science + technology news

Acute stress leaves epigenetic marks on the hippocampus

November 25, 2009

A single 30-minute episode of acute stress causes histone methylation (modification of certain amino acids), in the rat hippocampus, causing changes in expression of genes (turning them on or off) that are packaged by the histones, Rockefeller University researchers have found.

The discovery of such epigenetic regulation of genes in the brain is helping change the way scientists think about psychiatric disorders and could open new avenues to treatment.

Adafruit to teach electronics through puppets in new kids’ show

December 28, 2012



Adafruit, the kit-based electronics retailer and promoter of hobbyist engineering, is aiming to teach electronics to a younger demographic, using puppets, says Wired.

Their new online show, titled Circuit Playground, will teach the essentials of electronics and circuitry to children through kid-friendly dolls.

As a learning companion, Adafruit has also recently produced the coloring book E is for Electronics, and will carry … read more

Adaptable Polymer Inspired by Sea Cucumbers

March 7, 2008

Case Western University used a nanocomposite material inspired by sea cucumbers to make a biopolymer that switches rapidly between rigid and flexible states.

The new material could be used to design implantable electrodes that don’t cause the scarring that stiff and brittle metal electrodes cause, decreasing the electrode’s recording ability.

Adapting telescope mirror technology to capture solar energy

July 6, 2012


University of Arizona (UA) researchers are continuing to improve groundbreaking technology to produce solar electricity at a price competitive with non-renewable energy sources.

A prototype of the “tracker” at the university has a house-sized frame of crisscrossing steel tubes, mounted onto a swiveling post in the concrete bottom of an empty swimming pool.

The tracker  supports two curved, highly reflective glass mirrors, each measuring 10 feet… read more

Adapting Websites to Users

June 9, 2008

Researchers at MIT’s Sloan School of Management hope to make websites better at selling products by making them adapt automatically to each visitor, presenting information in a way that complements the user’s cognitive style, as indicated by click patterns.

‘Adaptive Brain Interface Technology’ Turns Thoughts Into Actions on Screen

March 15, 2001

Scientists from the Joint Research Center of the European Commission in Ispra, Italy have developed “adaptive brain interface technology” that allows people to control devices with their thoughts without requiring implanted electrodes.

The system uses a conductive gel cap, electroencephalograph, and Windows software to convert thoughts into a vector with 72 components. It maps brain patterns onto tasks such as choosing letters or controlling a wheelchair or computer game,… read more

Added drug allows rapamycin to slow aging without risking diabetes

May 23, 2014

This graphic outlines how rapamycin can mimic the effects of dietary restriction (credit: Oregon State University)

New research at the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University suggests a fix for serious side effects of rapamycin*, a drug that appears to mimic the ability of dietary restriction to slow the aging process.

Laboratory mice that have received rapamycin have reduced the age-dependent decline in spontaneous activity, demonstrated more fitness, improved cognition and cardiovascular health, had less cancer, and lived substantially longer than… read more

Adding defects to superconducting wire creates unprecedented performance

August 19, 2013

BZO-doped films

The ability to control nanoscale imperfections in superconducting wires results in materials with unparalleled and customized performance, according to a new study from the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Applications for superconducting wires, which carry electricity without resistance when cooled to a critical temperature, include underground transmission cables, transformers and large-scale motors and generators. But these applications require wires to operate under different temperature and… read more

Adding Human Intelligence to Software

October 18, 2010

Computer scientists at MIT have developed a toolkit that allows new software applications to combine and coordinate the efforts of Amazon’s Mechanical Turk workers. Called TurKit, the tool lets software engineers write algorithms to coordinate online workers using the Javascript programming language, and create powerful applications that have human intelligence built in.

Adding Speed to Silicon

July 24, 2007

AmberWave Systems has developed a new method for growing germanium and other semiconductors on silicon so they don’t crack.

It could lead to faster, smaller electronics. Additionally, combining the different types of semiconductors could lead to cheaper lasers and other photonic devices.

The dimensions of transistors are shrinking, and silicon, as it’s used today to make these transistors, will not be able to scale down and maintain the… read more

Adobe Blurs Line Between PC and Web

February 25, 2008

On Monday, Adobe will release AIR, a software development system that will power potentially tens of thousands of applications that merge the Internet and the PC, as well as blur the distinctions between PCs and new computing devices like smartphones.

Adobe Carousel Mac OS and iOS app takes photo editing/sharing to the cloud

September 9, 2011

Adobe Carousel (credit: Adobe)

Adobe Systems has announced Adobe Carousel for iPad, iPhone, iPod touch and Mac OS, using the cloud to provide a simple way to view, browse, adjust and share photos without worrying about manual syncing or storage.

Adobe Carousel uses the powerful photo-processing technology used in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, providing quality photo-editing results on multiple devices. Edits, deletions or additions to the library made on one… read more

Adobe offers early peek at Apollo

March 19, 2007

Apollo, planned for the second half of this year, is designed to bridge the world of Web applications and desktop computers.

The release of the software is highly anticipated among people who develop so-called rich Internet applications, meaning Web applications that have some of the interactivity of traditional desktop applications.

Adroit Droids

October 29, 2004

Advances in sensors, software, and computer architecture are beginning to give robots a sense of their “bodies” and of what sorts of actions are safe and useful in their environments.

One of the world’s most advanced robots passed an important test at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston: it learned to use tools to tighten bolts on a wheel. Rather than having to be separately programmed for each of… read more

Adult brain cells made to multiply and regenerate

August 21, 2006

Adult human brain cells can generate new tissue when implanted into in the brains of mice, new research reveals. The findings could pave the way to new therapies for a host of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s.

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