Below are some miscellaneous science and technology stories about the cutting edges of various things.
For a kids’ science magazine, my husband (a physicist) and I collaborated on a story about current technology relating to invisibility cloaks. (Spoiler: not feasible at the moment.)
At the time of this story, there were several possible paths to instant DNA analysis. This article explored what it would take to bring such a product to market. The handheld part is still in the future (though not very far), but turnaround times are steadily getting shorter.
There’s a mountain of genomic data out there, and it’s only getting bigger. This story looks at the tribulations of mouse researchers trying to figure out what their colleagues across the world have already discovered about the mouse genome.
A profile of protein analysis company Structural Genomix.
Go Fish! (PDF)
Scientists use fish–in the wild, in aquaria, and in fossil form–to study evolution
Profile of a researcher focusing on the newly emerging superbug S. maltophilia.
Imagine (University of Chicago Medicine)
A five-year-old suffers 60 to 100 seizures a day until the implantation of a vagus nerve stimulator (VNS) gives him back his life.
I wrote this story when I was living in Sweden in the 1990s, about a start-up in a nearby city. The company was bought up by a Swiss restorative dentistry company, and the protein is still around with its original brand name.
This story describes recent advances in magnetic resonance imaging that point the way to a reliable marker for Parkinson disease, which is usually diagnosed almost solely through medical history and clinical findings like muscle stiffness and tremors. An image-based diagnostic technique would help clinicians distinguish early Parkinson disease from other conditions that share similar symptoms and could also help track disease progression and measure the effectiveness of drugs and other treatments currently used to manage the symptoms.
This story discusses two studies that will track athletes–college football players and adult amateur soccer players–to identify the long-term effects of sports-related head injuries, even relatively minor ones.
Profile of a company that makes tiny batteries for medical implants
Profile of a company working on an implantable retina chip to help the blind see.