Most Recently Added Most commentedBy Title | A-Z

A high-resolution nanoscale window to the live biological world

December 27, 2012

vtech_nanoscale_window

Investigators at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute have invented a way to directly image biological structures at nanometer-resolution in their natural habitats (a liquid environment).

The technique is a major advancement toward the ultimate goal of imaging biological processes in action at the atomic level.

The technique uses two silicon-nitride microchips with windows etched in their centers and pressing them together until only… read more

A high-stakes search continues for silicon’s successor

December 6, 2011

As we approach the limits of miniaturization of silicon semiconductors, at universities and corporate laboratories around the world, researchers are trying to develop the next generation of chip-making technologies.

Stanford University researchers are making prototypes of a new kind of molecular-scale semiconductor nanocircuit called a carbon nanotube field effect transistor (CNFET) that is far smaller and uses far less power than today’s most advanced silicon-based computer circuits. It may… read more

A Hole in the Genome

March 2, 2009

Several studies in the last year have found that missing or extra pieces of DNA in the 1q21.1 region put the bearer at risk for a surprisingly broad range of psychiatric and neurological disorders, including autism, schizophrenia, and mental retardation.

The discovery that one piece of DNA can lead to such diverse outcomes is opening new avenues in the study of disease.

A holographic microscope for just $250

November 6, 2012

Holographic-micrscope

You can build a holographic microscope for $250 (for parts), MIT Technology Review Physics arXiv Blog reports.

Holographic microscopes record the 3D shape of tiny objects such as cells in high resolution, unlike traditional microscopes, which have a tiny field of view and shallow depth of field.

With a holographic microscope, you make a hologram of the sample: split a laser beam in two, use one as… read more

A home heating system with a brain

March 6, 2012

neurobat

A thermal regulator that uses neural networks to learn about your house as the seasons change has been developed by a spinoff from École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and the Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM).

Most home thermal regulators only react to a single parameter — the outside temperature — in regulating their output.

EPFL researchers developed a system, called Neurobatread more

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

close and return to Home