science + technology news

Moving Toward Designer Genes

April 23, 2007

But the dawn of designer genes is slowly moving closer. Researchers are now extending their experiments to living animals.

In April, scientists at the University of California in Los Angeles reported they had inserted into intact adult mice a gene that makes cells resistant to a specific drug. Last week a team of Yale University scientists announced they had altered an animal’s hereditary makeup at a more basic level:… read more

How to create multiple frequencies of light simultaneously

April 3, 2012

This is an artist's rendition of electron-hole recollision. Near infrared (amber rods) and terahertz (yellow cones) radiation interact with a semiconductor quantum well (tiles). The near-ir radiation creates excitons (green tiles) consisting of a negative electron and a positive hole (dark blue tile at center of green tiles) bound in an atom-like state. Intense terahertz fields pull the electrons (white tiles) first away from the hole and then back towards it (electron paths represented by blue ellipses). Electrons periodically recollide with holes, creating periodic flashes of light (white disks between amber rods) that are emitted and detected as sidebands (credit: Peter Allen, UCSB)

By aiming high- and low-frequency laser beams at a semiconductor, physicists at UC Santa Barbara have produced multiple frequencies of light simultaneously, with the potential to significantly increase the speed of data communication.

They did that by causing electrons to be ripped from their cores, accelerated, and then smashed back into the cores they left behind.

When the high-frequency optical laser beam hits the semiconductor material — in this case,… read more

Wikipedia Hits 300,000 Articles

July 7, 2004

Wikipedia reached the 300,000 article mark today. The Wikipedia.org project goal is to create a “complete and accurate free content encyclopedia.”

The English Wikipedia has 90.1 million words across 300,000 articles, compared to Britannica’s 55 million words across 85,000 articles. All the languages combined together reach 790,000 articles.

Real-Time Searches Lead to Real-Time Malware

July 30, 2010

Searching for a hot news topic or buzzword can lead an unsuspecting person to harmful malware, said Dan Hubbard, CTO of Websense, at the Cloud Security Alliance Summit, which took place at the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas.

Estimates have suggested that about 14 percent of traditional searches for trending news go to sites hosting malware.

Much of the problem stems from the nature of information… read more

Chinese, African Genomes Sequenced

November 6, 2008
Illumina flow cell (Illumina)

A male Yoruba from Nigeria and a Han Chinese man joined genetics luminaries James Watson and Craig Venter on Wednesday as the only people to have their genomes sequenced and made publicly available. The two anonymous genomes serve as proof that new sequencing technologies, which are orders of magnitude cheaper than standard methods, are capable of accurately reading the sequence of a complete human genome.

New sequencing… read more

Testing: A User’s Guide

May 1, 2007

Doctors are developing new tests and guidelines for asthma, bone and cartilage defects, colon cancer, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.

Human intelligence determined by volume and location of gray matter tissue in brain

July 21, 2004

General human intelligence appears to be based on the volume of gray matter tissue in certain regions of the brain, UC Irvine College of Medicine researchers have found in the most comprehensive structural brain-scan study of intelligence to date.

Previous research had shown that larger brains are weakly related to higher IQ, but this study is the first to demonstrate that gray matter in specific regions in… read more

Mind-reading marketers have ways of making you buy

August 9, 2010

The great hope of neuromarketing is to use EEG and fMRI machines to extract subconscious hidden information directly from people’s brains, bypassing unreliable verbal reports. Neuroeconomists now think of the amount of activity in the emotion-related limbic system as a sort of universal currency of desirability, allowing the brain to weigh up different rewards.

Apple Researching Virtual Reality Headsets

November 12, 2008

Apple’s latest patent application covers a personal virtual reality headset in which the image can be adjusted to respond to the user’s movements.

Net encyclopedia to list all plants, animals

May 9, 2007

All 1.8 million known plant and animal species will be listed in an Internet-based free “Encyclopedia of Life” under a $100 million project.

There might be 8 million to 10 million species on Earth, according to project organizers; estimates range from 5 million to 100 million. Fossil species may also be added.

The encyclopedia could help chart threats to species from pollution, habitat destruction and global warming.

What Dreams Are Made Of

August 3, 2004

New technology is helping brain scientists unravel the mysteries of the night. Their work could show us all how to make the most of our time in bed.

The long-range goal of dream research is a comprehensive explanation of the connections between sleeping and waking, a multidimensional picture of consciousness and thought 24 hours a day.

Stem cell versatility could help tissue regeneration

August 19, 2010

stemcellvers

European scientists have reprogrammed stem cells from the thymus to grow skin and hair cells, in a development that could have implications for tissue regeneration. Their research shows that it is possible to convert one stem type to another without the need for genetic modification.

The researchers, who used rat models, grew stem cells from the thymus in the laboratory using conditions for growing hair follicle skin stem cells.… read more

Billions of particles of anti-matter created in laboratory

November 18, 2008

Lawrence Livermore National Labs scientists have created the largest number yet of anti-matter positrons (anti-electrons), using a short-pulse laser to accelerate electrons through a gold target.

“By creating this much anti-matter, we can study in more detail whether anti-matter really is just like matter, and perhaps gain more clues as to why the universe we see has more matter than anti-matter,” said Peter Beiersdorfer, a lead Livermore physicist.… read more

Genetic Code of Deadly Mosquito Cracked

May 20, 2007

An international consortium of researchers has sequenced the majority of the genome of the Aedes mosquito, the scourge behind outbreaks of the deadly yellow, dengue and even chikungunya fevers that kill thousands of people in Africa, South America and Asia every year.

The genetic blueprint offers hope that specific genes can be identified that would allow scientists to combat these tropical diseases in their carrier.

Breakthrough Nanotechnology Will Bring 100 Terabyte 3.5-inch Digital Data Storage Disks

August 16, 2004

100 terabytes of data on a 3.5-inch disk may be possible with a new technique for creating an “Atomic Holographic DVR” disc drive within five years, priced at $570 to $750 with the replacement discs for $45.

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