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A Maybe Planet, Orbiting Its Maybe Sun

September 22, 2008
(Gemini Observatory)

Astronomers from the University of Toronto have published a picture of what they say might be the first image of a planet orbiting another Sunlike star, about 30 billion miles away from the star, inexplicably.

A Means for Publishers to Put a Newspaper in Your Pocket

July 28, 2008

Verve Wireless believes it can save the dying local newspaper by making it mobile, with a technology to create Web sites for cellphones.

A Meeting Of The Metal Minds

May 22, 2006

This year’s theme at the 2006 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation is “Humanitarian Robotics.”

A primary role of these lifelike robots is not to advance human mimicry but rather human understanding. Scientists formulate theories about how various systems of the human body work, and roboticists believe that some of these theories can be verified or rejected by building robots.

A Memory Breakthrough

February 4, 2008

Intel announced a research advance that doubles the storage capacity of a single phase-change memory cell.

Unlike flash, data can be written to cells much faster, at rates comparable to the dynamic and static random-access memory (DRAM and SRAM) used in all computers and cell phones today.

A memristor true random-number generator

July 17, 2012

The resistive memory cell sits between a tungsten contact and the transistor's drain region (credit: National Tsing Hua University)

Engineers at National Tsing Hua University (NTHU) in Taiwan have invented a tiny low-power circuit based on memristors that could improve security for data transmission over the Internet and via Near Field Communication (NFC) from smartphone wallets, IEEE Spectrum reports.

The security of many digital transactions depends on generating truly random numbers, something that’s difficult to do using today’s digital circuits, which typically produce numbers… read more

A microchip for studying cancer metastasis

February 7, 2014

cancer-to-bone-featured

To visualize how cancer cells invade specific organs, researchers from MIT, Italy, and South Korea have developed a three-dimensional microfluidic platform (microchip) that mimics the spread of breast cancer cells into a bonelike environment.

(Nearly 70 percent of patients with advanced breast cancer experience skeletal metastasis, in which cancer cells migrate from a primary tumor into bone — a painful development that can cause fractures and spinal… read more

A midday nap markedly boosts the brain’s learning capacity

February 22, 2010

A midday 90-minute stage 2 non-REM sleep (takes place between deep sleep and the dream state known as Rapid Eye Movement or REM) period refreshes the mind and can make you smarter, UC Berkeley researchers have found.

The findings reinforce their hypothesis that sleep is needed to clear the brain’s short-term memory storage and make room for new information.

A middle-ear microphone — new hope for the deaf

May 5, 2012

ear_microphone

A tiny prototype microphone and related electronics that can be implanted in the middle ear has been developed by University of Utah and Case Western Reserve University engineers.

Cochlear implants have restored basic hearing to some 220,000 deaf people, yet a microphone and related electronics must be worn outside the head, raising reliability issues, preventing patients from swimming, and creating social stigma.

The proof-of-concept device,… read more

A Milestone In Human DNA Sequencing

September 17, 2004

Researchers in the Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute and Stanford Human Genome Center have reached a halfway point in decoding the human genome by finishing chromosome 5, the 12th chromosome finished, with 12 more to go.

The fifth chromosome contains key disease genes and a wealth of information about how humans evolved. This large chromosome contains 923 genes, including 66 genes known to be involved in human disease.… read more

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.

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