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Piggy-backing proteins ride white blood cells to destroy metastasizing cancer

“Unnatural killer cells" zap circulating tumor cells in the bloodstream
January 8, 2014

nanoscale_liposomes_trail

Cornell biomedical engineers have discovered a new way to destroy metastasizing cancer cells traveling through the bloodstream by hitching cancer-killing proteins along for a ride on life-saving white blood cells.

“These circulating cancer cells are doomed,” said Michael King, Cornell professor of biomedical engineering and the study’s senior author.

“About 90 percent of cancer deaths are related to metastases, but now we’ve found a way to… read more

The brain-computer interface goes wireless

March 3, 2013

Neural interface implanted in pig (credit: David A Borton et al./J. Neural Eng.)

A team of neuroengineers at Brown University has developed a fully implantable and rechargeable wireless brain sensor capable of relaying real-time broadband signals from up to 100 neurons in freely moving subjects.

Several copies of the novel low-power device, described in the open-access Journal of Neural Engineering, have been performing well in animal models for more than year, a first in the brain-computer interface field.… read more

Nanoparticles could lead to stronger drugs, fewer side effects for cancer patients [UPDATE]

August 30, 2012

cerulean_science_nanoparticles

A biotech company called Cerulean says its nanoparticle-delivered cancer drugs are better at attacking tumors, Technology Review reports.

One result of the side effects of cancer treatments is that patients often can’t tolerate or survive a combination of different drugs at the same time — which can limit a doctor’s ability to knock out the disease. The head of a Boston-area biotech called Cerulean Therapeuticsread more

Google Introduces new search tools to try to read our minds

May 16, 2013

(Credit: Google)

Google revealed some new search tools on Wednesday at I/O, its annual developers conference, The New York Times reports. Taken together, they are another step toward Google’s trying to become the omnipotent, human-like “Star Trek” search engine that its executives say they want it to be.

When people ask Google certain questions, it will now try to predict the person’s follow-up questions and answer them, too. Ask… read more

The secret of longevity for the world’s longest-living rodent: better protein creation

October 3, 2013

Naked mole rats are small, hairless, subterranean rodents native to eastern Africa (credit: Adam Fenster/University of Rochester)

Better-constructed proteins could explain why naked mole rats live long lives — about 30 years — and stay healthy until the very end, resisting cancer, say University of Rochester biologists Vera Gorbunova and Andrei Seluanov.

Their work focuses on naked mole rat ribosomes, which assemble amino acids into proteins. Ribosomes are composed of ribosomal RNA (rRNA) molecules and proteins.

When… read more

The Red Queen was right: life must continually evolve to avoid extinction

June 22, 2013

Alice_&_Red_Queen

A University of California, Berkeley study has found that a lack of new emerging species contributes to extinction over a period of millions of years.

The researchers studied 19 groups of mammals that either are extinct or in decline from a past peak in diversity, as in the case of horses, elephants, rhinos and others.

The “Red Queen” hypothesis

The study was conducted… read more

Does your brain see things you don’t?

Doctoral student shakes up 100 years of untested psychological theory
November 15, 2013

Sanguinetti showed study participants images of what appeared to be an abstract black object. Sometimes, however, there were real-world objects hidden at the borders of the black silhouette. In this image, the outlines of two seahorses can be seen in the white spaces surrounding the black object. (Image courtesy of Jay Sanguinetti)

A new study indicates that our brains perceive objects in everyday life that we may not be consciously aware of.

The finding by University of Arizona doctoral student Jay Sanguinetti challenges currently accepted models, in place for a century, about how the brain processes visual information.

Sanguinetti showed study participants a series of black silhouettes, some of which contained meaningful, real-world objects hidden in the… 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

Single-molecule motor sits on a single-atom ball bearing

Can be run forward or in reverse, depending on where electrons are injected
December 31, 2012

The base of the device holds a Ru atom, and the five-armed device can rotate on top of it (credit:

Researchers have created a reversible rotor that sits atop a ball bearing — a single ruthenium atom, Ars Technica reports.

The base of the system involves a boron atom that coordinates three ringed structures that are chemically similar to the bases of DNA. Nitrogens at a corner of these ringed structures coordinate the ruthenium atom, placing it at the peak of a three-sided pyramid.

The ruthenium atom acts… read more

Agricultural robots may reduce costs of organic produce

September 20, 2012

blue_river_7

Blue River Technology has announced $3.1 million in funding for its plans to develop agricultural robots that can automatically kill weeds and thin out plants like lettuce that need adequate room to grow, CNET reports.

It could help reduce the cost of organic produce.

The startup’s prototype Lettuce Bot uses a camera to image the plants beneath it. Machine learning algorithms then identify which ones are desirable and… read more

How to double the power of solar panels

October 16, 2012

Solar collectors: A micrograph shows silicon nanowires produced by Bandgap Engineering. They can help a solar cell absorb more light. (Credit: Bandgap Engineering)

In an attempt to further drop the cost of solar power, Bandgap Engineering has a long-term project to develop a nanowire-based solar cell that could eventually generate twice as much power as conventional solar cells, Technology Review reports.

Meanwhile the company is about to launch a simpler version of the technology, using silicon nanowires that can improve the performance and lower the cost of conventional silicon solar cells.… read more

‘Mind-Control’ gaming devices leak users’ secrets

August 22, 2012

A sequence of credit cards is presented to the user. Her brainwaves from an EEG device (EPOC from Emotiv Systems in this case) are monitored by a computer.

In a study of 28 subjects wearing brain-machine interface devices built by companies like Neurosky and Emotiv and marketed to consumers for gaming and attention exercises, researchers found they were able to extract hints directly from the electrical signals of the test subjects’ brains that partially revealed private information, like the location of their homes, faces they recognized and even their credit card PINs, Forbes reports.

In… read more

Beam yourself to work in a remote-controlled body

September 26, 2012

beam-robot

To make it more practical for engineers and others living in cheaper places to telecommute to work, Suitable Technologies (a Willow Garage spinoff) has developed a roving telepresence system that is more practical and less awkward to use than previous systems, says founder Scott Hassan, Technology Review reports.

The $16,000 Beam Remote Presence telepresence system, now available, can save on the expense and time of long-haul travel and allows remote workers to be… read more

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