Navigation Links
Is it alive or dead?

WASHINGTON D.C., June 27, 2013 -- To the ancients, probing the philosophical question of how to distinguish the living from the dead centered on the "mystery of the vital heat." To modern microbiology, this question was always less mysterious than it was annoying -- researchers have known that biological processes should produce thermal signatures, even within single cells, but nobody ever knew how to measure them.

Now, a group of mechanical engineers from Pohang University of Science and Technology in Korea have discovered a way to measure the "thermal conductivity" of three types of cells taken from human and rat tissues and placed in individual micro-wells. They showed that they could detect uniform heat signatures from the various cells and measured significant difference between dead and living ones, suggesting a new way to probe cells for biological activity.

A lone cell is fantastically small, often only about 10 microns across (10 millionths of a meter), and this size has thwarted thermodynamic measurements of single cells. Writing in the journal Applied Physics Letters, a team led by Dongsik Kim and Jaesung Park describes how their novel nanoscale biosensing technique can measure the thermal conductivity of a single cell.

"In the short-term, this biosensing technique can be used to measure cell viability," said Kim. "In the long-term, we hope to refine it to develop a non-invasive, rapid means for early diagnosis of diseases such as cancer based on differences in the thermal properties of cells."

While the fundamental heat signatures the researchers detected are not exactly what the ancient philosophers imagined, measuring them may answer more mysteries than they could have dreamed.


Contact: Jason Socrates Bardi
American Institute of Physics

Page: 1

Related biology news :

1. Dead or alive? A new test to determine viability of soybean rust spores
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/17/2015)... , November 17, 2015 Paris ...   --> Paris from 17 th ... DERMALOG, the biometrics innovation leader, has invented the first combined ... on the same scanning surface. Until now two different scanners ... one scanner can capture both on the same surface. ...
(Date:11/12/2015)... golden retriever that stayed healthy despite having the gene ... new lead for treating this muscle-wasting disorder, report scientists ... and Harvard and the University of São Paolo in ... pinpoints a protective gene that boosts muscle regeneration, ... Children,s lab of Lou Kunkel , PhD, is ...
(Date:11/10/2015)... NEW YORK , Nov. 10, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... refers to behavioral biometrics that helps to identify ... prevent fraud. Signature is considered as the secure ... for the identification of a particular individual because ... offers more accurate results especially when dynamic signature ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... International Society ... one of the premier annual events for pharmaceutical manufacturing: 2015 Annual Meeting. The ... where ISPE hosted the largest number of attendees in more than a decade. ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... PUNE, India , November 24, 2015 ... to a new market research report "Oligonucleotide Synthesis Market ... Equipment), Application (PCR, Gene Synthesis, Diagnostic, DNA, RNAi), End-User ... to 2020", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market is expected ... 1,078.1 Million in 2015, at a CAGR of 10.1% ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 24, 2015 SHPG ) announced today that ... Piper Jaffray 27 th Annual Healthcare Conference in ... at 8:30 a.m. EST (1:30 p.m. GMT). --> SHPG ... will participate in the Piper Jaffray 27 th Annual Healthcare ... Tuesday, December 1, 2015, at 8:30 a.m. EST (1:30 p.m. GMT). ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... QUEBEC CITY , Nov. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... (the "Company") announced today that the remaining 11,000 ... Common Share Purchase Warrants (the "Series B Warrants") ... agreement were exercised on November 23, 2015, which ... Common Shares.  After giving effect to the issuance ...
Breaking Biology Technology: