By selectively manipulating how DNA issues biological commands, Stanford bioengineers have developed a tool that could prove useful in future gene therapies.
Biology relies upon the precise activation of specific genes to work properly. If that sequence gets out of whack, or one gene turns on only partially, the outcome can often lead to a disease.
Now, bioengineers at Stanford and other universities have developed a sort of programmable genetic code that allows them to preferentially activate or deactivate genes in living cells. The work is published in the current issue of Cell, and could help usher in a new generation of gene therapies.
Last modified Mon, 26 Jan, 2015 at 13:13
Although the mechanisms of concussions are still being revealed, David Camarillo's lab has measured the forces imparted on the brain in greater detail than ever before. The results could eventually lead to better injury detection and prevention.
More than 40 million people worldwide suffer from concussions each year, but scientists are just beginning to understand the traumatic forces that cause the injury.
Now a team of engineers and physicians at Stanford has provided the first-ever measurements of all the acceleration forces imparted on the brain during a diagnosed concussion. The findings could lead to better injury detection or toward developing safer protective gear.
Last modified Thu, 8 Jan, 2015 at 9:36
In one experiment bioengineers found that larger genetic mutants fared better, and in a second study they created viable cells using non-standard parts.
Cells are the fundamental units of life, but the rules that govern their successful growth and reproduction have remained mysterious.
Now, in one experiment, Stanford bioengineers show that bigger bacterial cells have an advantage over smaller ones. In a second study, they discovered that experimental microbes were able grow as fast as normal cells even with replacement parts from another species.
Last modified Wed, 17 Dec, 2014 at 14:39
Stanford University will lead a 100-year effort to study the long-term implications of artificial intelligence in all aspects of life.
Stanford University has invited leading thinkers from several institutions to begin a 100-year effort to study and anticipate how the effects of artificial intelligence will ripple through every aspect of how people work, live and play.
This effort, called the One Hundred Year Study on Artificial Intelligence, or AI100, is the brainchild of computer scientist and Stanford alumnus Eric Horvitz, who, among other credits, is a former president of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence.
Last modified Thu, 18 Dec, 2014 at 9:58
Professor of bioengineering, of genetics and of biomedical informatics research, was elected for contributions in the field of bioinformatics.
Last modified Wed, 26 Nov, 2014 at 9:47
Stanford engineers developing miniature wireless device to create better way of studying chronic pain
A team of Stanford engineers is creating a small wireless device that will improve studies of chronic pain. The engineers hope to use what they learn to develop better therapies for the condition, which costs the economy $600 billion a year.
Ada Poon, a Stanford assistant professor of electrical engineering, is a master at building minuscule wireless devices that function in the body and can be powered remotely. Now, she and collaborators in bioengineering and anesthesia want to leverage this technology to develop a way of studying – and eventually developing treatments for – pain.
Last modified Wed, 8 Oct, 2014 at 12:59
Experimental therapy stopped the metastasis of breast and ovarian cancers in lab mice, pointing toward a safe and effective alternative to chemotherapy.
A team of Stanford researchers has developed a protein therapy that disrupts the process that causes cancer cells to break away from original tumor sites, travel through the bloodstream and start aggressive new growths elsewhere in the body.
This process, known as metastasis, can cause cancer to spread with deadly effect.
Last modified Thu, 25 Sep, 2014 at 9:12
Synthetic molecules hold great potential for revealing key processes that occur in cells, but the trial-and-error approach to their design has limited their effectiveness. Christina Smolke introduces a computer model that could provide better blueprints for building synthetic genetic tools.
Ever since Robert Hooke first described cells in 1665, scientists have been trying to figure out what is going on inside. One of the most exciting modern techniques involves injecting cells with synthetic genetic molecules that can passively report on the cell's behavior, or even alter its function.
A new computer model developed by Stanford engineers could not only improve the sensitivity and success of these synthetic molecules but also make them easier to design in the first place.
Last modified Tue, 16 Sep, 2014 at 8:53
An idea that started as a long shot – using light to control the activity of the brain – is now widely used at Stanford and worldwide to understand the brain's wiring and to unravel behavior.
Today optogenetics is a widely accepted technology for probing the inner workings of the brain, but a decade ago it was the source of some anxiety for then assistant professor of bioengineering Karl Deisseroth.
Last modified Fri, 12 Sep, 2014 at 14:09
A Stanford Bio-X team found that the brain's wiring is more complex than expected – one set of neural wires can trigger different reactions, depending on how it fires. The work opens new questions for scientists trying to map the brain's connections.
When Joanna Mattis started her doctoral project she expected to map how two regions of the brain connect. Instead, she got a surprise. It turns out the wiring diagram shifts depending on how you flip the switch.
"There's a lot of excitement about being able to make a map of the brain with the idea that if we could figure out how it is all connected we could understand how it works," Mattis said. "It turns out it's so much more dynamic than that."
Last modified Wed, 3 Sep, 2014 at 14:44