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Google to use blimps to provide wireless in Africa, Southeast Asia

May 27, 2013

(Credit: Google)

Google plans to build and help run wireless networks in emerging markets such as sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia, connecting a billion or more new people to the Internet.

The goal is to provide Internet access to dwellers outside of major cities where wired Internet connections aren’t available, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

As part of the plan, Google has also worked on making special balloons or… read more

Growing new brains with infrared light [exclusive]

May 24, 2013

Illustration of the "neuronal beacon" for guiding axon growth direction (credit: B. Black et al./Optics Letters)

University of Texas, Arlington, scientists have discovered a way to control the growth or repair of neurons and neuron circuits, using a non-invasive “neuronal beacon” (near-IR laser beam) — essentially rewiring brains, or even creating new ones.

This major discovery, just published today in Optics Letters, promises to enable several new applications, UT Arlington assistant professor of physics Samarendra Mohanty said in an exclusive interview with KurzweilAI:

    read more

    Baby’s life saved with 3D printed device to restore breathing

    May 24, 2013

    A baby’s life was saved with this groundbreaking 3-D printed device that restored his breathing (credit: University of Michigan Health System)

    A bioresorbable splint used for first time, successfully stopped life-threatening tracheobronchomalacia, a case featured in New England Journal of Medicine.

    Every day, a baby, Kaiba, stopped breathing, his collapsed bronchus blocking the crucial flow of air to his lungs. Parents April and Bryan Gionfriddo watched helplessly.

    They found hope at the University of Michigan, where a new, bioresorbable device that could help Kaiba was… read more

    Worm ‘EEG’ tests neural effects of drugs

    May 24, 2013

    C elegans nematode (credit: The Goldstein Lab)

    Scientists from the University of Southampton have developed a microfluidic electrophysiological device called a NeuroChip that records the neural activity in the microscopic worm Caenorhadbitis elegans  (C. elegans) — the worm equivalent of an EEG —.to help test the effects of drugs.

    How to record a worm’s ‘EEG’

    With the NeuroChip, you feed the  worm into a narrow, fluid-filled channel that tapers at… read more

    Nanoscale whirlpools could multiply magnetic memory

    May 24, 2013

    Magnetic transmission soft x-ray microscopy shows the reverse of spin circularity in magnetic vortices in a row of nanodisks, after applying a 1.5 nanosecond pulse of magnetic field. The change from left to right is not a change in lighting, as it may appear, but is instead due to changing magnetic contrast.

    Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) researchers have used the unique capabilities of the Lab’s Advanced Light Source (ALS) to advance a new concept in magnetic memory.

    “What we’re working on now could make these gadgets perform hundreds of times better and also be a hundred times more energy efficient,” says the Lab’s Peter Fischer.

    Four memory states

    Magnetic memories store… read more

    Bitcoin attracts major investors

    May 24, 2013


    Bitcoin is gaining traction outside its existing community of enthusiastic early adopters.

    An estimated 1,100 people attended Bitcoin 2013, the first large conference dedicated to Bitcoin, MIT Technology Review reports. The conference also showed that Bitcoin has begun to attract the backing of conventional technology industry investors, who have sunk millions of dollars into a handful of Bitcoin startups.

    In the Bitcoin system,… read more

    An interplanetary GPS using pulsar signals

    May 24, 2013


    Researchers have worked out the practical details for an autonomous spacecraft navigation system using signals from pulsars in essentially the same way that we use GPS satellites to navigate on Earth, MIT Technology Review reports.

    A pulsar is a rotating neutron star that emits a beam of electromagnetic radiation at a very precise interval between pulses that ranges from milliseconds to seconds.

    By measuring the arrival time… read more

    Radioactive nanoparticles selectively target cancer cells

    May 23, 2013

    the nanoparticles as designed by Lewis and Robertson. The green interior depicts the radioactive lutetium surrounded by a gold shell. Credit can go to Michael Lewis, University of Missouri and Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital.

    Researchers at the University of Missouri have found a way to create radioactive nanoparticles that target lymphoma tumor cells wherever they may be in the body.

    Michael Lewis, an associate professor of oncology in the MU College of Veterinary Medicine, says being able to target secondary tumors is vital to successfully treating patients with progressive cancers.

    “Depending on the type of cancer, primary tumors… read more

    Long-term benefit of TMS in patients with depression shown

    May 23, 2013

    NeuroStar TMS System (credit:

    New data show that the NeuroStar TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation) Therapy System induced statistically and clinically meaningful response and remission in patients with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) during the acute phase of therapy, and the effects were maintained through one year of treatment.

    At the end of acute treatment, 62 percent of patients achieved symptomatic improvement while 41 percent reported complete remission. At 12 months,… read more

    NASA experiment to examine the beginnings of the universe

    May 23, 2013

    The entrance of the CIBER optics, showing two near-infrared wide-field cameras (top), an absolute spectrometer (lower left) and a Fraunhofer line spectrometer (lower right) (credit: Jamie Bock/Caltech)

    When did the first stars and galaxies form in the universe? How brightly did they burn their nuclear fuel?

    Scientists will seek to gain answers to these questions with the launch of the Cosmic Infrared Background ExpeRIment (CIBER) on a Black Brant XII suborbital sounding rocket between 11 and 11:59 p.m. EDT, June 4 from the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

    Jamie Bock, CIBER principal investigator… read more

    A new tumor-killer

    May 23, 2013


    Scientists from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Lund University, Sweden, have bioengineered a novel molecule proven to successfully kill tumor cells.

    This molecule is based on a natural protein present in human breast milk, which has been found to have strong and wide-ranging tumor killing properties when bound to certain lipids. Lipids are organic molecules like amino acids and carbohydrates, made up of carbon and… read more

    A new method for producing clean hydrogen

    May 23, 2013


    Duke University engineers have developed a novel method for producing clean hydrogen, which could prove essential to weaning society off of fossil fuels and their environmental implications.

    While hydrogen is ubiquitous in the environment, producing and collecting molecular hydrogen for transportation and industrial uses is expensive and complicated. Just as importantly, a byproduct of most current methods of producing hydrogen is carbon monoxide, which is… read more

    Scanadu Scout ‘Tricorder’ launches on indiegogo

    May 23, 2013

    Scanadu Scout (credit: Scanadu)

    Scanadu has announced updates to its Scanadu Scout, the “first medical Tricorder,” a prototype device designed to measure vital signs; and the launch of an indiegogo campaign.

    A first-edition Scout can be reserved on indiegogo and will be available in March 2014.

    The Scout is sold as an exploratory tool. “By helping us collect data, we can file our application to the FDA for market… read more

    Stephen Hawking’s life: a comic book

    May 23, 2013

    hawking comic

    Released May 23, “Stephen Hawking: Riddles of Time & Space” is an illustrated version of Hawking’s life story in comic-book form.

    “The most surprising thing about Stephen Hawking is his razor wire wit that is sometimes withering and other times matched with a puckish sense of humor. He maintains a child’s delight in discovery and credits his disability for allowing him to focus his mind.

    “Our… read more

    Russia developing anti-terrorist robots

    May 23, 2013


    Russian experts are developing robots designed to minimize casualties in terrorist attacks and neutralize terrorists, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said on May 17, RIA Novosti reports.

    Robots could also help evacuate injured servicemen and civilians from the scene of a terrorist attack, said Rogozin, who oversees the defense industry.

    Other anti-terror equipment Russia is developing includes systems that can see terrorists through obstacles and… read more

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