Tracking the Movement of Cyborg Cockroaches

New research from North Carolina State University offers insights into how far and how fast cyborg cockroaches – or biobots – move when exploring new spaces. The work moves researchers closer to their goal of using biobots to explore collapsed buildings and other spaces in order to identify survivors.

NC State researchers have developed cockroach biobots that can be remotely controlled and carry technology that may be used to map disaster areas and identify survivors in the wake of a calamity.

For this technology to become viable, the researchers needed to answer fundamental questions about how and where the biobots move in unfamiliar territory. Two forthcoming papers address those questions.

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Chemical Engineers Boost Bacteria’s Productivity

MIT chemical engineers have designed a novel genetic switch that allows them to dramatically boost bacteria’s production of useful chemicals by shutting down competing metabolic pathways in the cells.

“The challenge is to engineer a system where we get enough growth to have a productive microbial ‘ chemical factory’ but not so much that we can’ t channel enough of the sugars into a pathway to make large quantities of our target molecules,”says Kristala Prather, an associate professor of chemical engineering at MIT.

In a paper appearing in the Feb. 13 issue of Nature Biotechnology, the researchers showed that they could significantly enhance the yield of glucaric acid, a chemical that is a precursor to products such as nylons and detergents. This genetic switch could also be easily swapped into bacteria that generate other products, the researchers say.

“We can engineer microbial cells to produce many different chemicals from simple sugars, but the cells would rather use those sugars to grow and reproduce. The challenge is to engineer a system where we get enough growth to have a productive microbial ‘chemical factory’ but not so much that we can’t channel enough of the sugars into a pathway to make large quantities of our target molecules,” says Kristala Prather, an associate professor of chemical engineering at MIT and the senior author of the study.

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Blood Sugar Level Ranges

Understanding blood glucose level ranges can be a key part of diabetes self-management.

This page states ‘normal’ blood sugar ranges and blood sugar ranges for adults and children with type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes and blood sugar ranges to determine people with diabetes.

If a person with diabetes has a meter, test strips and is testing, it’s important to know what the blood glucose level means.

Recommended blood glucose levels have a degree of interpretation for every individual and you should discuss this with your healthcare team.

In addition, women may be set target blood sugar levels during pregnancy.

The following ranges are guidelines provided by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) but each individual’s target range should be agreed by their doctor or diabetic consultant.
Recommended target blood glucose level ranges

The NICE recommended target blood glucose levels are stated below for adults with type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes and children with type 1 diabetes.

In addition, the International Diabetes Federation’s target ranges for people without diabetes is stated. [19] [89] [90]

The table provides general guidance. An individual target set by your healthcare team is the one you should aim for.
NICE recommended target blood glucose level ranges

Target Levels Target Levels by Type Upon waking Before meals
(pre prandial)
At least 90 minutes after meals
(post prandial)
Non-diabetic* 4.0 to 5.9 mmol/L under 7.8 mmol/L
Type 2 diabetes 4 to 7 mmol/L under 8.5 mmol/L
Type 1 diabetes 5 to 7 mmol/L 4 to 7 mmol/L 5 to 9 mmol/L
Children w/ type 1 diabetes 4 to 7 mmol/L 4 to 7 mmol/L 5 to 9 mmol/L

*The non-diabetic figures are provided for information but are not part of NICE guidelines.
Normal and diabetic blood sugar ranges

For the majority of healthy individuals, normal blood sugar levels are as follows:

Between 4.0 to 6.0 mmol/L (72 to 108 mg/dL) when fasting
Up to 7.8 mmol/L (140 mg/dL) 2 hours after eating

For people with diabetes, blood sugar level targets are as follows:

  • Before meals: 4 to 7 mmol/L for people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes
  • After meals: under 9 mmol/L for people with type 1 diabetes and under 8.5mmol/L for people with type 2 diabetes

Blood sugar levels in diagnosing diabetes

The following table lays out criteria for diagnoses of diabetes and prediabetes.
Blood sugar levels in diagnosing diabetes

Plasma glucose test Normal Prediabetes Diabetes
Random Below 11.1 mmol/l
Below 200 mg/dl
N/A 11.1 mmol/l or more
200 mg/dl or more
Fasting Below 6.1 mmol/l
Below 108 mg/dl
6.1 to 6.9 mmol/l
108 to 125 mg/dl
7.0 mmol/l or more
126 mg/dl or more
2 hour post-prandial Below 7.8 mmol/l
Below 140 mg/dl
7.8 to 11.0 mmol/l
140 to 199 mg/dl
11.1 mmol/l or more
200 mg/dl or more

Random plasma glucose test

A blood sample for a random plasma glucose test can be taken at any time. This doesn’t require as much planning and is therefore used in the diagnosis of type 1 diabetes when time is of the essence.
Fasting plasma glucose test

A fasting plasma glucose test is taken after at least eight hours of fasting and is therefore usually taken in the morning.

