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A look to the future

September 24, 2008

Regenstrief Institute investigators have demonstrated how health information exchange technologies developed and tested regionally can be used to securely share patient information across the nation during an emergency, using the Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN).

Scientists create fifth form of carbon

March 24, 2004

Researchers at the Australian National University in Canberra have created a new form of carbon: an intersecting web of nanosize carbon tubes formed at temperatures of around 10,000 degrees C.

“Nanofoam” could one day help treat cancer by absorbing infrared heat and enhance MRI scans because of its magnetic properties.

How the brain deals you a poor hand

June 21, 2010

Our brains have inner representations that perceive the hand as two-thirds wider than it really is, and their fingers a third shorter, University College London researchers have found.

Afternoon naps may boost heart health

February 13, 2007

A study of nearly 24,000 people found that those who regularly took midday naps were nearly 40 percent less likely to die from heart disease than non-nappers.

Researchers suggest that siestas might protect the heart by lowering levels of stress hormones.

Teaching Bacteria to Behave

October 2, 2008

Single-celled organisms could be “trained” through associative learning to deliver drugs by employing molecular circuits to build stronger associations between stimuli applied simultaneously, according to a multidisciplinary team from Germany, Holland, and the United Kingdom.

Research on genetically engineering remote-controlled bacteria to release drugs is already under way.

Insanely Destructive Devices

April 5, 2004

If we can’t defend against an attack, perhaps the rational response is to reduce the incentives to attack, says Lawrence Lessig.

Rather than designing space suits, maybe we should focus on ways to eliminate the reasons to annihilate us. Rather than stirring up a hornet’s nest and then hiding behind a bush, maybe the solution is to avoid the causes of rage. Crazies, of course, can’t be reasoned with.… read more

Technology Innovator’s Mobile Move

June 28, 2010

SRI International is hoping to bring the concept of virtual personal assistants closer to reality.

Recently, the institute has set its sights on the mobile phone and Web market, especially on creating applications that perform personal functions.

SRI’s newest venture: a Web-based personalized news feed, Chattertrap, that monitors what people are reading to learn what they like, and then serves up articles and links that suit their interests.… read more

Renewable fuels will revolutionize agriculture, says U.S. official

February 21, 2007

Growing demand for grains that can be converted to clean ethanol or biodiesel fuels distilled from plants will likely revolutionize agriculture in both rich and poor countries, a top U.S. agriculture official said.

Concerned about global climate change and dependence on Middle East oil, U.S. and European leaders have set high targets for increasing the use of biofuels. Some experts question whether farmers in those regions can meet the… read more

Attacking Cancer Stem Cells

October 8, 2008

Harvard Medical School researchers have developed a new way to find drugs that selectively kill “cancer stem cells” or prevent them from dividing (cancer stem cells are now thought to be capable of generating and maintaining a tumor and are resistant to standard cancer treatments).

The team is currently using the method to identify drug candidates for leukemia, a disease for which cancer stem cells have been well characterized.… read more

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

No Chip in Arm, No Shot From Gun

April 15, 2004

A new “smart gun” computer chip promises to keep police guns from firing if they fall into the wrong hands, using a tiny chip implanted in a police officer’s hand that would match up with a scanning device inside a handgun.

If the officer and gun match, a digital signal unlocks the trigger so it can be fired. But if a child or criminal would get hold of the… read more

Novel, backed by Vancouver VCs, uses gaming tech to make business simulations for companies

July 6, 2010

Novel Inc. plans to apply massively multiplayer online (MMO) virtual-reality video-game techniques to create new kinds of games and business simulations for companies.

A company might evaluate its prospective employees’ leadership and teamwork skills by having a group of job candidates enter a game-like computer simulation where each person controls a virtual character. The simulation would present the group with various management problems, or other business situations. By watching… read more

First direct electric link between neurons and light-sensitive nanoparticle films created

March 1, 2007

The world’s first direct electrical link between nerve cells and photovoltaic nanoparticle films has been achieved by researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) and the University of Michigan.

The development opens the door to applying the unique properties of nanoparticles to a wide variety of light-stimulated nerve-signaling devices — including the possible development of a nanoparticle-based artificial retina.

Brain boost drugs ‘growing trend’

October 15, 2008

Up to a fifth of adults, including college students and shift workers, may be using cognitive enhancers, a poll of 1,400 by Nature journal suggests.

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.

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