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A cell becomes a laser

June 13, 2011

This microscope image shows green laser light shining from a single biological cell (credit: Malte Gather).

The world’s first biological laser has been developed by physicists Malte Gather and Seok-Hyun Yun of Harvard Medical School. Built into a single cell, the laser might one day be used for light-based therapeutics, perhaps killing cancer cells deep inside the body.

The biolaser uses a green fluorescent protein (GFP). The researchers used cells derived from a human kidney, adding the DNA that codes for GFP. The… read more

A centenary celebration of the life and work of Alan Turing

June 21, 2012

Google recognizes Alan Turing's 100th birthday: June 23, 2012

June 23, 2012, is the Centenary of Alan Turing’s birth in London.

During his relatively brief life, Turing made a unique impact on the history of computing, computer science, artificial intelligence, developmental biology, and the mathematical theory of computability.

A number of major events are taking place throughout the year in celebration of Turing’s life and scientific impact. Most of these will be linked… read more

A Central Nervous System for Earth: HP’s Ambitious Sensor Network

November 20, 2009

HP Labs has announced a project that aims to be a “Central Nervous System for the Earth” (CeNSE): a R&D program to build a planetwide sensing network, using billions of tiny accelerometers that detect motion and vibrations, and later, ones for light, temperature, barometric pressure, airflow and humidity.

The nodes could be stuck to bridges and buildings to warn of structural strains or weather conditions and along roadsides to… read more

A challenge facing designers of future computer chips

November 8, 2012

The total conductance per unit area is similar for both tungsten (W) and gold (Au). However, by joining the two highly conducting metals, one finds a conductance density that is about 4 times lower of either material individually. (Credit: David J. Olivera et al./PNAS)

To build the computer chips of the future, designers will need to understand how an electrical charge behaves when it is confined to metal wires only a few atom-widths in diameter.

Researchers at at McGill University General Motors R&D, have shown that electrical current could be drastically reduced when wires from two dissimilar metals meet. The surprisingly sharp reduction in current reveals a significant challenge… read more

A chance to finish life: UPDATE

August 31, 2012

kim_suozzi

UPDATE 8/31/2012 10:15 a.m. EDT:

This just in from Shannon Vyff: “We have raised $27,000.00 in just a week, we were at $17,000.00 Thursday when a generous $10,000.00 donation from Life Extension Foundation come in. Our minimum goal is $35,000.00 to cover transportation and cryopreservation costs — if additional funds are raised Kim is hoping to be able to cover standby as well. I’m very thankful to our… read more

A cheap and easy plan to stop global warming

February 8, 2013

Phytoplankton bloom as a form of geoengineering (credit: Wikimedia Media)

Here is the plan. Customize several Gulfstream business jets with military engines and with equipment to produce and disperse fine droplets of sulfuric acid. Fly the jets up around 20 kilometers-significantly higher than the cruising altitude for a commercial jetliner but still well within their range. At that altitude in the tropics, the aircraft are in the lower stratosphere, reports MIT Technology Review.

The planes spray the… read more

A cheap spying tool with a high creepy factor

August 6, 2013

cheap_spying_tool

How easy would it be to monitor the movement of everyone on the street by a private citizen with a few hundred dollars to spare?

Brendan O’Connor, 27, bought some plastic boxes and stuffed them with a $25, credit-card size Raspberry Pi Model A computer and a few over-the-counter sensors, including Wi-Fi adapters, The New York Times reports.

He connected each of those boxes to a… read more

A Cheaper Solar Concentrator

February 20, 2009

Morgan Solar’s solar concentrator design promises to significantly lower the cost of generating electricity from the sun.

A Chemical to Grow Brain Cells

July 9, 2010

BlogNeurons

In research with mice at UT Southwestern Medical Center, a compound dubbed P7C3 enhanced production of new neurons in the hippocampus, a brain area involved in learning and memory.

It could also increase birth and survival of new neurons in older rats, according to statement by UT Southwestern Medical Center. The animals also had improved memory: they could better remember the location of a platform submerged in water,… read more

A Chinese Challenge to Intel

September 2, 2008

Chinese researchers have unveiled details of Godson-3, a scalable microprocessor with four cores (work in parallel) that they hope will bring personal computing to most ordinary people in China by 2010, with an eight-core version in development.

A Chip That Can Transfer Data Using Laser Light

September 17, 2006

Intel and University of California, Santa Barbara researchers plan to announce on Monday that they have created a silicon-based chip that can produce laser beams. The advance will make it possible to use laser light rather than wires to send data between chips.

Chip makers may be able to put the high-speed data communications industry on the same curve of increased processing speed and diminishing costs (Moore’s law) that… read more

A chlorophyll-based phototransistor

June 18, 2013

Chlorophyll_transistor

Shao-Yu Chen at the Institute of Atomic and Molecular Sciences in Taiwan and associates have incorporated chlorophyll into graphene transistors to make light-activated switches, MIT Technology Review reports.

The new phototransistor design consists of two silver electrodes connected by a sheet of graphene. The graphene is then covered by a layer of chlorophyll using a method known as drop casting. .

This layer has a significant influence… read more

A circuit diagram of the mouse brain

Max Planck scientists aim to analyze a whole mouse brain under the electron microscope.
October 24, 2012

Serial block-face electron microscopy stack from the corpus callosum, cut down the middle, with 50 traced myelinated axons emerging, randomly coloured (credit: MPI f. Medical Research)

Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Medical Research scientists are developing a complete circuit diagram of the brain of the mouse using an electron microscope to make fine extensions of almost every single neuron visible.

Most axons are less than one micron thick, some even smaller than 100 nanometers. “The electron microscope is the only microscope with a high enough resolution to enable individual axons lying next to each other… read more

A Clearer Picture of Cancer

November 24, 2008

A new 3-D near-infrared imaging system that uses an ultrafast camera and femtosecond laser to capture unscattered light has been developed by researchers at the Institute for Biological and Medical Imaging at the Helmholtz Center and Northeastern University.

It’s been used to create richer, higher-resolution images of the molecular workings of lung cancer in mice, and with further development, it might be used to study disease in thicker tissues… read more

A closed Android-based network to study cyber disruptions and help secure hand-held devices

October 4, 2012

Sandia builds self-contained, Android-based network to study cyber disruptions and help secure hand-held devices

As part of ongoing research to help prevent and mitigate disruptions to computer networks on the Internet, researchers at Sandia National Laboratories in California have turned their attention to smartphones and other hand-held computing devices.

Sandia cyber researchers linked together 300,000 virtual hand-held computing devices running the Android operating system so they could study large networks of smartphones and find ways to make them more reliable and… read more

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