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Patent awarded for treating obesity and related conditions [exclusive]

December 3, 2013

Obese vs. normal mouse (unrelated to the experiment) (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

U.S. Patent No. 8,598,150 was awarded today (Dec. 3) for the use of an antioxidant compound called MnTBAP* for treatment of obesity and obesity-related conditions, such as insulin resistance or pre-diabetes.

The patent was filed by two Skidmore College researchers: Jonathan R. Brestoff Parker and professor Thomas H. Reynolds, IV.

In unpublished mouse experiments, they found that the compound decreases obesity by promoting triglyceride breakdown… read more

A battery made up of billions of nanoscale batteries

November 11, 2014

A billion nanopores could fit on a postage stamp. (Credit: NEES, a DOE Energy Frontier Research Center)

Imagine a battery made up of billions of nanoscale batteries — the ultimate miniaturization of energy storage.

That’s what researchers at the University of Maryland (UMD) have invented, using a structure based on a nanopore: a tiny hole in a ceramic sheet that holds electrolyte to carry the electrical charge between nanotube electrodes at either end.

The researchers note in a paper in Nature Nanotechnology that such a… read more

Titan supercomputer capable of 20 petaflops peak performance

October 30, 2012


The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has launched a new era of scientific supercomputing today with Titan, a system capable of more than 20,000 trillion calculations each second — or 20 petaflops — peak performance by employing a family of processors called graphic processing units (GPUs) first created for computer gaming.

Titan is now one of the world’s fastest supercomputers,… read more

MOTOBOT: the first autonomous motorcycle-riding humanoid robot

Cooler than Terminator and Robocop
October 29, 2015

MOTOBOT Ver. 1 (credit: Yamaha)

Yamaha introduced MOTOBOT Ver.1, the first autonomous motorcycle-riding humanoid robot, at the Tokyo Motor Show Wednesday (Oct. 28). A fusion of Yamaha’s motorcycle (an unmodified Yamaha YZF-R1M) and robotics technology, the future Motobot robot will ride an unmodified motorcycle on a racetrack at more than 200 km/h (124 mph), Yamaha says.

“We want to apply the fundamental technology and know-how gained in the process of this challenge… read more

Craig Venter’s ‘biological teleportation’ device

October 22, 2013


Craig Venter has built a prototype of a “Digital Biological Converter” (DBC) that would allow what he calls “biological teleportation”: receiving DNA sequences over the Internet to synthesize proteins, viruses and even living cells, The Guardian reports.

It could, for example, fill a prescription for insulin, provide flu vaccine during a pandemic or even produce phage viruses targeted… read more

Reducing Internet and telecom greenhouse gases

January 4, 2013


The information communications and technology (ICT) industry, which delivers Internet, video, voice and other cloud services, produces more than 830 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) annually — about 2 percent of global CO2 emissions — the same proportion as the aviation industry produces. This is expected to double by 2020.

Now researchers from the Centre for Energy-Efficient Telecommunications (CEET) and Bell Labs are reporting new models of emissions and… read more

Hippies head for Noah’s Ark: queue here for rescue aboard alien spaceship

March 26, 2012

Pic de Bugarach

New Age believers have descended on the Pyrenean village of Bugarach in France. They believe that when apocalypse strikes on December 21  this year, the aliens will save all the nearby humans and beam them off to the next age.

Some hikers have been spotted scaling the mountain carrying a ball with a golden ring, strung together by a single thread.

Upwards of 100,000 people are thought to be… read more

Golden Spike aims to return humans to the Moon

December 7, 2012


The Golden Spike Company, the first company planning to offer routine exploration expeditions to the surface of the Moon — by the end of this decade — was  unveiled Thursday by former Apollo Flight Director and NASA Johnson Space Center Director Gerry Griffin, Golden Spike’s chairman, and planetary scientist and former NASA science chief Dr. Alan Stern, President and CEO.

The announcement was made on the… read more

A high-efficiency, sustainable process using solar and carbon dioxide to produce methane for natural gas

Replaces fossil fuel with solar and uses C02 instead of generating it
September 1, 2015

Artificial photosynthesis used to produce renewable molecular hydrogen for synthesizing carbon dioxide into methane. (credit: Berkeley Lab)

A team of researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has developed a hybrid system that produces hydrogen and uses it (via microbes) to synthesize carbon dioxide into methane, the primary constituent of natural gas.

“We can expect an electrical-to-chemical efficiency of better than 50 percent and a solar-to-chemical energy conversion efficiency of 10 percent if our system is coupled with state-of-art solar panel and electrolyzer,”… read more

The ultimate lifelogging interface?

"Wink, wink, nudge, nudge" --- Monty Python
May 4, 2013


Developer Michael DiGiovanni has revealed on github a beta android app for Google Glass called “Winky” that takes a photo — replacing the wordy “”OK, Glass, take a picture.”

“Users will be able to lifelog with little to no effort. It allows more pictures to be taken easily and to become a timeline of where you have been,” says Roundarch Isobar, where DiGiovanni is Emerging… read more

China plans to quadruple solar power-generating capacity by 2015

July 16, 2013


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

IBM’s $100M ‘Project Lucy’ brings Watson to Africa

February 7, 2014

(Credit: IBM)

IBM has launched a 10-year initiative to bring Watson and other cognitive systems to Africa to fuel development and spur business opportunities across the world’s fastest growing continent. Dubbed “Project Lucy” after the earliest known human ancestor, IBM will invest US$100 million in the initiative, giving scientists and partners access to the world’s most advanced cognitive computing technologies for use in key… read more

To Boldly Go: A One-Way Human Mission to Mars

October 20, 2010

(NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science)

Paul Davies, a physicist and cosmologist from Arizona State University, and Dirk Schulze-Makuch, a Washington State University associate professor, argue for a one-way manned mission to Mars.

In an article, “To Boldly Go: A One-Way Human Mission to Mars,” published in Volume 12 of the Journal of Cosmology, the authors write that while technically feasible, a manned mission to Mars and back is unlikely to lift off… read more

Nutrient mixture and varied brain activities improve memory in patients with early Alzheimer’s

A mixture of choline, uridine and the omega-3 fatty acid DHA -- precursors to the lipid molecules in brain-cell membranes -- help overcome loss of connections between brain cells, and diversifying the mental space that you explore may also decrease your risk
July 16, 2012


A clinical trial of an Alzheimer’s disease treatment developed at MIT has found that the nutrient cocktail can improve memory in patients with early Alzheimer’s.

The results confirm and expand the findings of an earlier trial of the nutritional supplement, which is designed to promote new connections between brain cells.

Alzheimer’s patients gradually lose synapses, leading to memory loss and other cognitive impairments. The… read more

Blind mole rats may hold key to cancer

November 6, 2012


Some 23% of humans die of cancer, but blind mole rats — which can live for 21 years, an impressive age among rodents — seem to be immune to the disease.

Cell cultures from two species of blind mole rat, Spalax judaei and Spalax golani, behave in ways that render them impervious to the growth of tumors, according to work by Vera Gorbunova at the University of Rochester,… read more

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