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Gigabit Internet may be coming to 35 US cities

February 20, 2014

Google Fiber projects in the U.S. (credit: Google)

Google has invited cities in nine metro areas around the U.S. — 34 cities altogether — to “work with us to explore what it would take to bring them Google Fiber” at gigabit speeds — “100 times faster than what most of us live with today,” said Milo Medin, VP, Google Access, writing on the Google Fiber blog.

“We aim to provide updates by the end… read more

Stretchable, bendable optical interconnections for body sensors and robotic skin

February 20, 2014

bent_optical_circuit

Belgian researchers say they have created the first optical circuit that uses interconnections that are stretchable as well as bendable.The technology has applications like wearable body sensors and robotic skin.

These new interconnections, made of a rubbery transparent material called PDMS (polydimethylsiloxane), guide light along their path even when stretched up to 30% and when bent around an object the diameter of a human finger.

By… read more

New type of MRI ‘whole body’ scan could improve treatment of bone-marrow cancer

February 19, 2014

Patient setup for WB-DWI (credit: Institute of Cancer Research)

A new type of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan could improve care for a type of cancer called myeloma and reduce reliance on bone marrow biopsies, which can be painful for patients and often fail to show doctors how far the disease has spread.

The research, published Feb. 18 in the journal Radiology, was carried out by researchers at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, and The… read more

Intelligent alien life could be found by 2040, says SETI astronomer

February 19, 2014

Artist's rendition of an Earth-like exoplanet Gliese 436b (credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

“By 2040 or so, astronomers will have scanned enough star systems to give themselves a great shot of discovering alien-produced electromagnetic signals,” said Seth Shostak, Senior Astronomer at the SETI Institute, Space.com reports.

Shostak spoke at the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) symposium on Feb. 6 at Stanford University.

He will also speak at the Contact conference on March 21–23… read more

Zeroing in on how Alzheimer’s-disease toxins are created

Results may generate new targets for drug development
February 19, 2014

IFT_oligomers

Using the Gordon supercomputer at the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) at the University of California, San Diego, researchers have achieved new insights into how toxic molecular complexes associated with Alzheimer’s disease are created.

Igor Tsigelny, a research scientist with SDSC, the UCSD Moores Cancer Center, and the Department of Neurosciences, focused on a small peptide called amyloid-beta, which pairs up… read more

A drug that can help wipe out reservoirs of cancer cells in bone marrow

February 19, 2014

iv_bottle

Cancer drugs that recruit antibodies from the body’s own immune system to help kill tumors have shown much promise in treating several types of cancer. But the tumors often return.

A new study from MIT reveals a way to combat these recurrent tumors with a drug that makes them more vulnerable to the antibody treatment. This drug, known as cyclophosphamide, is already approved by the… read more

Apple patents health-and-fitness monitoring headphones

February 19, 2014

Fitness-heath-tracking

Apple has been awarded U.S. Patent No. 8,655,004 for a “sports monitoring system for headphones, earbuds and/or headsets,” Apple Insider reports.

The devices include accelerometers for detecting motion, and sensors for temperature, perspiration, heart-rate, activity, fitness, and other data.

Apple has “allegedly hired a number of experts in the field non-intrusive medical sensors,” Apple Insider reported last year.

The publication also notedread more

Chips that listen to bacteria

Sensing and disrupting biofilms
February 18, 2014

columbia_biofilms

A Columbia University research team has demonstrated that integrated circuit technology can be used for a study of signaling in bacterial colonies.

The researchers have developed a complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) chip that enables them to electrochemically image the signaling molecules from these colonies spatially and temporally.

In effect, they have developed chips that “listen” to bacteria.

“This is an exciting new application for CMOS technology that will… read more

Growing number of chemicals linked with brain disorders in children

214 human neurotoxicants now identified -- many widely used and disseminated extensively in the global environment
February 18, 2014

MRI-scans---mercury

Toxic chemicals may be triggering the recent increases in neurodevelopmental disabilities among children — such as autism, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and dyslexia — according to a new study from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. The researchers say a new global prevention strategy to control the use of these substances is urgently needed.

The report was published online February… read more

New multilayer graphene structure allows ‘ultraprecise,’ ‘ultrafast’ water filtering

Next step: reduce the filter size to filter out even the smallest salts like in seawater for drinkable water -- "no longer science fiction"
February 18, 2014

graphene_water

University of Manchester researchers have taken another key step toward a seawater filter: they’ve developed one-atom-wide graphene-oxide (GO) capillaries by building multilayer GO membranes (laminates).

As described in Science, these new laminates allow for “ultraprecise” selection of molecules that can go through the filter and “ultrafast” flow of water.

The new GO filters have an “astonishingly” accurate mesh that allows them to distinguish between atomic species… read more

Miniaturized hearing aids that will fit into the ear canal

Miniaturization tech could also be used to monitor pulse, blood-pressure, glucose, ECG via wireless, be used in implants, pacemakers
February 17, 2014

Invisibility cloak for hearing aids and implants

Fraunhofer IZM researchers are developing a miniature, low-power wireless microsystem to make hearing aids* so small they can be concealed out of sight within the ear.

The technology is also suitable for implants, pacemakers, and insulin pumps. This all means that the system uses only a fraction of the energy required by conventional devices, keeping cumbersome battery changes to a minimum. “Ideally, patients should not even be feeling of… read more

Super-bright, fast X-ray free-electron lasers can now image single layer of proteins

Scientists to image the missing 25 percent of known proteins
February 17, 2014

xfel_structure_protein

A new method for determining a protein’s shape just one protein molecule thick, using X-ray free-electron lasers (XFEL), significantly increases the number and type of proteins that researchers can study.

In biology, a protein’s shape is key to understanding how it causes disease or toxicity. Researchers who use X-rays to take snapshots of proteins need a billion copies of the same protein stacked and packed into a neat crystal.… read more

Wearable glasses help surgeons view cancer​​​​​​​​ cells in real time

Reduce the need for costly additional surgical procedures
February 17, 2014

wustl_cancer_glasses

Washington University School of Medicine scientists have developed a wearable display to help surgeons visualize cancer cells, which glow blue when viewed through the eyewear.

The wearable technology was used during surgery for the first time last week at Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital.

Cancer cells are notoriously difficult to see, even under high-powered magnification. The glasses are designed to make it easier… read more

IBM sets new speed record for Big Data

February 15, 2014

IBM SOI analog-to-digital converter chip design (credit: IBM)

IBM has announced it has achieved a new data-transmission advancement that will help improve Internet backbone speeds to 200 — 400 gigabits per second (Gb/s) at extremely low power.

The speed boost is based on a new lab prototype chip design that can be used to improve transfer of Big Data between clouds and data centers via fiber four times faster than current 100 Gb/s technology.… read more

Helping robots collaborate

February 14, 2014

herding_robots

A new system by MIT researchers combines simple control programs to enable fleets of robots — or other “multiagent systems” — to collaborate in unprecedented ways.

Writing a program to control a single autonomous robot navigating an uncertain environment with an erratic communication link is hard enough; write one for multiple robots that may or may not have to work in tandem, depending on the task, is even harder.… read more

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