science + technology news

UTA researchers develop sensors to think smart

January 29, 2004

Researchers at University of Texas at Arlington’s College of Engineering envision a day when clothing will become a second skin. “Smart Skin” (“distributed flexible microsensor array”) bridges nanotechnology and micro-mechanical systems.

The goal is sensors that can sense touch and air flow in addition to heat. “Smart Skin” suits could warn people when they have entered an area of toxic gases. A T-shirt on a diabetic could monitor insulin… read more

UT pathologists believe they have pinpointed Achilles heel of HIV

July 16, 2008

Researchers at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston believe they have uncovered the Achilles heel in the HIV virus: the HIV envelope protein gp120.

They have engineered antibodies with enzymatic activity (“abzymes”), which can attack the Achilles heel of the virus in a precise way. The next step is to confirm the theory in human clinical trials.

Using your WiFi for gesture recognition

June 5, 2013

A hand gesture changes the TV channel using WiSee technology (credit: University of Washington)

University of Washington computer scientists have developed gesture-recognition technology called “WiSee” that uses ambient Wi-Fi signals to detect specific movements (to turn off lights or flip through songs, for example )without needing sensors on the human body or cameras.

The team includes Shwetak Patel, an assistant professor of computer science and engineering and of electrical engineering and his lab.

By using an adapted Wi-Fi router… read more

Using waste heat to control microprocessors

October 25, 2011
Magnetic tunnel structure

The heat in microprocessors can be converted from a problem to a solution, due to an thermoelectric effect recently discovered in nanoelectronic magnetic tunnel structures by researchers at Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB).

Magnetic tunnel structures are used, for example, as magnetic storage cells in non-volatile magnetic memory chips (“MRAMs” or magnetic random access memories) or as highly sensitive magnetic sensors to read out the data stored… read more

Using ultrasound to treat brain disorders in clinical emergencies

September 12, 2011

Virginia Tech researchers have developed a guide for using low-intensity, pulsed ultrasound to noninvasively stimulate intact brain circuits, which may one day lead to first-line therapies in combating life-threatening epileptic seizures.

They said the major advantage of using ultrasound for brain stimulation is spatial resolution at millimeter precision while being focused through the skull to deep-brain regions without the need for invasive brain surgery. It… read more

Using touchscreen interactive tabletop displays via the Internet

November 24, 2010


Researchers have developed software that enables people to use large visual displays and touch screens interactively over the Internet for business and homeland security applications.

Tabletop touch-operated displays are becoming popular with professionals in various fields, said Niklas Elmqvist, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at Purdue University.

“These displays are like large iPhones, and because they are large they invite collaboration,”… read more

Using the body’s own defenses to combat cancer

November 17, 2010

MIT engineers have developed a way to attach drug-carrying pouches (yellow) to the surfaces of cells. (Darrell Irvine and Matthias Stephan)

MIT researchers have engineered T cells with tiny pouches that can carry cytokines, which are gradually released from the pouches, enhancing the longevity of the T cells that carry them.

In a study published in the journal Nature Medicine in August, Irvine and Stephan used their modified T cells to treat mice with lung and bone marrow tumors. They are now working on ways to more easily synthesize the pouches… read more

Using supercomputers in the hunt for ‘cheapium’

January 6, 2014

Compound-forming vs non-compound-forming systems.  (Adapted from G. Hart et al./Phys. Rev. X)

In the search for cheaper materials that mimic their purer, more expensive counterparts, researchers are abandoning hunches and intuition for theoretical models and pure computing power.

In a new study, researchers from Duke University’s Pratt School of Engineering used computational methods to identify dozens of platinum-group alloys that were previously unknown to science but could prove beneficial in a wide range of applications.

Platinum… read more

Using sounds to reveal the shape of the Universe

April 4, 2013

Hubble ultra deep field image (credit: NASA, ESA, S. Beckwith (STScI) and the HUDF Team)

As the universe expands, it is continually subjected to energy shifts, or “quantum fluctuations,” that send out little pulses of “sound” into the fabric of spacetime. In fact, the universe is thought to have sprung from just such an energy shift.

A recent paper in the journal Physical Review Letters reports a new mathematical tool that should allow one to use these sounds to help reveal the shape of… read more

Using sound waves to detect rare circulating cancer cells

April 8, 2015

As a mix of cancer cells and white blood cells flows through the microfluidic channel, sound waves from the transducers located on both sides of the channel guide them into separate channels, allowing the rare cancer cells to be isolated. (Credit: the researchers)

A team of engineers from MIT, Penn State University, and Carnegie Mellon University is developing a novel way to isolate cancer cells that circulate in the bloodstream: using sound waves to separate them from blood cells.

Cancer cells often break free from their original locations and circulate through the bloodstream, allowing them to form new tumors elsewhere in the body.

Detecting these cells could give doctors a new… read more

Using ‘smart materials’ to develop new drugs

June 21, 2011

Researchers at Imperial College London and the University of Surrey have developed a more effective method for making proteins crystallize, using “smart materials” that remember the shape and characteristics of the molecule.

The process of developing a new drug normally works by identifying a protein that is involved in the disease, then designing a molecule that will interact with the protein to stimulate… read more

Using quantum methods to read classical memories

March 15, 2011

Quantum physicist Stefano Pirandola from the University of York has demonstrated that quantum light can read digital data using very few photons, an ability that could lead to faster digital readers and optical memories with larger storage capacities.

Pirandola calculates that the enhancement provided by quantum light can be quite large — even up to one bit per storage cell, which corresponds to the extreme situation where only quantum… read more

Using quantum entanglement to stack light particles: Physicists play Lego with photons

February 15, 2010

University of Calgary researchers have succeeded in mounting two entangled photons on top of one another to construct a variety of quantum states of light.

Using Printed Nanocircuits to Sense Hormones

January 15, 2010

Aneeve Nanotechnologies is working to create low-cost hormone sensors that can be made with off-the-shelf ink-jet printers and carbon-nanotube ink, to create a system as convenient as glucose meters.

Using own skin cells to repair hearts on horizon

March 4, 2010

A heart patient’s own skin cells soon could be used to repair damaged cardiac tissue thanks to pioneering stem cell research by University of Houston biomedical scientist Robert Schwartz.

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