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Crowdsourcing forecasts on science and technology events and innovations

George Mason University's just-launched SciCast is largest and most advanced science and technology prediction market in the world
January 10, 2014

SciCast forecast

George Mason University launched today, Jan. 10, the largest and most advanced science and technology prediction market in the world: SciCast.

The federally funded research project aims to improve the accuracy of science and technology forecasts. George Mason research assistant professor Charles Twardy is the principal investigator of the project.

SciCast crowdsources forecasts on science and technology events and innovations from aerospace to zoology.

For… read more

Creating improved inkjet-printable materials for electronics and photonics

January 10, 2014

Inkjet printing MoS2

National University of Singapore (NUS) scientists have developed a new method for creating a chemical solution of molybdenum disulfide for use in printable optoelectronic devices such as thin film solar cells, flexible logic circuits, photodetectors, and sensors.

Molybdenum disulfide, combined with gold atoms, is being studied for development of ultrafast, ultrathin logic devices, as noted previously on KurzweilAI.

The process:

1. Chemically exfoliate… read more

World’s fastest organic transistor could lead to low-cost transparent electronics

January 10, 2014

transparent - featured

Engineers from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) and Stanford University have created thin-film organic transistors that could operate more than five times faster than previous examples of this experimental technology, with the potential to achieve a new generation of cheap, transparent devices such as high-resolution television screens and sensor arrays.

For years, engineers have been trying to use inexpensive, carbon-rich molecules and plastics to create organic semiconductors… read more

Conductive ink for drawing circuits for flexible electronic books, displays, wearables

January 10, 2014

metal_ink

Chinese researchers have developed a novel conductive metal ink made of  copper nanosheets that can be used in a pen to draw a functioning, flexible electric circuit on regular printer paper.

This development could be a step beyond the inkjet-printed circuits that KurzweilAI previously reported. The new process could pave the way for a wide range of new bendable gadgets, such as electronic books that look and… read more

On-demand vaccines possible with engineered nanoparticles

January 9, 2014

On-Demand-Vaccine

University of Washington engineers hope a new type of vaccine they have shown to work in mice will one day make it cheaper and easy to manufacture on-demand vaccines for humans. Immunizations could be administered within minutes where and when a disease is breaking out.

Vaccines usually are made en masse in centralized locations far removed from where they will be used. They are expensive to ship… read more

Anti-inflammatory luteolin concentrated in nanocapsules in the blood inhibits lung-cancer growth

January 9, 2014

nano-luteolin

Researchers at the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University have discovered a more effective drug delivery system using nanoparticles that could one day significantly affect cancer prevention.

The study, published in Cancer Prevention Research, involved the use of microscopic amounts of the naturally occurring antioxidant, luteolin, that were encapsulated in a water-soluble polymer. When injected into mice, the nano-luteolin inhibited growth of lung cancer and… read more

Creating living brain cells from deceased Alzheimer’s patients’ biobanked brain tissue

New stem cell lines will allow researchers to “turn back the clock” and observe how Alzheimer’s develops in the brain, potentially revealing the onset of the disease at a cellular level
January 9, 2014

Biobank IPS cells shown to retain pluripotency

Scientists at The New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF) Research Institute, working in collaboration with scientists from Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC), have for the first time generated induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells lines from non-cryoprotected brain tissue of patients with Alzheimer’s disease.

These new stem cell lines will allow researchers to “turn back the clock” and observe how Alzheimer’s develops in the brain, potentially revealing the… read more

First personal thermal-imaging device for consumers

See-in-the-dark device acts as case for iPhone 5/5s; app captures photos, videos
January 9, 2014

FLIR ONE (Credit: FLIR)

FLIR Systems launched at CES the FLIR ONE, the first consumer-oriented thermal imaging system for a smartphone.

Acting as a case for the Apple iPhone 5 or 5s smartphone, the FLIR ONE displays a live thermal image on the phone’s screen, letting you see in complete darkness.

FLIR ONE senses heat rather than light, using the same professional thermal imaging technology that FLIR uses in its… read more

Cloning quantum information from the past

January 8, 2014

In the film "Looper," time travel is invented by the year 2074 and, though immediately outlawed, is used by criminal organizations to send those they want killed into the past where they are killed by "loopers." (Credit: TriStar Pictures)

It is theoretically possible for time travelers to copy quantum data from the past, according to three scientists in a recent paper in Physical Review Letters.

It all started when David Deutsch, a pioneer of quantum computing and a physicist at Oxford, came up with a simplified model of time travel to deal with the Grandfather paradox*.  He solved the paradox originally using a slight change to quantum theory,… read more

How to find time travelers

January 8, 2014

Is Jay-Z a time traveler? --- desusnice (Buzz Feed) (credit: The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture/New York Public Library)

If there were time travelers among us, how would you find them?

That question occurred to astrophysicist Robert Nemiroff, a professor at Michigan Technological University. So he and his team developed a search strategy based on what they call “prescient knowledge.”

If they could find a mention of something or someone on the Internet before people should have known about it, that could indicate that whoever wrote it… read more

Piggy-backing proteins ride white blood cells to destroy metastasizing cancer

“Unnatural killer cells" zap circulating tumor cells in the bloodstream
January 8, 2014

nanoscale_liposomes_trail

Cornell biomedical engineers have discovered a new way to destroy metastasizing cancer cells traveling through the bloodstream by hitching cancer-killing proteins along for a ride on life-saving white blood cells.

“These circulating cancer cells are doomed,” said Michael King, Cornell professor of biomedical engineering and the study’s senior author.

“About 90 percent of cancer deaths are related to metastases, but now we’ve found a way to… read more

RAMBO: a small but powerful magnet

Rice University system allows high-magnetic-field experiments on a tabletop
January 8, 2014

0106_RAMBO-1-web

RAMBO (Rice Advanced Magnet with Broadband Optics) — a tabletop magnetic pulse generator that does the work of a room-sized machine — has been developed by Rice University scientists.

The device will allow researchers who visit the university to run spectroscopy-based experiments on materials in pulsed magnetic fields of up to 30 tesla. (A typical high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging system used in hospitals… read more

Intel intros wearable devices and projects at CES

January 7, 2014

Edison computer (credit: Intel)

Intel is introducing at CES several new products and projects focused on wearables:

  • Jarvis, a headset that can automatically integrate with a personal assistant app like Siri on a phone without touching it.
  • A smartwatch with “geo-fencing” to monitor the person who’s wearing it. For example: in case of an emergency and a person steps out of the geo-fence, the watch can send out an alert.

read more

An easy, low-cost way to get into 3D printing

January 7, 2014

MakerBot Mini

If you’ve been thinking about getting into 3D printing, the compact MakerBot Replicator Mini 3D printer, just introduced at CES, could make it easy and affordable at $1,375 (available spring 2014).

It’s limited to printing objects around 4 x 4 x 4 inches, but the company claims it’s easy to use, with no 3D skills needed. You can download models from the free MakerBot Printshop and Thingverse,… read more

Growing human organs inside pigs in Japan

January 6, 2014

(Credit: iStock)

Meiji University professor Hiroshi Nagashima is creating chimeric pigs, which carry genetic material from two different species, BBC News reports. It starts off by making what Nagashima calls “a-pancreatic” embryos. Inside the white pig embryo, the gene that carries the instructions for developing the animal’s pancreas has been “switched off.”

The Japanese team then introduces stem cells from a black pig into the embryo. What they have… read more

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