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Elastic electronics: best stretchable gold conductors yet

Flexible electronics offer a wide variety of possibilities, from bendable displays and batteries to medical implants that move with the body
July 18, 2013

flexible electronics

Networks of spherical nanoparticles embedded in elastic materials may make the best stretchy conductors yet, engineering researchers at the University of Michigan have discovered.

“Essentially, the new nanoparticle materials behave as elastic metals,” said Nicholas Kotov, the Joseph B. and Florence V. Cejka Professor of Engineering. “It’s just the start of a new family of materials that can be made from a large variety of nanoparticles for… read more

Steering stem cells with magnets

Magnets could be a tool for directing stem cells’ healing powers to treat conditions such as heart disease or vascular disease
July 18, 2013

Magnetsundercells2

By feeding stem cells tiny particles made of superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles, scientists at Emory and Georgia Tech can then use magnets to attract the cells to a particular location in a mouse’s body after intravenous injection.

The type of cells used in the study, mesenchymal stem cells, are not embryonic stem cells. Mesenchymal stem cells can be readily obtained from adult tissues such as… read more

Would you use eye-tracking instead of passwords?

July 18, 2013

The prototype was built to simulate an ATM screen. In this scenario, users followed the highlighted dots with their eyes and the technology tracked their unique eye movements.

Biometric authentication technology systems for fingerprint, eye, and face recognition have failed to go mainstream to replace the unreliable password system.

University of Washington engineers are trying to figure out why. They found in a recent study, funded by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, that one of the reasons face- and eye-recognition systems haven’t taken off is because the user’s experience often isn’t factored into… read more

‘Neural dust’ brain implants could revolutionize brain-machine interfaces and allow large-scale data recording

July 17, 2013

Neural dust

In a potential neuroscience breakthrough, University of California Berkeley scientists have proposed a system that allows for thousands of ultra-tiny “neural dust” chips to be inserted into the brain to monitor neural signals at high resolution and communicate data highly efficiently via ultrasound.

The neural dust design promises to overcome a serious limitation of current invasive brain-machine interfaces (BMI): the lack of an implantable neural interface system that remains… read more

A drug that improves endurance

July 17, 2013

Electron microscopy analysis of muscle from Nr1d1−/− mice (with lower Rev-erbα) and WT (wild type, or normal) mice. Black arrows: swollen, less dense mitochondria; white arrowheads, normal mitochondria. Scale bar, 1 μm.  (Credit: Estelle Woldt et al./Nature Medicine)

A drug candidate designed by scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) significantly increases exercise endurance in animal models, an international group of scientists has shown.

These findings could lead to new approaches to helping people with conditions that acutely limit exercise tolerance, such as obesity, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and congestive heart failure, as well as the decline of… read more

A fatigue detection device to help keep your eyes on the road

July 17, 2013

opened_closed_eye

An EPFL student, Peugeot Citroën, has developed a video analysis algorithm able to estimate the level of a driver’s fatigue based on the degree of eyelid closure and has built a prototype to test it in real driving conditions.

Nearly a third of highway accidents are caused by fatigue. Nowadays, there exist several attention detection systems for drivers, such as detection of loss of vehicle… read more

A new form of carbon: ‘grossly warped nanographenes’

Contorted sheets of graphene alter physical, optical and electronic properties of new material
July 17, 2013

Chemists at Boston College and Nagoya University in Japan have synthesized the first example of a new form of carbon. The new material consists of multiple identical pieces of "grossly warped graphene," each containing exactly 80 carbon atoms joined together in a network of 26 rings, with 30 hydrogen atoms decorating the rim. Because they measure slightly more than a nanometer across, these individual molecules are referred to generically as "nanocarbons."</p>
<p>Credit: Nature Chemistry

Chemists at Boston College and Nagoya University in Japan have synthesized the first example of a new form of carbon

The new material consists of multiple identical pieces of grossly warped graphene, each containing exactly 80 carbon atoms joined together in a network of 26 rings, with 30 hydrogen atoms decorating the rim.

