Most Recently Added Most commentedBy Title | A-Z

A Hybrid Nano-Energy Harvester

April 9, 2009

Georgia Tech and University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers have combined a nanogenerator (converts mechanical vibrations into electical energy) with a solar cell to create an integrated mechanical- and solar-energy-harvesting device.

A hydrogel that destroys superbugs and drug-resistant biofilms

Novel antimicrobial hydrogel prevents antibiotic-resistant microbes from forming on wounds, medical devices and implants
January 28, 2013

Biofilm after treatment (credit: IBN)

The first-ever antimicrobial hydrogel that can break apart biofilms and destroy multidrug-resistant superbugs upon contact has been developed by researchers from the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) and IBM Research.

Tests have demonstrated the effectiveness of this novel synthetic material in eliminating various types of bacteria and fungi that are leading causes of microbial infections, and preventing them from developing antibiotic resistance.

This… read more

A Japan-developed robot for disaster response

November 23, 2012

toshiba_robot

Toshiba has developed a remote-controlled tetrapod inspection robot with camera and dosimeter, designed to investigate risky areas, such as Fukushima nuclear power plants.

The multiple joints of its legs are controlled by a movement algorithm that enables the robot to walk on uneven surfaces (like Boston Dynamics’ Big Dog), avoid obstacles, and climb stairs to get access into areas can’t be reached by wheeled robots (such as some iRobot… read more

A Japanese robot car that drives itself on sidewalks and footpaths

March 28, 2013

Ropits … the self-driving robot car (credit: Hitachi)

Hitachi has launched the self-driving Robot for Personal Intelligent Transport System (Ropits) car, developed for elderly and disabled drivers, The Guardian reports.

The vehicle is designed to roam pavements and footpaths, rather than roads, and is equipped with a plethora of sensors and guidance systems to help it navigate around bumps, potholes, and pedestrians.

A touch-screen map is linked to a… read more

A joyride through the nanoworld

November 16, 2009

Atomic force microscope (Felice Frankel)

Chemist George Whitesides has collaborated with MIT and Harvard photographer-in-residence Felice Frankel to produce No Small Matter, a book of images of the micro and nanoworld.

A key signaling pathway that triggers neuron growth

Transport proteins that play a crucial role in learning and brain disorders
June 24, 2013

A kinesin protein walking on a microtubule, transporting its cargo (credit: The Inner Life of a Cell by Cellular Visions and Harvard)

Neuroscientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have identified a molecular program that controls an essential step in the fast-growing neocortex in brains of young mammals.

The finding fills in a significant gap in the scientific understanding of how neurons mature and of some developmental brain disorders.

“Mutations that may affect this signaling pathway already have been found in some autism cases,” said TSRI… read more

A ‘Kill Switch’ for Rogue Microbes

August 20, 2010

synbio_x291

Researchers at Boston University have developed a highly tunable genetic “switch” that makes it possible to stop the production of a protein and restart it again, or act as a “dimmer switch” to finely tune how much protein a microbe would produce over time.

For years, researchers have been trying to develop these self-destruction mechanisms to allay concerns that genetically engineered microbes might prove impossible to eradicate once they’ve… read more

A Kinect-powered depression detector

April 2, 2013

sim_sensei

Using a Kinect depth camera and some ingenious computer vision algorithms, SimSensei can diagnose whether you’re depressed or not with 90% accuracy, MIT Technology Review reports.

The system uses an interactive digital avatar to conduct a verbal interview with the person being screened for depression.Skeletal polygonal overlays map the depressed human’s posture, gaze direction, and even “smile level.”

A knack for bashing orthodoxy

September 21, 2011

“It’s highly plausible that in the universe there are God-like creatures,” says evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, but belief in the supernatural strikes him as incurious, which is perhaps the worst insult he can imagine. “Religion teaches you to be satisfied with nonanswers,” he says. “It’s a sort of crime against childhood.”

His first children’s book, The Magic of Reality, appears this fall.

He talks of the possibility that… read more

A Land Rover That Drives Itself

October 3, 2007

Talos, a Land Rover that drives itself, is MIT’s entry in the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency’s (DARPA) “Urban Challenge” robotic car race, which will take place on November 3, in Victorville, CA.

MIT’s Talos is equipped with numerous laser range finders, radar units, Global Positioning Systems, and video cameras, and novel software that runs on 10 quad-core computers in the Land Rover’s trunk to make sense of the… read more

A Laser Gets at the Layers

August 18, 2004

A new “selective plane illumination microscope” uses a slice of laser light to illuminate an intact specimen one thin layer at a time, building a high-resolution picture of the entire specimen without cutting it.

Samples can be kept alive and studied for hours or days while tissues develop and differentiate. The scientists say the microscope has better resolution than other living-sample imaging techniques, like multiphoton microscopy.

A laser that could find and zap tumors

Also penetrates the skull for brain tumors, researchers say
August 2, 2012

Femtosecond laser (credit: University of Tennessee Space Institute)

Researchers at the Center for Laser Applications at the University of Tennessee Space Institute have invented a system that uses lasers to find, map, and non-invasively destruct cancerous tumors.

The technology uses a femtosecond laser (creating pulses lasting one-quadrillionth of a second). The high speed enables the laser to quickly focus in on a specific region without overheating.

“Using ultra-short light pulses gives us the ability… read more

A layer of microspheres can slow sound waves

Potential to shrink devices, create new types of sensors
August 5, 2013

microspheres_on_substrate

MIT researchers have created two-dimensional arrays of micrograins that can funnel acoustic waves, much as specially designed crystals can control the passage of light or other waves.

The granular material behaves much like a crystal, with its close-packed grains mimicking the precise, orderly arrangement of crystalline atoms.

The researchers say the findings could lead to a new way of controlling frequencies in electronic devices… read more

A less-expensive way to duplicate the complicated steps of photosynthesis in making fuel

January 23, 2014

anl_photosynthesis

Argonne National Laboratory researchers have found a new, more efficient, less-expensive way to make fuel — principally, hydrogen — from sunlight and water: linking a synthetic cobalt-containing catalyst to an organic light-sensitive molecule called a chromophore.

Chromophore molecules, such as chlorophyll, are involved in capturing light for photosynthesis.

Currently, the most efficient methods we have for  making fuel involve rare and expensive metal catalysts, such… read more

A light switch for pain

February 20, 2014

opsins

A team of Bio-X researchers at Stanford has developed mice whose sensitivity to pain can be dialed up or down simply by shining light on their paws.

The research could help scientists understand and eventually treat chronic pain in humans.

The mice in Scott Delp’s lab, unlike their human counterparts, can get pain relief  from the glow of a yellow light.

“This is an entirely… read more

close and return to Home