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Paging Dr. Watson: artificial intelligence as a prescription for health care

October 18, 2012

(Credit: IBM)

“It’s not humanly possible to practice the best possible medicine. We need machines,” said Herbert Chase, a professor of clinical medicine at Columbia University and member of IBM’s Watson Healthcare Advisory Board, Wired Science reports.

“A machine like [IBM's Watson], with massively parallel processing, is like 500,000 of me sitting at Google and Pubmed, trying to find the right information.”

Yet though Watson is clearly a powerful tool,… read more

Amazon is developing smartphone with 3D screen

May 10, 2013

emporer

Amazon.com Inc. is developing a high-end smartphone featuring a screen that allows for three-dimensional images without glasses, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Using retina-tracking technology, images on the smartphone would seem to float above the screen like a hologram and appear three-dimensional at all angles, and users may be able to navigate through content using just their eyes, according to sources,

With smartphones, Amazon could collect new… read more

Warrior Web to augment soldiers’ endurance

May 27, 2013

(credit: DARPA)

DARPA‘s Warrior Web program seeks to create a soft, lightweight under-suit that would help reduce injuries and fatigue common for soldiers, who often carry 100-pound loads for extended periods over rough terrain.

DARPA envisions Warrior Web augmenting the work of soldiers’ own muscles to significantly boost endurance, carrying capacity and overall warfighter effectiveness — all while using no more than 100W of power.… read more

How unconscious processing improves decision-making

February 15, 2013

New brain imaging research from Carnegie Mellon University provides some of the first evidence showing how the brain unconsciously processes decision information in ways that lead to improved decision making. Published in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, the study found that the brain regions responsible for making decisions continue to be active even when the conscious brain is distracted with a different task. This image shows unconscious activity in two parts of the brain, the left visual cortex and right prefrontal cortex. (Credit: Carnegie Mellon University)

New brain imaging research from Carnegie Mellon University finds that the brain regions responsible for making decisions continue to be active even when the conscious brain is distracted with a different task.

The research provides some of the first evidence showing how the brain unconsciously processes decision information in ways that lead to improved decision-making.

“This research begins to chip away at the mystery… read more

Supplement added to a standard diet improves health and prolongs life in mice

March 5, 2014

Representative photographs from blinded histopathological analysis of kidney, liver, and lung panels for mice on standard diet (SD) and SRT1720 supplementation

Activating a protein called sirtuin 1 extends lifespan, delays the onset of age-related metabolic diseases, and improves general health in mice. The findings, which appear online February 27 in the Cell Press journal Cell Reports, point to a potentially promising strategy for improving health and longevity.

Sirtuin 1, or SIRT1, is known to play an important role in maintaining metabolic balance in multiple tissues, and studies in… read more

How to prevent diseases of aging

July 24, 2014

By 2050, the number of people aged over 60 years is projected to be five times that in 1950 (credit: Luigi Fontana, Brian K. Kennedy, and and Valter D. Longo/Nature)

By 2050, the number of people over the age of 80 will triple globally, which could come at great cost to individuals and economies.

Unfortunately, medicine focuses almost entirely on fighting chronic diseases in a piecemeal fashion as symptoms develop, researchers writing in the journal Nature say. Instead, more efforts should be directed to promoting interventions that have the potential to prevent multiple chronic diseases and extend healthy lifespans.… read more

Asteroid-prospecting spacecraft plan to be announced

January 21, 2013

deepspaceindustries

On Tuesday at 10 AM PT, Deep Space Industries Inc. will announce plans to create “the world’s first fleet of commercial asteroid-prospecting spacecraft,” according to an email press release.

The announcement will be broadcast live at http://www.spacevidcast.com. A video of the announcement will be available  at www.deepspaceindustries.com.

“Deep Space is pursuing an aggressive schedule and plans on prospecting, harvesting and processing asteroids for use… read more

Fullerene C60 administration doubles rat lifespan with no toxicity

April 17, 2012

Optical microscopy of spleen sections (a) oral and (b) i.p. treatment with olive oil only; (c) oral and (d) i.p. treatment with C60-olive oil. The arrows indicate C60 crystalscontaining macrophages with specific brown color. (Credit:

Researchers at the University of Paris and colleagues fed the molecule fullerene (C60 or “buckyballs”) dissolved in olive oil to rats and found it almost doubles their lifespan, with no chronic toxicity.

The results suggest that the effect of C60, an antioxidant, on lifespan is mainly due to the attenuation of age-associated increases in oxidative stress, according to the researchers.

Pharmacokinetic studies show that dissolved C60 is absorbed by the gastro-intestinal tract and… read more

A weapon we can’t control

June 27, 2012

Stuxnet

The decision by the United States and Israel to develop and then deploy the Stuxnet computer worm against an Iranian nuclear facility late in George W. Bush’s presidency marked a significant and dangerous turning point in the gradual militarization of the Internet, says Misha Glenny, a visiting professor at the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs, and the author of DarkMarket: Cyberthieves, Cybercopsread more

What happens during the brain’s ‘resting state’?

September 20, 2012

fMRI images

Over the past few years, some researchers have been adding a bit of down time to their study protocols, Nature News reports. While subjects are still lying in the functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanners, the researchers ask them to try to empty their minds. The aim is to find out what happens when the brain simply idles. And the answer is: quite a lot.

Some circuits… read more

Unexplained communication between brain hemispheres without corpus callosum

October 21, 2011

Ag CC

Could the brain be using electromagnetic fields to communicate between hemispheres — the electromagnetic field theory of consciousness proposed by Johnjoe McFadden (School of Biomedical and Life Sciences, University of Surrey)?

Neuroscientists at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have made a puzzling finding: people born without a corpus callosum (which links the two hemispheres of the brain)  — a condition called agenesis… 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

Disruptions: next step for technology is becoming the background

July 10, 2012

google_io2012_glasses

The invention of the motion picture enabled visual storytelling and at a mass scale unimaginable before.

The equivalent to that moment is happening right now with the advent of wearable computing. These wearable technologies like Google’s glasses that project information right where a person is looking will have the same effect on smartphones and computers as… read more

Musk teases Tesla superchargers

September 14, 2012

tesla-shareholders-meeting-0612-628

Prospective Alzheimer’s drug builds new brain-cell connections

October 12, 2012

572px-PET_Alzheimer

Washington State University researchers have developed a new drug candidate that dramatically improves the cognitive function of rats with Alzheimer’s-like mental impairment.

Their compound, which is intended to repair brain damage that has already occurred, is a significant departure from current Alzheimer’s treatments, which either slow the process of cell death or inhibit cholinesterase, an enzyme believed to break down a key neurotransmitter involved in… read more

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