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Safer robots will improve manufacturing

July 14, 2011

Robonaut 2 (credit: NASA)

Robots have been considered too unpredictable and dangerous to work alongside humans in factories, but improved technologies for artificial sensing and motion are leading to a new wave of safer robots.

Last winter, NASA sent a humanoid robot dubbed Robonaut 2 (R2) to the International Space Station. R2, which has only a torso, sophisticated arms and fingers, and a head full of sensors, jointly developed by NASA and General Motors… read more

Safer way to make induced pluripotent stem cells

February 2, 2011

Researchers at Johns Hopkins have found a better way to create induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells — adult cells reprogrammed with the properties of embryonic stem cells — from a small blood sample. This new method, described last week in Cell Research, avoids creating DNA changes that could lead to tumor formation.

“These iPS cells are much safer than ones made with previous technologies because they don’t… read more

Safer, personalized cancer therapy by linking cancer genes with effective anticancer drugs

March 29, 2012


In the largest study of its kind, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute researchers have uncovered hundreds of associations between mutations in cancer genes with sensitivity to anticancer drugs in order to develop a personalized approach to cancer treatments.

One of the key responses the team found was that cells from a childhood bone cancer, Ewing’s sarcoma, respond to a drug that is currently used in the treatment of breast and… read more

Sal Khan’s ‘Academy’ sparks a tech revolution in education

May 31, 2012


Salman Khan’s simply narrated, faceless home videos on everything from algebra to French history have been viewed half a billion times.

Last year, a number of schools began “flipping” their classrooms, having students study Khan videos by night and do homework with teachers by day.

His staff has been ramped up to 32, including the recent high-profile addition of Google’s first hired employee, programming ace Craig Silverstein. The staff’s… read more

Salad oil may fuel hydrogen car of future

August 26, 2004

Sunflower oil could prove to be a source for a hydrogen generator that uses only sunflower oil, air and water vapor. The secret lies in two catalysts, one based on nickel, the other on carbon.

Salamander robot uses ‘spinal cord’ to move

March 9, 2007

A robotic salamander with an electric “spinal cord” that controls both its walking and swimming has been developed by researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.

It could be a forerunner of robots with movements coordinated by an artificial nervous systems, they claim.

Sales of Computer Chips Rise for Third Consecutive Quarter

December 2, 2002

Worldwide semiconductor sales increased to $12.52 billion in October, a 1.8 percent jump from September and a 20 percent rise from 2001.

Major segments: chips for personal computers and wireless devices, flash memory and digital signal processors.

Salk Institute finds neural code used by the retina to relay color information to the brain

October 7, 2010


By comparing a clearly defined visual input with the electrical output of the retina, researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies were able to trace for the first time the neuronal circuitry that connects individual photoreceptors with retinal ganglion cells, the neurons that carry visuals signals from the eye to the brain.

Their measurements, published in the Oct. 7, 2010, issue of the journal Nature, not only reveal… read more

Salk researchers discover that stem cell marker regulates synapse formation

January 31, 2011

Nestin, a well-known stem cell marker, regulates the formation of neuromuscular junctions (shown in yellow), the contact points between muscles cells and "their" motor neurons (shown in green). (Dr. Jiefei Yang, Salk Institute for Biological Studies)

In a study published in the Jan. 30, 2011, advance online edition of Nature Neuroscience, Salk Institute of Biological Studies investigators led by Kuo-Fen Lee, PhD., show that nestin has reason for being in a completely different cell type—muscle tissue. There, it regulates formation of the so-called neuromuscular junction, the contact point between muscle cells and “their” motor neurons.

Knowing this not only deepens our understanding of signaling mechanisms… read more

Salk scientist discovers novel mechanism in spinal cord injury

July 29, 2013


“See-saw” molecule may offer clues to potential therapies in the long-term.

More than 11,000 Americans suffer spinal cord injuries each year, and since over a quarter of those injuries are due to falls, the number is likely to rise as the population ages.

The reason so many of those injuries are permanently disabling is that the human body lacks the capacity to regenerate nerve fibers. The best our… read more

Salk scientists develop drug that slows Alzheimer’s in mice

May 15, 2013

Salk scientists developed J147, a synthetic drug shown to improve memory and prevent brain damage in mice with Alzheimer's disease

A drug developed by scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, known as J147, reverses memory deficits and slows Alzheimer’s disease in aged mice following short-term treatment.

The findings may pave the way to a new treatment for Alzheimer’s disease in humans.

“J147 is an exciting new compound because it really has strong potential to be an Alzheimer’s disease therapeutic by slowing disease progression… read more

Salk scientists find cellular switches for the body’s biological clock

April 9, 2012

(Credit: iStockphoto)

The discovery of a major gear in the biological clock that tells the body when to sleep and metabolize food may lead to new drugs to treat sleep problems and metabolic disorders, including diabetes.

Scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, led by Ronald M. Evans, a professor in Salk’s Gene Expression Laboratory, showed that two cellular switches found on the nucleus of mouse… read more

Salmon DNA-based memory device

February 6, 2012


Researchers from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in Germany and the National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan have created a DNA-based “write-once-read-many-times” (WORM) memory device to achieve more cost-effective data storage.

The device consists of a thin film of salmon DNA embedded with nano-sized particles of silver and then sandwiched between two electrodes. To store information, ultraviolet light is used to make the silver atoms cluster… read more

Salmonella Bacteria Turned Into Cancer Fighting ‘Robots’

March 31, 2008

University of Massachusetts Amherst researchers are turning Salmonella bacteria into tumor killing “robots” that use their flagella to go deep into tumors where conventional chemotherapy can’t reach, and once in place, manufacture drugs that trigger cancer cells to kill themselves.

Normally, mice with tumors all die within 30 days. After receiving this bacterial system and getting a dose of radiation, all the mice in their lab tests survived beyond… read more

Salt may affect more than blood pressure: study

April 20, 2007

Consuming less salt can not only lower blood pressure, but may reduce the risk of heart disease overall, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School researchers reported.

They found that people with borderline-high blood pressure who reduced their sodium intake by 25 to 35 percent lowered their risk of total cardiovascular disease by 25 percent. And this lower risk lasted for 10 to 15 years.

See also… read more

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