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Synthetic vaccines delivered on DNA nanostructures

July 26, 2012

DNA nanovaccines (credit: )

In a quest to make safer and more effective vaccines, scientists at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University have turned to a promising field called DNA nanotechnology to make an entirely new class of synthetic vaccines.

Biodesign immunologist Yung Chang and colleagues, including DNA nanotechnology innovator Hao Yan, developed the first vaccine complex that can be delivered safely and effectively by piggybacking onto self-assembled,… read more

Synthetic vocal cords made from antifreeze chemical

July 15, 2011

Polymer Gel

Researchers at MIT and Harvard University are developing a synthetic material to revitalize damaged vocal cords.

The researchers are developing a polymer gel that they hope to start testing in a small clinical trial next year. The gel, which mimics key traits of human vocal cords, could help millions of people with voice disorders. They chose polyethylene glycol (PEG) as its starting material, in… read more

Synthetic windpipe is used to replace cancerous one

January 13, 2012


Surgeons in Sweden have replaced the cancerous windpipe of a Maryland man with one made in a laboratory and seeded with the man’s cells.

The Y-shaped scaffold, fashioned from nano-size fibers of a type of plastic called PET that is commonly used in soda bottles, was seeded with stem cells from Christopher Lyles’ bone marrow. It was then placed in a bioreactor — a shoebox-size container holding the stem… read more

Synthetic yeast to brew up vital malaria drug

June 5, 2008

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, and colleagues have added synthetic genes to yeast to make a key malaria drug.

The genes encode enzymes that enable sugar to be converted into a precursor to artemisinin, used to treat multi-drug resistant malaria. This synthetic organism could be producing enough artemisinin precursor to fulfill worldwide needs for the drug within three years.

Unlike traditional genetic engineering methods, the inserted… read more

Syria ready with bio-terror if U.S. hits Iran

March 6, 2007

Jill Bellamy-Dekker, an American biodefense analyst living in Europe, says if the U.S. invades Iran to halt its nuclear ambitions, Syria is ready to respond with biological weapons, using a variation of smallpox.

She referenced an April 2000 article published by Syrian defense minister General Mustafa Talas, titled “Biological (Germ) Warfare: A New and Effective Method in Modern Warfare.”

System improves automated monitoring of security cameras

New approach uses mathematics to reach a compromise between accuracy, speed
June 7, 2012


A system being developed by Christopher Amato, a postdoc at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), can perform security-camera analysis to identify potential terrorists or illegal entry more accurately and in a fraction of the time it would take a human camera operator.

“You can’t have a person staring at every single screen, and even if you did the person might not… read more

System predicts 85 percent of cyber attacks using input from human experts

Merging human and machine intelligence reduces false positives by factor of 5
April 25, 2016


Researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and the machine-learning startup PatternEx have developed an AI platform called AI2 that predicts cyber-attacks significantly better than existing systems by continuously incorporating input from human experts (AI2 refers to merging AI with “analyst intuition”:  rules created by living experts).

The team showed that AI2 can detect 85 percent of attacks —about three times better than previous benchmarks —… read more

Systems Biology Graphical Notation: A Visual Language for Biology

August 14, 2009

A newly introduced visual language called Systems Biology Graphical Notation (SBGN) is designed to standardize and simplify a knowledge database containing molecular process, relationships between entities, and links among biochemical activities in the exploding field of Systems Biology.

T-cell ‘nanotubes’ may explain how HIV virus conquers human immune system

January 14, 2008

String-like “membrane nanotube” connections can form between those T-cells that bump into each other and carry proteins between the two cells, which could help explain how the HIV virus infects human immune cells so quickly and effectively.

This indicates that there may be “as-yet-undiscovered ways that these types of cells communicate with each other inside the human body,” said Professor Dan Davis from Imperial College London.

This kind… read more

T-rays technology could help develop Star Trek-style hand-held medical scanners

January 22, 2012


Scientists have developed a new way to create electromagnetic Terahertz (THz) waves (T-rays) — the technology behind full-body security scanners. Their new stronger and more efficient continuous wave T-rays could be used to make better medical scanning gadgets and may one day lead to innovations similar to the Tricorder scanner used in Star Trek.

In the study, researchers from the Institute of Materials Research andread more

Tablet computer market to boom: Deloitte

January 20, 2010

Industry tracker Deloitte predicts the tablet computer market will boom this year with tens of millions of people deciding the notepad-sized devices are “just right” for their needs.

Improvements in graphics, processing power, and wireless broadband Internet availability are making Internet-based tablets (“netTabs”) more attractive, according to analysts.

Tablet lets vision-impaired build a picture in their mind

April 29, 2011

GraVVITAS Tablet

GraVVITAS, a PC tablet that uses vibration and sounds to guide a visually impaired user around a diagram, has been developed by engineers at Monash University’s Faculty of Information Technology.

Designed to enable the user to build a picture of the entire graphic in their mind, the prototype has small external vibrating motors that attach to the user’s fingers.

These motors buzz when the user… read more

Tablets + cloud vs. desktop PCs

March 5, 2012

Windows on an iPad? Believe it. (Credit: Onlive)

As the action moves to tablets, mobile devices, and the cloud, what’s the future for the desktop PC?

Dim, according to OnLive, Inc., which has just introduced Onlive Desktop Plus, which displays a Windows 7 desktop on an iPad, with the full, latest versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Internet Explorer, Adobe Reader, and Flash videos, plus 5 GB of cloud storage.

The trick:a high-speed server farm in the cloud… read more

Tablets, netbooks and smart phones to be CES stars

January 5, 2010

The Google “Nexus One” smart phone, tablet computers, netbooks, 4G wireless broadband Internet technology, e-books, and e-readers will be key innovations at CES.

Forrester Research predicts that six million e-readers will be sold in the United States alone in 2010, doubling the number bought in the country the prior year.

Tactile Gaming Vest Punches and Slices

March 30, 2010

The University of Pennsylvania’s Tactile Gaming Vest (TGV) provides haptic feedback to a game-player’s torso.

Four solenoid actuators in the chest and shoulders in front, plus two solenoids in the back, give you the feeling of a gunshot; vibrating eccentric-mass motors clustered against the shoulder blades make you feel a slashing effect as you get stabbed from behind.

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