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Biomedicine

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colorful selection of pills

People will always need pills of some kind to kill pain. Scientists are using different approaches to find new opioid painkillers that aren’t addictive and have fewer side effects.

prion blood test

PRION PROPAGATION  A technique called protein misfolding cyclic amplification can be used to test blood for infectious, disease-causing proteins called prions (an apparatus used in the process, shown). The test takes advantage of prions' ability to convert a normal brain protein into the prion form.

Embryo

SPINDLE SWAP  A boy born in April has DNA from mom and dad, as well as mitochondria from a female donor. To make "three-parent" embryos, the chromosome-containing spindle, shown at the tip of the pipette, is removed from a woman's egg and inserted into a donor egg.

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