March 26, 2014
“We’ve come a long way in the last 18 months: from foam core prototypes built in a garage to an incredible community of active and talented developers with more than 75,000 development kits ordered.
“In the process, we’ve… read more
University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers have discovered a new way to make large concentrations of skeletal muscle cells and muscle progenitors from human stem cells.
The new method, described in the journal Stem Cells Translational Medicine, could be used to generate large numbers of muscle cells and muscle progenitors directly from human pluripotent stem cells. (Pluripotent stem cells, such as embryonic (ES) or induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells,… read more
MIT bioengineers have adapted MRI to visualize gene activity inside the brains of living animals.
Tracking these genes with MRI would enable scientists to learn more about how the genes control processes such as forming memories and learning new skills, says Alan Jasanoff, an MIT associate professor of biological engineering and leader of the research team.
“The dream of molecular imaging is to provide… read more
Physicists at the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo have demonstrated the distribution of three entangled photons at three different locations (Alice, Bob, and Charlie) several hundreds of meters apart for the first time, proving quantum nonlocality for more than two entangled photons.
The findings of the experiment, Experimental Three-Particle Quantum Nonlocality under Strict Locality Conditions, are published in… read more
MIT engineers have coaxed bacterial cells to produce biofilms that can incorporate nonliving materials, such as gold nanoparticles and quantum dots.
These “living materials” combine the advantages of live cells — which respond to their environment, produce complex biological molecules, and span multiple length scales — with the benefits of nonliving materials, which add functions such as conducting electricity or emitting light.
This approach could one… read more
NASA’s new zoomable, 360-degree mosaic, presented Thursday at the TED 2014 Conference in Vancouver, allows for exploring the Milky Way interactively.
The panorama of our galaxy is constructed from more than 2 million infrared snapshots taken over the past 10 years by NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope.
The 20-gigapixel mosaic uses Microsoft’s WorldWide Telescope visualization platform. It captures about three percent of our sky, but because it… read more
Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) scientists have tested the olfactory capacity of human volunteers and found that humans are capable of discriminating at least one trillion different odors — not just 10,000 different odors, a number first proposed decades ago and not backed by data.
MIT scientists have developed a way to image cells (without fluorescent markers or other labels) as they flow through a tiny microfluidic channel for sorting.
This is an important step toward cell-sorting systems that could help scientists separate stem cells at varying stages of development, or to distinguish healthy cells from cancerous cells, the scientists say.
Other cell-sorting methods require adding a fluorescent molecule that highlights… read more
In a new study published in the Journal of Neuroscience, Vanderbilt psychologists show that it is possible to learn through the application of a mild electrical current to the brain, and that this effect can be enhanced or depressed depending on the direction of the current.
The medial-frontal cortex is believed to be the part of the brain responsible for the instinctive “Oops!” response we have when we… read more
Nanoscale unique patterns* made from tiny, randomly scattered silver nanowires could authenticate goods, dealing with the growing problem of counterfeiting, say South Korea researchers.
The patterns are made by randomly dumping 20 to 30 individual nanowires, each with a diameter of about 70 nanometers and an average length of 10 to 50 microns, onto a thin plastic film, and could be used to tag a variety of goods from electronics and… read more
Researchers at Karolinska Institutet and Uppsala University have discovered that a substance called Vacquinol-1 makes cells from glioblastoma, the most aggressive type of brain tumor, literally explode.
When mice were given the substance, which can be given in tablet form, tumor growth was reversed and survival was prolonged. The findings are published in the journal Cell.
The app could make monitoring conditions such as HIV, tuberculosis, malaria, diabetes, kidney disease, and urinary tract infections clearer and easier for both patients and doctors, and could eventually be used to slow or limit the spread of pandemics in the developing world, the researchers say.… read more
“Fresh” rock — nature’s atmospheric carbon dioxide regulator — explains why the Earth has become neither sweltering like Venus nor frigid like Mars. So say researchers from USC and Nanjing University in China.
Scientists have long known that “fresh” rock pushed to the surface via mountain formation effectively acts as a kind of sponge, soaking up the greenhouse gas CO2.
Left unchecked, however, that process would… read more
University of Utah electrical engineers fabricated the smallest plasma transistors that can withstand the high temperatures and ionizing radiation found in a nuclear reactor.
Such transistors someday might enable smartphones that take and collect medical X-rays on a battlefield, and devices to measure air quality in real time.
“These plasma-based electronics can be used to control and guide robots to conduct tasks inside the nuclear reactor,”… read more