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A statistical model of the network of connections between brain regions

April 19, 2012
Brain Web

Researchers at the University of Cambridge have developed a simple mathematical model of the brain which provides a remarkably complete statistical account of the complex web of connections between various brain regions.

The brain shares a pattern of connections that is similar to other complex networks such as social networks and the Web. However, until now, it was not known what rules were involved in the formation of the… read more

A Stem-Cell Revolution

August 27, 2008

Doug Melton, co-director of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, says that distributing induced pluripotent stem cells to researchers around the world will advance the study of degenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and diabetes.

A Stem-Cell Therapy for Blindness

June 17, 2009

An experimental therapy using human embryonic stem cells to treat degenerative eye diseases has proved safe and effective in animal studies, and may begin early human trials in the next few months if approved by the FDA.

Developed by Advanced Cell Technology (ACT), the treatment re-creates retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells, which are often the first to die off in age-related macular degeneration and other eye diseases, which in… read more

A step closer to artificial livers

Researchers identify compounds that help liver cells grow outside the body
June 4, 2013


MIT engineer Sangeeta Bhatia and colleagues have have identified a dozen chemical compounds that can help liver cells maintain their normal function while grown in a lab dish and also multiply to produce new tissue.

Cells grown this way could help researchers develop engineered tissue to treat many of the 500 million people suffering from chronic liver diseases such as hepatitis C, according… read more

A Step Closer to Nanotube Computers

November 14, 2006

Stanford University researchers have developed a method of separating out purely semiconducting nanotubes with a consistent range of diameters stretching across the source and drain.

The method is scalable to a bulk manufacturing process.

A Step Closer to Perfect 3-D Data Storage

July 7, 2010


The ultimate in holographic (three-dimensional) data storage–a chemically pure crystal composed solely of fluorescent proteins that can be read and reversibly switched between at least two different states using nothing but light from lasers–is being developed in preliminary research by an international group of scientists.

Such a crystal would represent something approaching the theoretical limit of data density in a storage medium: each bit would be represented by a single… read more

A Step Closer to Printing-Press Electronics

July 3, 2007

One goal for the future of electronics is the ability to print large, flexible circuits using machines similar to printing presses. While great strides have been made in developing bendable and lightweight organic materials to use in this type of circuitry, methods to deposit those materials over large areas have not been as successful.

Recently, scientists from the DuPont’s Material Science and Engineering division and Organic ID, a subsidiary… read more

A Step Toward a Living, Learning Memory Chip

June 8, 2007

Researchers at Tel Aviv University in Israel have demonstrated that neurons cultured outside the brain can be imprinted with multiple rudimentary memories that persist for days without interfering with or wiping out others.

According to Eshel Ben-Jacob, previous attempts to trigger the cells to create a repeating pattern of signals sent from neuron to neuron in a population–which neuroscientists believe constitutes the formation of a memory in the context… read more

A step toward a saliva test for cancer

September 1, 2011

A new saliva test developed by researchers at National Chung Cheng University (NCCU) in Taiwan that can measure the amount of potential carcinogens stuck to a person’s DNA was reported during the 242nd National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS) in Denver.

“The test measures the amount of damaged DNA [DNA adducts] in a person’s body,”… read more

A step toward better brain implants using conducting polymer nanotubes

September 30, 2009

Brain implants developed at the University of Michigan are coated with nanotubes made of poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT), a biocompatible and electrically conductive polymer that has been shown to record neural signals better than conventional metal electrodes.

A step toward creating a bio-robot hybrid

December 3, 2012

Orr Yarkoni, Lynn Donlon and Daniel Frankel<br />
Department of Chemical Engineering, Newcastle University,

Would it be possible to integrate biological components with advanced robotics, using biological cells to do machine-like functions and interface with an electronic nervous system — in effect, creating an autonomous, multi-cellular biohybrid robot?

Researchers Orr Yarkoni, Lynn Donlon, and Daniel Frankel, from the Department of Chemical Engineering at Newcastle University think so, and they’ve developed an interface to allow communication… read more

A step toward creating microprocessors with graphene

April 3, 2012

Moire Pattern

University of Arizona (UA) physicists are making discoveries with graphene that may advance electronic circuit technology.

Resembling chicken wire on a nano scale, graphene — single sheets of graphite — is only one atom thick, making it the world’s thinnest material. Two million graphene sheets stacked up would not be as thick as a credit card.

The tricky part physicists have yet to figure out… read more

A step toward simulating a worm brain in a computer

December 31, 2013

(Credit: OpenWorm Project)

The OpenWorm Project — an open-source project dedicated to creating a virtual C. elegans nematode in a computer by reverse-engineering its biology—  has now developed software that replicates the worm’s muscle movement.

You can explore that with the OpenWorm browser, or the iOS OpenWorm 3D Browser app.

The ultimate scientific goal of OpenWorm: understanding how the worm brain works via a full  digital… read more

A step toward the $1,000 personal genome using readily available lab equipment

August 5, 2005

The theoretical price of having one’s personal genome sequenced just fell from the prohibitive $20 million dollars to about $2.2 million, and the goal is to reduce the amount further–to about $1,000–to make individualized prevention and treatment realistic.

The sharp drop is due to a new DNA sequencing technology developed by Harvard Medical School researchers.

The new technique calls for replicating thousands of DNA fragments attached to one-micron… read more

A step toward the ‘quantum Internet’

April 12, 2012

Quantumstate transfer

The first elementary quantum network based on interfaces between single atoms and photons has been developed by scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (MPQ).

It consists of two coupled single-atom nodes that communicate quantum information via coherent, reversible exchange of single photons.

Besides giving insights into fundamental questions in physics, the finding could also have applications in secure communication and the simulation… read more

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