Category: BME Spotlight-Research

Strength in Numbers

Elaborate molecular networks inside living cells enable them to sense and process many signals from the environment to perform desired cellular functions. Synthetic biologists have been able to reconstruct and mimic simpler forms of this cellular signal processing. But now, a new toolset powered by self-assembling molecules and predictive modeling will allow researchers to construct the complex computation and signal processing found in eukaryotic organisms, including human cells.

How Light Turns Ordinary Hydrogen Peroxide into a MRSA Treatment

ENG researchers invent blue light therapy that kills MRSA without antibiotics. Perhaps what’s most promising is that blue light phototherapy doesn’t affect healthy cells of the body, so the technique could be used to treat MRSA infections without harming any surrounding tissue or skin.

How Cells Remember

In new research published in Cell, Assistant Professor Ahmad ‘Mo’ Khalil, graduate student Minhee Park and colleagues engineered a fully synthetic epigenetic system to better understand, study, and control its behaviors. Using synthetic biology, they constructed molecular modules that mimic features of natural epigenetic systems and found that they were able to induce epigenetic activities in mammalian cells, such as storing cellular memory.

Antibiotic Resistance Without the Antibiotics

Antibiotic resistance is a global threat that leads to more than 23,000 deaths each year in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Over exposure to antibiotics has long been blamed, but Assistant Professor Mary Dunlop is flipping that idea on its head, finding that bacteria can also develop resistance without being exposed to antibiotics.

Metamaterials Offer Communications Breakthroughs

Professor Xin Zhang (ME, ECE, BME, MSE) is an expert in the field of metamaterials and recently her lab has developed two new structures that can manipulate sound and electromagnetic waves. Although they are different, both offer two forms of wave control in their own spectrums, performance yet seen in other devices.