Bioengineering

Eye implant developed at Stanford could lead to better glaucoma treatments

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Reducing internal eye pressure is currently the only way to treat glaucoma. A tiny eye implant developed by Stephen Quake's lab could pair with a smartphone to improve the way doctors measure and reduce a patient's eye pressure.

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Implant Could Help Treat Glaucoma
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Eye implant developed at Stanford could help regulate pressure inside the eye.

For the 2.2 million Americans battling glaucoma, the main course of action for staving off blindness involves weekly visits to eye specialists who monitor – and control – increasing pressure within the eye.

Bioengineer Stephen Quake and collaborators have developed an eye implant that could help stave off blindness caused by glaucoma.

Last modified Mon, 25 Aug, 2014 at 12:32

Stanford bioengineers close to brewing painkillers without using opium from poppies

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A decade-long effort in genetic engineering is close to creating yeast that makes palliative medicines in stainless steel vats.

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Painkillers without opium
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Stanford bioengineers are close to creating yeast that makes palliative medicines.

For centuries poppy plants have been grown to provide opium, the compound from which morphine and other important medicines such as oxycodone are derived.

Now bioengineers at Stanford have hacked the DNA of yeast and reprogrammed these simple cells to make opioid-based medicines through a sophisticated extension of the basic brewing process that makes beer.

Last modified Mon, 25 Aug, 2014 at 9:32

Stanford bioengineer named a top innovator by Technology Review

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Manu Prakash honored for 'frugal science' initiatives, creating instruments that make scientific exploration inexpensive.

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Prakash named top innovator
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Technology Review honors bioengineer Manu Prakash for 'frugal science.'

Technology Review has named Manu Prakash, assistant professor of bioengineering, to its annual TR35 list honoring the year’s top young innovators. The magazine honored Prakash for greatly reducing the cost of scientific exploration through his numerous inventions such as a 55-cent folding microscope and a $5 chemistry lab.

Last modified Wed, 20 Aug, 2014 at 11:04

Stanford bioengineers create remote-controlled nanoscale protein motors

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A team led by Assistant Professor Zev Bryant builds molecular motors to further the study of cell function.

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Molecular Motors
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Stanford bioengineers create remote-controlled nanoscale protein motors.

In every cell in your body, tiny protein motors are toiling away to keep you going. Moving muscles, dividing cells, twisting DNA – they are the workhorses of biology. But there is still uncertainty about how they function. To help biologists in the quest to know more, a team of Stanford bioengineers has designed a suite of protein motors that can be controlled remotely by light.

Last modified Tue, 5 Aug, 2014 at 10:00

Drew Endy discusses what bioengineers should be vibrating about

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At TEDx Stanford, the associate professor of bioengineering talks about where genetic engineering should be going.

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Good Vibrations
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Associate Professor Drew Endy discusses what bioengineers should be buzzing about.

 

In a talk at TEDx Stanford, Drew Endy, associate professor of bioengineering talks about the potential of bioengineering and the challenge of deciding how to use it.

Last modified Thu, 26 Jun, 2014 at 13:20

Stanford bioengineers make it easier to see inner workings of the brain

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Bio-X scientists have improved on their original technique for peering into the intact brain, making it more reliable and safer. The results could help scientists unravel the inner connections of how thoughts, memories or diseases arise.

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Seeing Inside the Brain
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Stanford bioengineers make it easier to see inner workings of the brain.

Last year Karl Deisseroth, a Stanford professor of bioengineering and of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, announced a new way of peering into a brain – removed from the body – that provided spectacular fly-through views of its inner connections. Since then laboratories around the world have begun using the technique, called CLARITY, with some success, to better understand the brain's wiring.

Last modified Fri, 20 Jun, 2014 at 17:07

Stanford bioengineers invent a way to speed up drug discovery

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New technique can be used in living cells to track a key family of proteins that regulate health or cause disease.

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Technique Can Speed Drug Discovery
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New method can be used in living cells to track a key family of proteins that regulate health or cause disease.

Think of the human body as an intricate machine whose working parts are proteins: molecules that change shape to enable our organs and tissues to perform tasks such as breathing, eating or thinking.

Of the millions of proteins, 500 in the kinase family are particularly important to drug discovery. Kinases are messengers: They deliver signals that regulate and orchestrate the actions of other proteins. Proper kinase activity maintains health. Irregular activity is linked to cancer and other diseases. For this reason many drugs seek either to boost or suppress kinase activity.

Last modified Thu, 19 Jun, 2014 at 14:23

New Stanford blood test identifies heart-transplant rejection earlier than biopsy can

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Noninvasive test detects donor DNA in a recipient's blood when a transplanted heart is being rejected.

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New Test for Heart-Transplant Rejection
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Stanford team's blood test detects donor DNA in a recipient's blood.

Stanford University researchers have devised a noninvasive way to detect heart-transplant rejection weeks or months earlier than previously possible. The test, which relies on the detection of increasing amounts of the donor’s DNA in the blood of the recipient, does not require the removal of any heart tissue.

Last modified Wed, 18 Jun, 2014 at 11:09

Stanford scientists tie social behavior to activity in specific brain circuit in mice

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The new findings could throw light on psychiatric disorders marked by impaired social interaction such as autism, social anxiety, schizophrenia and depression.

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Social Behavior and Brain Circuits
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Stanford scientists tie social impulses to activity in a specific brain circuit.

A team of Stanford University investigators has linked a particular brain circuit to mammals’ tendency to interact socially. Stimulating this circuit – one among millions in the brain – instantly increases a mouse’s appetite for getting to know a strange mouse, while inhibiting it shuts down its drive to socialize with the stranger.

Last modified Thu, 19 Jun, 2014 at 14:24

Bioengineering and chemical engineering building at Stanford named for gifts from Ram and Vijay Shriram

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$61 million in support from university trustee and his wife names the Shriram Center for Bioengineering & Chemical Engineering and endows the departmental chair.

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Introducing the Shriram Center
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Bioengineering and chemical engineering building at Stanford named for gifts from Ram and Vijay Shriram

Stanford University will name a new home for bioengineering and chemical engineering in recognition of gifts from university trustee Kavitark "Ram" Shriram and his wife, Vidjealatchoumy "Vijay" Shriram. The couple have provided $57 million in support for the new Shriram Center for Bioengineering & Chemical Engineering, the fourth and final building in the university's new Science and Engineering Quad. The Shrirams also will endow the departmental chair in the Department of Bioengineering, bringing their total philanthropic support in this area to $61 million.

Last modified Tue, 10 Jun, 2014 at 12:08