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Ultrasensitive biosensor using molybdenite semiconductor outshines graphene

74-fold higher sensitivity than graphene; may lead to "true evidence-based, personalized medicine"
September 9, 2014

MoS2_biosensor

An atomically thin, two-dimensional, ultrasensitive semiconductor material for biosensing developed by University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) researchers promises to push the boundaries of biosensing technology in many fields, from health care to environmental protection to forensic industries.

It’s based on molybdenum disulfide, or molybdenite (MoS2), which KurzweilAI has been covering as an alternative to graphene.

Molybdenum disulfide — commonly used as a dry… read more

How to ‘switch off’ autoimmune diseases

September 8, 2014

Aggressor cells, which have the potential to cause autoimmunity, are targeted by treatment, causing conversion of these cells to protector cells. Gene expression changes gradually at each stage of treatment, as illustrated by the color changes in this series of heat maps. (Credit: University of Bristol/Dr. Bronwen Burton)

University of Bristol researchers have discovered how to stop cells from attacking healthy body tissue in debilitating autoimmune diseases (such as multiple sclerosis), where the body’s immune system destroys its own tissue by mistake.

The cells were converted from being aggressive to actually protecting against disease.

The study, funded by the Wellcome Trust, was published September 3 in Nature Communications (open access).

The researchers hope the finding… read more

Atomically seamless, thinnest-possible semiconductor junctions created

September 8, 2014

As seen under an optical microscope, the heterostructures have a triangular shape. The two different monolayer semiconductors can be recognized through their different colors. (Credit: University of Washington)

University of Washington researchers have have developed what they believe is the thinnest-possible semiconductor, a new class of nanoscale materials made in sheets only three atoms thick.

They joined two different single-layer semiconductor materials in a heterojunction.

The new finding  could be the basis for next-generation flexible and transparent computing, better light-emitting diodes (LEDs), and solar technologies.

“Heterojunctions are fundamental elements of electronic… read more

These bots were made for walkin’

A resilient untethered soft robot
September 8, 2014

Soft Robotics, a peer-reviewed journal published quarterly online with Open Access options and in print, combines advances in biomedical engineering, biomechanics, mathematical modeling, biopolymer chemistry, computer science, and tissue engineering to present new approaches to the creation of robotic technology and devices that can undergo dramatic changes in shape and size in order to adapt to various environments. Led by Editor-in-Chief Barry A. Trimmer, PhD and a distinguished team of Associate Editors, the Journal provides the latest research and developments on topics such as soft material creation, characterization, and modeling; flexible and degradable electronics; soft actuators and sensors; control and simulation of highly deformable structures; biomechanics and control of soft animals and tissues; biohybrid devices and living machines; and design and fabrication of conformable machines. Tables of content and a sample issue can be viewed on the Soft Robotics website. (Credit: Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers)

An autonomous shape-changing soft robot that walks on its own four “legs” has been developed by advanced materials chemist George Whitesides, PhD and colleagues and is featured (open access) in the current issue of Soft Robotics, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers.

Imagine a 0.65-meter-long (2 feet), non-rigid, shape-changing, four-legged robot walking at 18 meters (59 feet)… read more

A robot vacuum cleaner with 360° vision

September 5, 2014

Dyson 360 Eye

James Dyson, Founder and Chief Engineer of Dyson, introduced Thursday the Dyson 360 Eye robot vacuum cleaner, with a 360° vision system.

The robot builds a detailed floor plan to navigate around a room and track its position.

Infrared sensors work in conjunction with a lens on the top of the machine that houses a 360° panoramic camera.

Infrared sensors work in conjunction… read more

Atomically thin molybendum disulfide opens door to high-speed integrated nanophotonic circuits

September 5, 2014

Far-field photons excite silver nanowire plasmons. The wire plasmons propagate to the wire's distal end where they efficiently interact with the two-dimensional material semiconductor molybdenum disulfide (MoS2). The plasmons are absorbed in the MoS2 creating excitons that subsequently decay converting back into propagating photons. (Credit: Illustration by Michael Osadciw, Creative Services, University of Rochester)

Scientists at the University of Rochester and Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich have devised an experimental circuit consisting of a silver nanowire and a single-layer atomically thin flake of molybendum disulfide (MoS2) — a step toward building computer chips capable of transporting digital information at light speed.

