Images demonstrating the growth of cells in the 3-D printed device (L) compared to static conditions (R). Mucus growth (red) is more pronounced in the bioreactor, leading to healthier cells.

3D Printed Artificial Small Intestine to Advance Research on Gut Bacteria

What ingredients would you need to recreate the organ that enables you to digest your salad? According to Prof. John March, biological and environmental engineering, a 3-D printer would suffice. Together with researchers from his lab, March used 3-D printing technology to create a microscopic artificial small intestine. Unlike previous attempts, the Cornell device recreates the natural contraction and relaxation of muscles — peristalsis — in the small intestine. Without this fundamental feature, researchers have been unable to completely understand the biology that underlies the working of the organ.

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Perils in the Pursuit for Scientific Novelty

Scientific research isn’t perfect, far from it. In fact, according to Richard Harris, correspondent at National Public Radio, the scientific process is in need of repair. Among the many issues, the limited ability to examine existing, mundane findings seems to be a consistent obstacle. At a lecture at Cornell on Oct. 16, Harris discussed his criticisms of the manner in which science research is published and presented.

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Professor Receives Award for Genome Research

Buckler’s research has given rise to developments such as biofortified maize with fifteen times more Vitamin A than standard varieties. This maize is used in Zambia to combat Vitamin A deficiency and food insecurity.

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Cornell Health Experts to Conduct Zika Study for World Health Organization

Global health experts Prof. Julia Finkelstein, epidemiology and nutrition, and Prof. Saurabh Mehta, global health, epidemiology and nutrition, will lead an international team of researchers studying the risk of transmitting the Zika virus through breastfeeding, according to a University press release. The World Health Organization will use the team’s research to inform its guidelines for feeding infants during a Zika outbreak, the University said. This announcement came shortly after the professors, with Susannah Colt grad and other WHO researchers, released a study on May 2 that was unable to determine if breastfeeding alone can transmit the virus, the University reported. The study concluded that “more evidence is needed to distinguish breastfeeding transmission from other transmission routes [around the time of birth],” such as labor and pregnancy. Researchers have nevertheless established that Zika — a mosquito-borne infection — is “associated with an increase in central nervous system malformations and newborn microcephaly cases,” the study said.