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Artificial retina receives FDA approval

Argus II is first approved prosthesis to restore limited vision to those blinded by retinitis pigmentosa
February 15, 2013

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In an historic move, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted market approval to an artificial retina technology, the first bionic eye to be approved for patients in the U.S.

The device, called the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System, from Second Sight Medical Products, transmits images from a small, eye-glass-mounted camera wirelessly to a microelectrode array implanted on a patient’s damaged retina. The… read more

Stun guns can result in sudden cardiac arrest and death: cardiologist

May 3, 2012

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A review of case reports published April 30 in the journal Circulation indicates that being shocked in the chest with an electronic control device or stun gun can result in sudden cardiac arrest.

The article is reportedly the first one published in a peer-reviewed medical journal citing the connection.

“Law enforcement and other individuals using a stun gun need to be aware that cardiac arrest can… read more

3D Systems partners with Singularity University to develop creative uses of 3D printing

October 24, 2012

ProJet HD3500 professional 3D printer (credit: 3D Systems)

3D printer leader 3D Systems announced today that it plans to provide Singularity University (SU) with several of its 3D printers.

“We are excited to be part of Singularity’s visionary initiative to democratize access to 3D content-to-print solutions that will enable greater entrepreneurialism and inventiveness,” said Abe Reichental, President and CEO of 3D Systems.

“SU has shown a great deal of foresight and leadership in… read more

Google glass to hit developers’ hands this month

January 16, 2013

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Developers who want to get their hands on Google’s Project Glass won’t have to wait much longer, Mashable reports.

Google announced plans Tuesday to hold a “Glass Foundry” in San Francisco and New York in the coming weeks: two full days of hacking that will allow developers to get an early look at Glass and start developing for the platform.

Glass Foundry will be… read more

111 organizations call for synthetic biology moratorium

March 15, 2012

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Synthetic biology needs more oversight, and the government needs to put in place regulations specific for this field, according to 111 environmental, watchdog, and other organizations, which have released a report with specific recommendations for managing new biological techniques for building and remaking organisms for research and commercial uses ranging from medicines to biofuels.

Calling synthetic biology “an extreme form of genetic engineering,” the report said… read more

Not science fiction anymore: mail.ru’s Dmitry Grishin launches $25M robotics fund

June 17, 2012

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Robotic technology is close to reaching a new phase of mainstream consumer adoption. That’s the theory behind a new $25 million fund from Dmitry Grishin, the co-founder and CEO of Russia Internet giant Mail.Ru.

The fund will invest globally in areas such as home maintenance, healthcare, education, entertainment — basically any mass consumer market.

The robotics industry now is where the personal computing industry was in the… read more

How to grow a human liver in a dish

June 22, 2012

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Japanese scientists have used induced stem cells to create a liver-like tissue in a dish.

The achievement could have big clinical implications — a significant advance in the ability to coax stem cells to self-organize into organs.

The work was presented by Yokohama City University stem-cell biologist Takanori Takebe at the annual meeting of the International Society for Stem Cell Research in Yokohama.

“It blew my… read more

Robot swarms aim to bring buildings to life

July 19, 2012

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Compared to the living buildings proposed by Akira Mita, today’s smart buildings are the architectural equivalent of single-celled organisms, BBC Future reports.

Using swarms of robotic sensors that “chase” a structure’s human occupants, he wants buildings to understand everything about us, down to our emotional state.

These robot sensors will learn from their mistakes, self-regulate using digital “hormones”, and record information over the course of years, building up… read more

Where is self-awareness located in the brain?

July 31, 2012

Brain regions activated more strongly during lucid dreaming than in a normal dream. (credit: MPI of Psychiatry)

Neuroscientists from the Max Planck Institutes of Psychiatry in Munich, Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig, and Charité in Berlin have identified a specific cortical network associated with self-awareness.

They used EEG and fMRI brain imaging to study “lucid dreamers,” who have access to their memories during dreaming and are aware of themselves, although remaining in a dream state and not waking up.

The researchers found neural activations… read more

Designing a new Internet with more choices

August 10, 2012

Partial map of the Internet based on the January 15, 2005 data found on opte.org

A team of researchers from four U.S. universities is poised to lay out the key components for a networking architecture to serve as the backbone of a new Internet that gives users more choices about which services they use.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) asked the researchers to design a blueprint for a future version of the Internet.

Making choices

The new Internet architecture will hinge on… read more

Origin of intelligence and mental illness linked to ancient genetic accident

How humans --- and other mammals --- have evolved to have intelligence
December 4, 2012

mice, we found that humans with mutations in DLG2 made significantly more errors than healthy control subjects from the general population in tests of visual discrimination acquisition and cognitive flexibility (credit: J. Nithianantharajah et al/Nature Neuroscience)

Researchers have identified the moment in history when the genes that enabled us to think and reason evolved.

This point 500 million years ago provided our ability to learn complex skills, analyze situations and have flexibility in the way in which we think.

According to Professor Seth Grant of the University of Edinburgh, who led the research, intelligence in humans developed as the result… read more

How to lab-test your brain with an iPhone

February 10, 2013

iDichotic test (credit: Bergen fMRI Group)

Suggestion: for better validity, download and try the free iDichotic iOS app first before continuing to read this. I found it very interesting.  — Editor

A new study shows that an iOS (iPhone, iPad, etc.) app yields results on a dichotic listening test that are as reliable as laboratory tests.

Two years ago, psychology researcher Josef Bless was listening to music on his phone when… read more

Smell-o-Vision is finally here

April 1, 2013

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Smell-O-Vision was a system that released odors during the projection of a film so that the viewer could “smell” what was happening in the movie.

Now the “smelling screen,” invented by Haruka Matsukura at Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology in Japan and colleagues, makes smells appear to come from the exact spot on any LCD screen that is displaying the image of a cup of coffee,… read more

Sugar solution makes tissues see-through for brain imaging at unprecedented resolution

June 25, 2013

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RIKEN Center for Developmental biology researchers have developed a new sugar and water-based solution that turns tissues transparent in just three days, without disrupting the shape and chemical nature of the samples.

Combined with fluorescence microscopy, this technique enabled them to obtain detailed images of a mouse brain at unprecedented resolution.

Over the past few years, teams in the USA and Japan have reported a… read more

The state of the future: 2013–14

March 19, 2014

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On Thursday March 20, The Millennium Project, a global participatory think tank, will launch the “2013–14 State of the Future” report at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars from about 12:20 to 1:30 pm EDT, with an open-access webcast.

The “State of the Future” is a comprehensive annual overview of the present global situation and prospects for humanity. It integrates forecasts, trends,… read more

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