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A Fast and Simple Cocaine Detector

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

A fast way to measure DNA repair

April 24, 2014

NewsImage_DNArepair

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

A Fast, Programmable Molecular Clock

October 31, 2008
(UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering)

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

A Fast, Sensitive Virus Detector

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.

A faster Internet via machine learning

July 21, 2013

remy_tcp

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.

[More]

A faster neuron-activity sensor for charting the brain in real time

July 29, 2013

mouse_neuron_expressing_GCaMP3

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

A Faster Way to Detect Heart Attacks

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

A faster, higher-quality way to reprogram cells into stem cells

October 12, 2011

sanger

Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute researchers have announced a new technique to reprogram human cells, such as skin cells, into stem cells.

The researchers said their process increases the efficiency of cell reprogramming 100-fold and generates cells of a higher quality at a faster rate.

Until now, cells have been reprogrammed using four specific regulatory proteins. By adding two further regulatory factors —… read more

A fat tummy shrivels your brain

January 10, 2011

Obese individuals had more water in the amygdala,  a part of the brain involved in eating behavior, Antonio Convit at the New York University School of Medicine found in an fMRI study.  He also saw smaller orbitofrontal cortices in obese individuals, important for impulse control and also involved in feeding behavior .

“It could mean that there are less neurons, or that those neurons are shrunken,” says… read more

A fatigue detection device to help keep your eyes on the road

July 17, 2013

opened_closed_eye

An EPFL student, Peugeot Citroën, has developed a video analysis algorithm able to estimate the level of a driver’s fatigue based on the degree of eyelid closure and has built a prototype to test it in real driving conditions.

Nearly a third of highway accidents are caused by fatigue. Nowadays, there exist several attention detection systems for drivers, such as detection of loss of vehicle… read more

A Few Good Toys

December 4, 2002

The Army’s goal is to come up with a uniform by 2008 with helmet that enhances hearing and protect ears from battle cacaphony and heads-up display built into the visor to display infrared images. A wheeled robot “mule” would follow a soldier around with equipment for purifying water and recharging batteries.

The Army warfighter of 2025 will have lightweight body armor made with nanomaterials to deflect a bullet with… read more

A Few of Our Favorite Things: ScienceNOW’s top stories of 2007

January 3, 2008

Arguments that black holes do not exist and quantum mechanics research that finds an observer can change the behavior of light, even after it has been measured, are two of Science Now’s top stories of 2007.

A Few Ways to Win Mortality War

November 21, 2002

Wired reports on Alcor’s Extreme Life Extension Conference.

A fiber-optic method of arresting epileptic seizures

February 5, 2013

Blocking a seizure. The vertical green bar indicates online seizure detection, prior to the start of stage 4–5 behaviour (arrow). The yellow bars under the trace highlight the theoretical window for intervention.

 

UC Irvine neuroscientists have developed a way to stop epileptic seizures with fiber-optic light signals, heralding a novel opportunity to treat the most severe manifestations of the brain disorder.

Using a mouse model of temporal lobe epilepsy, Ivan Soltesz, Chancellor’s Professor and chair of anatomy & neurobiology, and colleagues created an EEG-based brain-waves-sensing) computer system that lights up hair-thin fiber optic… read more

A Fight to Win the Future: Computers vs. Humans

February 15, 2011

Rapid progress in natural language processing is beginning to lead to a new wave of automation that promises to transform areas of the economy that have until now been untouched by technological change.

The repercussions of technology such as IBM’s Watson are unknown, but it is possible, for example, to envision systems that replace not only human experts, but hundreds of thousands of well-paying jobs throughout the economy and… read more

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