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A new tumor-killer

May 23, 2013

saxs_hamlet

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

TEM_image_Au-a-Fe2O3_catalyst

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_robots

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

A 3D-printed navy?

May 23, 2013

The Northrop Grumman-built Triton unmanned aircraft system completed its first flight on May 22, 2013. Could a future version be 3D-printed? (Credit: Northrop Grumman by Bob Brown)

Instead a carrying spare parts, space-constrained U.S. Navy ships in the future might carry 3-D printers and bags of various powdered ingredients, and simply download the design files needed to print items as necessary, according to the Armed Forces Journal,

“Perhaps closer at hand is a distributed global production network in which sailors and Marines send an email with a digital scan or design for a

read more

Non-wetting fabric drains sweat

May 22, 2013

The hydrophobic fabric repels water except where stitched with channels (credit: UC Davis)

Waterproof fabrics that whisk away sweat could be the latest application of microfluidic technology developed by bioengineers at the University of California, Davis.

The new fabric works like human skin, forming excess sweat into droplets that drain away by themselves, said inventor Tingrui Pan, professor of biomedical engineering.

One area of research in Pan’s Micro-Nano Innovations Laboratory at UC Davis is a… read more

Do salamanders hold the solution to regeneration?

May 22, 2013

401px-SpottedSalamander

Salamanders’ immune systems are key to their remarkable ability to regrow limbs, and could also underpin their ability to regenerate spinal cords, brain tissue and even parts of their hearts, scientists have found.

In research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (open access), researchers from the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute (ARMI) at Monash University found that when immune cells known as macrophages… read more

Reducing caloric intake delays nerve cell loss

May 22, 2013

(Credit: iStockphoto)

Activating an enzyme known to play a role in the anti-aging benefits of calorie restriction delays the loss of brain cells and preserves cognitive function in mice, according to a study published in the May 22 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience.

The findings could one day guide researchers to discover drug alternatives that slow the progress of age-associated impairments in the brain.… read more

IBM Watson Engagement Advisor hopes to improve customer service

May 22, 2013

Jon Simon/Feature Photo Service for IBM

Now customers can access Watson’s question-answering power directly.

IBM has unveiled the IBM Watson Engagement Advisor, a cognitive computing assistant that “learns, adapts and understands a company’s data quickly and easily,” according to IBM.

The IBM Watson Engagement Advisor‘s “Ask Watson” feature can quickly help address customers’ questions, offer feedback to guide their purchase decisions, and troubleshoot their problems.… read more

Making quantum encryption practical

May 22, 2013

Part of Alice's optical parametric amplifier receiver. This receiver enables her to obtain the quantum-illumination performance advantage that ensures Bob's communication to her is immune to Eve's passive eavesdropping. (Credit: Zhang et al./MIT)

Researchers in the Optical and Quantum Communications Group at MIT’s Research Laboratory of Electronics (RLE) have experimentally demonstrated a new quantum communication protocol that solves two basic problems with achieving practical quantum encryption.

Quantum key distribution (QKD) requires the inefficient transmission of a huge number of bits for each one that’s successfully received. And QKD depends on the properties… read more

Scientists sequence genome of ‘sacred lotus,’ may hold anti-aging secrets

Can survive for 1,000 years
May 22, 2013

Nelumbo nucifera from China, more commonly known as the 'sacred lotus'<br />
(Credit: Jane Shen-Miller /UCLA)

A team of 70 scientists from the U.S., China, Australia and Japan reports having sequenced and annotated more than 86 percent of the genome of the “sacred lotus,” which is believed to have a powerful genetic system that repairs genetic defects, and may hold secrets about aging successfully.

The Nelumbo nucifera plant is revered in China and elsewhere as a symbol of spiritual purity and longevity.… read more

Multitasking neurons found essential to the brain’s computational power

May 21, 2013

(Credit: iStockphoto)

There are many neurons, especially in brain regions that perform sophisticated functions such as thinking and planning, that react in different ways to a wide variety of things.

MIT neuroscientist Earl Miller first noticed these unusual activity patterns about 20 years ago, while recording the electrical activity of neurons in animals that were trained to perform complex tasks.

“We started noticing early on that… read more

ACT confirms clinical trial participant showed improvement in vision from 20/400 to 20/40 following treatment

May 21, 2013

Intermediate age-related macular degeneration (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Advanced Cell Technology, Inc. (ACT) has confirmed that the vision of a patient enrolled in a clinical investigation of the company’s retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells derived from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) has improved from 20/400 to 20/40 following treatment.

ACT is currently enrolling patients in three clinical trials in the U.S. and Europe for treatment of Stargardt’s macular dystrophy (SMD) and dry age-related… read more

Beyond Second Life: more realistic avatars

May 21, 2013

avatar

Philip Rosedale, founder of once-popular virtual world Second Life, has created a new company called High Fidelity. As suggested by the video above and the blog, the company is developing more natural ways for avatars to communicate (with heads and hand movements, for example) and with low latency (faster response time).

“Imagine holding your phone and being able to twist and move your avatar’s hand.… read more

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