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
October 26, 2015
Researchers at Massachusetts Eye and Ear/Harvard Medical School and Boston University have developed a new technique to deliver drugs across the blood-brain barrier and have successfully tested it in a Parkinson’s mouse model (a line of mice that has been genetically modified to express the symptoms and pathological features of Parkinson’s to various extents).
Their findings, published in the journal Neurosurgery, lend hope to patients with… 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
October 6, 2015
Penn State researchers have developed a new lab-on-a-chip cell sorting device based on acoustic waves that is capable of the kind of high sorting throughput necessary to compete with commercial fluorescence activated cell sorters, described in the cover story in the current issue of the British journal Lab on a Chip.
Commercial fluorescence activated cell sorters have been highly successful in the past 40 years at rapidly and… 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
August 5, 2015
Imagine being able to test your food in your kitchen to quickly determine if it carried any deadly microbes. Technology now being commercialized by Optokey may soon make that possible.
Optokey, a startup based in Hayward, California, has developed a miniaturized sensor using surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) that can quickly and accurately detect or diagnose substances at a molecular level. The technology is based on… read more
April 26, 2015
Northwestern University engineers have developed a 3-D capture camera that produces high-quality images and works in all environments, including outdoors, overcoming limitations of Microsoft’s Kinect. It’s also designed to be inexpensive.
Both first and second generation… 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