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High-fat diet postpones brain aging in mice

November 6, 2014

Kerala coconuts (credit: Dan Iserman CC)

A new Danish-led research suggests that signs of brain aging can be postponed in mice if they are placed on a high-fat diet. The finding may one day allow for developing treatments for children suffering from premature aging and patients with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

The new research project, headed by the Center for Healthy Aging, University of Copenhagen, and the National Institute of Health, studied mice having… read more

Brain-to-brain interface via Internet replicated, improved

November 6, 2014

The sender (left) is hooked to an electroencephalography machine that reads brain activity. A computer processes the brain signals and sends electrical pulses via the Web to the receiver (right) across campus.A transcranial magnetic stimulation coil is placed over the part of the brain that controls the receiver’s right hand movements.(Credit: Mary Levin, U of Wash.)

University of Washington researchers have successfully replicated a direct brain-to-brain connection between pairs of people as part of a scientific study following the team’s initial demonstration a year ago, reported on KurzweilAI.

In the newly published study, which involved six people (instead of two), researchers were able to transmit the signals from one person’s brain over the Internet and use these signals to control the hand motions of… read more

‘Direct writing’ nanodiamond patterns from graphite

November 6, 2014

This illustration depicts a new technique that uses a pulsing laser to create synthetic nanodiamond films and patterns from graphite, with potential applications from biosensors to computer chips. (Credit: Purdue University/Gary Cheng)

Purdue University researchers have developed a method to instantly create synthetic nanodiamond films and patterns from graphite using a pulsing laser, with potential applications from biosensors to computer chips.

“The biggest advantage is that you can selectively deposit nanodiamond on rigid surfaces without the high temperatures and pressures normally needed to produce synthetic diamond,” said Gary Cheng, an associate professor of industrial engineering at .

“We do… read more

Tough multifunctional electronics based on bullet-proof Kevlar

November 5, 2014

Tungsten-coated Kevlar with a Kevlar (uncoated) background (Credit: S.Atanasov/NCSU)

North Carolina State University researchers have “woven” high-strength, highly conductive yarns made of tungsten metal on Kevlar — aka body armor material — by using atomic layer deposition (ALD), a process commonly used for producing memory and logic devices.

The tungsten-on-Kevlar yarns are expected to find applications in multifunctional protective electronics materials for electromagnetic shielding and communications, as well as erosion-resistant antistatic fabrics for space and automated… read more

Ebola, Marburg viruses edit genetic material during infection

November 5, 2014

Ebola virus virion (credit: CDC)

Filoviruses like Ebola “edit” genetic material as they invade their hosts, according to a study published this week in mBio, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

The work, by researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, the Galveston National Laboratory, and the J. Craig Venter Institute, could lead to a better understanding of these viruses, paving the way for new… read more

Spaceship Two crash raises concerns about commercial human space flight, former NASA historian says

November 5, 2014

Spaceship Two feathered (credit: Virgin Galactic)

The crash of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShip Two raises serious concerns about the future of commercial human spaceflight, including the imperatives of time and money that beset all who try to fly humans in space with existing technology,” according to a statement by Alex Roland, professor emeritus of history at Duke University and former NASA historian.

“Richard Branson has been famously secretive about the finances of Virgin… read more

How to create metamaterials that work in all directions

November 4, 2014

isotropic metamaterials ft.

A (relatively) large infrared metamaterial, up to 4 mm x 4 square mm in size, that is essentially isotropic (works in all directions) has been developed by a team of scientists from RIKEN in Japan and NARLabs in Taiwan, using a type of metamaterial element called a split-ring resonator (SRR).

Metamaterials developed so far have been two-dimensional and inherently anisotropic, meaning that they are designed to act… read more

‘Quantum holograms’ for information storage and computation

November 4, 2014

Set up of the experiment showing the orthogonal side illumination (Credit: Vetlugin et al.)

Russian scientists have developed a theoretical model for quantum information storage using holograms.

These findings from Anton Vetlugin and Ivan Sokolov from St. Petersburg State University in Russia are published in a study in The European Physical Journal D.

The authors demonstrate that it is theoretically possible to retrieve, on demand, a given portion of the stored quantized light signal of a holographic image by shaping the control… read more

Studies link meditation, support, and Tai Chi practices with healing for breast-cancer survivors

November 4, 2014

Tai Chi (credit: Anita Ritenour, CC)

Two recent studies suggest that meditation, support groups, and Tai Chi are associated with healing for breast cancer survivors.

