Squeezing all the elements of a biology experiment onto a dime-sized chip promises to speed up everything from the discovery of new drugs to the creation of biotech crops. But fabricating the tiny mechanical parts needed to, say, inject individual cells with genes or drug molecules has not been easy. Engineers at Sandia National Laboratories have created a silicon chip containing microscopic “jaws” with tiny teeth that move back and forth across a chip’s microscopic channels (photo). Biologists could use the jaws to gently puncture as many as 10 cells flowing through a channel each second-a dramatic improvement over conventional methods that require manual piercing of cells, one at a time. The Sandia engineers are working on replacing the teeth on the jaws with hollow silicon needles. Needles could simultaneously pierce the cells and deliver a gene conferring a desired trait, for example, or a candidate drug molecule. Sandia engineer Jay Jakubczak hopes to license the technology to biotech firms within a year.
A quick guide to the most important AI law you’ve never heard of
The European Union is planning new legislation aimed at curbing the worst harms associated with artificial intelligence.
It will soon be easy for self-driving cars to hide in plain sight. We shouldn’t let them.
If they ever hit our roads for real, other drivers need to know exactly what they are.
This is the first image of the black hole at the center of our galaxy
The stunning image was made possible by linking eight existing radio observatories across the globe.
The gene-edited pig heart given to a dying patient was infected with a pig virus
The first transplant of a genetically-modified pig heart into a human may have ended prematurely because of a well-known—and avoidable—risk.
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