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DNA-carbon nanotube vapor sensor identifies scent of melanoma

June 17, 2013

Melanoma

According to new research from the Monell Center and collaborating institutions, odors from human skin cells can be used to identify melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.

The researchers also demonstrated that a nanotechnology-based sensor could reliably differentiate melanoma cells from normal skin cells.

The findings suggest that non-invasive odor analysis may be a valuable technique in the detection and early diagnosis of… read more

Nature can’t be patented: Supreme Court

June 17, 2013

800px-SCOTUSbuilding_1st_Street_SE

In a unanimous ruling on Thursday, Supreme Court justices held that human DNA isolated from a chromosome cannot be patented because it is a product of nature, The New York Times reports.

Justice Clarence Thomas, writing for the court, said “there would be considerable danger” in granting patents on natural phenomena because that approach would “inhibit future innovation” and “would be at odds with the very point… read more

Good vibes

Communicate information via the skin could help both drivers and the blind
June 17, 2013

vibrotactile_displays

Imagine a device using tactile vibrations for GPS-provided turn directions.

Such a device could free drivers from having to look at maps, and could also serve as a tactile guide for the visually and hearing impaired.

Lynette Jones, a senior research scientist in MIT’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, designs wearable tactile displays. Through her work, she’s observed that the skin is a… read more

Spot-welding a graphene nanoribbon to connect into a circuit

June 17, 2013

GNR_on_Au(111)_6

Scientists at Aalto University and Utrecht University have created single-atom contacts between gold and graphene nanoribbons.

The challenge for graphene devices has been how design a contact (to connect the graphene to a circuit wire) without affecting the performance of the graphene nanostructures.

Graphene is a single layer of carbon atoms arranged in a honeycomb lattice. It is anticipated to be a revolutionizing material… read more

A robot that runs like a cat

Hopefully, this won't lead to a future cheetah-cub videos craze
June 17, 2013

cheetah-cub

Thanks to its cat-modeled legs, EPFL’s four-legged “cheetah-cub robot” is small, light and the fastest in its category (small quadruped robots under 30Kg): it can run 5 kilometers per hour (3.1 mph) — nearly seven times its body length in one second. .

Developed by EPFL’s Biorobotics Laboratory (Biorob),  biomechanics, the robot will serve as a platform for research in locomotion and biomechanics.… read more

Major hurdle to diabetes transplants cleared

June 17, 2013

insulin_producing_cells

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified a way to trigger reproduction in the laboratory of clusters of human cells that make insulin, potentially removing a significant obstacle to transplanting the cells as a treatment for patients with type 1 diabetes.

Efforts to make this treatment possible have been limited by a dearth of insulin-producing beta cells that can be… 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

Tracking people in complex indoor settings

Has implications for security and counterterrorism
June 14, 2013

tracking

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have developed a method for tracking the locations of multiple individuals in complex, indoor settings using a network of video cameras, creating something similar to the fictional Marauder’s Map used by Harry Potter to track comings and goings at the Hogwarts School.

The method was able to automatically follow the movements of 13 people within a nursing home, even though… read more

Sleep mechanism identified that plays role in emotional memory

UC researchers find that Ambien heightens recollection of and response to bad memories
June 14, 2013

Ambien (zolpidem)

Sleep researchers from University of California campuses in Riverside and San Diego have identified the sleep mechanism that enables the brain to consolidate emotional memory and found that Ambien, a popular prescription sleep aid, heightens the recollection of and response to negative memories.

Their findings have implications for individuals suffering from insomnia related to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other anxiety disorders who are prescribed… read more

Creating magnetic clouds in graphene and switching them on and off

Could lead to transistor-like graphene devices
June 14, 2013

Controlling magnetic clouds in graphene.

A University of Manchester team led by Dr. Irina Grigorieva has discovered how to create elementary magnetic moments in graphene and then switch them on and off, opening a new avenue towards electronics with very low energy consumption..

This is the first time magnetism itself has been toggled, rather than the magnetization direction being reversed.

Each micro-magnet allows a bit of information (0 or… read more

How to quickly generate a large quantity of personalized nerve cells

Personalized regenerative medicine breakthrough
June 14, 2013

ESC-generated neurons

A team under the direction of Stanford cell physiologist and neuroscientist Tom Sudhof, PhD, has shown that in human ESCs or iPSCs, just boosting the level of a single transcription factor results in an abundant and quite pure population of nerve cells withinread more

A global quantum network

June 14, 2013

Atoms, coupled to a glass fiber - the basis of the worldwide communication network of the future?

By quantum-mechanically coupling laser-cooled atoms to glass fiber cables, Vienna University of Technology researchers have developed a way to store quantum information over a long enough period of time to allow for entangling atoms hundreds of kilometers apart via fiber cables.

This finding is a fundamental building block for a global fiber-based quantum communication network, the researchers suggest.

Atoms and light

“In our… read more

European neuroscience projects to benefit from hybrid supercomputer memory

June 14, 2013

(credit:

To handle large amounts of data from detailed brain models used in the Blue Brain Project and the Human Brain Project, IBM Research, EPFL, and ETH Zürich are collaborating on a new hybrid memory strategy for supercomputers.

The Blue Brain Project, for example, is building detailed models of the rodent brain based on vast amounts of information — incorporating experimental data and a large number of parameters — to describe… read more

A simple, non-invasive gene therapy restores sight

Can now safely insert repair genes into photoreceptors in the fine-vision fovea
June 14, 2013

intravitreal_injection2

UC Berkeley researchers have developed an new method for inserting genes into retina cells that is easier and more effective, It could greatly expand gene therapy to help restore sight to patients with blinding diseases ranging from inherited defects like retinitis pigmentosa to degenerative illnesses of old age, such as macular degeneration.

Unlike current treatments, the new procedure delivers genes to hard-to-reach cells throughout the entire retina,… read more

Crowd-sourcing messaging to intelligent life

June 13, 2013

Jamesburg Earth Station

Lone Signal believes that crowd sourcing messaging to intelligent life (METI) is the ideal approach to establishing a stable, cohesive, and well-resourced interstellar beacon on Earth.

Lone Signal allows anyone with Internet access to compose and transmit messages to strategically targeted stellar systems.

Launching June 18, 2013, Lone Signal’s unfettered access to the broadcasting capacity of Jamesburg Earth Station in Carmel, CA allows them to target the closest known… read more

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