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Bio Briefs

Composite needle eases surgeons’ fatigue
Fatigue, says Jesse Nawrocki, can set in quickly for a surgeon performing a heart-bypass operation. The same hardened arteries that necessitate the surgery put a surgeon’s suturing skills to the test.

Handheld cell counter offers hope to AIDS patients
CD4+ T lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell, function as the front guard of our body’s immune system in the defense against pathogens. The cells are the target for the HIV virus, and their absence is a key indicator of HIV infection.

Exploding the “burst effect”
A drug encapsulated in a honeycomb-like polymer matrix is more likely to be released at the uniform rate desired.

A materials pursuit of MS
Demyelination, chief cause of the debilitating symptoms of multiple sclerosis, results from the loss of myelin, the protective coating that enables neurons, or nerve cells, to efficiently transmit electrical impulses from the brain to other parts of the body.