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Wait, some stem cells use nanotubes to communicate with other cells? Seriously?

Ask postdoc Mayu Inaba, who discovered something biologists have mistaken for a speck of dust
July 1, 2015

Confocal microscope image showing stem cells (blue) clustering around a hub in the stem cell niche (pink). One stem cell extends a nanotube into the hub. (credit: Mayu Inaba, University of Michigan)

Certain types of stem cells use microscopic, threadlike nanotubes to communicate with neighboring cells, rather than sending a broadcast signal, researchers at University of Michigan Life Sciences Institute and University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center have discovered.

The fruit-fly research findings, published today (July 1) in Nature, suggest that short-range, cell-to-cell communication may rely on this type of direct connection more than was previously understood, said… read more

Wahlberg, Neeson considering Neuromancer film roles

July 29, 2012


Mark Wahlberg and Liam Neeson are mulling over offers to headline director Vicenzo Natali’s long-gestating adaptation of William Gibson‘s Neuromancer, Moviehole reports.

Wahlberg would play the anti-hero Case and Neeson would play Armitage.


Waging war by remote control

October 18, 2001

The United States is for the first time flying armed, unmanned aircraft into combat and controlling them with operators in the United States via satellite.The use of the armed RQ-1 Predator drone planes is a revolutionary step in the conduct of warfare because they signal that the Air Force is now able to survey and then shoot at ground positions from lower altitudes without putting pilots at risk.

The… read more

Wafer-scale, flexible thin-film electronics

Can even wrap around a human hair
January 14, 2014


Researchers at ETH Zurich are developing thin-film transistors, sensors, and other electronic components that are thin and flexible enough to be wrapped around a wide range of surfaces without damaging the electronics.

The aim is to weave these types of components into textiles or apply them to the skin to make “smart,” unobtrusive, comfortable sensors  that can monitor various functions of the body, aka “temporary tattoo” biosensors.… read more

Vulcan project aims to build ‘Digital Aristotle’

February 13, 2004

Can a computer be loaded with the world’s textbook-science knowledge, reason through it and then answer questions in plain English like a phenomenal teacher, a “Digital Aristotle”?

Paul Allen’s private investment company, Vulcan, has announced it is willing to bankroll three competing research teams from around the world to answer this question, in what it calls “Project Halo,” a quest over the next 30 months to create a computerized… read more

VR treatment for stroke patients announced

January 28, 2002

Rutgers researchers have filed a patent application for a PC-based virtual- reality system that provides stroke patients hand-impairment therapy. In use, the patient’s gloved hands are linked to virtual hands on the PC monitor, so the patient’s actual hand movements are mimicked on-screen. By interacting and playing with on-screen graphics — including fluttering butterflies, piano keyboards and mechanical hands — the patient performs intensive rehab exercises without drudgery, according to… read more

VR headset spots concussion in minutes

April 28, 2005

A virtual-reality headset is being developed that can diagnose the extent of a head injury within minutes.

The system puts the wearer through an array of neuropsychological tests designed to pick up reduced reaction times and deficits in working memory, conditions that would indicate injuries to different parts of the brain.

By measuring reaction times in a battery of tests, the system is designed to detect even mild… read more

VR hallucinations used to treat schizophrenia

July 2, 2002

A virtual reality environment has been designed by a team at the University of Queensland in Brisbane to help treat people with schizophrenia, using a simulated living room projected onto a wrap-around screen and a soundtrack with an abusive running commentary.
For example, it can mimic common hallucinations: walls appear to be closing in, photographs of faces morph, straight lines such as the edge of pictures wobble. The idea is… read more

VR and Haptics for Rehabilitation

March 26, 2010

At the IEEE’s Virtual Reality 2010 conference, researchers and companies are demonstrating technologies that combine virtual reality and haptics, some designed for medical rehabilitation.

VR accommodates reality

August 4, 2003

Researchers have advanced the representatiom of real objects in virtual environments by allowing real and virtual objects to coexist in a shared virtual space.

The system uses four cameras and object recognition software to determine the shapes and positions of real objects in the environment. The camera data is used to generate virtual three-dimensional shells in the shapes of the real objects, and the shells are forbidden zones for… read more

Voyager 1 embarks on historic journey into interstellar space

September 13, 2013


NASA‘s Voyager 1 spacecraft is now officially the first human-made object to venture into interstellar space. The 36-year-old probe is about 12 billion miles (19 billion kilometers) from our sun.

New and unexpected data indicate Voyager 1 has been traveling for about one year through plasma, or ionized gas, present in the space between stars. Voyager is in a transitional region immediately outside… read more

Voyage of the Bacteria Bots

October 31, 2008
(The NanoRobotics Laboratory, Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal)

Researchers at the Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal have coupled live, swimming bacteria to 150-nanometer beads to develop a self-propelling “nanobot” device steered through the body using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

The bacteria swim at 200 microns/second using tiny corkscrewlike tails, or flagella, and are just two microns in diameter–small enough to fit through the smallest blood vessels in the human body. The beads are treated with antibodies… read more

Volvo’s first self-driving cars now being tested live on public roads in Swedish city

100 cars, involving a vehicle manufacturer, real customers, legislators, transport authorities, and a major city
May 5, 2014


Volvo Car Group’s “Drive Me” project — featuring 100 self-driving Volvos on public roads in everyday driving conditions — is moving forward rapidly, with the first test cars now driving around the Swedish city of Gothenburg.

“The test cars are now able to handle lane following, speed adaption, and merging traffic all by themselves,” says Erik Coelingh, Technical Specialist at Volvo Car Group.

“This is an important step… read more

Volvo’s autonomous cars travel 124 miles in Spain in ‘road train’

May 31, 2012

Volvo has tested its fuel-saving”road train” technology on public roads in Spain, finding the historic test “highly successful.”

Volvo used one lead vehicle and four trailing vehicles — consisting of a Volvo S60, a Volvo V60 and a Volvo XC60 plus a truck — that drove autonomously for 200 kilometers (124 miles) at 85 kilometers an hour (53 miles per hour) on the roads outside Barceolona.

Existing safetyread more

Volunteers wanted for planet hunt

January 16, 2012


Members of the public are being asked to join the hunt for nearby planets that could support life.

Volunteers can go to the Planethunters website to see time-lapsed images of 150,000 stars, taken by the Kepler space telescope. They will be advised on the signs that indicate the presence of a planet and how to alert experts if they spot them.

“We know that people will… read more

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