Engineering ‘backup’ mitochondrial genes to restore power to cells

Re-engineered mutated mitochondrial genes could prevent incurable disorders and slow down aging
September 16, 2016

Mitochondrion structure (credit: Kelvinsong; modified by Sowlos/CC)

‘Perfect’ low-cost, defect-free graphene directly from graphite

May make it possible for the semiconductor industry to scale up use of graphene
September 15, 2016

Atomic force microscope (AFM) image (scale bar 5 μm) with height profile indicating the single-layer nature of the obtained graphene with lateral dimensions of ~10 micrometers a height of ~1.5 nanometers. (credit: Philipp Vecera et al./Nature Communications)

Paralyzed man regains use of arms and hands after experimental stem cell therapy

Initial results offer hope for patients to reclaim independence after suffering severe spinal injury
September 12, 2016

Kris Boesen (credit: USC)

How AI may affect urban life in 2030

September 2, 2016

(credit: AI100)

Google’s secret plan for quantum computer supremacy

September 2, 2016

UCSB Martinis Group's superconducting five-qubit array (credit: Erik Lucero)

A cheap, long-lasting, sustainable battery for grid energy storage

Oh, and they don't explode
September 2, 2016

Zinc-ion battery (credit: Dipan Kundu et al./Nature Energy

‘Star in a jar’ could lead to limitless fusion energy

New compact spherical tokamak design may overcome physics challenges
August 30, 2016

Spherical torus/tokamak design for fusion nuclear science facility showing magnets and other systems and structures (credit: J.E. Menard et al./Nucl. Fusion)

Mystery radio signal may be from distant star system — or a military transmitter

August 29, 2016

RATAN-600 radio telescope (credit: nat-geo.ru)

3-D-printed structures that ‘remember’ their shapes

Heat-responsive shape-memory materials may aid in controlled drug delivery and solar panel tracking, for example
August 29, 2016

In this series, a 3-D printed multimaterial shape-memory minigripper, consisting of shape-memory hinges and adaptive touching tips, grasps a cap screw. (credit: Photo courtesy of Qi (Kevin) Ge)

Designing new ultrasound imaging tools with Lego-like proteins

Imaging specific cells and molecules deeper in the body
August 26, 2016

Protein-shelled structures called gas vesicles, illustrated here, can be engineered with Lego-like proteins to improve ultrasound methods. The gas vesicles can help detect specific cell types and create multicolor images. (credit: Barth van Rossum for Caltech)

Ultrasound jump-starts brain of man in coma

New non-invasive technique may lead to low-cost therapy for patients with severe brain injury --- possibly for those in a vegetative or minimally conscious state
August 26, 2016

The technique uses ultrasound to target the thalamus. (credit: Martin Monti/UCLA)

Implantable cell-size ‘neural pixel’ device senses and blocks epileptic seizures

August 26, 2016

A biochemical pathway for reducing chemically induced epileptic activity by delivering the natural neurotransmitter GABA via PEDOT:PSS electrodes, which also sensed the epileptic attack and recorded the subsequent electrophysiological activity to confirm effecctiveness (credit: Amanda Jonsson et al./PNAS)

‘We are probably one of the last generations of Homo sapiens’ — Yuval Noah Harari

August 25, 2016

(credit: Cognitive)

The first autonomous soft robot powered only by a chemical reaction

The 3D-printed "octobot" is powered by oxygen released from hydrogen peroxide and controlled by microfluidics --- no electronics
August 24, 2016

The octobot is powered by a chemical reaction and controlled with a soft logic board. A reaction inside the bot transforms a small amount of liquid fuel (hydrogen peroxide) into a large amount of oxygen gas, which flows into the octobot's arms and inflates them like a balloon. The team used a microfluidic logic circuit, a soft analog of a simple electronic oscillator, to control when hydrogen peroxide decomposes to gas in the octobot. SD card shown for scale only. (credit: Lori Sanders)

A possible habitable planet is only four light-years away, astronomers discover

Proxima b's estimated temperature would allow for a liquid state on its surface, placing it within the "habitable zone" around the star (assuming water is present) --- Hawking's $100 million Breakthrough Starshot vindicated
August 24, 2016

Artist's impression shows a view of the surface of the planet Proxima b orbiting the red dwarf star Proxima Centauri, the closest star to the Solar System. The double star Alpha Centauri AB also appears in the image to the upper-right of the star Proxima. (credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser)

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