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A New Web of Trust

January 6, 2009

Many experts are now looking to DNSSEC to solve the problem of web visitors being sent to malicious Web pages.

DNSSEC is a protocol that verifies DNS messages with digital signatures. It will be implemented in the .org and .gov domains initially.

A nickel investment for future’s grid will pay off

July 12, 2004

“Energy is the single most important challenge facing humanity today,” says Richard Smalley, director of the Carbon Nanotechnology Laboratory at Rice University.

“We will need revolutionary breakthroughs to find the clean, low-cost energy necessary for advanced civilization of the 10 billion souls we expect to be living on this planet before this century is out.”

Nanotechnology will play a key role, he says. For example, single-wall carbon nanotubes… read more

A noninvasive avenue for Parkinson’s disease gene therapy

Nanoparticles bypass the blood-brain barrier to treat Parkinson's disease
April 26, 2013

Glial cell derived neurotrophic factor structure (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Researchers at Northeastern University in Boston have developed a gene therapy approach that may one day stop Parkinson’s disease (PD) in it tracks, preventing disease progression and reversing its symptoms.

The novelty of the approach lies in the nasal route of administration and nanoparticles containing a gene capable of rescuing dying neurons in the brain.

Parkinson’s is a devastating neurodegenerative disorder caused… read more

A nose-like sensor array that ‘smells’ different cancers

Gold nanoparticles and proteins can “smell” different cancer types
September 17, 2012

gold nanoparticles

In the fight against cancer, knowing the enemy’s exact identity is crucial for diagnosis and treatment, especially in metastatic cancers, those that spread between organs and tissues.

A rapid, sensitive way to detect microscopic levels of many different metastatic (cancer-spreading) cell types in living tissue has been developed by chemists led by professor Vincent Rotello of the Chemistry Department of University of Massachusetts Amherst.

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A novel thought-controlled prosthesis for amputees

November 30, 2012

When amputee patients have received their new prosthesis, it will be controlled with their own brain signals. The signals are transferred via the nerves through the arm stump and captured by electrodes. These will then transmit the signals through a titanium implant (OPRA Implant System) to be decoded by the prosthetic arm. The prosthesis is anchored directly to the skeleton by a process known as osseointegration. (Credit: Integrum)

An implantable robotic arm controlled by thoughts is being developed by Chalmers University of Technology industrial doctoral student Max Ortiz Catalan in Sweden.

Ever since the 1960s, amputees have been able to use prostheses controlled by electrical impulses in the muscles, their functionality is limited because they are difficult to control, according to Catalan.

Today’s standard socket prostheses, which are attached to the body… read more

A paper-thin flexible tablet computer

January 9, 2013

papertab

A flexible paper computer developed at Queen’s University in collaboration with Plastic Logic and Intel Labs could one day revolutionize the way people work with tablets and computers.

The PaperTab tablet looks and feels just like a sheet of paper. However, it is fully interactive with a flexible, high-resolution 10.7” plastic display developed by Plastic Logic, a flexible touchscreen, and powered by the second generation… read more

A paper-thin wearable pulse sensor

May 17, 2013

This flexible skin-like heart monitor is small enough to wear under a bandage (credit:

Engineers combine layers of flexible materials into pressure sensors to create a wearable heart monitor thinner than a dollar bill. The skin-like device could one day provide doctors with a safer way to check the condition of a patient’s heart.

Zhenan Bao, a professor of chemical engineering at Stanford, has developed a heart monitor thinner than a dollar bill and no wider than… read more

A Passion to Build a Better Robot, One With Social Skills and a Smile

June 10, 2003

The Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York is exhibiting a “cyberfloral installation” by Dr. Cynthia L. Breazeal of MIT, which features robotic flowers that sway when a human hand is near and glow in beautiful bright colors.

“The installation,” said Dr. Breazeal, “communicates my future vision of robot design that is intellectually intriguing and remains true to its technological heritage, but is able to touch us emotionally in… read more

A Patch for Broken Hearts

December 14, 2004

MIT researchers have grown a tissue patch that could repair damaged hearts, using electric signals that mimic a heartbeat to force single cardiac cells to develop into tissue similar to that of the native heart.

They attached rat cardiac cells to a three-dimensional collagen scaffold and then zapped the cells with electrical pulses modeled on a rat heartbeat for several days, inducing the cells to grow into beating patches… read more

A pathway in the brain that allows humans to learn new words

Might account for language disorders and differences between humans and non-human primates in language learning
July 25, 2013

The arcuate fasciculus (c

Researchers from King’s College London Institute of Psychiatry, in collaboration with Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) and the University of Barcelona, have mapped the neural pathways involved in word learning among humans.

They found that the arcuate fasciculus, a collection of nerve fibers connecting auditory regions at the temporal lobe with the motor area located at the frontal lobe in the left hemisphere… 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

A Peek Inside DARPA

January 23, 2007

DARPA’s research projects include cognitive technologies that enable systems to reason, learn from experience, explain themselves and reflect on their own capabilities; beneficial bacteria in the gut to protect soldiers from enteric disease; speech technology that can translate with about 50 percent accuracy, expected to reach 90 percent by 2009; and “distillation” technology designed to remove irrelevant and redundant information from masses of translated text, with a goal to go… read more

A Peek Into the Remarkable Mind Behind the Genetic Code

July 12, 2006

The first biography of Francis Crick has now appeared. In “Francis Crick, Discoverer of the Genetic Code,” Matt Ridley has created a vivid portrait that explains Crick’s scientific work with clarity, deftly outlines his career and provides sharp insights into the nature of Crick’s remarkable creativity.

A people’s view of Mars (images)

April 2, 2010

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NASA has released some of the shots that resulted when it handed over command of the HiRise camera aboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and let the general public choose its Martian targets.

A Periodic Table Of Nanoparticles

August 22, 2006

By mixing and matching pairs of semiconducting, metallic, and magnetic nanoparticles, researchers have made many versions of what they call “binary nanoparticle superlattices.”

Their theoretical analyses, modeling work, and experimental data indicate that the factors that determine exactly what binary superlattice will form include relatively long-range electrostatic forces between the nanoparticles, close-proximity effects such as dipole interactions and van der Waals forces, size effects, and the relative concentrations of… read more

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