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CellScope Project To Bring Low-Cost Lab Tools To The Field

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, are proving that a camera phone can capture far more than photos of people or pets at play. They have now developed a cell phone microscope, or CellScope, that not only takes color images of malaria parasites, but of tuberculosis bacteria labeled with fluorescent markers. The prototype CellScope, described in the July 22 issue of the online journal PLoS ONE, moves a major step forward in taking clinical microscopy out of specialized laboratories and into field settings for disease screening and diagnoses. "The same regions of the world that lack access to adequate health facilities are, paradoxically, well-served by mobile phone networks, " said Dan Fletcher, UC Berkeley associate professor of bioengineering and head of the research team developing the CellScope.

Gore Receives FDA Approval For Next Generation Of Large Diameter GORE VIABAHN R Endoprosthesis With Heparin Bioactive Surface

W. L. Gore & Associates (Gore) today announced that it has received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to market the most up-to-date design for the GORE VIABAHN® Endoprosthesis for device diameters 9 - 13 mm. The next generation of the large diameter product enables streamlined deployment on the same 0.035" guidewire and TIP to HUB direction as the 5 - 8 mm sizes. Additional modifications to the large diameter GORE VIABAHN Endoprosthesis include radial device expansion, a contoured proximal edge and a lower profile that is now available for most sizes. "The self-expanding, covered, GORE VIABAHN Endoprosthesis offers elegant and versatile endovascular solutions to difficult vascular problems, " said Michael B.

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John Muir Health Foundation Funds Advanced Robotic Technology For Minimally Invasive Surgery

John Muir Health Foundation, the charitable fundraising organization for all John Muir Health programs and services, has provided funding to enable John Muir Health to purchase two advanced high definition daVinci® Surgical Systems for its Walnut Creek and Concord campuses. Surgeons at John Muir Heath will use the daVinci® "robots" for a variety of minimally invasive urological, gynecological, gynecologic/oncologic and colorectal treatments. "Smaller gifts add up, and thanks to the generous giving of our local community, the Foundation was able to provide the funds to help advance the hospital's robotic-assisted surgeries, " said Milt Smith, president of the John Muir Health Foundation.

Biomedical Imaging: Twinkling Nanostars Cast New Light

Purdue University researchers have created magnetically responsive gold nanostars that may offer a new approach to biomedical imaging. The nanostars gyrate when exposed to a rotating magnetic field and can scatter light to produce a pulsating or "twinkling" effect. This twinkling allows them to stand out more clearly from noisy backgrounds like those found in biological tissue. Alexander Wei, a professor of chemistry, and Kenneth Ritchie, an associate professor of physics, led the team that created the new gyromagnetic imaging method. "This is a very different approach to enhancing contrast in optical imaging, " said Wei, who also is a member of the Purdue University Center for Cancer Research and the Oncological Sciences Center.

Protons In The War On Cancer

Latest research on proton therapy highlights medical physics meeting next week in Anaheim Proton therapy -- which uses beams of the subatomic particles to treat cancer -- is a hot topic at this year's American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) meeting, which takes place from July 26 - 30 in Anaheim, CA. Ways to make the technology more effective, cheaper, and smaller will be discussed, and news of research on proton computed tomography (proton CT) -- which uses protons to image the body's interior -- will be unveiled to a wide audience for the first time. The reason proton beams are better for some types of cancer than other therapeutic forms of radiation, such as X-rays, is that well-aimed energetic protons deposit more of their energy inside cancerous tissue and less in neighboring healthy tissue.

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Practice Makes Perfect - Motor Memory Possible For Neuroprosthetic Control

"Practice makes perfect" is the maxim drummed into students struggling to learn a new motor skill - be it riding a bike or developing a killer backhand in tennis. In order to become proficient in any motor task, all that practice must eventually modify the performer's nervous system so that stable motor memories of the physical actions are formed. In this week's issue of PLoS Biology, new research reveals that macaque monkeys can achieve a kind of consolidation of motor memory when using a neuroprosthetic device to complete a motor action. The finding could have a role in increasing the ease with which physically disabled people can master the control of artificial limbs and other disembodied devices.

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