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Your Brain Boots Up Like a Computer

August 21, 2006

As we yawn and open our eyes in the morning, the brain stem sends little puffs of nitric oxide to another part of the brain, the thalamus, which then directs it elsewhere.

Like a computer booting up its operating system before running more complicated programs, the nitric oxide triggers certain functions that set the stage for more complex brain operations, according to a new study.

Your amazing brain: Top 10 articles from 2008

December 8, 2008

Techniques for training your brain, a unified theory of the brain, and the outer limits of the human brain are among the ten top articles in 2008 recommended by New Scientist. is now making the last 12 months’ of articles free.

Youngest-ever nearby black hole discovered

November 16, 2010

This composite image shows a supernova (SN 1979C) within the galaxy M100 that may contain the youngest known black hole in our cosmic neighborhood.

Astronomers using NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory have found evidence of the youngest black hole known to exist in our cosmic neighborhood. The 30-year-old object provides a unique opportunity to watch a black hole develop from infancy.

The black hole is a remnant of SN 1979C, a supernova in the galaxy M100 approximately 50 million light years from Earth. Data from Chandra, NASA’s Swift satellite, the European Space Agency’s XMM-Newton… read more

Young people spend more than 7 hours a day using entertainment media: study

January 21, 2009

Young people (8-18) devote an average of 7 hours and 38 minutes (7:38) to using entertainment media across a typical day (more than 53 hours a week), increasing by one hour and seventeen minutes a day over the past five years, according to a new study, Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8- to 18-Year-Olds, designed and analyzed by the Kaiser Family Foundation and Stanford University… read more

Young nerve cells can rewind their developmental clocks

January 2, 2004

Scientists have identified a gene in the cerebral cortex that apparently controls the developmental clock of embryonic nerve cells, a finding that could open another door to tissue replacement therapy in the central nervous system.

The researchers found that they could rewind the clock in young cortical cells in mice by eliminating a gene called Foxg1. The finding could potentially form the basis of a new method to push… read more

You’ll buy more from web ads that know how you think

December 8, 2009

An “ad morphing” system that serves up banner ads that fit a website user’s personality type has been developed by MIT Sloan School of Management researchers.

It uses a program called the Bayesian Inference Engine running unobtrusively on a user’s computer to monitor the person’s click patterns to determine how they respond to different textual and visual cues. This is then used to categorize the user’s cognitive style and… read more

You, Too, Can Soon Be Like Tom Cruise in ‘Minority Report’

February 17, 2010

John Underkoffler, who helped create the gesture-based computer interface imagined in the film “Minority Report,” has brought that technology to real life in the new g-speak Spatial Operating Environment from Oblong Industries.

g-speak overview 1828121108 from john underkoffler on Vimeo.

‘You, Robot’: personal robots for the masses

July 20, 2012

Bina48 android (credit:

What would it be like if you could transfer your personal data, your consciousness, to a robot or a machine?”

That’s what almost every major technology organization seems to be asking, says Huffington Post blogger  Lucas Kavner.


  • Terasem’s LifeNaut project allows you to create a mindfile for yourself, or anybody else close to you, using photos and online data and other “digital reflections” you

read more

You, Robot

December 30, 2004

Roboticist Hans Moravec has founded Seegrid Corporation to develop vision-enabled robotic carts that can be loaded and then walked through various routes to teach them how to navigate on their own and move supplies around warehouses without human direction.

You won’t find consciousness in the brain

January 8, 2010

“We cannot conclude that when we see what seem to be neural correlates of consciousness that we are seeing consciousness itself”, says Ray Tallis, professor of geriatric medicine at the University of Manchester.

“While neural activity of a certain kind is a necessary condition for every manifestation of consciousness, from the lightest sensation to the most exquisitely constructed sense of self, it is neither a sufficient condition of it,… read more

You don’t ‘own’ your own genes

All human genes are patented many times over.
March 28, 2013

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Court-proposed molecular points of distinction that allow claims on isolated DNA sequences. On the basis of two molecular changes (small circles) to a single phosphate and one hydroxyl group, the Federal Circuit court suggested that a new DNA fragment is patentable subject matter. (Credit: Genome Medicine)

Humans no longer “own” their own genes.

The more than 40,000 patents on DNA molecules have allowed companies to essentially claim the entire human genome for profit, report two researchers. Their study, published March 25 in the journal Genome Medicine, raises an alarm about the loss of individual “genomic liberty.”

The research team examined two types of patented DNA sequences: long and short fragments. They discovered… read more

You Can’t Hide Your Lyin’ Brain

September 29, 2005

A scientist at the Medical University of South Carolina has found that magnetic resonance imaging machines also can serve as lie detectors, with more than 90 percent accuracy.

The MRI images show that more blood flows to parts of the brain associated with anxiety and impulse control when people lie. More blood also flows to the part of the brain handling multitasking because it is hard for people to… read more

Yogi alert: a new concept for a bed of needles

No more removal "ouch"
April 18, 2013

The Karp lab invented a bio-inspired flexible microneedle adhesive patch (2 x 2 cm) that can stick to soft tissues (credit: Karp lab)

Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) have invented a microneedle adhesive more than 3x stronger than surgical staples for skin graft fixation, inspired by Pomphorhynchus laevis, a spiny-headed worm that lives in the intestines of its hosts, in this case fish.

The worm securely attaches to the host’s intestinal wall by penetrating, and then plumping up its elongated, cactus-like head into the intestinal tissue.… read more

Yoga as a potential therapy for cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome

December 30, 2014

(Credit: iStock)

A systematic review of 37 randomized controlled trials showed promising evidence for the ability of yoga to improve cardiovascular and metabolic health, but found no significant difference in the effectiveness of yoga versus aerobic exercise.

Yoga showed significant improvement in body mass index, systolic blood pressure, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol; and significant changes in body weight, diastolic blood pressure, total cholesterol, triglycerides, and heart rate.… read more

YeZ concept car sucks in C02, exhales oxygen

May 24, 2010

(Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation)

Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation’s YeZ, a concept car, behaves like a plant, converting carbon dioxide from the air via photosynthesis into oxygen that is sent back into the atmosphere.

YeZ uses photoelectric conversion from solar panels on the roof, wind power conversion via small wind turbines in the wheels, and carbon dioxide absorption and conversion through the bodywork.

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