Science

The best from the science journals: Take your gene pills and put your smart bandage on

Here are some the most interesting research works published in the top science journals last week

Future RNA pill?

Published in Journal of the American Chemical Society

Soon you may get pills that can correct disorders in your genes. One step ahead of CRISPR, the technology named RIBOTAC (ribonuclease-targeting chimeras), uses newly designed small- molecules or enzyme complexes that can bind to the undesirable gene product or a specific RNA or RNA product and destroy it. The team says that this technology can be used to treat gene-driven diseases and even cancer.

Beneficial bismuth

Published in ACS Catalysis

Bismuth crystal

Bismuth crystal   | Photo Credit: University of Delaware

 

Meet bismuth, a humble chemical element you might have seen in the ingredients list on your makeup powder box. But now it has been reported that bismuth has a special or rather an unusual property — it can be used for the conversion of carbon dioxide into liquid fuels. This property, known as “catalytic plasticity”, makes inexpensive bismuth film an ideal catalyst in chemical reactions used to convert CO2 to other industrially applicable products.

Great grandpa lizard

Published in Nature

Inform your house lizards that archaeologists have now found the ancestor of all modern lizards and snakes. The fossil discovered from the Italian Alps mountains, was named Megachirella wachtleri, after researcher Mìchael Wachtler who discovered the specimen. Using high-resolution microfocus X-ray computed tomography data, CT scans, and DNA study, they found that it lived about 240 million years ago. More studies are planned to understand the evolutionary history of these creatures.

Colourful bandages

Published in Advanced Healthcare Materials

Gif source: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

When tying compression bandages or compression stockings, there is still no clear way to understand whether it is applying the correct pressure for the required medical condition. Researchers from MIT have now come up with a solution. They have developed special pressure-sensing photonic fibres that can be woven into the compression bandage. The colour of the bandage changes as it is stretched and a colour chart accompanying the bandage can help the caregiver understand if the desired pressure has been applied.

The sweet switch

Published in Nature

This 1885 photo shows a side view of a human brain.

This 1885 photo shows a side view of a human brain.   | Photo Credit: AP

 

Do you have a sweet tooth? A tiny tweak in your brain can change that. No, we wouldn’t do that. But researchers from the Zuckerman Institute at Columbia University have done that to a poor mouse. They erased its desire to eat sweet and the distaste for bitter foods by manipulating certain neurons in its brains — the amygdala precisely. They hope that this new technique can help in treating certain eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa.

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Printable version | May 28, 2020 12:37:33 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/the-best-from-the-science-journals-take-your-gene-pills-and-put-your-smart-bandage-on/article24046291.ece

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