science + technology news

Skin and bones ‘made to measure’

January 19, 2005

University of Manchester scientists are developing an inkjet printer that can create “made to measure” skin and bones to treat people with severe burns or disfigurements.

Human cells are suspended in a nutrient-rich liquid before being printed out in several thin layers. The printers create 3-D structures, known as tissue scaffolds.

“Bumpy” surfaces could lead to self-cleaning windows

January 19, 2005

Ohio State University engineers are designing surfaces with nanometer high bumps that could result in super-slick, water-repellent surfaces that mimic the texture of lotus leaves.

They could allow manufacturers to make self-cleaning windows or reduce friction between moving parts in micro or nano-machines that can’t be lubricated by normal means.

Ohio State University news release

One-third of human genome regulated by RNA: study

January 19, 2005

Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and MIT researchers have discovered that small RNA molecules called microRNAs regulate thousands of human genes– more than one third of the genome’s protein-coding regions.

These findings contribute to the recent interest in potential therapeutic uses of RNA. For example, using a technique known as RNA interference, or RNAi, researchers are shutting off genes by delivering artificial microRNA-like molecules (siRNAs) into cells. RNAi has… read more

Do You Want to Live Forever?

January 19, 2005

“Aubrey de Grey thinks he knows how to defeat aging. He’s brilliant, but is he nuts?” asks’s lead to Sherwin Nuland’s article on Aubrey de Grey. This article “has created quite a buzz, particularly in the Technology Review forums,” and Aubrey de Grey’s letter in response to the article is available on the website.

Aubrey de Grey Responds

Elsevier Announces First-ever Journal of Nanomedicine

January 18, 2005

Scientific and medical publisher Elsevier plans to launch in March the world’s first peer-reviewed journal devoted to nanomedicine.

Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology, and Medicine will be the official publication of the American Academy of Nanomedicine. The journal will publish the most important papers in basic and clinical nanomedicine, diagnostic advances and applications, pharmacologic nanomedicine, engineering and biotechnology for clinical applications, and more.

The first issue includes an essay by… read more

Artificial Spider Silk Could Be Used for Armor, More

January 18, 2005

Scientists have uncovered the genetic formula that spiders use to make silk from proteins and possibly improve on it.

Understanding how spiders do this could someday result in new stronger and lighter materials that could replace plastics. Other uses include extremely thin sutures for eye or nerve surgery, plasters and other wound covers, artificial ligaments and tendons, and textiles for parachutes.

Open-Source Biology Evolves

January 18, 2005

The Biological Innovation for Open Society, or BIOS, will soon launch an open-source platform that promises to free up rights to patented DNA sequences and the methods needed to manipulate biological material.

Just like open-source software, open-source biology users own the patents to their creations, but cannot hinder others from using the original shared information to develop similar products. Any improvements of the shared methods of BIOS, the Science… read more

Micromachine grows its own muscles

January 18, 2005

UCLA scientists ahve developed a micromachine that walks using muscles that it grows for itself. The device could lead to nanobots that clear away plaque from inside the walls of a human coronary artery or to muscle-based nerve stimulators that let paralyzed patients breathe without a ventilator.

They built the micromachine by etching the silicon structure using photolithography before coating the frame with a polymer and selectively depositing gold… read more

Patients Put on Thinking Caps

January 17, 2005

Brain-computer interface, or BCI, technology has ramped up considerably in the past five years. More than half of the scientific papers on the topic were published in just the past two years. Also, by connecting their patients’ brains directly to a computer, researchers have seen improvement in patients’ ability to control a cursor.

ET Visitors: Scientists See High Likelihood

January 17, 2005

Our world is immersed in a much larger extraterrestrial civilization, recent astrophysical discoveries suggest.

Why the Sun seems to be ‘dimming’

January 17, 2005

Scientists have reached the disturbing conclusion that the amount of solar energy reaching the Earth’s surface has been gradually falling due to air pollution. By, 2100, there could be a temperature rise of 10 degrees Celsius, rendering many parts of the world uninhabitable.

Can studying the human brain revolutionise economics?

January 17, 2005

A new field dubbed “neuroeconomics” may provide fresh insights on how reason and emotion together produce economic behavior.

Grids Unleash the Power of Many

January 14, 2005

Computer scientists in three states — West Virginia, North Carolina, and Colorado — are each combining their technology resources into separate computer grids that will give researchers, universities, private companies and citizens access to powerful supercomputers.

The project designers say these information aqueducts will encourage business development, accelerate scientific research, and improve the efficiency of government.

Dr. Nanotech vs. Cancer

January 14, 2005

Nanosensors being developed by California Institute of Technology researchers will simultaneously look for thousands of different biomolecules and could be the basis for more accurate, cheaper, and more convenient cancer tests.

To turn a nanowire into a transistor, the researchers bring each of its ends into contact with metal wires so that a current can be passed through it. They then position an electrode close to the nanowire. Charging… read more

DNA scheme builds computers

January 13, 2005

Researchers have devised a pair of computer architectures that would be built from self-assembling DNA.

Computers assembled by DNA have the potential to be extremely small, fast and inexpensive, and would consume very little power.

The researchers’ architectures call for single-stranded artificial DNA molecules that have silicon nanorods attached to their ends to assemble into circuit patterns. The DNA junctions between rods are then plated with metal to… read more

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