science + technology news

A Faster Way to Detect Heart Attacks

May 13, 2008

University of Texas at Austin researchers are testing a “nano-biochip” made of silicon that could detect heart attacks based on the proteins found in a patient’s saliva.

The dime-sized chip, read in a toaster-sized analyzer, could be used concurrently with EKGs in ambulances.

Heart attacks are currently diagnosed by biomarkers in the blood and electrocardiograms. EKGs miss a large number of heart attacks, particularly those with lesser or… read more

A faster, higher-quality way to reprogram cells into stem cells

October 12, 2011


Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute researchers have announced a new technique to reprogram human cells, such as skin cells, into stem cells.

The researchers said their process increases the efficiency of cell reprogramming 100-fold and generates cells of a higher quality at a faster rate.

Until now, cells have been reprogrammed using four specific regulatory proteins. By adding two further regulatory factors —… read more

A fat tummy shrivels your brain

January 10, 2011

Obese individuals had more water in the amygdala,  a part of the brain involved in eating behavior, Antonio Convit at the New York University School of Medicine found in an fMRI study.  He also saw smaller orbitofrontal cortices in obese individuals, important for impulse control and also involved in feeding behavior .

“It could mean that there are less neurons, or that those neurons are shrunken,” says… read more

A fatigue detection device to help keep your eyes on the road

July 17, 2013


An EPFL student, Peugeot Citroën, has developed a video analysis algorithm able to estimate the level of a driver’s fatigue based on the degree of eyelid closure and has built a prototype to test it in real driving conditions.

Nearly a third of highway accidents are caused by fatigue. Nowadays, there exist several attention detection systems for drivers, such as detection of loss of vehicle… read more

A Few Good Toys

December 4, 2002

The Army’s goal is to come up with a uniform by 2008 with helmet that enhances hearing and protect ears from battle cacaphony and heads-up display built into the visor to display infrared images. A wheeled robot “mule” would follow a soldier around with equipment for purifying water and recharging batteries.

The Army warfighter of 2025 will have lightweight body armor made with nanomaterials to deflect a bullet with… read more

A Few of Our Favorite Things: ScienceNOW’s top stories of 2007

January 3, 2008

Arguments that black holes do not exist and quantum mechanics research that finds an observer can change the behavior of light, even after it has been measured, are two of Science Now’s top stories of 2007.

A Few Ways to Win Mortality War

November 21, 2002

Wired reports on Alcor’s Extreme Life Extension Conference.

A fiber-optic method of arresting epileptic seizures

February 5, 2013

Blocking a seizure. The vertical green bar indicates online seizure detection, prior to the start of stage 4–5 behaviour (arrow). The yellow bars under the trace highlight the theoretical window for intervention.


UC Irvine neuroscientists have developed a way to stop epileptic seizures with fiber-optic light signals, heralding a novel opportunity to treat the most severe manifestations of the brain disorder.

Using a mouse model of temporal lobe epilepsy, Ivan Soltesz, Chancellor’s Professor and chair of anatomy & neurobiology, and colleagues created an EEG-based brain-waves-sensing) computer system that lights up hair-thin fiber optic… read more

A Fight to Win the Future: Computers vs. Humans

February 15, 2011

Rapid progress in natural language processing is beginning to lead to a new wave of automation that promises to transform areas of the economy that have until now been untouched by technological change.

The repercussions of technology such as IBM’s Watson are unknown, but it is possible, for example, to envision systems that replace not only human experts, but hundreds of thousands of well-paying jobs throughout the economy and… read more

A first in integrated nanowire sensor circuitry

August 5, 2008

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California at Berkeley have created the world’s first all-integrated sensor circuit based on nanowire arrays, combining light sensors and electronics made of different crystalline materials.

Their method can be used to reproduce numerous such devices with high uniformity.

A First Look at the Google Phone

November 13, 2007

Google has teamed up with others in the wireless industry to create an open-source operating system, as well as other services, for mobile phones.

To show what the Android phones will look like, Google today has posted a couple of demos of their user interface, including iPhone-like functions, and some applications.

Google executives Sergey Brin and Steve Horowitz discuss the Android SDK and demo applications on the… read more

A first step towards Minority Report ads from Inwindow Outdoor (demo)

November 22, 2011

Inwindow Outdoor is testing several prototype digital “Experience Stations” in malls and hotel lobbies that combine several interactive technologies — including motion capture, large touch screens, and NFC readers (to buy tickets
or unlock deals in local stores) — to create immersive experiences in physical locations, similar to the scene in Minority Report where Tom Cruise is walking through a mall and all the digital signs are talking… read more

A first: organs tailor-made with body’s own cells

September 17, 2012


Andemariam Beyene sat by the hospital window, the low Arctic sun on his face, and talked about the time he thought he would die.

Two and a half years ago doctors in Iceland, where Mr. Beyene was studying to be an engineer, discovered a golf-ball-size tumor growing into his windpipe. Despite surgery and radiation, it kept growing. In the spring… read more

A first: Stanford engineers build basic computer using carbon nanotubes

September 26, 2013

A scanning electron microscopy image of a section of the first ever carbon nanotube computer. Credit: Butch Colyear</p>
<p>Read more at:

A team of Stanford engineers has built a basic computer using carbon nanotubes (CNTs) — a semiconductor material with the potential to launch a new generation of smaller electronic devices that run faster, while using less energy, than those made from silicon chips.

This unprecedented feat culminates years of efforts by scientists around the world to harness this promising but quirky material.

The achievement is reported… read more

A Flash Of Light Turns Graphene Into A Biosensor

September 23, 2009

DNA with an attached fluorescent molecule turns its fluorescent light switch on and off when near graphene, researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Princeton University have found, suggesting that the combination could be used to create a biosensor.

Possible applications: diagnosing diseases like cancer, detecting toxins in tainted food, detecting pathogens from biological weapons, and drug delivery for gene therapy.

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