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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 ‘nanosubmarine’ that could deliver drug molecules to cells

July 31, 2014

The sequential transport of donors and acceptors across cell membranes with independent and dynamic nanocarriers enables energy transfer exclusively in the intracellular space with concomitant fluorescence activation (credit: Francisco Raymo, professor of Chemistry and director of the laboratory for molecular photonics, at the University of Miami College of Arts and Sciences)

Researchers at the University of Miami and the University of Ulster have created self-assembling nanoparticles that can transport drugs and other molecules into target living cells.

The new nanocarriers are just 15 nanometers in diameter, based on building blocks called amphiphilic polymers: they have both hydrophilic (water-loving, polar) and lipophilic (fat-loving) properties). That allows the nanocarriers to hold the… 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

A nanotechnology biosensor for Salmonella detection

March 17, 2008

An international team of researchers has built a nanoscale biosensor that detects food-borne bacteria.

The biosensor has a mix of gold and silver nanorods with antibodies to capture Salmonella bacteria. The Salmonella bacteria then cause the dye molecules to produce an enhanced fluorescence signal, even with a small number of bacteria present.

Food-borne pathogens cause approximately 76 million illnesses, 325,000 hospitalizations, and 5,000 deaths in the United States… read more

A nanowire endoscope for imaging inside a single cell

December 22, 2011

Endoscope Sensing

An endoscope that can provide high-resolution optical images of the interior of a single living cell, or precisely deliver genes, proteins, therapeutic drugs or other cargo without injuring or damaging the cell, has been developed by researchers from Berkeley Lab and the University of California (UC) Berkeley.

The researchers  attached a tin-oxide nanowire waveguide to the tapered end of an optical fiber to create a novel endoscope system. Light… read more

A Nanowire with a Surprise

October 19, 2004

Brookhaven National Laboratory researchers have discovered that a short organic chain molecule with nanometer dimensions conducts electrons in a surprising way: it regulates the electrons’ speed erratically, without a predictable dependence on the length of the wire.

In research on oligophenyleneethynylene (OPE) nanowires, researchers found that as they increased the length of the OPE wire from one to four PE units, the electrons moved across the wire faster, slower,… read more

A Net of Control

December 13, 2003

Picture, if you will, an information infrastructure that encourages censorship, surveillance and suppression of the creative impulse. Where anonymity is outlawed and every penny spent is accounted for. Where the powers that be can smother subversive (or economically competitive) ideas in the cradle, and no one can publish even a laundry list without the imprimatur of Big Brother. Some prognosticators are saying that such a construct is nearly inevitable. And… read more

A neural device to restore memory

Intended to help military service members with traumatic brain injury (TBI), but could also help with Alzheimer's disease and epilepsy
July 11, 2014

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) will develop an implantable neural device with the ability to record and stimulate neurons within the brain to help restore memory (credit: LLNL)

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) up to $2.5 million to develop an implantable neural device with the ability to record and stimulate neurons within the brain to help restore memory.

DARPA’s interest is in traumatic brain injury (TBI), which disrupts memory. DARPA says TBI has affected 270,000 military service members since 2000. It could also help… read more

A neural net that diagnoses epilepsy

April 29, 2009

Texas Tech University researchers have developed a way to automatically diagnose epilepsy with an accuracy rate of 94 percent, by training a neural network to recognize the characteristic patterns in EEG data that indicate the patient is epileptic.

A neuromorphic-computing ‘roadmap’

April 22, 2014

Professor Jennifer Hasler displays a field programmable analog array (FPAA) board that includes an integrated circuit with biological-based neuron structures for power-efficient calculation.  Hasler’s research indicates that this type of board, which is programmable but has low power requirements, could play an important role in advancing neuromorphic computing. (Credit: Rob Felt)

Electrical engineers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have  published a roadmap that details innovative analog-based techniques that they believe could make it possible to build a practical neuromorphic (brain-inspired) computer while minimizing energy requirements.

“A configurable analog-digital system can be expected to have a power efficiency improvement of up to 10,000 times compared to an all-digital system,” said Jennifer Hasler, a professor in the Georgia… read more

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