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Shocking Cells Into Submission

June 6, 2003

A new treatment called electroporation uses pulses of electric current to force cells to accept DNA, which is designed to fight HIV, cardiovascular disease and other maladies.

On Your Last Nerve: Researchers Advance Understanding of Stem Cells

November 20, 2009

North Carolina State University researchers have identified a gene, FoxJ1, that tells embryonic stem cells in the brain when to stop producing neurons.

The research could lead to new treatments to replace damaged or diseased brain tissue.

New data transmission record — 60 DVDs per second

March 27, 2006

German and Japanese scientists recently collaborated to achieve a newworld record for data transmission.

By transmitting a data signal at 2.56 terabits per second over a 160-kilometer link, the researchers bettered the old record of 1.28 terabits per second held by a Japanese group. By comparison, the fastest high-speed links currently carry data at a maximum 40 Gbit/s, or around 50 times slower.

Study links diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease

May 1, 2008

Salk Institute researchers have identified a probable molecular basis for the connection between diabetes and a higher risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease.

In young mice with diabetes, beta amyloid (found in Alzheimer’s) and elevated blood glucose appeared to interact. This caused an overproduction of free radicals, leading to oxidative damage to the cells lining the brain’s blood vessels.

Diabetic patients have a 30 to 65 percent higher risk… read more

Computing’s Big Shift: Flexibility in the Chips

June 16, 2003

An emerging type of chip architecture known as adaptive, or reconfigurable, computing, could transform technology, combining the programmability of the microprocessor with the speed of dedicated hardware.

With this new approach, software is able to effectively redraw a chip’s physical circuitry on the fly. Adaptive computing enables a single chip to perform tasks normally requiring several; it can add speed while saving cost and energy, compared to today’s conventional… read more

3D mash-up maps let you ‘edit’ the world

December 1, 2009

(Ordnance Survey)

As part of a project to demonstrate the potential of 3D mapping, lasers were fired at the coastal resort of Bournemouth in southern England from the ground and from the air to capture the height of buildings, trees and other features, using a technique called Lidar.

Adding information from aerial photos and traditional surveys produced a full-color 3D map, built up from more than 700 million points. The map… read more

Nano-patterns guide stem cell development

April 9, 2006

Stem cells can be prompted to develop into bone, instead of muscle or cartilage tissue, if they are grown on a substrate etched with nanoscopic patterns – and no added chemicals, University of Glasgow researchers have found.

The discovery could lead to longer-lasting artificial implants that are nano-engineered to encourage suitable tissue to develop around them.

Precisely why these patterns affect stem cell growth is unclear, but the… read more

Recommendation Nation

May 6, 2008

On the Internet, the focus of digital personalization has shifted from what people are interested in now to what they might be interested in next, using automated suggestion algorithms.

Click-throughs are the currency of the recommendation nation. The more choices you make (or decline to make), the more finely tuned the recommendations become. The more your peers interact with Amazon, the better Amazon’s engines can infer which recommendations will… read more

Coatings and arrays help put medication where it’s needed

June 30, 2003

Small tech is helping medicinal molecules such as proteins, peptides, genes and vaccines reach the right destination with greater precision, speed and control.

Researchers are developing devices that can deliver drugs to specific structures within the cell. Others are developing devices to be implanted under a patient’s skin or in the abdomen that would provide tiny, precise doses of hormones, pain medication or other pharmaceuticals on a customizable schedule.… read more

You’ll buy more from web ads that know how you think

December 8, 2009

An “ad morphing” system that serves up banner ads that fit a website user’s personality type has been developed by MIT Sloan School of Management researchers.

It uses a program called the Bayesian Inference Engine running unobtrusively on a user’s computer to monitor the person’s click patterns to determine how they respond to different textual and visual cues. This is then used to categorize the user’s cognitive style and… read more

NANO Design Showing Online

April 23, 2006

Transhumanist Arts and Culture Showings has introduced the “NANO” group showing, featuring eight designers: Gina Miller, Forrest Bishop, Anders Sandberg, Robert A. Freitas Jr., Eric Viktor, Philippe Van Nedervelde, Michael Gallagher, and Natasha Vita-More.

According to Vita-More, “NANO is a rare opportunity to view selected nano images by designers whose backgrounds embrace fine arts, multimedia, technology, science and engineering. Compiling the diverse milieu is brought about through… read more

Climate scientists call for their own ‘Manhattan Project’

May 9, 2008

The world’s climate modellers are drawing up plans for a global supercomputing center with computing power of 100 petaflops that would provide detailed local forecasts of future climate change, with the intent of generating useful forecasts of water supply, droughts, health, and future food supply.

Machines that Reproduce May be Reality

July 11, 2003

Researchers have created a primordial soup that works like a digital DNA factory, where T-shaped “codons” swim in a computer-generated virtual liquid forming single, double, and even triple strands.

Like DNA, these digital particles “can be assembled into patterns that encode” information, claims robotics scientist Peter Turney. Given sufficient time, a soup of separated individual particles will “spontaneously form self-replicating patterns.”

Learning to love to hate robots

December 15, 2009

Recent studies illuminate the skills robots need if they are to get along with humans.

When a box-like robot called TUG went to work in hospitals carrying drugs between wards, the robot’s inability to tell if it was a good time to interrupt and announce its presence was a big problem for some staff members, who lashed out and kicked TUG in frustration.

“If you are going to… read more

NASA plans cloud marketplace for scientists

November 4, 2011

NASA plans to offer a cloud storefront where scientists can determine their computing needs and access cloud services from a central location.

NASA already operates the Nebula cloud computing platform, an open-source, private cloud platform, primarily for scientific computing. Nebula includes data centers built in shipping containers as part of its infrastructure.

NASA now plans to expand beyond Nebula with a cloud marketplace and new services… read more

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