Most Recently Added Most commentedBy Title | A-Z

The 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics

October 8, 2013

de these new siblings of electrons and quarks.<br />
François Englert and Peter Higgs meet for the first time,<br />
at CERN when the discovery of a Higgs particle was<br />
announced to the world on 4 July 2012.<br />
Photo: CERN, htt

The Nobel Prize in Physics 2013 has been awarded jointly to François Englert and Peter W. Higgs for the theoretical discovery of a mechanism that contributes to our understanding of the origin of mass of subatomic particles, and which recently was confirmed through the discovery of the predicted fundamental particle, by the ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider.

More

The 2013 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

October 8, 2013

Nobel_Prize

The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institute has decided to award The 2013 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine jointly to James E. Rothman, Randy W. Schekman, and Thomas C. Südhof, for their discoveries of machinery regulating vesicle traffic, a major transport system in our cells.

The three scientists have solved the mystery of how the cell organizes its transport system. Each cell is a factory… read more

Minority Report-style pre-crime prediction using Twitter data: possible?

October 8, 2013

trends_via_twitter

It’s the year 2054, where “PreCrime,” a specialized police department, apprehends criminals based on foreknowledge provided by three psychics called “precogs.”

That’s the premise of the Minority Report film. Now University of Twente (UT) mathematics student Marijn ten Thij* has developed a mathematical model that he says could achieve a similar result (but not limited to crimes) by analyzing… read more

‘We should stop designing perfect circuits’

October 8, 2013

Computer chips (credit: iStockphoto)

Christian Enz, head of the EPFL Integrated Circuits Laboratory (ICLAB), says we should build future devices with unreliable circuits, and adopt the “good enough engineering” trend to reduce energy consumption and continue to reduce transistor size.

The problem: We are beginning to hit a wall on miniaturization. As transistors get smaller, they produce more mistakes, so hardware must be added and performance must be decreased, which… read more

The Human Brain Project has officially begun

Scientists from the 135 partner institutions meeting in Switzerland this week
October 7, 2013

BlueBrain_web

On Monday, October 7, 2013, scientists from the 135 partner institutions of the Human Brain Project — “the world’s most ambitious neuroscience project”— met at EPFL (Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne), the coordinating institution, in Switzerland.

Over the course of the coming week, neuroscientists, doctors, computer scientists, and roboticists will fine-tune the project’s details.

Six months after its selection by the EU as one… read more

Software to construct everything with LEGO pieces

October 7, 2013

lego_epfl

Romain Testuz. a student of the Laboratory for Computer Graphics and Geometrics (LGG) at EPFL, has developed software that automatically transforms a three-dimensional image into bricks and simplifies the challenge of construction by proposing a comprehensive plan of the parts to be used at each level.

To overcome structural weaknesses, Testuz used graph theory, representing each piece by a node and each connection by… read more

Well-connected hemispheres of Einstein’s brain may have contributed to his brilliance

October 6, 2013

Albert Einstein's corpus callosum. Color codes indicate the varying thicknesses of subdivisions of the corpus callosum (credit: Men et al./Brain)

The left and right hemispheres of Albert Einstein’s brain were unusually well connected to each other and this may have contributed to his brilliance, according to a new study [1], the first to detail Einstein’s corpus callosum.

The corpus callosum is the brain’s largest bundle of fibers that connects the two cerebral hemispheres and facilitates interhemispheric communication.

The study was published in the journal Brain. Lead… read more

Boston Dynamics’ new running robot: WildCat

October 6, 2013

WildCat2

Boston Dynamics has unleashed Cheetah as “WildCat” — a four-legged robot being developed to run fast on all types of terrain.

So far, WildCat has run at about 16 mph on flat terrain using bounding and galloping gaits — still slower than tethered Cheetah, with a top speed of 28.3 mph. Boston Dynamics is developing WildCat with funding from DARPA’s M3 program. (To… read more

3D printing lowers environmental impact, says study

October 5, 2013

3d_printed_blocks_large

Making things at home on a 3D printer uses less energy — and therefore releases less carbon dioxide — than producing it in a factory and shipping it to a warehouse.

That’s according to a study led by Joshua Pearce, an associate professor of materials science and engineering/electrical and computer engineering at Michigan Technological University.

The team conducted life-cycle impact analyses on three products:… read more

Cells from small biopsies can be used to grow large numbers of a patient’s own protective brain cells

October 4, 2013

Cells from brain biopsies in patients with Parkinson's Disease.

Scientists at the University of Western Ontario in Canada enrolled patients with Parkinson’s disease who were scheduled to have deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery and removed small biopsies near the surface of the brain.

They then multiplied the cells in culture to generate millions of patient-specific cells that were then subjected to genetic analysis.

These cells exhibited regeneration and characteristics of a fundamental class of brain… read more

MIT inventor unleashes hundreds of self-assembling cube swarmbots

October 4, 2013

M-Blocks

The experts said it couldn’t be done. But research scientist John Romanishin of MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) has created M-Blocks — cube robots with no external moving parts.

Despite that, they can magically climb over and around one another, leap through the air, roll across the ground, snap together into different shapes, and even move while suspended upside down from metallic surfaces.… read more

Neural circuits that control REM sleep in mice identified

October 4, 2013

(credit:

Scientists have controlled the duration of REM (rapid eye movements, associated with dreaming) sleep in mice by activating melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH)-expressing neurons in the lateral hypothalamus, using optogenetics (controlling neuronal activity with light).

“These research findings could help us better grasp how the brain controls sleep and better understand the role of sleep in humans. These results could also lead to new therapeutic strategies to treat sleep disorders along with… read more

Seeing cells through silicon microfluidic devices

October 3, 2013

Schematic of the lab-on-chip system for the study of<br />
mechanical, chemical and electric perturbation of different types of cells<br />
on silicon-based microfluidic and multi-electrode array platform.<br />
Quantitative phase image of a human embryonic kidney cell, and RBC<br />
imaged through silicon is shown on the top

Scientists at MIT and the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) have developed a new type of microscopy that can image cells through a silicon wafer, allowing them to precisely measure the size and mechanical behavior of cells behind the wafer.

The new technology, which relies on near-infrared light, could help scientists learn more about diseased or infected cells as they flow through silicon microfluidic… read more

The secret of longevity for the world’s longest-living rodent: better protein creation

October 3, 2013

Naked mole rats are small, hairless, subterranean rodents native to eastern Africa (credit: Adam Fenster/University of Rochester)

Better-constructed proteins could explain why naked mole rats live long lives — about 30 years — and stay healthy until the very end, resisting cancer, say University of Rochester biologists Vera Gorbunova and Andrei Seluanov.

Their work focuses on naked mole rat ribosomes, which assemble amino acids into proteins. Ribosomes are composed of ribosomal RNA (rRNA) molecules and proteins.

When… read more

’4D printing’ adaptive materials

October 3, 2013

Photo-morphing of initially flat gel sample into various shapes by illumination (credit: University of Pittsburgh)

Researchers from three universities are proposing to add a dimension to 3D printing by developing “4D” materials that can exhibit behavior that changes over time.

Imagine an automobile coating that changes its structure to adapt to a humid environment or a salt-covered road, better protecting the car from corrosion. Or consider a soldier’s uniform that could alter its camouflage or more effectively protect against poison gas or… read more

close and return to Home