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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

You can now be identified by your ‘brainprint’ with 100% accuracy

Could one day replace fingerprints; initial use likely to be high-security locations
April 21, 2016

brainprint headset ft

Binghamton University researchers have developed a biometric identification method called Cognitive Event-RElated Biometric REcognition (CEREBRE) for identifying an individual’s unique “brainprint.” They recorded the brain activity of 50 subjects wearing an electroencephalograph (EEG) headset while looking at selected images from a set of 500 images.

The researchers found that participants’ brains reacted uniquely to each image — enough so that a computer system that analyzed the different… 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.

Yes, congenital blind can learn to link vision and touch

April 12, 2011

Sense of Touch

Researchers at MIT have shown that the brain does not have an innate ability to connect different types of sensory input, but can quickly learn to do so.

The researchers tested five children with treatable forms of blindness to answer the question: could they visually distinguish between objects that they could previously only identify by touch? This question was first raised by scientist William Molyneux… read more

Yeast-powered fuel cell feeds on human blood

April 2, 2009

Yeast cells feeding on the glucose in human blood might one day power implants such as pacemakers, eliminating the need for regular operations to replace batteries.

University of British Columbia scientists have developed tiny microbial fuel cells by encapsulating yeast cells in a flexible capsule.

Yeast-Based Oral Diabetes Treatment Discovered

January 3, 2008

University of Haifa researchers have discovered a yeast-derived substance called Glucose Tolerance Factor (GTF) that acts similarly to insulin and may become an oral treatment for diabetes and its complications.

In the studies–done on cell cultures and on diabetic rats–GTF inhibited oxidation processes that could cause atherosclerosis and further complications like strokes and heart attacks. When GTF was given at the early stage of the disease, it could prevent… read more

Yeast protein wires supercomputers

April 2, 2003

Investigators are experimenting with biological materials that can arrange themselves into strings spontaneously, using genetically engineered yeast amyloids or prions. These strands would be stable and would serve as the backbone for metal to attach onto, creating wires for self-assembling electronic circuits.

Yeast and bacterium turned into gasoline factory

April 21, 2009

University of California, San Francisco researchers have developed a low-temperature, low-cost, carbon-neutral process for producing gasoline more cheaply than oil.

They use A. fermentans bacteria to convert cellulose into acetate, which is converted into methyl halides by the genetically engineered yeast.

Year of the Robot

January 4, 2006

Last year (2005), the news was full of stories about robots. On the industrial side, the North American robotics industry posted 30% growth through the first three quarters (the latest data available).

In other, less traditional markets such as law enforcement, there were monthly reports of mobile robots used for bomb detection and disposal in the U.S. and across the world. Unmanned robotic vehicles have been used for assessing… read more

Yale scientists decipher ‘wiring pattern’ of cell signaling networks

December 2, 2005

A team of scientists at Yale University has completed the first comprehensive map of the proteins and kinase signaling network that controls how cells of higher organisms operate, according to a report this week in the journal Nature.

Protein kinases act as regulator switches and modify their target proteins by adding a phosphate group to them. This process, called “phosphorylation,” results in altered activity of the phosphorylated protein. It… read more

Yale researchers use genetic code to engineer a living protein

August 26, 2011

Yale University researchers have successfully re-engineered the protein-making machinery in bacteria, which promises to revolutionize the study and treatment of a variety of diseases.

“Essentially, we have expanded the genetic code of E. coli, which allows us to synthesize special forms of proteins that can mimic natural or disease states,” said Jesse Rinehart of the Department of Cellular and Molecular Physiology and co-corresponding author of the research published in the… read more

Yahoo’s human touch to answers

December 9, 2005

Yahoo has launched Yahoo Answers, which allows users to get their questions answered online for free by volunteers.

Users can submit questions on any topic at and wait for others to post responses. To flag inaccuracies, individuals can rate the responses based on quality.

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