Grossly warped nanographenes

Because they measure slightly more than a… read more

DNA data overload

Computing, not sequencing, is now the slower and more costly aspect of genomics research
July 17, 2013

(Credit: Filip Federowicz (filu))

A flood of genetic data is being produced much faster than current computers can turn it into useful information, Johns Hopkins bioinformatics experts warn.

The source: rapidly increasing speed and declining cost of DNA sequencer machines, which chop extremely long strands of biochemical components into more manageable small segments.

But these sequencers do not yield important biological information that researchers “can read like a… read more

U.S. Army avatar role-play Experiment #3 now open for public registration

July 17, 2013

MOSES DSG

Military Open Simulator Enterprise Strategy (MOSES) is secure virtual world software designed to evaluate the ability of OpenSimulator to provide independent access to a persistent, virtual world. MOSES is a research project of the United States Army Simulation and Training Center STTC’s Virtual World Strategic Applications team uses OpenSimulator to add capability and flexibility to virtual training scenarios. 

Scenario Details

Experiment Description

Long-lasting blood vessels from reprogrammed human cells

July 16, 2013

Functional, durable blood vessels grown in a mouse model from human induced pluripotent stem cells. Laser microscopy image shows iPSC-generated endovascular cells in green, connective tissue cells in blue and red blood cells in red. (Credit: PNAS)

Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) researchers have used vascular precursor cells derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) to generate, in an animal model, functional blood vessels that lasted as long as nine months.

In their report being published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the investigators describe using iPSCs — reprogrammed adult cells that have many of the characteristics of embryonic stem… read more

Graphene could deliver Internet 100 times faster

July 16, 2013

shutterstock_95617615_graphene

The use of graphene in telecommunications could dramatically accelerate Internet speeds by up to a hundred times, according to new research by scientists in the University of Bath‘s Department of Physics.

In a paper published in Physical Review Letters, researchers from the… read more

China plans to quadruple solar power-generating capacity by 2015

July 16, 2013

800px-Solar_hot_water_in_China

China has given a lift to the renewable energy industry by formally setting out plans to more than quadruple its solar power-generating capacity to 35 gigawatts by 2015, Financial Times reports.

China’s State Council, or cabinet, said it hoped 10GW of capacity would be added annually over the next three years.

China has the world’s third-biggest installed capacity of solar power, with 8.3GW of solar photovoltaic… read more

New theory uncovers cancer’s deep evolutionary roots

Authors predict that if cancer cells are saturated with oxygen but deprived of sugar, it will slow them down or even even kill them
July 16, 2013

This typical four-week-old human embryo looks similar to fish embryos, with proto-gills and a tail.(credit: University of New South Wales)

A new way to look at cancer — by tracing its deep evolutionary roots to the dawn of multicellularity more than a billion years ago — has been proposed by Paul Davies of Arizona State University’s Beyond Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science in collaboration with Charles Lineweaver of the Australian National University.

If their theory is correct, it promises to transform the approach to… read more

Levitation with acoustic waves

Zero-G effects on Earth
July 16, 2013

surfing_on_acustic_waves

ETH researchers can make objects such as particles and liquid droplets fly in mid-air by letting them ride on acoustic waves.  They can also control their movement and merge droplets, which can react chemically or biologically. They can even rotate a toothpick in the air.

The magic trick is based on acoustic waves, reveals Daniele Foresti, former doctoral student now a postdoctoral researcher… read more

AI software smart as a 4-year-old

July 16, 2013

682px-Child_drawing

Artificial and natural knowledge researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have IQ-tested one of the best available artificial intelligence systems to see how intelligent it really is.

About as smart as the average 4-year-old, they will report July 17 at the U.S. Artificial Intelligence Conference in Bellevue, Wash.

The UIC team put ConceptNet 4, AI software developed at… read more

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