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IBM introduces self-healing data center software

December 5, 2005

IBM has released new data center software designed to automatically detect and fix performance problems, advancing its effort to build “self-healing” technology.

Yale scientists decipher ‘wiring pattern’ of cell signaling networks

December 2, 2005

A team of scientists at Yale University has completed the first comprehensive map of the proteins and kinase signaling network that controls how cells of higher organisms operate, according to a report this week in the journal Nature.

Protein kinases act as regulator switches and modify their target proteins by adding a phosphate group to them. This process, called “phosphorylation,” results in altered activity of the phosphorylated protein. It… read more

Cheap Chemical Sensors

December 2, 2005

Vivek Subramanian, electrical engineering professor at the University of California, Berkeley, has made arrays of sensors cheap enough that they could be widely distributed for monitoring toxins in the environment.

Science Makes Sex Obsolete

December 1, 2005

In the Nov. 1, 2004, issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a team led by Ralph Brinster at the University of Pennsylvania managed to grow mouse “spermatagonial stem cells” in a dish. Also known as SSCs, they are the type of stem cells that eventually become sperm.

It gets even more interesting when you learn what Brinster did with sperm stem cells in 2001. In… read more

Viral cure could ‘immunise’ the internet

December 1, 2005

A cure for computer viruses that spreads in a viral fashion could immunize the Internet, even against pests that travel at lightning speed, a mathematical study reveals.

“Honeypot” computers would be linked to one another via a dedicated and secure network and distributed across the Internet. The honeypots would attract a virus, analyze it automatically, and then distribute a countermeasure.

First-ever face transplant surgery is completed

December 1, 2005

Surgeons in France claim to have performed the world’s first face transplant, although not of a whole face. A 38-year-old woman severely disfigured in May by a dog attack received a “partial” triangular graft, consisting of the chin, lips and nose from a dead woman donor.

Sensor Listens to Cells for Cancer

November 29, 2005

A tiny sensor that can hear the subtle electrical signals naturally emitted from cells could be used one day to listen for cancer.

The “microelectrode cell array” has the potential to detect tumors much earlier than current methods and help develop drugs that effectively kill cancerous cells.

The sensor is a specially designed semiconductor chip that contains an array of electrodes, each no wider than a human hair,… read more

Is There a Link Between Stress and Cancer?

November 29, 2005

A tenuous connection has emerged between stress, the immune system, and cancer, with a surprising new insight that is changing the direction of research: it now appears that cancer cells make proteins that actually tell the immune system to let them alone and even to help them grow.

One immediate consequence of this line of thinking is a new idea for treatment: scientists could seal off the cancer cells’… read more

Scientists, be on guard … ET might be a malicious hacker

November 29, 2005

Richard Carrigan, a particle physicist at the US Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, believes the SETI@home project is putting Earth’s security at risk by distributing the signals they receive to computers all over the world.

Nanopillars reverse optical behaviour

November 29, 2005

Scientists in the UK and Russia have succeeded in fabricating a material that has a negative permeability at visible wavelengths.

The development is important because it could lead to “left-handed” materials, which exhibit a negative refractive index and function as a perfect lens, focusing light to a smaller spot than is usually possible.

Brighter Nanotubes

November 29, 2005

IBM researchers have fabricated nanotube devices around 1,000 times more efficient than previous ones at emitting light.

Such light-emitting nanotubes could find applications in creating faster transistor interconnections and in telecommunications. The tubes emit light in the wavelengths used by the telecom industry to send information through optical fibers.

The nanotubes, which produce tightly focused light, could also be used for optical probing, manipulation, and spectroscopic analysis at… read more

Google makes data free for all

November 29, 2005

Google has launched a new service called Google Base. It allows anyone to upload files for free to its massive server farms, making the data instantly searchable.

Although mainly aimed at online markets for such things as homes and jobs, scientists say the facility could have important implications for data-sharing in science, and perhaps boost efforts to make the web more “intelligent,” bringing structured web pages to the masses… read more

Nanotube forest does concertina scrunch

November 29, 2005

A film of upright carbon nanotubes can be compressed like a spring, making the material ideal padding for tiny objects, or to form components for microscopic mechanical devices.

Air guitarists’ rock dreams come true

November 29, 2005

The Virtual Air Guitar project, developed at Helsinki University of Technology, uses a computer to monitor the hand movements of a “player.” The system adds riffs and licks to match mid-air finger work.

Scientists embrace technology for cyberhugs

November 29, 2005

Singapore scientists have devised a vibration jacket for chickens controlled with a computer that gives the animal the feeling of being touched by its owner.

The next step would be to use the same concept to transmit hugs over the Internet, researchers at Nanyang Technological University said.

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