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Water discovered in remnants of extrasolar rocky world orbiting white dwarf

October 14, 2013


Astrophysicists have found the first evidence of a water-rich rocky planetary body outside our solar system in its shattered remains orbiting a white dwarf.

A new study by scientists at the Universities of Warwick and Cambridge analyzed the dust and debris surrounding the white dwarf star GD61 170 light years away.

Using observations obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope and the large telescopes of… read more

Watching the Watchers: Why Surveillance Is a Two-Way Street

December 18, 2007

The widespread availability of digital cameras and video-capable cellphones means that ubiquitous surveillance on the part of the little guys is moving, if anything, even faster than ubiquitous surveillance on the part of the big boys. And distribution tools like YouTube make it easier to get the footage to a large audience.

Watching the Insides of a Cell

November 16, 2006

Researchers at MIT’s George R. Harrison Spectroscopy Lab have detected tiny twitches and vibrations in the live membranes of individual cells and neurons by using a powerful and noninvasive imaging technique. The technique could be used in the future to create three-dimensional images, illuminating even finer activities within living cells.

The method uses an optical technique based on interferometry: a laser beam passed through a sample is compared with… read more

Watching the brain ‘switch off’ self-awareness

April 20, 2006

Researchers conducted a series of experiments using fMRI to pinpoint the brain activity associated with introspection and that linked to sensory function.

They found that the brain assumes a robotic functionality when it has to concentrate all its efforts on a difficult, timed task — only becoming “human” again when it has the luxury of time.

Watching the Brain in Action

August 23, 2006

MIT researchers have used two-photon microscopy to visualize chemical activity in individual brain cells of living animals.

The technique could be used to monitor cell activity in animal models of neurological disease or degeneration, or to test the effects of therapies in treating these conditions, or study plasticity, the ability of neurons and their connections to change in response to experience.

Watching The Body’s Metabolism Using Ultra Low Field MRI

November 11, 2009

Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists have replaced the large magnets needed for MRI by using a combination of “dynamic nuclear polarization” to align carbon 13 nuclei before they are injected into the body and a new generation of superconducting quantum interference devices (SQUIDS) to pick up the signals used to reconstruct an image.

That should make ultra low field MRI images of metabolism in action even easier to make… read more

Watching Over You

August 21, 2005

The MDKeeper, from Tadiran Spectralink, provides round-the-clock medical monitoring for at-risk patients.

It is worn like a watch and integrates various medical sensors, a Siemens GSM/GPRS radio module, and a built-in cellular speakerphone and processing unit to measure and transmit data to caregivers.

The MDKeeper measures vital signs, including pulse rate, cardiac rhythm (ECG or EKG), and blood oxygen levels. It can either store the data and transmit… read more

Watching How the Brain Works as It Weighs a Moral Dilemma

September 26, 2001

It is now possible to study scientifically how moral reasoning differs among individual people and across cultures, using functional brain imaging to detect brain activity via increases in blood flow.

A study published in the Sept. 14 issue of the journal Science showed that impersonal moral dilemmas, like deciding whether to keep the money in a found wallet, activated areas involved in working memory. However, personal moral dilemmas… read more

Watching fish thinking

February 1, 2013


Neuroscientists have found a way to watch neurons fire in an independently moving animal for the first time. The study was done in fish, but it may hold clues to how the human brain works, Science Now reports.

Junichi Nakai of Saitama University’s Brain Science Institute in Japan and colleagues selected a glowing marker known as green fluorescent protein (GFP) and linked it to a compound that… read more

Watching Cancer Cells Die

March 3, 2006

A nano sensor, developed by scientists at the Center for Molecular Imaging Research at Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital, detects apoptosis (cell suicide).

The sensor could directly signal whether a drug is working or not by looking at individual cells. The detector uses an iron-oxide nanoparticle, which may allow for seeing the sensors inside the human body using MRI because the iron-oxide particle is a very good imaging… read more

Watching atoms vibrate in real time

March 21, 2007
This slow-motion simulation of the JILA nanoscale motion detector shows the wiggling of a floppy metal beam, just 100 nanometers thick, as it is struck by an electric current at the dot. Red indicates the greatest change in position from the rest state.

A new nanoscale apparatus–a tiny gold beam whose 40 million vibrations per second are measured by hopping electrons–offers the potential for a 500-fold increase in the speed of scanning tunneling microscopes, perhaps paving the way for scientists to watch atoms vibrate in high definition in real time.

The new device measures the space between a metal beam and an electrically conducting point just a single atom wide,… read more

Watch your back, Hasbro, 3D-printed games have arrived

September 2, 2012


Ill Gotten Games‘ Pocket Tactics is the first open-source miniatures game designed to be manufactured on a 3D printer, Wired Design reports.

Consisting of character figurines, tiles, and dice, the pieces can be downloaded from Thingiverse and printed on a MakerBot. A complete set of parts takes several hours to extrude, but games can be played in just over 20 minutes.

The use of… read more

Watch scientists ‘herd’ cells with electric fields for controlled tissue engineering

March 12, 2014


Researchers at UC Berkeley found that an electrical current can be used to orchestrate the flow of a group of cells, an achievement that could establish the basis for more controlled forms of tissue engineering and for potential applications such as “smart bandages” that use electrical stimulation to help heal wounds.

In the experiments, described in a study published this week in the journal Nature Materials, the… read more

Watch International Mars Society Convention via live webcast

August 15, 2013


The Mars Society is hosting its 16th Annual International Mars Society Convention from August 15–18 at the University of Colorado in Boulder. All plenary talks are being broadcast live on the Internet via a special video webcast.

Convention program schedule (times listed are MDT).

Watch flying robots build a 6-meter tower

December 14, 2011

ETH quadcopter

ETH Zurich roboticists and architects used a fleet of quadcopters to build a 6 meter (20 feet) twisting tower out of 1500 foam bricks, IEEE Spectrum Automaton reports.

The ceiling of the room where the assembly is taking place was equipped with a motion-capture system. A computer uses the vision data to keep track of the quadcopters and tell them where to go.


 … read more

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