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Latest Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering Stories

Tiny Robotic Insects Take Flight
2013-05-03 09:06:20

[ Watch the Video: Controlled Flight Of A Biologically Inspired Robot ] Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Last summer, in the early hours of the morning, Harvard engineer“¯Pakpong Chirarattananon looked on as a tiny metallic insect jumped, hovered and then sped through the air along a preset route. The Harvard graduate student had just witnessed the first flight of an insect-sized robot and the result of more than a decade's worth of work. "I was...

Role That Flagellum Plays In Helping E. Coli Colonize Rough Surfaces Revealed
2013-04-11 13:06:15

Harvard University New research from Harvard University helps to explain how waterborne bacteria can colonize rough surfaces–even those that have been designed to resist water. A team of materials scientists and microbiologists studied the gut bacterium Escherichia coli, which has many flagella that stick out in all directions. The researchers found that these tails can act as biological grappling hooks, reaching far into nanoscale crevices and latching the bacteria in place....

New Adaptive Material Inspired By Tears Designed By Scientists
2013-04-08 14:15:26

Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard [ Watch the Video Adaptive Material Demonstration ] Tunable material system designed by Harvard team is easily adaptable for diverse applications in fuel transport, textiles, optical systems, and more Imagine a tent that blocks light on a dry and sunny day, and becomes transparent and water-repellent on a dim, rainy day. Or highly precise, self-adjusting contact lenses that also clean themselves. Or pipelines that can...

Computer Tablet Application Developed That Could Rapidly Assess Neuromuscular Performance At The Bedside
2013-02-07 16:49:31

Wyss Institute at Harvard [ Watch The Video ] Doctors routinely track their patients' hand-eye coordination to monitor any neuromuscular deficits, particularly as patients age or when they are injured -- but the tests they have been using to track this kind of information may be subjective and qualitative. Researchers at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and Hebrew SeniorLife, Boston (BIDMC),...

Scientists Use Sophisticated Modeling And Biotechnology To Weaken Cells By Fouling Their Metabolic Machinery
2013-02-04 11:19:01

Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard A team of scientists just won a battle in the war against antibiotic-resistant "superbugs" -- and only time will tell if their feat is akin to the bacterial "Battle of Gettysburg" that turns the tide toward victory. They won this particular battle, or at least gained some critical intelligence, not by designing a new antibiotic, but by interfering with the metabolism of the bacterial "bugs" — E. coli in this case...

Color-tunable Photonic Fibers Mimic The Fruit Of The “Bastard Hogberry” Plant
2013-01-28 14:29:04

Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences A team of materials scientists at Harvard University and the University of Exeter, UK, have invented a new fiber that changes color when stretched. Inspired by nature, the researchers identified and replicated the unique structural elements that create the bright iridescent blue color of a tropical plant´s fruit. The multilayered fiber, described today in the journal Advanced Materials, could lend itself to the creation of smart...

2012-05-31 10:55:23

Researchers at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University have developed a method for building complex nanostructures out of short synthetic strands of DNA. Called single-stranded tiles (SSTs), these interlocking DNA "building blocks," akin to Legos®, can be programmed to assemble themselves into precisely designed shapes, such as letters and emoticons. Further development of the technology could enable the creation of new nanoscale devices, such as...

New Microdevice Enables Culture Of Rare Circulating Tumor Cells From Blood
2012-04-24 13:31:25

Ability to culture rare tumor cells isolated from blood could help improve patient response to therapy A research collaboration between the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University and Children´s Hospital Boston has created a microfluidic device that can harvest rare circulating tumor cells (CTCs) from blood to enable their expansion in culture for analysis. These cells, which have detached from a primary cancer site and often create a secondary --...

2012-02-29 11:45:38

Researchers at Harvard's Wyss Institute and Harvard Medical School induce magnetic sensitivity in a non-magnetic organism Researchers at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University and Harvard Medical School have developed a method for inducing magnetic sensitivity in an organism that is not naturally magnetic–yeast. Their technology could potentially be used to magnetize a variety of different cell types in medical, industrial and research...

2012-02-17 00:30:29

Novel technology could potentially seek out cancer cells and cause them to self-destruct Researchers at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University have developed a robotic device made from DNA that could potentially seek out specific cell targets within a complex mixture of cell types and deliver important molecular instructions, such as telling cancer cells to self-destruct. Inspired by the mechanics of the body's own immune system, the technology might...