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Automated drug design using synthetic DNA self-assembly

Reducing the time required to create and test cancer and other medications
December 6, 2012

A collection of pharmaceutical molecules is shown after self-assembly. The detail shows a single molecule, made up of strands of DNA, a therapeutic agent and other components that improve its ability to target cancer. (Credit: Parabon NanoLabs)

Using a simple “drag-and-drop” computer interface and DNA self-assembly techniques, Parabon NanoLabs researchers have developed a new automated method of drug development that could reduce the time required to create and test medications, with the support of an NSF Technology Enhancement for Commercial Partnerships grant.

“We can now ‘print,’ molecule by molecule, exactly the compound that we want,” says Steven Armentrout, the principal investigator… read more

Privacy challenges of wearable computing

May 27, 2013

EyeTap (credit: Steve Mann)

“I’ve experienced both sides” of the privacy debate on Google Glass, Nick Bilton writes in The New York Times.

But other gadgets have plenty of privacy-invading potential too, he says. Memoto, a tiny, automatic camera that looks like a pin you can wear on a shirt, can snap two photos a minute and later upload it to an online service.

Apple is… read more

Memory implants

A maverick neuroscientist believes he has deciphered the code by which the brain forms long-term memories
May 1, 2013

electrode_array

Teodore Berger, a biomedical engineer and neuroscientist at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, envisions a day in the not too distant future when a patient with severe memory loss can get help from an electronic implant, MIT Technology Review reports.

In people whose brains have suffered damage from Alzheimer’s, stroke, or injury, disrupted neuronal networks often prevent long-term memories from forming. For more than… read more

Future Day event in Second Life

March 2, 2012

futuredaysl1

A Future Day event was held at Terasem Island in Second Life on March 1, with speakers Natasha Vita-More, Martine Rothblatt, Howard Bloom, Giulio Prisco, Adam A. Ford, and Ben Goertzel (via audio) and about 50 participants.

One of the projects discussed at the event was a Future Day film with positive and solar visions of the future (mostly interviews), for release at Future Day 2013… read more

Why the new iPad is so huge for Apple

March 8, 2012

newipad

Today’s new iPad introduction was Apple’s most important event of the year.

I iPad is the future of Apple and potentially the future of the personal computer.

Today’s new iPad continued two important trends for Apple:

The iPad maintained its lead as the best tablet on the market in terms of hardware, software, and ecosystem, the retina display — unmatched by the competition… read more

Turning off the stem-cell aging switch

May 24, 2012

delay_aging_stem_cells

Researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have uncovered a series of biological events that implicate stem cells’ “niche” (surroundings) as the culprit in loss of stem cells due to aging.

Their findings have implications for treatment of age-related diseases and for the effectiveness of regenerative medicine.

Stem cells are essential building blocks for all organisms, from plants to humans. They can divide… read more

Rats use GPS to root out land mines

June 8, 2012

Meyers-Rat-Main-Image

Two Bucknell University professors are working with a U.S. Department of Defense contractor to develop faster and more sophisticated technology and methods to detect land mines. The team has devised a system to train rats to recognize and respond to the explosives.

The rats will be outfitted with miniature backpacks and wireless transmitters that track their positions and movements. During the first part of their training, the… read more

Dear science fiction writers: stop being so pessimistic!

March 21, 2012

Neal Stephenson

Stephenson has seen the future — and he doesn’t like it.

Today’s science fiction, he argues, is fixated on nihilism and apocalyptic scenarios — think recent films such as The Road and TV series like “The Walking Dead.” Gone are the hopeful visions prevalent in the mid-20th century.

So in Fall 2011, Stephenson launched the Hieroglyph project to rally writers to infuse science fiction with… read more

X Prize Founder, at SXSW, Seeks Ideas to Fix Education

March 13, 2012

X-Prize chairman Peter Diamandis plans to launch an Education X Prize to help fix the U.S. educational system, such as coming up with better ways to crowd-source education, or rewarding the creation of a “powerful, addictive game” that promotes education.

IBM invests $3 billion to extend Moore’s law with post-silicon-era chips and new architectures

Pushing limits of chip technology to 7 nanometers and below
July 10, 2014

Graphene Integrated circuit, the first fabricated from wafer-size graphene, announced by IBM in 2011 (credit: IBM)

IBM announced today it is investing $3 billion for R&D in two research programs to push the limits of chip technology and extend Moore’s law.

The research programs are aimed at “7 nanometer and beyond” silicon technology and developing alternative technologies for post-silicon-era chips using entirely different approaches, IBM says.

IBM will be investing especially in carbon nanoelectronics, silicon photonics, new memory technologies, and architectures that support quantum… read more

Human Longevity Inc. launched to promote healthy aging using advances in genomics and stem-cell therapies

Building world’s largest genotype/phenotype database
March 5, 2014

hli_logo

Human Longevity Inc. (HLI), a genomics and cell therapy-based diagnostic and therapeutic company focused on extending the healthy, high performance human life span, was announced today by co-founders J. Craig Venter, Ph.D., Robert Hariri, M.D., Ph.D., and Peter H. Diamandis, M.D.

The company, headquartered in San Diego, California, is being capitalized with an initial $70 million in investor funding.

Largest human sequencingread more

60 billion planets in our galaxy could sustain water, life: researchers

July 2, 2013

A planet with clouds and surface water orbits a red dwarf star in this artist’s conception of the Gliese 581 star system.

A new study by University of Chicago and Northwestern University researchers that calculates the influence of cloud behavior on climate doubles the number of potentially habitable planets orbiting red dwarfs, the most common type of stars in the universe.

In our Milky Way galaxy alone, 60 billion planets may be orbiting red dwarf stars in the habitable zone.

Current data from NASA’s… read more

Transparent solar cells for windows that generate electricity

July 23, 2012

ucla_transparent_solar_cell

Researchers from UCLA and California NanoSystems Institute have developed a new transparent solar cell, giving windows in homes and other buildings the ability to generate electricity.

This new kind of polymer solar cell (PSC) produces energy by absorbing more near-infrared light but is less sensitive to visible light, making the cells nearly 70% transparent to the human eye. They use a near-infrared light-sensitive polymer and silver nanowire composite films as… read more

Wearable ‘neurocam’ records scenes when it detects user interest

February 10, 2014

Neuroware

Keio University scientists have developed a “neurocam” — a wearable camera system that detects emotions, based on an analysis of the user’s brainwaves.

The hardware is a combination of Neurosky’s Mind Wave Mobile and a customized brainwave sensor.

The algorithm is based on measures of “interest” and “like” developed by Professor Mitsukura and the neurowear team.

The users interests are quantified… read more

What zebrafish can teach us about healing brain damage

November 11, 2012

800px-Zebrafisch

The zebrafish regenerates its brain after injury, unlike mammals. Is there something we can learn about the process that might help with traumatic brain injury  and neurodegenerative disorders?

A research team at the Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden (CRTD), Germany decided to investigate.

They found that that in zebrafish — in contrast to mammals — inflammation is a positive regulator of neuronal regeneration in the… read more

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