Biochemists and computer scientists at the University of Washington two years ago launched an ambitious project harnessing the brainpower of computer gamers to solve medical problems. Results published this week in the journal Nature show more than 55,000 players have played protein-folding Tetris, and beat the world’s most powerful computers on problems that required radical moves, risks and long-term vision.
Widely used fragranced products – including those that claim to be “green” – give off many chemicals that are not listed on the label, including some that are classified as toxic. A study led by the University of Washington discovered that 25 commonly used scented products emit an average of 17 chemicals each.
Electrodes attached to the surface of the human brain show that imagining movements to control a computer cursor generates larger-than-life brain signals in less than 10 minutes of training.
A team of engineers and medical experts has been able to illuminate brain tumors by injecting fluorescent nanoparticles into the bloodstream. The tiny particles can safely cross the blood-brain barrier, an almost impenetrable barrier that protects the brain from infection.
By combining nanoparticles with a scorpion venom compound already being investigated for treating brain cancer, University of Washington researchers found they could cut the spread of cancerous cells by 98 percent, compared to 45 percent for the scorpion venom alone.
University of Washington researchers helped develop a new kind of microscope to visualize cells in three dimensions, an advance that could bring great progress in the field of early cancer detection.
Researchers at the University of Washington have updated a traditional Chinese medicine to create a compound that is more than 1,200 times more specific in killing certain kinds of cancer cells than currently available drugs.
A group at the UW has developed software that for the first time enables deaf and hard of hearing Americans to use sign language over a mobile phone.
Gamers have devoted countless years of collective brainpower to rescuing princesses or protecting the planet against alien invasions. This week researchers at the University of Washington will try to harness those finely honed skills to make medical discoveries, perhaps even finding a cure for HIV.
Digital security may become an issue for the medical profession. A team of researchers has shown that patients’ private medical information could be extracted from implantable medical devices and their devices reprogrammed without the patients’ authorization or knowledge.