Canadian researchers found that practicing mindfulness meditation or being involved in a support group has “a positive physical impact” at the cellular level in breast cancer survivors.

The researchers, at Alberta Health Services’ Tom Baker Cancer Centre and the University of Calgary Department of Oncology,… read more

Improving imaging of cancerous tissues by reversing time

November 3, 2014

time-reversal

Washington University researchers have developed a novel “time-reversal” technology that allows for better-focused light in tissue, such as muscles and organs,

Current high-resolution optical imaging technology allows researchers to see about 1 millimeter deep into the body. Beyond that, the light scatters and obscures the features, which is why we can’t see bones or tissue in the hand with a flashlight. To overcome this, Wang and his lab developed… read more

‘Nanomotor lithography’ provides simpler, affordable nanofabrication

November 3, 2014

Nanoengineers have invented a spherical nanorobot made of silica that focuses light like a near-field lens to write surface patterns for nanoscale devices. In this image, the red and purple areas indicate where the light is being magnified to produce a trench pattern on light-sensitive material. The researchers published their novel ‘nanomotor lithography’ method recently in the journal Nature Communications. (Credit: Laboratory for Nanobioelectronics, UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering)

Nanoengineers at the University of California, San Diego recently invented a new lithography method for creating nanoscale electronic and medical devices, using nanorobots (nanomotors) that are chemically powered, self-propelled, and magnetically controlled.

These nanorobots swim over the surface of light-sensitive material to create complex surface patterns.

Their research, published recently in the journal Nature Communications, offers a simpler and more affordable alternative to the high cost and complexity… read more

New device yields close-up look at cancer metastasis

A new tool for testing anticancer drugs and other strategies
October 31, 2014

This dish houses a lab chip that Johns Hopkins engineers built to gain an unprecedented close-up view of how cancer cells enter the bloodstream to spread the disease. (Credit: Will Kirk/Johns Hopkins University)

Engineers at Johns Hopkins Institute for NanoBioTechnology (INBT) have invented a lab device to give cancer researchers an unprecedented microscopic look at metastasis (spread of tumor cells, causing more than 90 percent of cancer-related deaths), with the goal of eventually stopping the spread, described in their paper in the journal Cancer Report.

Johns Hopkins | Researchers captured this video of human breast cancer cells (red) asread more

Stealth DNA-based carbon nanotubes tunnel into cells to deliver targeted drugs

October 31, 2014

An artist’s view of a carbon nanotube inserted in a plasma membrane of a cell. The nanotube forms a nanoscale tunnel in the membrane and the image shows a single long strand of DNA passing through that tunnel. (Credit: LLNL)

A team led by the Lawrence Livermore scientists has created a new way to selectively deliver drugs to a specific area in the body using carbon nanotubes (CNTs).

(KurzweilAI reported on October 17 a similar attempt to sneak drugs into cells using a DNA-based drug-delivery system: nanoscale “cocoons” made of DNA target cancer cells, tricking the cells into absorbing the cocoon, which then unleashes anticancer drugs.)

“Many… read more

What running robots can learn from turkeys

October 30, 2014

Model of motion (Credit: OSU)

With an eye toward making better running robots, researchers from from Oregon State University, the Royal Veterinary College and other institutions have made surprising new findings about some of nature’s most energy-efficient bipeds — running birds.

These are some of the most sophisticated runners of any two-legged land animals, including humans, the researchers found in a study published Wednesday (Oct. 29) in the Journal of Experimental Biology, with an… read more

Watson to help find new sources of oil

World’s first cognitive-technologies collaboration for oil industry applications
October 30, 2014

IBM's Cognitive Environments Lab researchers are developing software agents called "cogs" that will help energy company Repsol make better decisions on acquiring new oil fields and optimizing its strategy for current oil production (credit: Jon Simon/Feature Photo Service for IBM)

Scientists at IBM and Repsol SA, Spain largest energy company, announced today (Oct. 30) the world’s first research collaboration using cognitive technologies like IBM’s Watson to jointly develop and apply new tools to make it cheaper and easier to find new oil fields.

An engineer will typically have to manually read through an enormous set of journal papers and baseline reports with models of reservoir, well, facilities, production, export,… read more

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