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Why a hydrogen economy doesn’t make sense

December 12, 2006

In a recent study, fuel cell expert Ulf Bossel explains that a hydrogen economy is a wasteful economy. In contrast, in an efficient “electron economy” most energy would be distributed with highest efficiency by electricity and the shortest route in an existing infrastructure.

The large amount of energy required to isolate hydrogen from natural compounds (water, natural gas, biomass), package the light gas by compression or liquefaction, transfer the… read more

Why 6-Legged Bots Rule

November 1, 2002

UC Berkeley biologist Robert J. Full is developing a new generation of highly mobile legged robots using the self-stabilizing sprawled posture found in a cockroach.

The devices embed control algorithms in the limbs themselves, allowing for more rapid response and increased speed and stability while freeing up the central processor for higher-level operations.

Why 3D printing will go the way of virtual reality

January 26, 2012

A 3D-printed object. (credit: Carter West Engineering, Inc.)

The notion that 3D printing will on any reasonable time scale become a “mature” technology that can reproduce all the goods on which we rely is to engage in a complete denial of the complexities of modern manufacturing, unless you’d like everything made out of plastic, says Technology Review | Mim’s Bits blog.

Who’s Minding the Mind?

July 31, 2007

New studies reveal a subconscious brain that is far more active, purposeful and independent than previously known.

Goals are like neural software programs that can only be run one at a time, and the unconscious is perfectly capable of running the program it chooses.

In several studies, researchers have also shown that, once covertly activated, an unconscious goal persists with the same determination that is evident in our… read more

Who’s in Charge?

June 26, 2003

“A good illustration of why the scientist needs the philosopher can be found in Daniel C. Dennett’s new book, Freedom Evolves, in a fine discussion of the experimental data of Benjamin Libet … which show that the neural activity that begins an action starts up around a third of a second before the agent’s conscious decision to act.

“Neuroscientists have frequently interpreted this as showing that decisions are somehow… read more

Who’s afraid of nanotechnology?

September 18, 2003

Some worry that nanotechnology will backfire, threatening human health and unleashing new forms of pollution.

Who’s Afraid of Nanotechnology

October 8, 2003

The ability to construct molecule-size objects holds both promise and peril. Some nanotech scientists and business people fear a backlash such as the one that has stalled acceptance of genetically modified foods.

Whole-Grain Cereals Reduce Heart Risks: Study

March 5, 2007

Eating whole-grain breakfast cereals seven or more times per week was associated with a lower (28 percent) risk of heart failure, according to an analysis of the observational Physicians’ Health Study.

Researchers presented findings of the study at the American Heart Association’s 47th Annual Conference on Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention. The study is supported by grants from the National Cancer Institute and the National Heart, Lung,… read more

Whole-genome sequences of supercentenarians reveal longevity clues

April 11, 2012


A team of researchers has analyzed the complete genomic sequences of male and female supercentenarians, both over 114 years old.

Surprisingly, the researchers showed that the DNA sequences are largely comparable to existing non-supercentenarian genomes, and the two individuals do not appear to carry most of the well-established human longevity-enabling variants already reported in the literature.

In fact, the supercentenarians have a comparable number of known disease-associated variants relative to… read more

Whole-genome sequences of 17 of the world’s oldest living people published

Researchers unable to find genes significantly associated with extreme longevity
November 13, 2014

Misao Okawa, the world's oldest living person

Using 17 genomes, researchers were unable to find rare protein-altering variants significantly associated with extreme longevity, according to a study published November 12, 2014 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Hinco Gierman from Stanford University and colleagues.

Supercentenarians are the world’s oldest people, living beyond 110 years of age. Seventy-four are alive worldwide; 22 live in the U.S. The authors of this study performed whole-genome sequencing on 17 supercentenarians to… read more

Whole-cell computer simulation

April 1, 2011

Sugar Protein

Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biology in Germany and theoretical scientists at the University of Illinois have built a computer model of a bacterial cell that responds to sugar in its environment and accurately simulates the behavior of living cells.

Running simulations on models of two E. coli strains, the researchers were able to see that bacterial cell architecture affects the reactions… read more

Whole-Body Gaming

May 5, 2008

Softkinetic, based in Belgium, is working to let video-game players use a wider range of more-natural movements to control the on-screen action.

Its software is meant to work with depth-sensing cameras, which can be used to determine a player’s body position and motions.

Whole brain cellular-level activity mapping once a second

March 19, 2013


Neuroscientists at Howard Hughes Medical Institute have mapped the activity of nearly all the neurons in a vertebrate brain at cellular resolution, with signficant implications for neuroscience research and projects like the proposed Brain Activity Map (BAM).

The researchers used high-speed light sheet microscopy to image the activity of 80% of the neurons in the brain (which is composed of ~100,000 neurons) of a fish… read more

Whole Body Muscle Gene Therapy Progress

November 3, 2008

University of Missouri researchers have found a delivery method for gene therapy that can reach every muscle of the body in large animals and could eventually cure human diseases like muscular dystrophy.

Whole body muscle gene therapy could also create the ultimate in human running speed and strength.

Whoa, dude, are we inside a computer right now?

September 11, 2012


Two years ago, Rich Terrile appeared on Through the Wormhole, the Science Channel’s show about the mysteries of life and the universe. He was invited onto the program to discuss the theory that the human experience can be boiled down to something like an incredibly advanced, metaphysical version of The Sims, Vice reports.

It’s an idea that every college student with a gravity bong and The Matrix… read more

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