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A more powerful ‘lab-on-a-chip’ for genetic analysis

August 2, 2011

Microfluidic chip (credit: University of British Columbia)

Researchers at the University of British Columbia (UBC) have invented a microfluidic silicone chip that could make genetic analysis more sensitive, rapid, and cost-effective by allowing individual cells to fall into place like balls in a pinball machine.

The UBC device — about the size of a nine-volt battery — allows scientists to simultaneously analyze 300 cells individually by routing fluid-carrying cells through microscopic tubes… read more

A More Robust Grid for Manhattan

May 28, 2007

Supercooled, superconducting power cables are being examined as a way to add redundancy in the cramped quarters of Manhattan’s local power grid, potentially protecting against natural disruptions and terrorist attacks.

A More Sensitive Cancer Breathalyzer

August 31, 2009

Sensors that can detect volatile organic compounds present in the breath of lung-cancer patients (and for certain other ailments, such as liver failure), using an array of small, inexpensive gold nanoparticles, have been developed by Israel Institute of Technology researchers.

Clinical trials are expected within two or three years.

A more sensitive sensor using nano-sized carbon tubes

March 23, 2010

Miniature sensors that are able to sense the movement of individual atoms — 100 times more sensitive than any sensor device on the market today — are being developed by Tel Aviv University researchers.

The device uses carbon nanotubes that arrange themselves on a surface of a silicon chip. Small deformities in the crystal structure of the nanotubes generate a piezoelectric voltage that can be used to accurately sense… read more

A mouse that can regenerate its tissues

February 5, 2004

Researchers at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory and the University of Rome have found a way to mobilize stem cells to achieve a major regeneration of damaged tissue.

The scientists investigated muscle tissue in mice, discovering that stem cells can travel large distances to reach an injury. They also found a special form of a protein called mIGF-1 induces the muscle to send the distress signal that summons them.… read more

A moveable, flexible display made of paper

September 12, 2013

flexpad

Flexpad transforms a standard sheet of paper into a moveable, flexible display.

The technology was developed in the “Flexpad” research project under the leadership of Jürgen Steimle in the MIT Media Lab and the Max Planck Institute for Informatics in Saarbrücken, in cooperation with Kiel University.

“We routinely deform objects intuitively in many different ways. We bend back pages in books, deflate… read more

A multi-photon approach to quantum cryptography

Information breach may be drastically reduced as a result of a technology breakthrough
October 5, 2012

kak_three_stage_protocol

University of Oklahoma researchers have,  demonstrated a novel technique for cryptography that offers the potential of unconditional security.

As increasing volumes of data become accessible, transferable and, therefore actionable, information is the treasure companies want to amass.

To protect this wealth, organizations use cryptography, or coded messages, to secure information from “technology robbers.” This group of hackers and malware creators increasingly is becoming more sophisticated at… read more

A multifunctional nano carrier to detect, diagnose, and deliver drugs to cancer cells

October 31, 2013

uc_nano_carrier

A unique nanostructure developed by a team of international researchers* promises improved all-in-one detection, diagnoses, and drug-delivery treatment of cancer cells.

It can carry a variety of cancer-fighting materials on its double-sided (Janus) surface and within its porous interior and can:

  •  Transport cancer-specific detection nanoparticles and biomarkers to a site within the body, e.g., the breast or the prostate. This promises earlier diagnosis than is

read more

A Musical Score for Disease

July 18, 2008

Gil Alterovitz, a research fellow at Harvard Medical School, is developing a computer program that translates protein and gene expression into music.

In his acoustic translation, harmony represents good health, and discord indicates disease.

Using data collected from a study of protein expression in colon cancer, Alterovitz analyzed more than three thousand related proteins involved in the disease. He found four key networks, using various genetic databases that… read more

A Mysterious Link Between Sleeplessness and Heart Disease

December 26, 2008

People who don’t get much sleep are more likely than those who do to develop calcium deposits in their coronary arteries, possibly raising their risk for heart disease, a new study has found.

The researchers concluded that one hour more of sleep per night was associated with a 33 percent decrease in the odds of calcification.

Possible mechanims include higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol with less… read more

A nano ‘car’ with molecular 4-wheel drive

November 11, 2011

Caption: Measuring approximately 4x2 nanometres the molecular car is forging ahead on a copper surface on four electrically driven wheels (credit: Empa)

Scientists at the University of Groningen and Empa have created a 4 nanometer-long artificial nanoscale transport system (“car”) by synthesizing a molecule with four rotating motor units (“wheels”).

The “car” is refueled with electricity after every half revolution of the wheels. To do that, they sublimated the molecule onto a copper surface and positioned an scanning tunneling microscope (STM) tip over it, then… read more

A nanocopter camera that follows you around, streaming video to your smartphone

February 14, 2013

MeCam

Always Innovating is developing a $49. tiny flying video camera called the MeCam, due out in 2014.

The camera streams live video to your smartphone, allowing you to stream or upload videos. A nanocopter with 4 spinning rotors houses the camera, with an ARM Cortex-A9 processor, 1GB of RAM, WiFI, and Bluetooth.

The MeCam launches from the palm of a hand and hovers instantly. It streams… read more

A nanoplasmonic molecular ruler for measuring nuclease activity and DNA footprinting

October 16, 2006

Researchers have a new tool for studying interactions between proteins and nucleic acids: a nanoscale optical ruler than can detect small changes in the size of a given piece of DNA.

This work is reported in the inaugural issue of the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

The device uses gold nanoparticles, which emit light at well-defined wavelengths of light, influenced by the exact physical and chemical environment, such as DNA… read more

A Nanotech Cure for Cancer?

November 8, 2005

The National Cancer Institute, which recently announced two waves of funding for nanotech training and research, sees nanotechnology as vital to its stated goal of “eliminating suffering and death from cancer by 2015.”

The first cancer nanotech applications will likely involve detection. Nanoparticles could recognize cancer’s molecular signatures, gathering the proteins produced by cancerous cells or signaling the presence of telltale genetic changes.

A nanotech fix for nicotine dependence

July 5, 2013

nicotine_nano_vaccine

Yung Chang and her colleagues at Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute have launched an ambitious new project designed to attack nicotine dependence in a radically new way.

The research effort, pursued under a new $3.3 million grant from the National Institute of Drug Abuse, will attempt to design a vaccine conferring immunity to nicotine, using nanoscale structures assembled from DNA.… read more

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