Heart muscle is never replaced if it dies in a heart attack. Muscle cells grown from stem cells can briefly help broken hearts. Could new approaches make the healing long-term?
Bad feet? Aching back? Impacted wisdom teeth? Blame balky designs inherited from your relatives. How has evolution equipped — or mal-equipped — us for modern life? How do big brains support culture that supports big brains?
A combined nerve-graft and enzyme treatment restored breathing to 9 of 11 rats. The bacterial enzyme dissolves a molecule that separates tissues and prevents growth of nerves and blood vessels. Could this lead to the treatment that finally breaks the logjam in spinal-cord repair?
Long ago, nature devised the hinge and ball and socket for appendages like legs and wings. The screw is the latest simple machine to be discovered in nature. Why do weevils, a type of beetle, have a screw? How does it help weevils survive their 3-D world?
Aware that a small amount of function often returns after a stroke, neurologists have helped neurons recover after an experimental stroke. Mice that got a candidate drug that blocks GABA, the major inhibitory neurotransmitter, recovered up to half of their motor control. In the future, can we treat strokes that cannot be prevented?
A federal court has thrown the field of embryonic stem cell research into confusion. Last week, research that destroys embryos could not get federal bucks — even if those embryos were doomed or destroyed years ago. This week, it can. How is the legal yo-yo affecting researchers — and desperate patients?
Salamanders and fish can regrow perfect limbs and fins after amputation. We can’t grow a replacement arm, but can the salamander’s natural regeneration teach about faster wound healing? The latest research on limb regeneration suggests growth factors and equipment that could be ready for the clinic in a few years.
Pres. Obama has removed some limits on studies of cells that can become any body cell. What was lost in eight years of limits on embryonic stem cells? What’s ahead?
Did the arrival of 4,000,000,000,000,000,000 tons of space junk start the formation of organic molecules roughly 4 billion years ago? “Could be,” says a new study from Japan…
Dry macular degeneration affects 10+m Americans. After 10 years of research, embryonic stem cells approach the clinic!
Lenses cannot project a perfect image on the flat back of a camera, so images are distorted at the edges. A revolutionary camera solves this problem by curving the light detector.
Brain electrodes allow monkeys to move robot arm and feed themselves. Experiment proves it’s possible to bypass spinal cord to create simple motion.
After decades of effort, gene replacement brings eyesight to the blind. How did it work? What does animal research say about gene therapy for curing cancer, reducing pain or reversing muscular dystrophy? Why has gene therapy taken so long?
Scientists learn to make human embryonic stem cells without using eggs, embryos, or legal hassles. Adding four genes to skin cells did the trick.
In 1997, Dolly was BIG NEWS. What did Dolly teach? Why did cloning attract so many oddballs, and what is the status of reproductive cloning and therapeutic cloning? The Why Files honors Dolly with a 10-year lookback.