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A military robot that does it all

February 7, 2012

iRobot 710 Warrior

With the official launch of the iRobot Warrior, a large wheeled robot with a hefty mechanical arm, military robots just got significantly larger and more adaptable.

The robot can climb stairs and cover rough terrain, and perform tasks ranging from the delicate (opening car doors) to the destructive (smashing car windows) with its two-meter-long mechanical arm, and could be weaponized — in one test it launched a rocket that… read more

A million-year hard disk

July 13, 2012

Star saphire (credit: Mitchell Gore/Wikipedia)

Patrick Charton of the French nuclear waste management agency ANDRA has presented one possible solution for long-term preservation of data: a sapphire disk inside which information is engraved using platinum.

The prototype shown costs €25,000 to make, but Charton says it will survive for a million years. The aim, Charton told the Euroscience Open Forum here, is to provide “information for future archaeologists.”

In 2010, ANDRA began a project… read more

A mind at rest strengthens memories, researchers find

January 28, 2010

Our memories are strengthened during periods of rest while we are awake, not just during sleep, researchers at New York University have found.

A mind to walk again

May 18, 2012

Houston_robotic_legs

Dr. José Contreras-Vidal of the University of Houston has designed a pair of bionic legs that respond directly to signals from the brain.

The problem with the current brain-computer interface approach — implanting electrodes into a brain, as in the BrainGate2 system, is that it’s a dangerous procedure and can also lead to infections. It also requires a bulky hardware system.

Contreras-Vidal’s approach gets round these difficulties by… read more

A ‘mini heart’ to help return venous blood

A solution for chronic venous insufficiency, one of the most widespread diseases in the Western world
April 1, 2014

CardioVein snapshot

George Washington University (GW) researcher Narine Sarvazyan, Ph.D., has invented a new organ to help return blood flow from veins lacking functional valves. A rhythmically contracting cuff made of cardiac muscle cells surrounds the vein acting as a ‘mini heart’ to aid blood flow through venous segments. The cuff can be made of a patient’s own adult stem cells, eliminating the chance of implant rejection.… read more

A Miniature Synchrotron: researchers get a new tool to determine protein structures

February 4, 2008

Lyncean Technologies researchers have built a room-sized miniature synchrotron that produces the same quality of x-ray beams as synchrotrons many times larger, offering scientists a new way to perform x-ray experiments in their own labs.

A mobile device for preventing and treating drug use

February 9, 2012

iHeal system architecture

University of Massachusetts Medical School researchers are developing a smartphone-based system called “iHeal” that detects drug cravings and attempts to prevent drug use.

A drug user wears a sensor band around their wrist that measures skin conductance, skin temperature, motion, and pulse — all indicators of arousal or stress. The band wirelessly transmits information to a smartphone, where apps monitor and process the user’s physiological data using… read more

A Modular Robot That Puts Itself Back Together Again

August 4, 2009

University of Pennsylvania researchers have developed a walking robot constructed from modules that are designed to separate on impact, find each other, and reassemble into a working robot.

A molecular database for developing organic solar cells

June 26, 2013

molecular_space_logo

Harvard researchers have released a massive database of more than 2 million molecules that might be useful in the construction of solar cells that rely on organic compounds for construction of organic solar cells for the production of renewable energy.

Developed as part of the Materials Genome Initiative launched by the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) the goal of… read more

A ‘molecular flashlight’ that illuminates brain tumors in mice

August 14, 2013

illuminates mouse medulloblastoma (credit: Sarah J. Moore et al./PNAS)

In a breakthrough that could have wide-ranging applications in molecular medicine, Stanford University researchers have created a bioengineered peptide that enables imaging of medulloblastomas, among the most devastating of malignant childhood brain tumors, in lab mice.

The researchers altered the amino acid sequence of a cystine knot peptide — or knottin — derived from the seeds of the squirting cucumber, a plant native to Europe, North Africa… read more

A molecular map for aging in mice

November 29, 2007

Researchers at the National Institute of Aging and Stanford University have used gene arrays to identify genes whose activity changes with age in 16 different mouse tissues.

The study describes how aging affects different tissues in mice, and ultimately could help explain why lifespan is limited to just two years in mice.

A Molecular Map of Aging

December 4, 2007

Researchers at Stanford University and the National Institute on Aging have generated a database that catalogues how gene expression–a measure of how active a gene is–changes in different parts of the body as the animals age.

The findings suggest that different tissues age very differently, and this could help pinpoint when it is appropriate to use mice as a model of human aging–and when it’s not.

A molecular ‘switch’ to reprogram control pathways in cells

"Molecular network diverter" can tweak the control systems that regulate the inner workings of cells, leading to future medical interventions to switch off diseased states or turn on healthy processes
August 20, 2013

molecular diverter2

Stanford University bioengineer has helped develop a technology dubbed a “molecular network diverter” that can tweak the control systems that regulate the inner workings of cells, pointing the way toward future medical interventions that could switch off diseased states or turn on healthy processes.

This molecular diverter uses the concerted action of three biological sub-systems to redirect signaling pathways — complex networks of molecular interactions that… read more

A ‘molecule scanner’ — world’s smallest teraHertz detector

August 7, 2013

Experimental setup to demonstrate the feasibility of generating THz field at nanoscale. A nanojunction, consisting of a ∼10 nm wide nanowire with a<br />
∼10 nm insulating barrier, is fabricated a<br />
interface with c-AFM lithography. Ultrafast (∼30 fs) optical pulses from a Ti:Sapphire laser are divided into “pump” and “probe” beams by a Mach−Zehnder interferometer.

Molecules could soon be “scanned” in a fashion similar to imaging screenings at airports, thanks to a detector developed by University of Pittsburgh physicists.

The detector may have the ability to chemically identify single molecules using terahertz radiation — a range of light far lower in frequency (0.1 to 30 THz) than visible light but higher than microwaves.

Terahertz radiation is commonly used in airport scanners.… read more

A Moment Of Tooth

January 6, 2009

The tooth will probably be the first complex organ to be completely regenerated from stem cell, University of Southern California researchers say.

Groups in Japan and Taiwan and at the University of Michigan are using stem cells to create hard and soft tissue in humans. The idea is to take a tooth about to fall out and reconnect it firmly.

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