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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

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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

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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

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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

Mars

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

Waste wafers give solar power a silicon boost

October 31, 2007

A simple method of recycling waste silicon from microchips that could help ease the shortage of refined silicon for solar energy panels has been developed by IBM.

IBM estimates that 3.3 percent of these wafers are normally scrapped before they reach the market, which adds up to nearly 3 million discarded wafers per year. It reckons the silicon from these discarded wafers could make solar panels capable of generating… read more

Wasps with bigger brains evolve social networking

April 12, 2011

Wasp Nest

Neurobiologists at the University of Washington have found that bigger-bodied social wasps have larger brains and devote up to three times more of their brain tissue to regions that coordinate social interactions, learning, memory, and other complex behaviors.

The researchers dissected wasp brains and measured the volume of two brain regions. They focused on the central processing region (the mushroom bodies) that, like the cerebral cortex… read more

Washington’s I.T. Guy

June 15, 2010

Carl Malamud has taken it upon himself to see that all public information — from court decisions to financial disclosures to Army training tapes — is actually, well, public.

His art is in figuring out how to free documents that aren’t restricted by secrecy but by the fact that the government has failed to put them online.

It’s time for the government to catch up to technology. Creating… read more

Washington to Give Nanotech $37B Boost

November 26, 2002

New legislation now before President Bush could result in $37 billion in new funding over the next five years for the National Science Foundation –money that is expected to boost venture capital investments in nanotechnology and emerging biotech sectors.

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