopic structures in perovskite crystals that can guide the charge transport in the solar cell. Clever alignment of these "electron highways" could make perovskite solar cells even more powerful.
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Empa researchers have succeeded in applying aerogels to microelectronics: Aerogels based on cellulose nanofibers can effectively shield electromagnetic radiation over a wide frequency range – and they are unrivalled in terms of weight.
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Live event – July 1, 2020 - 11:00 to 11:45 (CET)
"Automation in Aerospace Industry @ Fraunhofer IFAM"
The Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM l Stade is presenting its forward-looking R&D portfolio for the first time at...
With an X-ray experiment at the European Synchrotron ESRF in Grenoble (France), Empa researchers were able to demonstrate how well their real-time acoustic monitoring of laser weld seams works. With almost 90 percent reliability, they detected the formation of unwanted pores that impair the quality of weld seams. Thanks to a special evaluation method based on artificial intelligence (AI), the detection process is completed in just 70 milliseconds.
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