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Creating synthetic antibodies to detect molecules

Synthetic polymers coating a nanoparticle surface can recognize specific molecules, just like an antibody, for detecting neurotransmitters, diseases, or environmental toxins, for example
November 27, 2013

MIT chemical engineers created this sensor that can recognize riboflavin by coating a carbon nanotube with amphiphilic polymers.<br />
IMAGE COURTESY OF THE RESEARCHERS

MIT chemical engineers have developed a novel way to generate nanoparticles that can recognize specific molecules, opening up a new approach to building durable sensors for many different compounds, among other applications.

To create these “synthetic antibodies,” the researchers used carbon nanotubes — hollow, nanometer-thick cylinders made of carbon that naturally fluoresce when exposed to laser light.

The MIT team coated the nanotubes with specifically designed… read more

Talk to Google on Chrome

November 27, 2013

Google mic

Now you can talk to Google whenever you’re using Chrome — hands-free, no typing. Simply say “Ok Google” and then ask your question.

To access hands-free search on your laptop, just download the free Google Voice Search Hotword extension from the Chrome Web Store (available in English in the U.S.).

Sony files patent for wearable-electronics wig

November 27, 2013

SmartWig (credit: USPTO)

Sony has filed a patent for a wig with wearable electronic devices that could be “visually hidden” and controlled.

“The usage of a wig has several advantages that, compared to known wearable computing devices, include significantly increased user comfort and an improved handling of the wearable computing device,” Sony said in its patent application.

Sony claims include a variety of wearable devices that could be embedded… read more

Self-soldering nanotubes could replace silicon transistors for flexible electronics

November 27, 2013

Depiction of junction heating caused by current flow across resistive nanotube-nanotube junctions.’

University of Illinois researchers have developed a way to solder (connect) carbon nanotubes, which are too small for even the world’s tiniest soldering iron.

Researchers have been exploring using carbon nanotubes as transistors instead of traditional silicon, because they are easier to transport onto alternate substrates, such as thin sheets of plastic, for low-cost flexible electronics or flat-panel displays.

Carbon nanotubes are high-quality conductors, but creating single tubes… read more

A patient-specific 3D virtual birth simulator

November 26, 2013

uea_virtual_childbirth

Computer scientists from the University of East Anglia are developing a virtual birthing simulator that will help doctors and midwives prepare for unusual or dangerous births.

The new program will take into account factors such as the shape of the mother’s body and the positioning of the baby to provide patient-specific birth predictions.

“We are creating a … simulation of childbirth using 3D graphics to simulate… read more

Berkeley Lab scientists record first inside look at carbon-capture molecular structure

November 26, 2013

Mg-MOF-74 is an open metal site MOF whose porous crystalline structure could enable it to serve as a storage vessel for capturing and containing the carbon dioxide emitted from coal-burning power plants. (National Academy of Sciences)

Researchers with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have recorded the first electronic structure observations of the adsorption of carbon dioxide inside a metal-organic framework (MOF).

The “Mg-MOF-74″ MOF’s porous crystalline structure could enable it to serve as a storage vessel for capturing and containing the carbon dioxide emitted from coal-burning power plants.

MOFs are molecular systems consisting of a metal oxide center surrounded by organic… read more

FDA orders 23andMe to halt sales of its its Saliva Collection Kit and Personal Genome Service

November 26, 2013

(Credit: 23 And Me

The FDA has told 23andMe, Inc., the Google-backed DNA analysis company cofounded by Anne Wojcicki, to halt sales of its Saliva Collection Kit and Personal Genome Service (PGS).

In a letter, the FDA said the company was acting “without marketing clearance or approval in violation of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (the FD&C Act)….”

“Most of the intended uses for PGS listed on your… read more

Steering toxic drug-filled nanoparticles to zap cancer, not healthy cells

November 26, 2013

Multifunctionalized drug-loaded nanoparticle

North­eastern researchers are developing sim­u­la­tion soft­ware called Mag­nasim to more accu­rately steer simulated drug-filled mag­netic nanopar­ti­cles to tumor masses where they can safely dis­charge their con­tents.

