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A machine that trains you to feel affection

May 27, 2014

Distributed voxel patterns that best distinguished between tenderness/affection vs. pride within the neurofeedback group, measured across all fMRI sessions. The color range shows voxels present in at least 40% (blue) or above 66% (red-yellow) of the subjects. (Credit: Jorge Moll et al./PLOS ONE)

It’s possible to create brain patterns associated with affection or tenderness toward loved ones, using neurofeedback while being scanned in a functional magnetic resonance (fMRI) machine, researchers at D’Or Institute for Research and Education (IDOR) in Brazil have shown.

The finding, described in PLOS ONE (open access), could open up new possibilities for treatment of conditions such as antisocial personality disorder, the researchers suggest.

An empathyread more

A magazine is an iPad that does not work

October 16, 2011

broken_ipad

“For my 1 year old daughter, a magazine is an iPad that does not work. It will remain so for her whole life. Steve Jobs has coded a part of her OS.”

A magnetic levitating gear system for zero friction and wear

December 2, 2014

Credit: UC3M

Researchers from Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) are developing a new gear transmission mechanism with no touching parts, based on magnetic forces that prevent friction and wear and make lubrication unnecessary.

The device has potential applications in railroad and aircraft industries, as well as in space travel and exploration.

The design uses a magnetic gear reducer, that is, a mechanism that transforms speed from an input axle… read more

A magnetic memory with one bit per molecule

July 6, 2012

kit_molecule_magnetism_conductance

Researchers from Karlsruhe, Strasbourg, and Japan have developed a memristor magnetic memory with one bit per molecule.

One bit of digital information stored on a hard disk currently consists of about 3 million magnetic atoms.

Using an electric pulse, the metal-organic molecule can be switched reliably between a conductive, magnetic state and a low-conductive, non-magnetic state.

“The superparamagnetic effect prevents smaller bit… read more

A magnetless spin-memory device

Could allow for miniaturization of a memory bit down to a single nanoparticle
August 16, 2013

microscopy_device

Scientists at Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Weizmann Institute of Science have developed a simple magnetization technology that eliminates the need for permanent magnets in memory devices and allows for fabricating inexpensive, silicon-compatible, high-density, universal memory-on-chip devices.

Current memory devices have significant drawbacks: dynamic RAM memory has to be refreshed periodically, static RAM data is lost when the power is off, flash memory lacks speed, and… read more

A major step toward an Alzheimer’s treatment and vaccine

January 17, 2013

PET scan of the brain of a person with AD showing a loss of function in the temporal lobe (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

A way to stimulate the brain’s natural defense mechanisms in people with Alzheimer’s disease has been discovered by researchers at Université Laval, CHU de Québec and pharmaceutical firm GlaxoSmithKline (GSK): a molecule known as MPL (monophosphoryl lipid A) that stimulates the activity of the brain’s immune cells.

The breakthrough opens the door to developing a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease and a vaccine to prevent the… read more

A ‘Manhattan Project’ for the Next Generation of Bionic Arms

March 21, 2008

Johns Hopkins researchers are leading a DARPA-funded nationwide effort to make a bionic arm that wires directly into the brain to let amputees regain motor control and feeling.

A material that can regenerate itself when damaged

November 29, 2013

This is a self-generating composite image.<br />
Credit: University of Pittsburgh

What if you could program  a broken or damaged object to regenerate itself — replenishing the damaged or missing components, and extending its lifetime — instead of replacing it or requiring costly repairs? Now University of Pittsburgh researchers have developed computational models of a new polymer gel that could do just that.

“This is one of the holy grails of materials science,” noted Anna C. Balazs, PhD,… read more

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.

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