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April 2012
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June 2012

Light-powered bionic eye invented to help restore sight

By James Gallagher

Health and science reporter, BBC News

A retinal implant - or bionic eye - which is powered by light has been invented by scientists at Stanford University in California.

Implants currently used in patients need to be powered by a battery.

The new device, described in the journal Nature Photonics, uses a special pair of glasses to beam near infrared light into the eye.

This powers the implant and sends the information which could help a patient see.

Full story.

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Scientists Create Piezoelectric Generators from Bacteriophage Thin Films

Scientists have created bacteriophage-based microelectronic devices that can generate enough electricity to power a liquid-crystal display (LCD) when subjected to mechanical force. The prototype piezoelectric devices are composed of engineered M13 bacteriophages that self-assemble into thin films.

Scientists from the University of California, Berkeley demonstrate the use of the thin films to generate power by layering multiple 1cm2 films between two electrodes and connecting the setup to an LCD. When pressure was repeatedly applied and released, the microgenerator produced up to 6 nA of current and 400 mV of potential, equivalent to about a quarter of the voltage of an AAA battery.

Seung-Wuk Lee, Ph.D., and colleagues say they hope that the proof-of-concept prototype will pave the way to the development of cheap virus-based microelectronic devices that generate power from everyday activities such as shutting doors or climbing stairs. They report their achievement in Nature Nanotechnology in a paper titled “Virus-based piezoelectric energy generation.”

Full story.

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Mequon company - Endece LLC - may be on the verge of CURING MS

By Alysha Schertz

Multiple sclerosis is a debilitating, often deadly disease that attacks the body's central nervous system. It can devastate a victim's brain, spinal cord, optic nerves and vision.

Approximately 400,000 people in the United States are living with MS. Worldwide, more than 2.1 million people are afflicted with the disease, many with different symptoms and levels of severity.

The disease is unpredictable. While treatments and medication currently on the market can help slow down the attacks, there is no cure.

Yet.

But the cure for MS just might be sitting right in southeastern Wisconsin's backyard.

Endece LLC, a Mequon-based drug discovery company, recently formed Endece Neural, a subsidiary company focused on neurological drug development. More specifically, Endece Neural is pursing the development of a drug that could help repair and even reverse the damage caused by MS.

Endece's work is getting some attention in the world of MS research.

Full story.

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