Scientists Discover New Genetic Form of Type 2 Diabetes

A new inherited form of type 2 diabetes and obesity has been discovered by a team of scientists co-led by Dr Anthony Goldstone and Prof Alexandra Blakemore of Imperial College London, UK.

Prevalence of diabetes worldwide in 2000 (per 1,000 inhabitants). Image credit: Lokal_Profil / CC BY-SA 2.5.
A large number of genes are involved in regulating body weight, and there are now over 30 genes known in which people with harmful changes in DNA sequence become overweight. Similarly, there are a number of genes that can, when altered, cause type 2 diabetes.
These conditions are inherited through families in exactly the same way as disorders such as cystic fibrosis or Huntington’s disease.
It is unclear what proportion of severe obesity and type 2 diabetes is caused by geneti… Read more

Researchers Build Water Droplet-Based Computer

A group of bioengineers led by Dr Manu Prakash of Stanford University has developed a synchronous computer that operates using the physics of moving water droplets.

Stanford University bioengineers have developed a computer that operates on water droplets. Image credit: Kurt Hickman.
Because of its universal nature, the water-droplet computer can theoretically perform any operation that a conventional electronic computer can crunch, although at significantly slower rates. Dr Prakash’s team, however, has a more ambitious application in mind.
“We already have digital computers to process information. Our goal is not to compete with electronic computers or to operate word processors on this. Our goal is to build a completely new class of computers that can precisely control and manipulate ph… Read more