science + technology news

Meta’s AR headset lets you play with virtual objects in 3D space

February 4, 2013

meta_ar_concept_2

A new augmented reality headset from Meta puts a full twin-display digital environment — controlled by two-hand 3D tracking — in front of the user, Slashgear reports.

The prototype headset uses Epson Moverio BT-100 see-through glasses with a low-latency 3D camera mounted on top.

Both components reportedly feed into custom electronics in a separate wearable computer, which can track individual fingertips and… read more

Could humans ever regenerate limbs?

February 10, 2016

finger regrowth ft

Just lopped off your ring finger slicing carrots (some time in the future)? No problem. Just speed-read this article while you’re waiting for the dronebulance. …

“Epimorphic regeneration” — growing digits, maybe even limbs, with full 3D structure and functionality — may one day be possible. So say scientists at Tulane University, the University of Washington, and the University of Pittsburgh, writing in a review article just published in… read more

Brain scan better than polygraph in spotting lies

fMRI spots more lies in first controlled comparison of the two technologies
November 10, 2016

Image is a Z-statistic map threshold at voxel-height probability of P

Scanning people’s brains with fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) was significantly more effective at spotting lies than a traditional polygraph test, researchers in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania found in a study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.

When someone is lying, areas of the brain linked to decision-making are activated, which lights up on an fMRI scan for experts to… read more

Human stem cells created by cloning

May 16, 2013

cloning_stem_cells

It was hailed some 15 years ago as the great hope for a biomedical revolution: production of patient-specific embryonic stem cells (ESCs) from cloning to create perfectly matched tissues that would someday cure ailments ranging from diabetes to Parkinson’s disease.

Since then, the approach has been enveloped in ethical debate. A paper published by Shoukhrat Mitalipov, a reproductive biology specialist at the Oregon Health and Science University in Beaverton,… read more

NASA announces asteroid grand challenge

June 19, 2013

asteroid

NASA announced Tuesday a Grand Challenge focused on finding all asteroid threats to human populations and knowing what to do about them.

The challenge is a large-scale effort that will use multi-disciplinary collaborations and a variety of partnerships with other government agencies, international partners, industry, academia, and citizen scientists. It complements NASA’s recently announced mission to redirect an asteroid and send humans to study it.… read more

Handheld plasma flashlight rids skin of pathogens

April 6, 2012

portableplasmaflashlight

Imagine a handheld, battery-powered plasma-producing device that can rid skin of bacteria in an instant — no soap and water required.

It could be used in ambulance emergency calls, natural disaster sites, military combat operations, and wherever treatment is required in remote locations.

It’s called a “plasma flashlight.”

In an experiment, the plasma flashlight effectively inactivated a thick biofilm with 17 different layers of one of the most… read more

First personal thermal-imaging device for consumers

See-in-the-dark device acts as case for iPhone 5/5s; app captures photos, videos
January 9, 2014

FLIR ONE (Credit: FLIR)

FLIR Systems launched at CES the FLIR ONE, the first consumer-oriented thermal imaging system for a smartphone.

Acting as a case for the Apple iPhone 5 or 5s smartphone, the FLIR ONE displays a live thermal image on the phone’s screen, letting you see in complete darkness.

FLIR ONE senses heat rather than light, using the same professional thermal imaging technology that FLIR uses in its… read more

Why you’re smarter than a chicken

August 21, 2015

(credit: Johnathan Nightingale via Flickr)

A single molecular event in a protein called PTBP1 in our cells could hold the key to how we evolved to become the smartest animal on the planet, University of Toronto researchers have discovered.

The conundrum: Humans and frogs, for example, have been evolving separately for 350 million years and use a remarkably similar repertoire of genes to build organs in the body. So what… read more

Water on the moon: it’s been there all along

February 21, 2013

Traces of water have been detected within the crystalline structure of mineral samples from the lunar highland upper crust obtained during the Apollo missions, according to a University of Michigan researcher and his colleagues.

The lunar highlands are thought to represent the original crust, crystallized from a magma ocean on a mostly molten early moon. The new findings indicate that the early moon was wet and that water there… read more

Scientists grow eye lens from patients’ own stem cells, restoring vision

In pioneering new cataract treatment of 12 pediatric patients, the eye grew a new lens from its own stem cells after cloudy lens was removed
March 11, 2016

eye lens regrown ft

Researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Shiley Eye Institute, with colleagues in China, have developed an eye lens restoration treatment that has been tested in monkeys and in a small human clinical trial. It produced much fewer surgical complications than the current standard-of-care and resulted in regenerated lenses with superior visual function in all 12 of the pediatric cataract patients who received the new surgery.… read more

Faster-than-light neutrino puzzle claimed solved by special relativity

October 14, 2011

(Credit: CERN)

The relativistic motion of clocks on board GPS satellites exactly accounts for the superluminal effect in the OPERA experiment, says  physicist Ronald van Elburg at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, The Physics arXiv Blog reports.

“From the perspective of the clock, the detector is moving towards the source and consequently the distance travelled by the particles as observed from the clock is shorter,”… read more

ALS patient hopes to be cryopreserved

By Christine Gaspar
June 17, 2013

Aaron Winborn

I would like to introduce you to Aaron Winborn. It was his birthday this week. He just turned 46.

He has a wife named Gwen, a daughter Ashlin, age 9, and another daughter Sabina, age 3. He is an open-source software developer, author of the book Drupal Multimedia, and community activist.

At the age of 43, he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of… read more

Hacked terminals capable of causing pacemaker deaths

Security holes enable attackers to switch off pacemakers, rewrite firmware from 30 feet away
October 18, 2012

685px-Pacemaker

Barnaby Jack, a Research Architect with the TRACE research team at McAfee, has reverse-engineered a pacemaker transmitter to make it possible to deliver deadly electric shocks to pacemakers within 30 feet and rewrite their firmware, SC Magazine reports.

In a speech at the BreakPoint security conference in Melbourne Wednesday, Jack said such attacks were tantamount to “anonymous assassination” and in a realistic but worse-case… read more

A roadmap for metabolic reprogramming of aging

December 4, 2012

Electron microscope image of a mitochondrion

To survey previously uncharted territory, a team of researchers at UW-Madison has created an “atlas” that maps more than 1,500 unique landmarks within mitochondria that could provide clues to the metabolic connections between caloric restriction and aging.

The map, as well as the techniques used to create it, could lead to a better understanding of how cell metabolism is rewired in some cancers, age-related diseases… read more

Move over, BigDog — introducing AlphaDog

September 30, 2011

LS3

AlphaDog is the new robot in town from Boston Dynamics. Think Big Dog on steroids.

AlphaDog (official name: LS3 (Legged Squad Support System) is designed to assist soldiers in carrying heavy loads (up to 400 lbs of gear) over rough terrain, IEEE Spectrum blogger Erico Guizzo reports.

AlphaDog is getting close to something that can be… read more

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