Using an advanced speech-recognition/voice response chip, an electronic memory, and facial motors, Amazing Amanda, scheduled for release next month by Playmates Toys, will “listen, speak and show emotion,” with responses customized to the individual child.
June 12, 2006
The use of “smart pills” that increase concentration, focus, wakefulness and short-term memory is soaring.
November 11, 2009
Dr. J. Allan Hobson, a psychiatrist and sleep researcher at Harvard, argues that dreaming is a parallel state of consciousness that is continually running but normally suppressed during waking. This is supported by research on lucid dreaming, which has been found to have elements of both rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep and of waking.
Hobson argues that the main function of REM, when most dreaming occurs, is physiological: the brain is… read more
February 19, 2014
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
July 17, 2013
A drug candidate designed by scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) significantly increases exercise endurance in animal models, an international group of scientists has shown.
These findings could lead to new approaches to helping people with conditions that acutely limit exercise tolerance, such as obesity, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and congestive heart failure, as well as the decline of… read more
May 22, 2009
Eyenovations has developed contact lenses that can deliver drugs to the eye for a month or more, using a hydrogel lens with a polymer film inside that contains the medication.
Uses include delivery of medicine without relying on frequent eyedrops for patients with glaucoma and for delivering antibiotics following eye surgery.
November 18, 2013
Stanford researchers have developed an inexpensive, corrosion-free device that uses light to split water into oxygen and clean-burning hydrogen.
The goal is to supplement solar cells with hydrogen-powered fuel cells that can generate electricity when the sun isn’t shining or demand is high.
The novel device — a silicon semiconductor coated in an ultrathin layer of nickel — could help pave the way for large-scale production of… read more
September 18, 2008
Carnegie Mellon University researchers are developing software that could identify a person’s face in a low-resolution video and could be used to identify criminals or missing persons, or could be integrated into next-generation video search engines.
March 13, 2006
UCSB researchers have created sensors using specific DNA sequences, combined with off-the-shelf components, that can detect cocaine in the blood and other substances.
The sensor consists of a gold electrode covered in specific strands of DNA. When the target molecule, in this case cocaine, binds to the DNA, it changes conformation. That change increases current flow through the electrode, creating a measurable electronic signal that can be read by… read more
April 24, 2014
MIT researchers have developed a test that can rapidly assess several DNA repair systems, which could help determine individuals’ risk of developing cancer and help doctors predict how a given patient will respond to chemotherapy drugs.
Our DNA is under constant attack from many sources, including environmental pollutants, ultraviolet light, and radiation. Fortunately, cells have several major DNA repair systems that can fix… read more
October 31, 2008
UC San Diego bioengineers have created the first stable, fast, and programmable genetic clock that reliably keeps time by the blinking of fluorescent proteins inside E. coli cells.
To create the clock, UC San Diego scientists genetically engineered a molecular oscillator composed of multiple gene promoters, which turn genes on in the presence of certain chemicals, and genes themselves, one of which codes for a fluorescent protein.… read more
January 10, 2007
A sensor that measures the concentration of viruses in minutes could make possible a handheld device that cheaply and quickly spots pathogens.
July 21, 2013
MIT researchers have developed a computer system called Remy that automatically generates TCP congestion-control algorithms that yield transmission rates two to three times as high as those designed by humans.
TCP (transmission control protocol) is a core protocol governing the Internet that prevents network congestion by regulating the rate at which computers send data, among other functions.
Princeton University researchers have created “souped up” versions of the calcium-sensitive proteins that for the past decade or so have given scientists an unparalleled view and understanding of brain-cell communication.
Reported July 18 in the journal Nature Communications, the enhanced proteins developed at Princeton respond more quickly to changes in neuron activity, and can be customized to react to different, faster rates of neuron activity.… read more
May 13, 2008
University of Texas at Austin researchers are testing a “nano-biochip” made of silicon that could detect heart attacks based on the proteins found in a patient’s saliva.
The dime-sized chip, read in a toaster-sized analyzer, could be used concurrently with EKGs in ambulances.
Heart attacks are currently diagnosed by biomarkers in the blood and electrocardiograms. EKGs miss a large number of heart attacks, particularly those with lesser or… read more