The NICE guidelines regard a fasting plasma glucose result of 5.5 mmol/l as putting someone at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, particularly when accompanied by other risk factors for type 2 diabetes.
Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT)

An oral glucose tolerance test involves taking a first taking a fasting sample of blood and then taking a very sweet drink containing 75g of glucose.

After having this drink you need to stay at rest until a further blood sample is taken after 2 hours.
HbA1c test for diabetes diagnosis

An HbA1c test does not directly measure the level of blood glucose, however, the result of the test is influenced by how high or low your blood glucose levels have tended to be over a period of 2 to 3 months.

Indications of diabetes or prediabetes are given under the following conditions:

  • Normal: Below 42 mmol/mol (6.0%)
  • Prediabetes: 42 to 47 mmol/mol (6.0 to 6.4%)
  • Diabetes: 48 mmol/mol (6.5% or over)

Post Credited From Diabetes.co.uk

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How Dragonfish Open Their Fearsome Mouths So Wide

How Dragonfish Open Their Fearsome Mouths So Wide

Barbeled dragonfish — predatory fish with long, dark bodies that inhabit the deep sea — are unnerving to look at. Their name refers to glowing barbell-shaped lures that dangle from their oversize lower jaws and attract unsuspecting prey in the cold, dark ocean depths. Those jaws, studded with prominent, sharp teeth, can swing wide enough to gulp down large fish whole — even prey larger than the swallower.

And a new study has discovered one of the secrets to their exceptional gape — a specialized head joint that is unique to dragonfish. Read more

New Technique Uses Immune Cells to Deliver Anti-Cancer Drugs

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Some researchers are working to discover new, safer ways to deliver cancer-fighting drugs to tumors without damaging healthy cells. Others are finding ways to boost the body’s own immune system to attack cancer cells. Researchers at Penn State have combined the two approaches by taking biodegradable polymer nanoparticles encapsulated with cancer-fighting drugs and incorporating them into immune cells to create a smart, targeted system to attack cancers of specific types.

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Our Closest Worm Kin Regrow Body Parts

Our closest worm kin regrow body parts, raising hopes of regeneration in humans

What if humans could regrow an amputated arm or leg, or completely restore nervous system function after a spinal cord injury?

A new study of one of our closest invertebrate relatives, the acorn worm, reveals that this feat might one day be possible. Acorn worms burrow in the sand around coral reefs, but their ancestral relationship to chordates means they have a genetic makeup and body plan surprisingly similar to ours.

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Each Animal Species Hosts a Unique Microbial Community and Benefits

Each animal species hosts a unique microbial community and benefits from it

Each animal species hosts its own, unique community of microbes that can significantly improve its health and fitness.

That is the implication of a laboratory study that investigated four different animal groups and their associated microbiota. The research found that each species within the group has a distinctive microbial community.

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The Forest Through the Fog

The atmosphere within Northern California’s coast redwood forests is humid, the air pungent and loamy, smelling at once like the sea and earth. This olfactory fusion is appropriate; scientists have discovered that redwood forests thrive on a sea-sourced fog that carries nutrient-rich coastal ocean water. However, uncovering the numerous processes that make it possible for the sea to nourish the trees requires novel approaches and multiple disciplines to uncover.

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Shark Swims Up To Diver For a Cuddle Every Time She Sees Him

To visit his friend, Rick Anderson has to strap on an oxygen tank, put a regulator into his mouth and dive into the ocean off the coast of Nobbys Beach in New South Wales, Australia.
Anderson’s friend is a 6-foot female Port Jackson shark. She doesn’t have a name, but Anderson recognizes her by her markings.

And she always recognizes him, according to Anderson.
“I started playing with her about seven years ago when she was just a pup about 6 inches long,” Anderson told The Dodo. “I approached her carefully so as not to spook her, then began to gently pat her. Once she got used to me, I would cradle her in my hand and talk soothingly to her through my regulator.”

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Mythical Ruby Seadragon Seen In The Wild For The First Time

Known only from old museum specimens, scientists have now found the magnificently bizarre ruby seadragon swimming in the sea.

I never understand why we are so obsessed with life on other planets when we have the mysterious universe of the sea right here on our own spinning orb. The creatures that dwell in the deep are so outrageously strange compared to us, and most of them remain unknown.

Case in point: Seadragons. The truly wonderfully odd creatures are relatives of the seahorse and up until recently have come in the form of two species – leafy and weedy, both from Australia. Admired for their flamboyant camouflaging appendages that mimic leaves and weeds, combined with a graceful yet somewhat helpless-seeming swimming style, they are as enchanting as they are peculiar. A leafy seadragon below, see what I mean?

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