Swarms could one day search the depths of fresh and saltwater
Researchers at Case Western Reserve University have combined tissues from a sea slug with flexible 3-D printed components to build “biohybrid” robots that crawl like sea turtles on the beach.
A muscle from the slug’s mouth provides the movement, which is currently controlled by an external electrical field. However, future iterations of the device will include ganglia, bundles of neurons and nerves that normally conduct signals to the muscle as the slug feeds, as an organic controller.
The researchers also manipulated collagen from the slug’s skin to build an organic scaffold to be tested in new versions of the robot.
In the future, swarms of biohybrid robots could be released for such tasks as locating the source of a toxic leak in a pond that would send animals fleeing, the scientists say. Or they could search the ocean floor for a black box flight data recorder, a potentially long process that may leave current robots stilled with dead batteries.
“We’re building a living machine—a biohybrid robot that’s not completely organic—yet,” said Victoria Webster, a PhD student who is leading the research. Webster will discuss mining the sea slug for materials and constructing the hybrid, which is a little under 2 inches long, at the Living Machines conference in Edinburgh, Scotland, this week.
Case Western Reserve University (also known as Case Western Reserve, Case Western, Case, Reserve, and CWRU) is a private research university in Cleveland, Ohio, USA.
The university was created in 1967 by the federation of Case Institute of Technology (founded in 1881 by Leonard Case Jr.) and Western Reserve University (founded in 1826 in the area that was once the Connecticut Western Reserve). TIME magazine described the merger as the creation of “Cleveland’s Big-Leaguer” university.
In U.S. News & World Report’s 2013 rankings, Case Western Reserve’s undergraduate program ranked 37th among national universities. The University is associated with 16 Nobel Laureates. Other notable alumni include Paul Buchheit, creator and lead developer of Gmail; Craig Newmark, founder of craigslist.org; and Peter Tippett, who developed the anti-virus software, Vaccine, which Symantec purchased and turned into the popular Norton AntiVirus. Case Western Reserve is particularly well known for its medical school, dental school, law school, Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Department of Biomedical Engineering and its biomedical teaching and research capabilities. Case Western is a member of the Association of American Universities.
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Case Western Reserve University research articles from Innovation Toronto
- Researchers Build a Crawling Robot From Sea Slug Parts and a 3-D Printed Body – July 23, 2016
- Researchers block common colon cancer tumor type in mice – clinical trial starts in August – July 21, 2016
- Simple shell of plant virus sparks immune response against cancer – December 23, 2015
- CWRU researchers tailor flexible microsupercapacitors for wearable electronics – December 17, 2015
- New nanomaterial maintains conductivity in three dimensions – September 5, 2015
- CWRU researchers efficiently charge a lithium-ion battery with solar cell — August 28, 2015
- New drug triggers tissue regeneration: Faster regrowth and healing of damaged tissues – June 15, 2015
- Another Good Step Forward for Clean Energy – February 28, 2015
- Barrier breaking drug may lead to spinal cord injury treatments – December 11, 2014
- Flexible supercapacitor could have big advantages over batteries for wearable devices – May 12, 2014
- In Case You Wondered, a Real Human Wrote This Column
- Engineering Researchers Report On Nanoscale Energy-Efficient Switching Devices
- Neural prosthesis restores behavior after brain injury
- Vivax malaria may be evolving around natural defense
- CWRU makes nanodiamonds at atmospheric pressure and near room temperature
- Feds fund concept for cheaper, better titanium made in U.S.