The researchers used a laser to excite electromagnetic waves called plasmons (vibrating electron clouds)… read more

Intel’s high-fashion smart bracelet displays text messages

September 4, 2014

(Credit: Intel)

Intel has unveiled for New York Fashion Week the My Intelligent Communication Accessory (MICA) message display device, PC World reports.

The 1.6-inch sapphire-glass touchscreen can display SMS messages relayed through the bracelet’s Intel XMM6321 3G cellular radio. It can also display calendar alerts.

The MICA bracelet also follows Intel’s acquisition of health-tracking wristband maker Basis Science in March.

 

Superintelligence reading group

September 4, 2014

superintelligence

Nick Bostrom’s eagerly awaited Superintelligence is due to be published in the U.S. this week, and MIRI will be running an online reading group where you can join with others to ask questions, discuss ideas, and probe the arguments more deeply, according to MIRI research assistant Katja Grace.

As Oxford University Press notes, “Superintelligence asks the questions: What happens when machines surpass humans in general intelligence? Will artificial… read more

Calico and AbbVie announce R&D collaboration

Plan R&D facility in S.F. Bay Area, may co-invest up to $1.5 billion to tackle age-related diseases
September 3, 2014

(Credit: Calico)

 

(Credit: Calico)

Calico and drug company AbbVie announced today a novel R&D collaboration intended to “help the two companies discover, develop, and bring to market new therapies for patients with age-related diseases, including for neurodegeneration and cancer.”

Calico is the Google-backed life sciences company that is led by Arthur D. Levinson Ph.D. (former chairman and CEO of Genentech)… read more

Samsung introduces mobile quad-HD VR device

September 3, 2014

Samsung Gear VR (credit: Samsung)

Samsung introduced today Gear VR Innovator Edition, billed as “the first widely available mobile VR headset.”

It uses Oculus VR technology combined with Samsung’s 5.7 inch Quad HD (2560 x 1440 pixel) Galaxy Note 4 mobile phone — “an early-access, beta-version of the device for developers and enthusiasts rather than a final consumer product,” according to the Oculus VR blog.

Here’s how Samsung describes… read more

Google partners with UC Santa Barbara team to build new superconductor-based quantum information processors

September 3, 2014

Martinis Group's superconducting five-qubit array (credit: Erik Lucero)

Hartmut Neven, Director of Engineering for the Quantum Artificial Intelligence team at Google said the team is launching a hardware initiative to design and build new quantum information processors based on superconducting electronics.

John Martinis and his team at UC Santa Barbara will join Google in this initiative. Martinis and his group have been building superconducting quantum electronic components of very highread more

‘Butterfly’ molecule could lead to new sensors, photoenergy conversion devices

September 2, 2014

A phosphorescent molecular “butterfly” that can generate dual (white) emission upon<br />
photoexcitation (credit: M. Han et al./Angewandte Chemie)

A novel molecule that can take your temperature, emit white light, and convert photon energy directly to mechanical motions has been enhanced by Florida State University researchers.

Biwu Ma, associate professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering in the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, created the molecular structure resembling a butterfly in a lab about a decade ago, but has… read more

Tea trumps coffee for non-cardivascular mortality

September 2, 2014

greentea

Drinking tea is associated with 24% reduced non-cardiovascular mortality, reveals a study of 131,000 people presented at the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Congress by Professor Nicolas Danchin from France.

The study included 131,401 people aged 18 to 95 years who had a health check up at the Paris IPC Preventive Medicine Center between January 2001 and December 2008. During a mean 3–5 years follow-up,… read more

A batteryless cardiac pacemaker based on self-winding wristwatch

September 2, 2014

The energy harvesting device is sutured directly onto the myocardium (credit: European Society of Cardiology)

A new batteryless cardiac pacemaker controlled by a self-winding wristwatch mechanism that is powered by heart motion has been developed by researchers in the Cardiovascular Engineering Group at ARTORG, University of Bern, Switzerland.

The device was presented at European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Congress 2014 by Adrian Zurbuchen a PhD candidate.

“Batteries are a limiting factor in today’s… read more

A multifunctional medical nanoparticle

September 2, 2014

multitasking nanoparticles-ft

Researchers at UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center and other institutions have created biocompatible multitasking nanoparticles that could be used as contrast agents to light up tumors for MRI and PET scans or deliver chemo and other therapies to destroy tumors. The study was published online in Nature Communications.

“These are amazingly useful particles,” noted co-first author Yuanpei Li, a research faculty member in the Lam laboratory. “As… read more

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