Scientists discover first known animal that doesn't breathe (3 minute read)
Scientists have discovered that H. salminicola, a parasite that infects the dense muscle tissues of fish and underwater worms, doesn't have mitochondrial DNA and it doesn't breathe. H. salminicola has evolved away tissue, nerve cells, muscles, and basically everything else to become mostly just a blob. This family of parasites thrives by reproducing as quickly and often as possible. While most evolution tends towards complexity, this organism has gone the completely opposite way, evolving to become almost unicellular. It is unknown how the parasite acquires energy, but it is likely that it consumes energy directly from its infected hosts.
The race is on to replace the hypodermic needle (2 minute read)
Up to 8% of people report avoiding vaccines due to the pain of needles. Constant use of needles can also pose health risks, such as an increased risk of infection. Scientists at Rutgers University have developed a patch full of microscopic needles that can be attached to the skin and deliver a drug without causing any pain. The needles are 3D-printed with polymers and the core structure can be programmed and reshaped. They can be attached for long periods of time, which means they can be used to track antibodies or changes in the DNA. The researchers were able to show that the microneedles could be used to deliver a drug over the course of a full, 24-hour day.