Our spines don’t start out as bone. In the embryos of vertebrates, the spine begins as a rod with a core of fluid-filled sacks. This structure is called the “notochord” and provides a flexible scaffold for the trunk and a mold for the spine.
The fortified Toyota Land Cruiser slipped and bounced in the muddy hollows of the rain-drenched Mongolian steppe. The driver, a native Mongolian man named Inka who spoke little English, slowly engineered the vehicle along what just two days earlier was a dusty pair of dirt tracks.
In the back seat of the Cruiser, Duke master of science in global health students Laura Pulscher and Thomas Moore braced themselves during the ride as best they could, relaxing when Inka stopped the vehicle to ask a goat herder for directions.
When it comes to bright colors and bold patterns, the fashion industry can’t hold a candle to butterflies.
Their wings come in a dizzying array of designs and hues, from the iridescent blue bands of the morpho butterfly and the red dots of the ruby-spotted swallowtail, to the orange, black and white warning colors of the monarch.
It takes a well-trained eye to spot an irregular heartbeat in the peaks and valleys of an electrocardiogram. The same goes for identifying an extinct ape from a single fossilized tooth, or telling an original van Gogh from a fake.
But in recent years, applied mathematician Ingrid Daubechies has been training computers to churn through ECG tracings, high-resolution scans of fossils, paintings and other complex digital data and work things out automatically.
Some pathogenic bacteria -- including strains that cause diseases like tuberculosis and leprosy -- get their daily dose of iron by swiping the essential nutrient from their host. To enact the heist, these bacteria spit out molecules called siderophores, shown here in light orange, that grab iron, shuttle it back to the bacterial membrane, and dole out the precise amount to keep the bacteria strong and healthy.
The green ring of cells lining this fruit fly’s digestive tract normally lie dormant, but after injury they spring into action, growing and copying their DNA to help the fly’s gut heal. To repair damage, organs either make new cells to replace those that were lost, or enlarge the cells that remain.
DURHAM, NC - Prescribing certain medications on the basis of a patient’s race has long come under fire from those uneasy with using race as a surrogate for biology when treating disease.
But there are multiple challenges to overcome before we can move beyond race-based treatment decisions, writes Duke University geneticist and bioethicist Charmaine Royal in a perspective piece published May 25 in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Biomedical Engineer Amanda Randles is building models to simulate how individual blood cells travel throughout the human body. But running these simulations is no small feat; even powerful supercomputers struggle to calculate fluid flows that include pulsing heartbeats, webs of blood vessels, and trillions of cells. To speed up the simulations, Randles’ algorithms divide each vessel into smaller regions, and calculate the blood flow in each region separately.
Collaborative Innovation at the Intersection of Data and Health
Join us for a meal and share in exciting health analytic insights. All events held in Trent Semans-Learning Hall.
Seating is limited and pre-registration required at: https://duke.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_3JEbZGZOEB4g3Ot
Successful vaccines and immune therapies contain more than just bits of harmful bugs; they also contain components that guide our immune response, making them more effective. Duke engineer Joel Collier and his group are hacking proteins’ natural ability to bend, fold, and assemble to create precisely blended vaccines. His team attaches important proteins (modeled here as red, cyan, and green) to short nanofiber segments (grey).