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Remote virtual surgery via Google Glass and telepresence

November 12, 2013

Remote doctor-advisor

A University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) surgical team has performed one of the first surgeries using a telepresence augmented reality technology from VIPAAR in conjunction with Google Glass.

The combination of the two technologies could be an important step toward the development of useful, practical telemedicine.

VIPAAR (Virtual Interactive Presence in Augmented Reality) is commercializing a UAB-developed technology that provides real-time,… read more

Researchers regrow hair, cartilage, bone, soft tissues

November 12, 2013

Hair club for mice: mouse on right has been

Young animals are known to repair their tissues effortlessly, but can this capacity be recaptured in adults? A new study from researchers at the Stem Cell Program at Boston Children’s Hospital suggests that it can.

By reactivating a dormant gene called Lin28a, which is active in embryonic stem cells, researchers were able to regrow hair and repair cartilage, bone, skin and other soft tissues in a mouse… read more

Researchers grow human muscle cells in a dish

November 12, 2013

Muscle cells grown in mice from transplanted human iPSC-derived cells

Skeletal muscle has proved to be very difficult to grow in patients with muscular dystrophy and other disorders that degrade and weaken muscle. But researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital‘s Stem Cell Program now report boosting muscle mass and reversing disease in a mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy, using a “cocktail” of three compounds identified through a new rapid culture system.

Adding the same compounds to stem… read more

Simulated attack on the US power grid planned for Wednesday — Thursday

November 12, 2013

gridexii

The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) is quietly planning to launch a simulated attack on the U.S. power grid on Wednesday and Thursday (Nov. 13–14) called GridEx II, according to an unpublished document obtained by KurzweilAI from NERC.

The updated objectives for GridEx II are:

• Exercise the current readiness of the electricity industry to respond to a security incident, incorporating… read more

Bio patch can regrow bone for dental implants and craniofacial defects

November 11, 2013

Researchers at the University of Iowa have created a bio patch to regenerate missing or damaged bone. The patch has been shown to nearly fully regrow missing skull, seen in the image above. Image courtesy of Satheesh Elangovan.

Researchers at the University of Iowa have created a bio patch to regenerate missing or damaged bone by putting DNA into a nano-sized particle that delivers bone-producing instructions directly into cells via genes.

“This is the first study to use plasmid DNA encoding platelet derived growth factor (PDGF) for bone regeneration applications,” researcher Aliasger K. Salem, Ph.D. — a professor in the College of Pharmacy and a co-corresponding author on the… read more

$100 million gift launches Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center at UCSD

November 11, 2013

huma-ipsc-derived-neuron-deerinck

Businessman and philanthropist T. Denny Sanford has committed $100 million to the creation of the Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD).

The Sanford Center will accelerate development of drugs and cell therapies inspired by and derived from current human stem cell research; establishing, promoting and disseminating clinical trials and patient therapies that will help more quickly transform promise… read more

Worldwide annual solar PV installations will double by 2020, says report

November 10, 2013

Annual solar PV

Annual installations of new solar PV capacity will more than double in capacity by 2020, growing from a total 35.9 gigawatts (GW) in 2013 to 73.4 GW in 2020, according to a recent report from Navigant Research.

Despite waning government support, the threat of international trade wars, and high-profile bankruptcies, the solar photovoltaic (PV) market continues to grow, solar PV technology costs have steadily declined, and pathways… read more

Metallic 3D carbon discovered

New metallic structure may be stable at ambient temperature and pressure, with potential applications ranging from electronics and superconductivity to lightweight space materials
November 8, 2013

3D Metallic carbon with interlocking hexagons (credit: Qian Wang, Ph.D.)

A theoretical, three-dimensional (3D) form of carbon that is metallic under ambient temperature and pressure has been discovered by an international research team.

The search for this form of carbon has remained an ongoing challenge for scientists in the field.

