science + technology news

Scientists Report Evidence of Saltwater Pools on Mars

March 25, 2004

Mars was once a much warmer, wetter place, with pools of saltwater that sometimes flowed across the surface, scientists reported Tuesday. It was the first concrete evidence that water might have flowed on the Martian surface, and it provided new hints that life may have existed there.

Smart nanoparticles target cancer cells

March 24, 2004

Researchers at the University of Michigan’s Center for Biologic Nanotechnology are developing “smart” drug delivery devices to knock out cancer cells with lethal doses, leaving normal cells unharmed, and even reporting back on their success.

The U-M group is using lab-made spherical nanoparticles called dendrimers as the backbones of their delivery system. These spheres have loose ends where you can attach a targeting agent that can recognize a cancer… read more

Tell It What You’re Searching For

March 24, 2004

Web surfers may be able to talk to their computers one day using a browser announced by Opera Software. The new browser incorporates IBM’s ViaVoice technology, enabling the computer to ask what the user wants and “listen” to the request.

The new browser will allow users to interact with the content on the Web in a more natural way and could open up the Internet to users physically unable… read more

Onfolio Organizes Your Web Searches

March 24, 2004

Onfolio, one of a new class of productivity software called Search Information Managers, makes it easier for users to research, store, reorganize, and share Web-based and private information.

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.

Mr. Otis, Call Your Office: A Nano-Elevator Is Built

March 23, 2004

In an elegant bit of nanoscale engineering, chemists at the University of California, Los Angeles have designed and built what must be the world’s tiniest elevator, a molecular platform on legs that can be raised or lowered on command.

The device, created by Dr. J. Fraser Stoddart, a professor of organic chemistry, and colleagues from rotaxane molecules, is about 2.5 nanometers high, and the platform moves less than a… read more

Adult stem cell transplants fail in 2 studies

March 23, 2004

Two failed attempts to transplant adult stem cells into the hearts of laboratory mice are casting doubt on the value and safety of clinical trials testing a similar approach to repair the hearts of humans.

Silicon-based magnets boost spintronics

March 23, 2004

A family of silicon-based semiconductors that exhibit magnetic properties has been discovered, paving the way for “spintronic” computer chips that are compatible with existing silicon manufacturing technology.

Greenhouse gas level hits record high

March 23, 2004

The level of the major greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, in the Earth’s atmosphere has hit a record high and its rate of increase may have accelerated in the last two years.

Human breasts grown on mice

March 23, 2004

Lab mice have grown human breast tissue on mice. Researchers commonly use genetically engineered mice to study cancer, but the animal disease differs slightly from the human one. Transplanting human breast tissue into mice will make a better model.

NASA to Announce Another ‘Major’ Discovery by the Opportunity Mars Rover

March 23, 2004

NASA will announce a “major scientific finding” from its Mars Rover mission on Tuesday, March 23 at 2 p.m. ET, carried live on NASA TV.

Immune cells grown in a dish

March 22, 2004

Scientists have found a way to grow a bountiful supply of disease-fighting T cells from embryonic stem cells to deliver better cancer and HIV therapy.

Genetic Predictions: Just a Swab Away

March 22, 2004

A growing number of companies sell genetic testing and counseling services to screen patients for various genetic disorders, capitalizing on the vast amount of information emerging from the recently completed Human Genome Project.

The tests may lead to preventive measures, such as taking vitamins or antioxidants. But medical experts worry about the relevance of the tests, and about consumers’ ability to interpret the lab results accurately.

New Studies Question Value of Opening Arteries

March 22, 2004

Most bypass surgery and angiogplasty are worthless, or even worse, because they are based on the wrong model of heart disease: fixing narrowings of specific blood vessels.

Heart patients may have hundreds of vulnerable plaques, so preventing heart attacks means going after all their arteries, not one narrowed section, by attacking the disease itself. That is what happens when patients take drugs to aggressively lower their cholesterol levels, get… read more

A Grand plan for brainy robots

March 19, 2004

On a good day, Lucy can tell a banana apart from an apple. And that’s handy skill to have if you are an orangutan. Even a robotic one….

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