The drugs used to kill cancer cells are just as toxic to neigh­boring healthy cells, so researchers have long sought a drug delivery method that tar­gets only cancer cells, bypassing the healthy ones.

Func­tional Mag­netic Res­o­nance Imaging (fMRI) is being… read more

Black hole birth captured by ‘armada of instruments’

"A Rosetta-Stone event ... may require physicists to modify existing theories about radiation"
November 25, 2013

star_becomes_black_hole

“Los Alamos’ RAPTOR telescopes in New Mexico and Hawaii received a very bright cosmic birth announcement for a black hole on April 27,” said astrophysicist Tom Vestrand, lead author of a paper n the journal Science Nov. 21 that highlights the unusual event.

“This was the burst of the century,” said Los Alamos co-author James Wren. “It’s the biggest, brightest one to happen in at least 20 years, and… read more

Ultrasound-released nanoparticles may help diabetics avoid the needle

November 25, 2013

New technique allows diabetics to control insulin release with an injectable nano-network and portable ultrasound device.

A new nanotechnology-based technique for regulating blood sugar in diabetics could give patients the ability to release insulin painlessly using a small ultrasound device, allowing them to go days between injections — rather than using needles to give themselves multiple insulin injections each day.

A patient who has type 1 or advanced type 2 diabetes needs additional insulin, a hormone that transports glucose — or blood sugar — from… read more

Will 2D tin be the next super material for chip interconnects?

New single-layer material could go beyond graphene, conducting electricity with 100 percent efficiency at room temperature
November 25, 2013

Adding fluorine atoms (yellow) to a single layer of tin atoms (grey) should allow a predicted new material, stanene, to conduct electricity perfectly along its edges (blue and red arrows) at temperatures up to 100 degrees Celsius (212 Fahrenheit). (Yong Xu/Tsinghua University; Greg Stewart/SLAC)

Move over, graphene. “Stanene” —  a single layer of tin atoms — could be the world’s first material to conduct electricity with 100 percent efficiency at the temperatures that computer chips operate, according to a team of theoretical physicists led by researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University.

Stanene — the Latin name for tin (stannum) combined with the… read more

FDA allows marketing of ‘next generation’ gene-sequencing devices

A boost for personalized medicine and pharmocogenomics
November 25, 2013

MiSeq Benchtop Sequencer (credit: Illumina)

The FDA has approved marketing of four diagnostic devices from Illumina (a manufacturer of DNA sequencing machines) for “next generation sequencing” (NGS) — meaning the devices can now quickly and cheaply read and interpret large segments of the genome (the set of genetic information in your body) in a single test.

Two of the devices allow laboratories to sequence a patient’s genome for any purpose, according… read more

More-realistic 3D imaging technique speeds up production of movie images, modeling human organs

November 22, 2013

Isotropy vs. anisotropy

UT Dallas computer scientists have developed a technique to make 3D images faster and with more accuracy.

The method uses anisotropic (irregular) triangles — triangles with sides that vary in length depending on their direction — to create 3D “mesh” computer graphics that more accurately approximate the shapes of the original objects, and in a shorter amount of time than current techniques.

These types of images… read more

Faster, cheaper biofuel production

November 22, 2013

Thalassiosira_pseudonana

Researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego have developed a method for greatly enhancing biofuel production in tiny marine algae by genetically engineering a key growth component in biofuel.

The researchers say a significant roadblock in algal biofuel research surrounds the production of lipid oils, the fat molecules that store energy that can be produced for fuel: algae mainly produce the desired… read more

Kano: a computer anyone can make

November 22, 2013

ll_ages_over_the_world_kano

Kano is a computer you make yourself. Simple as Lego, powered by Pi.… read more

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