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Glowing green rabbits demonstrate effectiveness of genetic manipulation

August 14, 2013

green_glowing_rabbits

Using an active transgenesis technique founded by medical researchers at the University of Hawaiʻi Mānoa, scientists in Turkey have produced glowing green rabbits when exposed to ultraviolet light.

The glowing effect is the result of a fluorescent protein from jellyfish DNA, which was injected into the mother rabbit’s embryo in the lab.

The altered embryos were re-inserted into the mother rabbit, and when the litter… read more

New process allows for creation of complex silicon nanostructures

Salt absorbs heat to prevent collapse
August 14, 2013

This silicon nanostructure was created using a new process developed at Oregon State University (credit: Oregon State University)

Chemists at Oregon State University have identified a compound that could significantly reduce the cost and potentially enable mass commercial production of silicon nanostructures — materials that have huge potential in everything from electronics to biomedicine and energy storage: sodium chloride (table salt).

By melting and absorbing heat at a critical moment during a “magnesiothermic reaction” (one using magnesium at an elevated temperature), the… read more

When will a computer pass the Turing Test?

An interview with Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman, Google
August 14, 2013

Schmidt

“Many people in AI believe that we’re close to [a computer passing the Turing Test] within the next five years,” said Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman, Google, speaking at The Aspen Institute on July 16, 2013.

In a wide-ranging interview by writer/biographer Walter Isaacson, president and CEO of the Aspen Institute, Schmidt covered topics ranging from future user interfaces (“the next UI is AI”) to phone-based medical… read more

Musk reveals Hyperloop concept

August 13, 2013

Hyperloop passenger transport

Elon Musk has published a blog post detailing the Hyperloop concept; a solar-powered, elevated transit system that could take passengers and cars from Los Angeles to San Francisco in 30 minutes.

Here are the core designs. Bloomberg has further details.

Fukushima plant spilling 300 tons of radioactive water every day into the sea since 2011

August 13, 2013

Mass contamination from major radiation exposure events, such as the meltdown at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, require prompt treatment in the form of a pill, such as the treatment being developed at Berkeley Lab (credit: satellite image from Digital Globe)

Workers at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant have told the Australian Broadcasting Company (ABC) that contaminated water has most likely been seeping into the sea since the disaster two-and-a-half years ago.

They do not have much faith in Tokyo Electric Power Company’s (TEPCO) ability to handle the situation and they claim another accident is inevitable.

Japan’s nuclear watchdog has described the leaks as a “state of… read more

Nanowires that glow under mechanical pressure

Could be used for collecting signatures and fingerprints, in biological imaging and micro-electromechanical (MEMS) systems, and ultimately for new human-machine interfaces
August 13, 2013

glowing nanowires

Georgia Institute of Technology researchers have developed a sensor device using nanowires that glow under mechanical pressure.

The sensor device could provide an artificial sense of touch, offering sensitivity comparable to that of the human skin. It could be used for collecting signatures and fingerprints and in biological imaging and micro-electromechanical (MEMS) systems. Ultimately, it could provide a new approach for human-machine interfaces.

“You… read more

New tools to manage information overload threatening neuroscience

August 13, 2013

The recent explosion of neuroscience research has resulted in the publication of nearly 2 million papers — more data than any researcher can read and absorb in a lifetime.
That’s why a UCLA team has invented research maps. Easily accessible through an online app, the maps help neuroscientists quickly scan what is already known and plan their next study.The Aug. 8 edition of the journal Neurondescribes these new… read more

New Medtronic deep brain stimulation system is first to sense and record brain activity while delivering therapy

August 12, 2013

Activa-PC-+-S_Hero_web

Medtronic, Inc. has announced a new deep-brain-stimulation (DBS) system called Activa PC+S that enables sensing and recording select brain activity, at various times selected by a physician, while simultaneously providing targeted DBS therapy.

Previous Medtronic systems were limited to stimulation.

“The new system will allow for new research that could one day significantly change the way people with devastating neurological and psychological disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease, essential… read more

Meshnet activists rebuilding the Internet from scratch

August 12, 2013

(Credit: Foobaz/Wikimedia Commons)

Fed up with government spying, some people have decided to take matters into their own hands, and are building a user-owned Internet from scratch, using meshnets, New Scientist reports.

These wireless networks are intended to permit secure communication without surveillance or any centralized organization, and ultimately, if their designers get their way, they will span the country.

Each node in the mesh, consisting of a radio transceiver… read more

How cancer chromosome abnormalities form in living cells

August 12, 2013

Chromosome translocation

National Cancer Institute (NCI) scientists have directly observed events that lead to the formation of a chromosome abnormality that is often found in cancer cells.

The abnormality, called a translocation, occurs when part of a chromosome breaks off and becomes attached to another chromosome.

Chromosomes are thread-like structures inside cells that carry genes and function in heredity. Human chromosomes each contain a… read more

Email services close and destroy data rather than reveal files

August 11, 2013

1984-Big-Brother

Lavabit, a Texas-based service that was reportedly used by Edward J. Snowden, announced the suspension of its service Thursday afternoon to avoid being “complicit in crimes against the American people,” The New York Times reports.

Within hours, a fast-growing Maryland-based start-up called Silent Circle also closed its e-mail service and destroyed its e-mail servers.

In effect, both businesses destroyed their assets — in part or in… read more

An affordable point-and-shoot 3D scanner

Combines high-resolution 3D modeling and accurate color capture for 3D printing
August 9, 2013

fuel3d

Fuel3D Inc. has announced a Kickstarter campaign to fund the Fuel3D scanner,  an affordable handheld 3D scanner that delivers high resolution shape and color capture for a range of 3D modeling applications, such as 3D printing, 3D art, and 3D game development.

Pledgers will be able to access the first production units for less than $1,000. Today, a buyer could expect to pay… read more

Robot uses steerable needles to treat brain clots

August 9, 2013

steerable_needle_robot

Vanderbilt University researchers are developing an image-guided robotic surgical system to remove blood clots in the brain.

It uses steerable needles about the size of those used for biopsies to penetrate the brain with minimal damage and suction away the blood clot that has formed.

The odds of a person getting an intracerebral hemorrhage are one in 50 over his or her lifetime. When… read more

Self-healing solar cells mimic leaves

August 9, 2013

Prototype biomimetic electronic-leaf photovoltaic device. Scale bar: 1 cm.

Solar cells based on organic systems have the potential to become less expensive and more environmentally friendly than silicon-based solar cells, the current industry standard. But the sun’s ultraviolet rays deteriorate  their performance.

Now North Carolina State University researchers Orlin Velev and Hyung-Jun Koo have designed solar-cell devices with channels that were inspired by the branching vascular channels that circulate life-sustaining nutrients in leaves and… read more

IBM Research creates new foundation to program SyNAPSE chips

Could enable a new generation of intelligent sensor networks that mimic the brain’s abilities for perception, action, and cognition
August 8, 2013

ibm_synaptic_corelets

Scientists from IBM unveiled on Aug. 8 a breakthrough software ecosystem designed for programming silicon chips that have an architecture inspired by the function, low power, and compact volume of the brain.

The technology could enable a new generation of intelligent sensor networks that mimic the brain’s abilities for perception, action, and cognition.

Dramatically different from traditional software, IBM’s new programming modelread more

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