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:6/3/2016)... June 3, 2016 ... Nepal hat ein ... hochsicherer geprägter Kennzeichen, einschließlich Personalisierung, Registrierung und ... der Produktion und Implementierung von Identitätsmanagementlösungen. Zahlreiche ... im Januar teilgenommen, aber Decatur wurde als ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... Calif. , May 24, 2016 Ampronix facilitates superior patient care by ... LMD3251MT  3D medical LCD display is the latest premium product recently added to the ... ... ... Sony 3d Imaging- LCD Medical Display- Ampronix News ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... VILNIUS, Lithuania , May 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... today released the MegaMatcher Automated Biometric Identification ... deployment of large-scale multi-biometric projects. MegaMatcher ABIS can ... and accuracy using any combination of fingerprint, face ... of MegaMatcher SDK and MegaMatcher ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Charm ... Mold) microbial test has received AOAC Research Institute approval 061601. , “This is ... last year,” stated Bob Salter, Vice President of Regulatory and Industrial Affairs. “The ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... NEW YORK , June, 23, 2016  The ... students to envision new ways to harness living systems ... of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York ... more than 130 participating students, showcased projects at MoMA,s ... included Paola Antonelli , MoMA,s senior curator of ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... 23, 2016 , ... Supplyframe, the Industry Network for electronics ... Lab . Located in Pasadena, Calif., the Design Lab’s mission is to bring ... designed, built and brought to market. , The Design Lab is Supplyframe’s physical ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... In a new case report ... detail how a patient who developed lymphedema after being treated for breast cancer benefitted ... change the paradigm for dealing with this debilitating, frequent side effect of cancer treatment. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: