science + technology news

Venter Takes Step Toward Synthetic Cells

July 3, 2007

Moving a step closer to making cells from scratch, a team at the J. Craig Venter Institute took all of the genes from one species of bacteria, Mycoplasma mycoides, and transferred them into another, Mycoplasma capricolum.

The result: The genes from the mycoides took over, changing the cells from one species to another simply by moving around DNA.

Researchers hope that custom-engineered cells could be useful in producing… read more

vCJD may lurk in more people than realised

May 22, 2006

The deadly human form of mad cow disease, vCJD, may have infected far more people than previously thought, suggests a new study in the British Medical Journal.

Variant Creutzfelt-Jakob disease is linked to eating meat infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), also known as mad-cow disease. A rogue version of a prion protein proliferates in the brain, leading to distressing mental deterioration, loss of motor control, and eventually death.

Vast underground ocean discovered on Jupiter’s largest moon

"A deep ocean under the icy crust of Ganymede opens up further exciting possibilities for life beyond Earth” --- NASA
March 13, 2015

This is an illustration of the interior of Jupiter's largest moon, Ganymede. It is based on theoretical models, in-situ observations by NASA's Galileo orbiter, and Hubble Space Telescope observations of the moon's aurorae, which allows for a probe of the moon's interior. The cake-layering of the moon shows that ices and a saline ocean dominate the outer layers. A denser rock mantle lies deeper in the moon, and finally an iron core beneath that. (credit: NASA, ESA and A. Feild/STScI)

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has the best evidence yet for an underground saltwater ocean on Ganymede, Jupiter’s largest moon. The subterranean ocean is thought to have more water than all the water on Earth’s surface.

Identifying liquid water is crucial in the search for habitable worlds beyond Earth and for the search of life as we know it.

“A deep ocean under the icy crust of… read more

Vast Spy System Loots Computers in 103 Countries

March 29, 2009

A vast electronic spying operation has infiltrated computers and has stolen documents from hundreds of government and private offices around the world, University of Toronto researchers have found.

Vapor nanobubbles rapidly detect malaria through the skin

One portable device able to screen up to 200,000 people per year, operated by non-medical personnel
January 2, 2014


Rice University researchers have developed a noninvasive technology that accurately detects even a single malaria-infected cell among a million normal cells through the skin in seconds with a laser scanner.

The “vapor nanobubble” technology requires no dyes or diagnostic chemicals, there is no need to draw blood, and there are zero false-positive readings.

The diagnosis and screening will be supported by a low-cost, battery-powered portable device that… read more

Vanishing Gas Confirms Black Hole Event Horizons

January 12, 2006
 Animation of a neutron star X-ray burst. (NASA)

A type of X-ray explosion found on neutron stars does not occur near black holes, scientists announced at the 207th meeting of the American Astronomical Society.

The lack of explosions is strong evidence for the existence of a black hole event horizon, a theoretical boundary into which matter vanishes and cannot escape.

“By looking at objects that pull in gas, we can infer whether that gas… read more

Value of Cholesterol Targets Is Disputed

October 18, 2006

A paper published in the Oct. 3 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine says there is not enough solid scientific evidence to support the target numbers (less than 100, less than 70 for high-risk patients) for LDL cholesterol set forth by the National Cholesterol Education Program.

Vaccine triggers immune response, prevents Alzheimer’s in mice

May 27, 2008

University of Rochester Medical Center scientists have created a vaccine that prevents the development of Alzheimer’s disease-like symptoms in mice without causing inflammation or significant side effects.

They used a herpes virus container (stripped of its viral genes) loaded with the genetic code for amyloid beta and interleukin-4 (a protein that stimulates immune responses).

The vaccinated mice generated an immune response to amyloid-beta peptide (a protein that accumulates… read more

Vaccine for Ebola virus developed

March 31, 2008

An international team of researchers used recombinant DNA techniques to make an Ebola vaccine that is effective in non-human primates.

Vaccines for viruses like Ebola, Marburg and Lassa fever have been difficult to produce because simple “killed” viruses, which just trigger an antibody response from the blood, are not effective and because only a small number of facilities can conduct research on Biosafety Level 4 threats.… read more

V-shaped solar cells could lead to better efficiency

December 24, 2007

Stanford University scientists have found that v-shaped thin-film solar cells increase efficiency by more than 50 percent, which may make it possible to increase the use of organic solar cells for large-scale energy generation.

V for Vendetta Movie Review

March 20, 2006

Get ready for the first real movie of the year that requires you to engage your brain in order to fully absorb the experience. V for Vendetta, written by the Wachowski brothers of Matrix fame, is in a league of its own.

Sure to rile up those who don’t believe films should delve into politics, V for Vendetta is an explosive, timely political thriller that presents an ideology sure… read more

Uzbek inventor creates eyesight substitute

December 27, 2002

A video signal received from an electronic eye and converted to sound and mechanical oscillations can be used as an eyesight substitute for the blind.

The device uses an electronic light sensor and emits sounds and vibrations according to the composition of the object. For example, the pitch of the sound becomes higher if the object is light in color and lower if the object is dark. Users can… read more

Utopia 2.0

February 10, 2003

Dave Biggs, a systems manager at the University of British Columbia’s Sustainable Development Research Institute, helps people of different philosophical backgrounds forge a common future with an innovative Web-based game called QUEST, which lets tens of thousands of users model and reshape the future of the towns where they live.

Utility Will Use Batteries to Store Wind Power

September 11, 2007

American Electric Power, a coal-burning utility company that is looking for ways to connect more wind power to its grid, plans to announce on Tuesday that it will install huge banks of high-technology batteries.

They will smooth the power delivery from wind turbines. They can charge at night, when the wind is strong but prices are low, and give the electricity back the next afternoon, when there is hardly… read more

Uterine stem cells create neurons that curb Parkinson’s disease

April 2, 2008

Yale School of Medicine researchers turned human uterine stem cells into neurons that can boost dopamine levels and partially correct Parkinson’s disease in mice.

Yale University News Release

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