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Virtual body parts take the guesswork out of medicine

June 10, 2009

Doctors could soon be testing medications or surgery on your virtual twin before you undergo the real treatment, allowing therapies to be tested and optimized without risk to the patient.

Virtual bird brain matches nature’s tunes

January 9, 2003

Adding a model of brain circuits to a computer model of a singing bird has allowed scientists to figure out how birds compose their songs. The feat hints that we might one day be able to map some of the complex circuitry in an animal’s brain just by listening to its calls — or map a human’s brain using a computer model tuned to “talk” human-like gibberish.

Virtual biopsy can tell whether colon polyp is benign without removal

May 22, 2008

Mayo Clinic researchers have built a colonoscopy probe system that can tell whether or not cells in a polyp are benign (not precancerous) without needing to remove the polyp for biopsy.

The probe includes a tiny imaging tool, 1/16th of an inch in diameter, that can be attached to endoscopes used during colonoscopies. When a suspicious polyp is seen, the doctor can magnify the view by 1,000 times (enough… read more

Virtual bees help robots see in 3D

September 22, 2006

Software that mimics the way honeybees work together to search for food could help robots explore and navigate.

Explorer bees report the location of a new food source by dancing. A new type of stereoscopic computer vision system takes inspiration from this trick. It uses virtual honeybees to home in on potential points of interest, which can then be rendered in 3D, based on all the simulated bees’ movements.… read more

Virtual Addiction

May 2, 2001

The Internet is a place so diverse, challenging and compelling that many of the people who go online regularly sometimes struggle with finding the right balance between life online and off.

In Virtual Addiction, Dr. David Greenfield argues that multimedia stimulation, ease of access, twenty-four-hour availability, lack of boundaries, loss of time, disinhibition, and stimulating and creative content can contribute to compulsive, even addictive Net use.

Virtual acoustic ‘bottle’ bends path of sound waves better than metamaterials

Applications include super-high-resolution medical imaging, acoustic levitation, and acoustic cloaking and trapping
August 6, 2014

After being emitted from a planar-phased source, sound energy forms a 3D acoustic bottle of high-pressure walls and a null region in the middle. Pressure field at bottom shows self-bending ability of the bottle beam to circumvent 3D obstacles. Dashed arrows indicate wave front direction. (Credit: Xiang Zhang group)

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) researchers have developed a technique to generate an acoustic bottle-like “object” in open air from sound. The virtual object can bend the paths of sound waves along prescribed convex trajectories.

The new technique could allow for super-high-resolution imaging, acoustic cloaking (without requiring engineered metamaterials), and other exotic applications.

As shown in the illustration above, the acoustic “bottle” is in the… read more

Virtual 3D nanorobots could lead to real cancer-fighting technology

December 6, 2007
Nanorobots search for organ-inlets demanding protein injection (Adriano Cavalcanti, et al.)

Robert A. Freitas, Jr. and colleagues have developed NCD (nanorobot control design), a software system that serves as a test bed for nanorobot 3D prototyping.

Nanorobots are tiny devices that will travel through arteries for diagnosing or treating ailments. The software is a fast development platform for medical nanorobots investigation. The NCD simulations show how to interact and control a nanorobot inside the body. The nanorobots could… read more

Virgin Galactic Unveils Launch Plane for Upcoming Spacecraft

July 29, 2008

After years of secretive construction, Scaled Composites and Virgin Galactic presented the first stage of their commercial launch platform, WhiteKnightTwo, Monday at the Mojave Air and Space Port.

‘Virgin birth’ stem cells bypass ethical objections

July 4, 2006

“Virgin-birth” embryos have given rise to human embryonic stem cells capable of differentiating into neurons.

The embryos were produced by parthenogenesis, a form of asexual reproduction in which eggs can develop into embryos without being fertilised by sperm. The technique could lead to a source of embryonic stem cells that could be used therapeutically without having to destroy a viable embryo.

‘Virgin birth’ method promises ethical stem cells

April 29, 2003

Researchers are on the brink of obtaining human stem cells by parthenogenesis and animal experiments suggest such cells are indistinguishable from normal stem cells.

‘Virgin birth’ mammal rewrites rules of biology

April 22, 2004

A mammal that is the daughter of two female parents has been created for the first time.

It was created by combining the genetic material of two egg cells, circumventing the “imprinting” barrier in mammals (certain genes necessary for embryo development are shut down in the sperm and egg; only when they meet are all of the key genes available) by manipulating the nucleus of a female egg to… read more

Viral maneuvers revealed by surveillance system

September 7, 2008

University of Southern California virologists have found a way to tag and track individual viruses that are too small to be viewed with light microscopes (10-300 nanometers across).

They tagged the HIV-1 viruses by attaching them to biotin (vitamin B7)molecules, which in turn connect to a fluorescent protein called GFP coated onto quantum dots, revealing that the virus travels through cells via their cytoskeleton.

Viral DNA imaged inside shell

June 18, 2008
Tightly wound viral DNA in a bacteriophage (UCSD)

UC San Diego researchers and colleagues used electron microscopy and 3D computer reconstruction to find and image the structure of an asymmetrical virus at 8 Angstroms (.8 nanometer) resolution.

Previously, only symmetrical spherical viruses had been imaged with this resolution. The image will help to unravel how the virus locks onto its host and infects the cells by injecting its DNA.

University of Californiaread more

Viral cure could ‘immunise’ the internet

December 1, 2005

A cure for computer viruses that spreads in a viral fashion could immunize the Internet, even against pests that travel at lightning speed, a mathematical study reveals.

“Honeypot” computers would be linked to one another via a dedicated and secure network and distributed across the Internet. The honeypots would attract a virus, analyze it automatically, and then distribute a countermeasure.

Viper vision

February 15, 2006

A new invention uses an ordinary digital-camera light sensor to capture a scene. An array of infrared LEDs then transforms this image into a pattern of heat points that can be projected onto a user’s forehead.

The human forehead is very sensitive to temperature change, so users may be able to “see” a coarse image in their mind. The technique could also be used to relay Braille messages.

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