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SARS Virus is Mutating, Fear Doctors

April 18, 2003

“A cluster of SARS patients in Hong Kong with unusual symptoms has prompted concern that the virus causing the disease is mutating….Scientists in Hong Kong are now urgently sequencing key genes from recently isolated coronaviruses to reveal any changes.”

Anticancer Nanotech: Protein Can Be Used To Carry Radioactive Isotopes To Cancerous Tumor

September 23, 2009

Nanospheres of Albumin, a protein found in the blood, can be used to carry radioactive isotopes to the site of a cancerous tumor in the body, avoiding many of the side-effects of conventional radiotherapy, researchers at the National Institute of R&D for Physics and Nuclear Engineering, in Bucharest have found.

Hydrogen Storage In Nanoparticles Works: Outlook For Hydrogen Cars Improved

April 2, 2008

Dutch chemist Kees Balde has discovered that 30-nanometer particles of the metal hydride sodium alanate make storage and release of hydrogen possible, allowing for it to be more easily used in mobile applications.

With the addition of a titanium catalyst, a further reduction in the particle size to 20 nanometers is possible, allowing for even more efficient storage of hydrogen.

Window to the Heart: New Eye Exam Spots Disease Risk

February 6, 2006

University of Melbourne researchers have shown in several large-scale studies that abnormalities of the blood vessels in the retina can be used to predict patients’ risk for diabetes, hypertension, stroke and heart disease.

The approach involves analyzing digital photographs of patients’ retinas and studying them to find narrowing or ballooning of the small blood vessels. Systemic diseases often cause changes in the eye that can show up as red… read more

Liars can’t completely suppress facial expressions

July 19, 2011

MarkFrank10

Although liars can reduce facial actions when under scrutiny, they can’t suppress them all, says Mark Frank, who has spent two decades studying the faces of people lying when in high-stakes situations and has good news for security experts.

“Executing Facial Control During Deception Situations,” a new study he co-authored with former graduate student Carolyn M. Hurley, PhD (published earlier this year in the Journalread more

Old age’s mental slowdown may be reversible

May 2, 2003

Administering tranquilers to monkeys to increase GABA or its effects can reverse mental decline, say researchers.

As people get older, the neurons in their brains increasingly fire non-selectively. By helping neurons to respond only to specific stimuli, GABA enables the brain to make sense of the vast quantity of incoming information.

App of the Week: Live From Anywhere, You

September 30, 2009

Free Ustream apps for the Google Android and Nokia N-series cell phones let you broadcast live video and audio from your phone to a Web site where friends (and optionally the public) can view it, and an iPhone 3GS app lets you upload videos for viewing.

Giant robots could carry lunar bases on their backs

April 6, 2008

NASA engineers are testing out a giant, six-legged robot that could pick up and move a future Moon base thousands of kilometers across the lunar surface, allowing astronauts to explore much more than just the area around their landing site.

The Opposite of Doping

February 17, 2006

By measuring hormone and other chemical levels before, during and after tough workouts, trainers can precisely tailor an athlete’s regimen.

Scientists at HortResearch in New Zealand are developing a non-invasive and painless method of doing that. Some trainers are already using Hort’s technology by measuring testosterone, cortisol and creatin kinase.

The ultimate goal is to create a portable, non-invasive, ultrasound testing device that can test athletes in real… read more

Proteins Are Transformed, Then Put to More Uses

May 13, 2003

Duke University scientists say they have developed powerful computational techniques to alter proteins so they can perform new functions, such as detecting the explosive TNT and the brain chemical serotonin (for possible use in a diagnostic test). They used a computer program to predict how to alter the protein so it will bind to something different.

Body Posture Affects Confidence In Your Own Thoughts, Study Finds

October 6, 2009

Ohio State University researchers have found that people who were told to sit up straight were more likely to believe thoughts they wrote down while in that posture concerning whether they were qualified for a job, while those who were slumped over their desks were less likely to accept these written-down feelings about their own qualifications.

Newly discovered ‘superinsulators’ promise to transform materials research, electronics design

April 8, 2008

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory in collaboration with several European institutions have found that titanium nitride chilled to near absolute zero converts to a superinsulator, with resistance suddenly increased by a factor of 100,000.

Superinsulators could eventually find their way into a number of products, including circuits, sensors and battery shields. Scientists could eventually form superinsulators that would encapsulate superconducting wires, creating an optimally… read more

A viral influence on life’s origins?

March 6, 2006

Nature has just published a hypothesis regarding the formation of the nucleus based on molecular parasites, introduced to eukaryotes along with the adoption of bacteria to form the mitochondria.

Graphene-based thin films may lead to flexible displays

August 3, 2011

Graphene grid (credit:

Researchers atĀ Rice University have created thin films that could revolutionize touch-screen displays, solar panels, and LED lighting — a strong candidate to replaceĀ indium tin oxide (ITO).

ITO is a commercial product widely used as a transparent, conductive coating. It’s the essential element in virtually all flat-panel displays, including touch screens on smart phones and iPads, and is part of organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs)… read more

With SARS, Antivirus Arms Race Heats Up

May 28, 2003

The development of antiviral drugs has lagged behind that of antibacterial drugs, but a variety of approaches is currently being applied to developing defensive technologies against viruses.

Editorial comment: “Of all the things we can do for GNR [genetics, nanotechnology, and robotics] defense, developing defensive technologies against viruses is the most important right now,” comments Ray Kurzweil.

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