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New graphene treatment could unleash new uses in electronic devices

MIT team develops simple, inexpensive method that could help realize graphene’s promise for electronics, solar power, and sensors.
December 17, 2013

graphene_oxide_annealing

A team of researchers at MIT and the University of California at Berkeley has found a simple, inexpensive treatment that may help to unleash graphene’s potential. Currently, many suggested uses of graphene require treatments that can be expensive and difficult to apply predictably.

The new method is described in a paper published in the journal Nature Chemistry, co-authored by MIT doctoral students Priyank Kumar and Neelkanth Bardhan,… read more

IBM’s predictions for next five years: everything will learn

A new era of cognitive systems where machines will learn, reason, and engage with us in a more naturalized and personalized way
December 17, 2013

5in5

IBM just unveiled its annual 5 in 5 — five predictions about technology innovations that IBM expects will change the way we work, live and play within the next five years.

This year’s IBM 5 in 5 explores the idea that everything will learn — driven by a new era of cognitive systems where machines will learn, reason and engage with us in a more naturalized and personalized… read more

Five-fold lifespan extension in C. Elegans by combining mutants

Research highlights possibility of combination therapy for aging; worms lived to the human equivalent of 400 to 500 years
December 16, 2013

C elegans nematode (credit: The Goldstein Lab)

New research published published online in Cell Reports on December 12, 2013 (open access) with the nematode C. elegans suggests that combining mutants can lead to radical lifespan extension.

Scientists at the Buck Institute combined mutations in two pathways well known for lifespan extension and report a synergistic five-fold extension of longevity — these worms lived to the human equivalent of 400 to 500 years — introducing… read more

Facebook explores AI and deep learning to analyze data and behavior

December 16, 2013

facebook_logo

Facebook has named New York University Professor Yann LeCun the director of a new laboratory devoted to research in artificial intelligence and deep learning.

LeCun, a professor at NYU’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, is a pioneer in this growing field. In the 1980s, LeCun proposed one of the early versions of the back-propagation algorithm, the most popular method for training artificial neuralread more

China lunar probe lands on Moon with rover

December 16, 2013

chang-3-moon

China’s Chang’e-3 lunar probe landed on the Moon Saturday evening, China time, Xinhuanet reports. The country’s first moon rover, which was on board the probe, separated from the lander early on Sunday.

China expects to gain a scientific understanding of the moon and develop its space technologies through its lunar program, said Wu Zhijian, spokesman with the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense.… read more

Scientists discover hidden code in DNA

December 16, 2013

DNA structure (credit: MIT)

A second code hiding within DNA has been discovered by University of Washington scientists, containing information that changes how scientists read the instructions contained in DNA and interpret mutations to make sense of health and disease.

Some scientists are skeptical about “hype” regarding the announcement.

Since the genetic code was deciphered in the 1960s, scientists have assumed that it was used exclusively to write… read more

A bio-inspired method to attach graphene to silicon wafers for electronic devices

December 16, 2013

capillary bridges

Drawing inspiration from how beetles and tree frogs keep their feet attached to submerged leaves, National University of Singapore (NUS) researchers have developed the first effective process, called “face-to-face transfer,” to grow and transfer high-quality graphene on silicon and other stiff substrates.

Graphene has outstanding electronic, optical and mechanical properties, but there has been no practical way to grow and transfer graphene for use in semiconductors with minimal… read more

‘Zero-dimensional’ carbon nanotubes may lead to superthin/superfast electronics and synthetic cells

Could also make it possible to build strong, ultralight cars, bridges, and airplanes
December 13, 2013

Zero Dimensional Nanotubes

Synthetic, man-made cells and ultrathin electronics built from a new form of “zero-dimensional” carbon nanotube (CNT) may be possible, thanks to research at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering.

When created, single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) have a length-to-diameter ratio of up to 132,000,000:1 (think long wires that entangle, forming a one-dimensional structure). This clustering makes it difficult to achieve high purity, water solubility,… read more

Temperature-sensitive gel scaffold regenerates craniofacial bone

December 13, 2013

rice_liquid_gel_bone

Rice University bioengineers have developed a hydrogel scaffold for regeneratomg craniofacial bone tissue. The hydrogel starts as a liquid, solidifies into a gel in the body, and liquefies again for removal.

The material developed in the Rice lab of bioengineer Antonios Mikos is a soluble liquid at room temperature that can be injected where needed. At body temperature, the material turns instantly into a gel to… read more

High-accuracy 3D motion-tracking through walls

Technology could revolutionize gaming, fall detection for the elderly
December 13, 2013

witrack

Imagine playing a video game like Call of Duty and having the ability to lead your virtual army unit while moving freely throughout your house or other environments.

Gaming could become this realistic, thanks to new technology that allows for highly accurate 3D motion tracking.

WiTrack,” developed by Dina Katabi’s research group at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligenceread more

BioPen rewrites orthopedic implant surgery

Delivers live stem cells and growth factors at the time of surgery to regenerate bone, cartilage, muscle, or nerve tissue
December 13, 2013

biopen3

Australian researchers have developed a handheld “BioPen” that will allow surgeons to precisely design and deliver customized bone and other implant materials (live stem cells and growth factors) at the time of surgery to regenerate bone, cartilage, muscle, or nerve tissue.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Similar to a multi-material 3D printer, the BioPen delivers stem cells embedded in a biopolymer carrier (such as alginate, a seaweed extract), protected

read more

Could a virtual wall build an invisible barrier for oil spills and stop the spread?

December 12, 2013

oil-repellent

University of Missouri researchers have developed a technique to form a virtual wall for oily liquids that will help confine them to a certain area, aiding researchers who are studying these complex molecules. This development will have future implications in the guided delivery of oil and effective blockage of oil spreading.

“Our work is based on micro/nanoelectromechanical systems, or M/NEMS, which can be thought of as miniaturized… read more

Forcing cancer cells to shape-shift stops them from migrating, Mayo Clinic researchers find

December 12, 2013

Shape-Shifting

Researchers at Mayo Clinic in Florida have identified a number of agents — some already used in the clinic for different disorders — that may force shape-shifting in tumor cells to immobilize them and thus prevent metastasis.

“We are starting to understand mechanistically how cancer cells move and migrate, which gives us opportunities to manipulate these cells, alter their shape, and stop their spread,” says the study’s lead… read more

OpenBCI opens up low-cost brain-wave-controlled experimentation to everyone

December 12, 2013

OpenBCI board (credit: OpenBCI)

New York EEG researchers/Parsons instructors Joel Murphy and Conor Russomanno just launched a Kickstarter campaign called OpenBCI, intended to give anyone low-cost computer access to their EEG (brain waves).

BCI stands for brain-computer interface. The idea with OpenBCI is to allow you to control (with your brain — via an eight-channel EEG interface, your computer, and your controller) devices such as lights, robots, optocopters,… read more

A biocompatible shape-changing material controlled by patterns and heat

Can be used as cell-culture substrates or implantable materials that contract and expand
December 12, 2013

A two-layer material designed to morph into a specific shape when heated to a specific temperature range.

The materials created by Rice University polymer scientist Rafael Verduzco and his colleagues start as flat slabs, but morph magically into shapes that can be controlled by patterns that were formed into their layers.

Materials that can change their shape based on environmental conditions are useful for optics, three-dimensional biological scaffolds, and controlled encapsulation and release of drugs, among other applications, according to the researchers.… read more

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