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Nanosensors for Medical Monitoring

July 8, 2008

Vista Therapeutics is developing sensitive devices for continuous bedside monitoring of blood biomarkers for detecting organ failure and other problems in seriously injured or ill patients, such as those in the ICU after suffering a heart attack or traumatic injuries from a car accident.

The devices use silicon nanowires developed by Harvard University chemist Charles Lieber. When a single protein binds to an antibody along the wire, the current… read more

Clever artificial hand developed

September 9, 2005

Scientists have developed an ultra-light limb that they claim can mimic the movement in a real hand better than any currently available.

The Southampton Remedi-Hand can be connected to muscles in the arm via a small processing unit and is controlled by small contractions of the muscles which move the wrist. It uses six sets of motors and gears so each of the five fingers can move independently.… read more

Nano Biomaterials

October 29, 2002

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is using nanotechnology to design a self-cleaning plastic in which the enzyme molecules are an integral part of the material. When the plastic comes into contact with bacteria or other pathogens, the enzymes attack the microbes and destroy their ability to bind to its surface.

2008 State of the Future report proposes 15 global challenges

July 14, 2008

The future continues to get better for most of the world, but a series of tipping points could drastically alter global prospects, according to the 2008 State of the Future, a report due to be published late this month, and obtained by Sunday.

Half the world is vulnerable to social instability and violence due to rising food and energy prices, failing states, falling water tables, climate change, decreasing… read more

An injectable ‘smart sponge’ for controlled drug delivery

July 19, 2013


Researchers have developed a drug delivery technique for diabetes treatment in which a sponge-like material surrounds an insulin core.

The sponge expands and contracts in response to blood sugar levels to release insulin as needed. The technique could also be used for targeted drug delivery to cancer cells.

“We wanted to mimic the function of healthy beta-cells, which produce insulin and control its release in a… read more

A Sci-Fi Future Awaits the Court

September 22, 2005

At John Roberts’ confirmation hearings last week, there weren’t enough discussions about science fiction. Technologies that are science fiction today will become constitutional questions before Roberts retires from the bench. The same goes for technologies that cannot even be conceived of now. And many of these questions involve privacy.

Reading minds with computers and fMRI

March 11, 2010

Stills from films

Past events leave unique “memory traces” in the hippocampus of the brain that can be distinguished from one another in fMRI brain scans, a study at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging at University College London has found.

While inside an fMRI scanner, volunteers were asked to recall each of three films they had just seen. A computer algorithm then identified which film the volunteer was recalling purely by… read more

Robot Guard-dragon Unveiled in Japan

November 13, 2002

The four-legged “guard dragon” robot sense smoke and alert its owners to a smoldering fire – via a howl or a mobile phone text message. The robot is one meter long, 80 centimeters high, 70 centimeters wide and weighs 40 kilograms. It can move at a top speed of 15 meters per minute – more than fast enough for a home robot designed to travel in confined, cluttered spaces, its… read more

Babies use grown-up memory tricks

July 20, 2008

Johns Hopkins University researchers have found that babies use the same technique as adults to overcome limits in their working memory (memory overload): grouping things into hierarchical categories.

The 14-month-old babies could only remember three things at a time, but those things could include both individual items or groups. The babies used natural groups (two cats or two cars), and would also learn to group items if the researchers… read more

Nanotubes refine computer memory

October 5, 2005

Nantero has succeeded in making circular wafers, 13 centimeters in diameter, that hold 10 gigabits of data and are ten times faster than flash memory.

Nantero calls its technology NRAM, nanotube-based, non-volatile random access memory.

The design involves suspending nanotube ribbons between points above a silicon chip, so that they form tiny bridges over electrodes lying below. When a charge is applied, the nanotube bridge curves… read more

Darpa Wants Self-Guiding, Storytelling Cameras

March 19, 2010

Combat Camera

DARPA is starting a new program called “The Mind’s Eye” to create an AI-based camera that can report back on war-zone activity with the same detail a trained human operative could offer.

Now Here’s a Really Big Idea

November 26, 2002

Darryl Macer, associate professor at the Institute of Biological Sciences at the University of Tsukuba in Japan, plans to create a human mental map — a database that would contain a log of every human idea.

By understanding which ideas are specific to certain cultures and which ones are universal, policy-makers can make more informed decisions about such agreements, Macer said.

Magnets Capture Cancer Cells

July 28, 2008
Nanoparticles (red) on cancer cell

Georgia Institute of Technology researchers have developed magnetic nanoparticles (coated with a specialized targeting peptide molecule) designed to latch onto ovarian cancer cells in mice and drag them out of the abdominal fluid to prevent metastasis.

See Also New Nano Weapon against Cancer

Cyborg cells sense humidity

October 18, 2005

Living bacteria have been incorporated into an electronic circuit to produce a sensitive humidity gauge.

The gold nanoparticles-plated “cellborg” is “essentially a first step towards a biological computer, and would have many applications,” says Ravi Saraf, a chemist from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.

Saraf speculates that similar devices could one day be made that take greater advantage of living organisms, perhaps even using bacteria’s energy systems to… read more

Has Viral Gone Viral?

March 30, 2010

Chatroulette’s viral growth — a million unique visitors a day after just three months, without any advertising or promotion, aided by social media, suggests that the already speedy clock of Internet time is running faster than ever.

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