- CWRU philosopher examines the hypothesis vs. exploratory funding divide
- First-Ever Therapeutic Offers Hope for Improving Blood Transfusions
- Metal-free catalyst outperforms platinum in fuel cell
- New Nerve and Muscle Interfaces Aid Wounded Warrior Amputees
- Vitamin E Identified as Potential Weapon Against Obesity
- Ordinary Skin Cells Morphed into Functional Brain Cells
- New MRI Technology Diagnoses in Seconds Rather than Hours
- New MRI method fingerprints tissues and diseases
- Breakthrough in Doubling the Survival Rate of Internal Injuries
- Machine Counterpart: Nature’s New Creatures
- Alzheimer’s Breakthrough – Part 2
- Patients Clamor for Cancer Drug That Shows Promise for Alzheimer’s in Mice
- Drug Quickly Reverses Alzheimer’s Symptoms in Mice
- Powering insect cyborgs with an implantable biofuel cell
- Carbon nanotube-reinforced polyurethane could make for bigger and better wind turbines
- New Way to Treat Common Hospital-Acquired Infection
- Artificial Lung Mimics Real Organ’s Design and Efficiency
- Heal thyself: Rubbery polymer self-repairs under light exposure
- Funding to boost development of high-energy density capacitors for hybrids and EVs
- An old idea may help solve the problem of plastic waste
- Intergalactic Controversy
- Telescope to track space junk using youth radio station
- Hashtag Health
- Scientists identify the world’s most irreplaceable protected areas
- Cleaner Than Coal? Wood Power Makes a Comeback
- Beyond antibiotics: “PPMOs” offer new approach to bacterial infection
- New Treatment for “Arthritis of the Spine” Prevents Paralysis
- 4.4 million jobs will be created worldwide to support Big Data by 2015
- Oxygen – key to most life – decelerates many cancer tumors when combined with radiation therapy
- Desktop Printing at the Nano Level
- Researchers describe potential for MERS coronavirus to spread internationally after mass gatherings in the Middle East this summer and fall
- Cyborgs, a fusion of man and machine
- Keeping Networks Under Control
- China’s Twitter Revolution is Slow in Coming
- Efforts to Resuscitate Extinct Species May Spawn a New Era of the Hybrid
- Early warning system provides four-month forecast of malaria epidemics in northwest India
- Breakthrough nanoparticle halts multiple sclerosis
- As Dengue Fever Sweeps India, a Slow Response Stirs Experts’ Fears
- Artificial Intelligence Used to Home In on New Fossil Sites
- Study offers new hope for increasing global food production, reducing environmental impact of agriculture
- Breast Cancer
- The Moral Hazard of Drones
- Local grid energy storage set to complement solar feed-ins
- How to Stop Wildlife Poachers
- Emergence of Artemisinin Resistance On Thai-Myanmar Border Raises Spectre of Untreatable Malaria
- Small modular nuclear reactors – the future of energy?
- Do Drones Undermine Democracy?
- More Companies Bypassing Electric Grid Inefficiencies With Fuel Cells
- New method may lead to improved detection of nuclear materials
- Deep Thinking About the Future of Food
- Restoring Blood Flow After a Heart Attack
- Chilling foam and gel in spray-cans cool down Japan this summer
- Envion Oil Generator turns plastic waste into oil
- The Great Green Wall: African Farmers Beat Back Drought and Climate Change with Trees
- Japan Goes From Dynamic to Disheartened
- Is the Flooding in Pakistan a Climate Change Disaster?
- Haier Power Pad takes energy from shower water and returns it to hot water system
- Doomsayers Beware, a Bright Future Beckons
- Elusive Goal of Greening U.S. Energy
Findings lay groundwork for human clinical trial planned for August 2016
A new scientific study has identified why colorectal cancer cells depend on a specific nutrient, and a way to starve them of it. Over one million men and women are living with colorectal cancer in the United States. The National Cancer Institute estimates 4.5% of all men and women will be diagnosed with the cancer during their lifetime, making it the third most common non-skin cancer.
In the study published online in Nature Communications, researchers showed how certain colorectal cancer cells reprogram their metabolism using glutamine, a non-essential amino acid. Many cancer cells rely on glutamine to survive. How they become so dependent on the molecule is hotly debated in the field.
Researchers studied a subset of colorectal cancer cells containing a genetic mutation called PIK3CA. This mutation is located in a gene critical for cell division and movement, and is found in approximately one third of all colorectal cancers. The mutation is also the most commonly identified genetic mutation across all cancers, making the results of the study universally appealing.
An international team of scientists has developed what may be the first one-step process for making seamless carbon-based nanomaterials that possess superior thermal, electrical and mechanical properties in three dimensions.
The research holds potential for increased energy storage in high efficiency batteries and supercapacitors, increasing the efficiency of energy conversion in solar cells, for lightweight thermal coatings and more. The study is published today (Sept. 4) in the online journal Science Advances.
In early testing, a three-dimensional (3D) fiber-like supercapacitor made with the uninterrupted fibers of carbon nanotubes and graphene matched or bettered–by a factor of four–the reported record-high capacities for this type of device.
Used as a counter electrode in a dye-sensitized solar cell, the material enabled the cell to convert power with up to 6.8 percent efficiency and more than doubled the performance of an identical cell that instead used an expensive platinum wire counter electrode.