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Help U.S. economy with visas for the best and brightest

May 31, 2012

Statue of Liberty

To see the results of self-defeating U.S. immigration policies, you need only open your browser to, where you’ll see a shrewd neighbor fishing for talent at U.S. expense.

At the top of the website, in large print, is the question: “Currently on an H1B Visa or otherwise working or studying in the United States?”

Canada is seeking skilled foreigners… read more

How to create a spray-paint battery

Turn any surface into a battery
June 29, 2012

Li-ion battery

lithium-ion battery that can be painted on virtually any surface has been developed by Rice University researchers.

The rechargeable battery, created in the lab of Rice materials scientist Pulickel Ajayan, consists of spray-painted layers, each representing the components in a traditional battery.

“This means traditional packaging for batteries has given way to a much more flexible approach that allows all kinds of new design and integration possibilities… read more

Proteins remember the past to predict the future

October 5, 2012


The most efficient machines remember what has happened to them, and use that memory to predict what the future holds.

That is the conclusion of a theoretical study by Susanne Still, a computer scientist at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and her colleagues, and it should apply equally to “machines” ranging from molecular enzymes to computers, Nature News reports. The finding could help to improve scientific… read more

Metamaterial flat lens projects 3D UV images of objects

May 29, 2013

ultraviolet (UV) metamaterial formed of alternating nanolayers of silver

Scientists working at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have demonstrated a new type of lens that bends and focuses ultraviolet (UV) light in such an unusual way that it can create ghostly, 3D images of objects that float in free space.

The easy-to-build lens could lead to improved photolithography, nanoscale manipulation and manufacturing, and even high-resolution three-dimensional imaging, as well as a… read more

‘Rogue’ asteroids may be the norm

February 3, 2014


A new map of asteroids developed by researchers from MIT and the Paris Observatory charts the size, composition, and location of more than 100,000 asteroids throughout the solar system, and shows that rogue asteroids are more common than previously thought.

Particularly in the solar system’s main asteroid belt — between Mars and Jupiter — the researchers found a compositionally diverse mix of asteroids.

The new asteroid… read more

A wrinkle in space-time

July 20, 2012

Shock wave around supernova 1987A captured by the Hubble Space Telescope (credit: NASA, ESA, K. France (University of Colordo, Boulder), P. Challis and R. Kirshner (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics)/Wikimedia Commons)

Mathematicians at UC Davis have come up with a new way to crinkle up the fabric of space-time — at least in theory.

“We show that space-time cannot be locally flat at a point where two shock waves collide,” said Blake Temple, professor of mathematics at UC Davis. “This is a new kind of singularity in general relativity.”


Einstein’s theory… read more

NASA’s new Mars Rover sends higher-resolution image

August 6, 2012

one of the first images taken by NASA's Curiosity rover, which landed on Mars the evening of Aug. 5 PDT (morning of Aug. 6 EDT). Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

About two hours after landing on Mars and beaming back its first image, NASA’s Curiosity rover transmitted a higher-resolution image of its new Martian home, Gale Crater.

“Curiosity’s landing site is beginning to come into focus,” said John Grotzinger, project manager of NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory mission, at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

“In the image, we are looking to the northwest. What you see on… read more

Neural stem cells regenerate axons in severe spinal cord injury

New relay circuits, formed across sites of complete spinal transaction, result in functional recovery in rats
September 14, 2012


In a study at the University of California, San Diego and VA San Diego Healthcare, researchers were able to regenerate “an astonishing degree” of axonal growth at the site of severe spinal cord injury in rats.

Their research revealed that early stage neurons have the ability to survive and extend axons to form new, functional neuronal relays across an injury site in the adult central… read more

Better batteries through biology

Could provide two to three times greater energy density --- the amount of energy that can be stored for a given weight --- than today’s best lithium-ion batteries
November 15, 2013


MIT researchers have found that adding genetically modified viruses to the production of nanowires, which can serve as one of a battery’s electrodes, could help solve some of the problems in creating lithium-air batteries.

These batteries hold the promise of drastically increasing power per battery weight, which could lead, for example, to electric cars with a much greater driving range. But bringing that promise to reality has… read more

Meet ‘Flame,’ the massive spy malware infiltrating Iranian computers

May 31, 2012


A massive, highly sophisticated piece of malware has been newly found infecting systems in Iran and elsewhere and is believed to be part of a well-coordinated, ongoing, state-run cyberespionage operation, Wired Threat Level reports.

Dubbed “Flame,” the malware is an espionage toolkit that has been infecting targeted systems in Iran, Lebanon, Syria, Sudan, and other countries in the Middle East and North Africa for at least two… read more

Scientists create new lifeform with added DNA base pair

May 9, 2014

(Credit: iStock)

Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have engineered a bacterium whose genetic material includes an added pair of DNA “letters” (bases) not found in nature.

The research was intended to created new proteins — and even new organisms — that have never existed before.

“Life on Earth in all its diversity is encoded by only two pairs of DNA bases, A-T and C-G,read more

Johns Hopkins surgeons implant first brain ‘pacemaker’ for Alzheimer’s disease in US

December 7, 2012


Researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine have surgically implanted a pacemaker-like device into the brain of a patient in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, the first such operation in the United States.

The device, which provides deep brain stimulation and has been used in thousands of people with Parkinson’s disease, is seen as a possible means of boosting memory and reversing cognitive decline.

The… read more

The world of wearable computers

May 20, 2013


(Credit: Credit Suisse)

“The next big thing” is the rise of sophisticated wearable technology, such as smart watches, and other accessories, according to Credit Suisse semiconductor analysts, Fortune reports.

The wearables market is perhaps $3 billion to $5 billion today, rising to perhaps $30 billion to $50 billion over the next three to five years, the analysts forecast, adding that there may… read more

RNA and DNA precursors were created from powerful comet impacts billions of years ago, say scientists

June 7, 2013


Lawrence Livermore (LLNL) scientist Nir Goldman and University of Ontario Institute of Technology colleague Isaac Tamblyn have found that icy comets that crashed into Earth billions of years ago could have produced life-building organic compounds.

Comets contain a variety of simple molecules, such as water, ammonia, methanol, and carbon dioxide, and an impact event with a planetary surface would provide an abundant supply… read more

Reversing the loss of brain connections in Alzheimer’s disease

June 21, 2013

Photomicrograph of nerve cell during an electrical recording (left), fluorescently labeled nerve cell (right) (credit:

The first experimental drug to boost brain synapses lost in Alzheimer’s disease has been developed by researchers at Sanford-Burnham.

The drug, called NitroMemantine, combines two FDA-approved medicines to stop the destructive cascade of changes in the brain that destroys the connections between neurons, leading to memory loss and cognitive decline.

The decade-long study, led by Stuart A. Lipton, M.D., Ph.D., professor and director of the Del… read more

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