Someday, your doctor may try to rip holes in your cells to get drugs inside. Scientists have long known that ultrasound (at lower frequencies than the ones used for medical imaging) helps get drugs inside cells, but these photos, of prostate cancer cells, are the first to show the process in action. Using several types of microscopy, researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology showed that ultrasound waves punched holes in the cells’ membranes. The pressure of the ultrasound creates tiny bubbles, says Mark Prausnitz, the professor in the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering who led the work. When the bubbles burst, a wave of fluid movement opens up a small breach. The damage is temporary: researchers found that within minutes, the cells could manufacture and dispatch tiny spheres of membrane material that would patch the holes. The ultrasound technique could become a way to target delivery of gene therapy or chemotherapy to specific tissues, or to transport large-molecule drugs that can’t otherwise pass through cell membranes. Ultrasound wands could be pressed against the skin, with their energy focused on specific internal tissues. Safety studies are likely to take several years, says Prausnitz, but if all goes well, this could become an approved procedure in five to ten years.
Geoffrey Hinton tells us why he’s now scared of the tech he helped build
“I have suddenly switched my views on whether these things are going to be more intelligent than us.”
Meet the people who use Notion to plan their whole lives
The workplace tool’s appeal extends far beyond organizing work projects. Many users find it’s just as useful for managing their free time.
Learning to code isn’t enough
Historically, learn-to-code efforts have provided opportunities for the few, but new efforts are aiming to be inclusive.
Deep learning pioneer Geoffrey Hinton has quit Google
Hinton will be speaking at EmTech Digital on Wednesday.
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