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Live Long? Die Young? Answer Isn’t Just in Genes

August 31, 2006

Life span is determined by such a complex mix of events that there is no accurate predicting for individuals.

The factors include genetic predispositions, disease, nutrition, a woman’s health during pregnancy, subtle injuries and accidents and simply chance events, like a randomly occurring mutation in a gene of a cell that ultimately leads to cancer.

Google’s Cool Free Book Downloads

August 31, 2006

Google’s project to scan the world’s books new features free PDF downloads of classic public-domain books, via the Google Book Search site.

Preclinical Tests Show Acid-Sensitive Nanoparticles Treat Ovarian Cancers with Little Toxicity

August 30, 2006

Acid-sensitive polymer nanoparticles are effective at suppressing tumor growth when tested in an animal model of human ovarian cancer.

In addition, animals treated with this nanoparticle formulation do not appear to experience adverse side effects that often limit the ability of patients to tolerate chemotherapy.

Physicists invent ‘QuIET’ — single molecule transistors

August 30, 2006

University of Arizona physicists proposed to turn single molecules into working transistors as small as a single nanometer.

The Quantum Interference Effect Transistor (QuIET) design uses a benzene ring-like molecule with two molecular electrical leads attached to create two alternate paths through which current can flow and a third lead to turn the device on and off, the “valve.”

Google Revealed: The IT Strategy That Makes It Work

August 30, 2006

In Building 43 at Google’s Mountain View, Calif., headquarters is a video screen that depicts the world as seen in Google Earth. Across a revolving globe, streams of colorful pixels, like sparks from a Roman candle, mark the geographic origin of queries coming in to Google’s search engine. It’s a real-time representation of Google as the nexus of human curiosity….

Robots Wrote This

August 30, 2006

Perhaps the week’s biggest and scariest robot news — certainly for journalists — was the robot reporters story.

Bacteria put new spin on micromotors

August 30, 2006

Japanese researchers have used motile bacteria to rotate a microscopic motor made from silicon. The team believes that their system — fuelled by glucose — is the first micromechanical device to integrate inorganic materials with living bacteria.

First quantum cryptographic data network demonstrated

August 30, 2006

By integrating quantum noise protected data encryption (quantum data encryption or QDE) with Quantum Key Distribution (QKD), researchers at Northwestern University and BBN Technologies have developed a complete data communication system with extraordinary resilience to eavesdropping.

The research team recently demonstrated a new way of encrypting data that relies on both traditional algorithms and on physical principles. This QDE method, called AlphaEta, makes use of the inherent and irreducible… read more

Digital cameras focus on revised reality

August 30, 2006

Today’s cameras will let you adjust perceived reality, by altering a photo as it’s snapped.

Some new Hewlett-Packard cameras include a feature that makes subjects look thinner, while another mode makes facial lines and pores virtually disappear. A “skin tone” feature on some Olympus models can give consumers a leisure-class tan. Other manufacturers offer modes to make the colors of the world richer as you capture… read more

Saving Lives With Tailor-Made Medication

August 29, 2006

Pharmacogenetics, a clinical discipline in which doctors use high-tech genetic testing to custom-make drugs to patients’ individual needs, will mean that we define smaller and smaller markets for every drug.

Instead of one medication for high blood pressure, a manufacturer will have to produce dozens of variants and combinations.

Carbon-nanotube ‘strings’ may ID single molecules

August 29, 2006

Nanoscale “guitar strings” that vibrate at 1.3 GHz could detect and identify individual molecules have been developed by University of California, Berkeley scientists.

The device may even let researchers study the quantum behavior of molecules, and possibly viruses.

Their next goal is to develop coatings for the carbon nanotubes that will selectively bind target molecules, such as explosives, so that they can actually start spotting molecules.

Do cancer cells cooperate with each other?

August 29, 2006

Game theorist Robert Axelrod, a political scientist at the University of Michigan, is applying game theory to cancer.

The “game” — to grow a successful tumor — proceeds more efficiently for all players if they cooperate. The theory could have major implications for how we treat cancer.

Researchers Channel Microcapsules Into Tumour Cells And Release Their Contents Using A Laser Impulse

August 28, 2006

Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces researchers have released active substances from a capsule in a tumor cell, using an infrared laser pulse. The laser light cracks its polymer shell by heating it up and the capsule’s contents are released.

Scientists Find Memory Molecule

August 28, 2006

Scientists at SUNY Downstate Medical Center have discovered a molecular mechanism that maintains memories in the brain. In an article in Science magazine, they demonstrate that by inhibiting the molecule they can erase long-term memories, much as you might erase a computer disc.

Furthermore, erasing the memory from the brain does not prevent the ability to re-learn the memory, much as a cleaned computer disc may be re-used. This… read more

Nano-transport controlled by heat-sensitive polymer

August 28, 2006

Max Plank Institute nanotechnologists have devised a new way to move nano-sized objects, by mixing heat-sensitive polymer molecules into a coating of molecular motors made from the protein kinesin.

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