Researchers from Peking University, Virginia Commonwealth University and Shanghai Institute of Technical Physics employed state-of-the-art theoretical methods to show that it is possible to manipulate carbon… read more

Wireless device converts ‘lost’ microwave energy into electric power

November 8, 2013

Power harvesting split-ring resonator

Using inexpensive materials configured and tuned to capture microwave signals, researchers at Duke University’s Pratt School of Engineering have designed a power-harvesting device with efficiency similar to that of modern solar panels.

The device wirelessly converts a microwave signal to direct current voltage that is capable of recharging a cell phone battery or other small electronic device.

It operates on a principle similar to… read more

Monkeys move two virtual arms with their minds

November 8, 2013

Large-scale brain activity from a rhesus monkey was decoded and used to simultaneously control reaching movements of both arms of a virtual monkey avatar towards spherical objects in virtual reality (credit: Duke Center for Neuroengineering)

In a study led by Duke researchers, monkeys have learned to control the movement of both arms on an avatar using just their brain activity.

The findings advance efforts to develop bilateral movement in brain-controlled prosthetic devices for severely paralyzed patients.

To enable the monkeys to control two virtual arms, researchers recorded nearly 500 neurons from multiple areas in both cerebral hemispheres of the animals’ brains, the largest… read more

How to inkjet-print circuits at fraction of time and cost

November 8, 2013

A single-sided wiring pattern for an Arduino micro controller was printed on a transparent sheet of coated PET film.

A novel method to rapidly and cheaply 3D-print electrical circuits has been developed by researchers from Georgia Tech, the University of Tokyo, and Microsoft Research.

For about $300 in equipment costs, anyone can produce working electrical circuits in the 60 seconds it takes to print them using commodity inkjet printers and off-the-shelf materials.

Instant inkjet circuits

The technique, called instant inkjet circuits, allows for printing arbitrary-shaped conductors… read more

Self-correcting crystal may lead to the next generation of advanced communications

November 7, 2013

High magnification image of the new tunable dielectric material, taken with Cornell's scanning transmission electron microscope. The atomic structure resembles a brick wall in which the horizontal and vertical lines, the "mortar," are believed key to the performance of the material. (Credit: Ye Zhu/Muller group)

A five-year, multidisciplinary collaborative research effort based at Cornell has resulted in the world’s best material for tunable capacitors — broadly called a tunable dielectric, a special insulator whose ability to store electrical charge changes when a voltage is applied.

“This is a radically different material compared to what people have been using for decades,” said Darrell Schlom, the Herbert Fisk Johnson Professor of Industrial Chemistry at Cornell, who… read more

Just a few years of early musical training benefits the brain later in life

November 7, 2013

music changes

Older adults who took music lessons as children but haven’t actively played an instrument in decades have a faster brain response to a speech sound than individuals who never played an instrument, according to a  new study by Northwestern University researchers.

They found that the more years study participants spent playing instruments as youth, the faster their brains responded to a speech sound.

As people grow older, they… read more

An analog synaptic transistor with spike-timing-dependent plasticity learning

First of its kind brain-inspired device looks toward highly efficient and fast parallel computing
November 7, 2013

Synaptic-transistor-web

Materials scientists at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have created a new type of neuromorphic transistor that mimics the behavior of a synapse. The novel device simultaneously modulates the flow of information in a circuit and physically adapts to changing signals.

Exploiting unusual properties in modern materials, the synaptic transistor could mark the beginning of a new kind of artificial intelligence:… read more

New hydrogel improves delivery of breast-cancer treatment

November 6, 2013

herceptin_vitamine_e_gel_large

The Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) in Singapore and IBM Research (IBM) have developed a new non-toxic hydrogel that is capable of shrinking breast cancer tumors more rapidly than existing therapies.

As described in their publication in Advanced Functional Materials, the Vitamin E-incorporated hydrogel can be easily injected under the skin without causing any inflammatory response, and releases anti-cancer drugs in a sustained manner… read more

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