Science & Technology

Scientists at the University of Utah have programmed human cells to generate virus-like particles that can deliver cargo to other cells. The system could become the basis for a biologically-based means for delivering therapeutics within the body. Cargo are encased in protein nanocages (yellow, enlarged on left) that are carried from one cell to another within vesicles built from membranes (green, shown in cross-section). Each vesicle can hold multiple cargo-carrying nanocages.

Virus-Inspired Delivery System Transfers Microscopic Cargo Between Human Cells

November 30, 2016

Scientists from the University of Utah and University of Washington have developed blueprints that instruct human cells to assemble a virus-like delivery system that can transport custom cargo from one cell to another. As reported online in Nature on Nov. 30, the research is a step toward a nature-inspired means for delivering therapeutics directly to […]


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This Is Your Brain on God

November 29, 2016

Religious and spiritual experiences activate the brain reward circuits in much the same way as love, sex, gambling, drugs and music, report researchers at the University of Utah School of Medicine. The findings will be published Nov. 29 in the journal Social Neuroscience. “We’re just beginning to understand how the brain participates in experiences that […]


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Now you see it, now you don’t

November 7, 2016

From Harry Potter’s Cloak of Invisibility to the Romulan cloaking device that rendered their warship invisible in “Star Trek,” the magic of invisibility was only the product of science fiction writers and dreamers. But University of Utah electrical and computer engineering associate professor Rajesh Menon and his team have developed a cloaking device for microscopic […]


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Tracing the ivory trail

November 2, 2016

More than 90 percent of ivory in large seized shipments came from elephants that died less than three years before, according to a new University of Utah study. Combining radiocarbon ivory dating with genetic analysis provides a picture of when and where poachers are killing elephants, useful tools in the ongoing battle against illegal animal […]


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Make America tweet again

November 2, 2016

We know how Donald Trump feels about everyone through Twitter, but how do Twitter users feel about Donald Trump? Computer scientists from the University of Utah’s College of Engineering have developed what they call “sentiment analysis” software that can automatically determine how someone feels based on what they write or say. To test out the […]


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Making a new pitch for coal

October 26, 2016

Oct. 26, 2016 — As U.S. coal production declines due to the rise of natural gas and alternative energies, the question remains: What will happen to those communities of coal workers? The answer may lie in a derivative of coal called “pitch,” which can be used to produce a carbon-fiber material utilized in items from […]


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A complete waste of energy

October 25, 2016

According to the National Resource Defense Council, Americans waste up to $19 billion annually in electricity costs due to “vampire appliances,” always-on digital devices in the home that suck power even when they are turned off. But University of Utah electrical and computer engineering professor Massood Tabib-Azar and his team of engineers have come up […]


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“That pizza was #delish!” What Do Tweets Say About Our Health?

October 18, 2016

(SALT LAKE CITY) – “Coffee” was the most tweeted food in the continental U.S. between mid-2014 to mid-2015 followed by “beer” then “pizza”. Besides hinting at which foods are popular, tweets may reveal something about our health. Communities that expressed positive sentiments about healthy foods were more likely to be healthier overall. Scientists at the […]


Sickle hemoglobin polymerizes under low oxygen tensions in the tissues and the red blood cell deforms, which leads to obstruction in the capillaries and painful episodes for the patients

Genome Engineering Paves the Way for Sickle Cell Cure

October 12, 2016

A team of physicians and laboratory scientists has taken a key step toward a cure for sickle cell disease, using CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing to fix the mutated gene responsible for the disease in stem cells from the blood of affected patients. For the first time, they have corrected the mutation in a proportion of stem […]


The monitoring team during the study.

Resonance in Rainbow Bridge

September 21, 2016

Utah’s iconic Rainbow Bridge hums with natural and man-made vibrations, according to a new University of Utah study, published September 21 in Geophysical Research Letters. The study characterizes the different ways the bridge vibrates and what frequencies and energy sources cause the rock structure to resonate. The vibrations are small, according to geology and geophysics […]