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Decoders target 18 new genomes

August 5, 2004

The National Human Genome Research Institute plans to sequence genomes for 18 species to shed light on both the human genome and the evolution of the entire tree of life.

Among the diverse organisms selected are the African savannah elephant, the domestic cat, the nine-banded armadillo and a cadre of moulds, snails and worms.

First Results From The Allen Telescope Array

August 13, 2009

The Allen Telescope Array, a joint operation between the SETI Institute in Mountain View and the University of California, Berkeley, has imaged the movement of atomic hydrogen clouds in the intergalactic space between nearby galaxies, which could help solve one of the big mysteries of star formation.

Turning Glare Into Watts

March 6, 2008
(Isaac Brekke/The New York Times)

As prices rise for fossil fuels and worries grow about their contribution to global warming, solar thermal plants are being viewed as a renewable power source with huge potential.

The technology involves covering acres of desert with mirrors that focus intense sunlight on a fluid, heating it enough to make steam. The steam turns a turbine and generates electricity. Some experts say that solar thermal plants could… read more

Alpha Lipoic acid explored as an anti-aging compound

May 22, 2007

Researchers have identified the mechanism of action of lipoic acid, a remarkable compound that in animal experiments appears to slow down the process of aging, improve blood flow, enhance immune function and perform many other functions.

New Technique That Improves The Power Of Atomic Force Microscopy

August 18, 2004

Researchers have developed a method that could vastly improve the ability of atomic force microscopes (AFM) to “see” the chemical composition of a sample on a nanometer scale, follow variations of the sample, and map its topographic structure.

To use the AFM in its new mode, the researchers attached antibodies keyed to individual proteins to the tip of an AFM’s probe. When an antibody reacts with the protein it… read more

Video appears in paper magazines

August 21, 2009

The first video-in-print ads, using chips and thin screens around the size of mobile phone displays, will appear in select copies of Entertainment Weekly magazine in September and hold 40 minutes of video.

The first clips will be promos for CBS programs and Pepsi.

Testing Over, Hulu.com to Open Its TV and Film Offerings This Week

March 11, 2008

Hulu.com will make its catalog of TV shows and video clips available to anyone on the Web starting Wednesday.

The streaming-video site displays free, ad-supported shows and feature films from NBC, Fox and more than 50 media companies, including Sony Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

Russia bans human tissue export in bioweapon alert

May 31, 2007

Russia has banned the shipment of medical specimens abroad, threatening hundreds of patients and complicating drug trials by major companies, the national Kommersant newspaper reported.

Kommersant attributed the ban to fears in the secret service that Russian genetic material could be used abroad to make biochemical weapons targeting Russians.

A high-fat diet may rapidly injure brain cells that control body weight

June 9, 2011

Obesity among people who eat a high-fat diet may involve injury to neurons, researchers at the Diabetes and Obesity Center of Excellence at the University of Washington have shown.

The researchers studied the brains of rodents for the short-term and long-term effects of eating a high-fat diet. After giving groups of 6 to 10 rats and mice a high-fat diet for periods from one day… read more

First practical plastic magnets created

September 1, 2004

The world’s first plastic magnet to work at room temperature has passed the elementary test of magnetism.

One of the most likely applications is magnetic coating of computer hard disks, which could lead to a new generation of high-capacity disks.

Plastic magnets could also have important medical applications, for example in dentistry or the transducers used in cochlear implants. Organic magnetic materials are less likely to be rejected… read more

Where Have You Gone, Bell Labs?

August 31, 2009

The root of the current lack of new, high-quality job creation is the massive scaling back of science and engineering research, which has in the past made enormous contributions to science, technology, and the economy, including the creation of millions of high-paying jobs, says management consultant Adrian Slywotzky.

Here’s what’s needed to get that model back on track, he suggests:

• Clear national goals in two or three… read more

An Assistant Who May Need the Occasional Battery

March 17, 2008

Georgia Tech researchers have built “El-E,” a laser-pointer guided robot that can fetch objects as varied as towels, wallets, or coffee mugs with no need for elaborate computer modeling.

The laser pointer gives the robot just enough context and guidance to solve the problem of figuring out which object in a room to pick up.

This type of dexterous robot may be helpful in assisting people with severely… read more

FCC: Broadband Usage Has Tripled

September 13, 2004

The number of U.S. broadband subscribers has tripled in recent years, according to an FCC report.

The report also says that the number of users of broadband services (speeds exceeding 200 kbps in both directions) soared to 28 million in December 2003 from 9.6 million in 2001.

Forty-three percent of Internet-enabled households will have high-speed connections by the end of this year, according to IDC, up from 36… read more

College for $99 a Month

September 7, 2009

The next generation of online education could be great for students — and catastrophic for universities, as a great deal of money is going to abruptly melt out of the higher education system, just as it has in scores of other industries that traffic in information that is now far cheaper and more easily accessible than it has ever been before, says Kevin Carey, the policy director of Education Sector,… read more

‘Designer enzymes’ created by chemists

March 19, 2008

UCLA and the University of Washington chemists have created “designer enzymes” for generating reactions not possible with natural enzymes–a major milestone in computational chemistry and protein engineering.

The UCLA team used supercomputers to model the detailed mechanisms of chemical reactions and design the enzymes’ active site–the area of the enzymes in which the chemical reactions take place. The U of W team designed sequences of amino acids that folded… read more

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