Lab Report

PUBLISHED : Monday, 08 April, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 08 April, 2013, 10:27am

Droplets of hope

Oxford University scientists have custom-built a 3-D printer that can create a new type of material with the properties of living tissues. These printed networks of tens of thousands of connected water droplets, encapsulated within lipid films, can perform some cell functions. This could form the building blocks of a new drug-delivery technology, and potentially one day replace or interface with damaged human tissue. The networks stay stable for weeks. The findings were in last week's Science.

A walk in the park

Walking briskly can lower your risk of heart-related conditions as much as running can, according to a report in the American Heart Association journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology. Researchers analysed more than 33,000 runners and over 15,000 walkers aged 18 to 80, and their energy expenditure by distance. They found that (over six years) the same energy used for moderate intensity walking and vigorous intensity running resulted in similar reductions in risk for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and possibly coronary heart disease.

A fresh twist on chocolate

Scientists at the University of Warwick have developed "fruit juice-infused chocolate". They claim chocolate can be healthier by using fruit juice, vitamin C water, or diet cola to replace up to 50 per cent of fat. The juice is in the form of micro-bubbles that help chocolate retain its velvety feel. The overall sugar content is also reduced. The team has made chocolate with apple, orange and cranberry juice.