science + technology news

Scientists create molecule-size keypad lock

December 29, 2006

Scientists have created a keypad lock a single molecule in size. The lock only activates when exposed to the correct password, a sequence of chemicals and light.

Researchers suggest their device could in the future lead to a new level of safeguards for secret information or recognize when certain sequences of chemicals are released in the body.

Scientists create nanoparticles that image brain tumors, increasing accuracy of surgical removal

April 17, 2012


Nanoparticles that can be imaged three different ways at once have enabled Stanford University School of Medicine scientists to remove brain tumors from mice with unprecedented accuracy.

A team led by Sam Gambhir, MD, PhD, professor and chair of radiology, showed that the nanoparticles engineered in his lab homed in on and highlighted brain tumors, precisely delineating their boundaries and greatly easing their… read more

Scientists create new lifeform with added DNA base pair

May 9, 2014

(Credit: iStock)

Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have engineered a bacterium whose genetic material includes an added pair of DNA “letters” (bases) not found in nature.

The research was intended to created new proteins — and even new organisms — that have never existed before.

“Life on Earth in all its diversity is encoded by only two pairs of DNA bases, A-T and C-G,read more

Scientists create ‘plastic’ blood

May 14, 2007

Sheffield University scientists have developed an artificial plastic blood that could act as a substitute in emergencies.

It is light to carry, does not need to be kept cool, and can be kept for longer. It is made up of plastic molecules that have an iron atom at their core, like hemoglobin, that can carry oxygen through the body.

Scientists Create Robot Surrogate For Blind Persons In Testing Visual Prostheses

October 20, 2009

(Caltech/Wolfgang Fink, Mark Tarbell)

Scientists at the California Institute of Technology have created a remote-controlled robot that is able to simulate the “visual” experience of a blind person who has been implanted with a visual prosthesis, such as an artificial retina using a silicon chip with electrodes that directly stimulate retinal nerve cells. The system allows for testing new prosthetic technologies.

Scientists create single-atom bit, smallest memory in the world

November 17, 2013

The scanning tunneling microscope makes single holmium atoms on a platinum surface visible. (Photo: KIT/T. Miyamachi)

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) researchers have taken a big step towards miniaturizing magnetic data memory down to a single-atom bit: they fixed a single atom on a surface so the magnetic spin remained stable for ten minutes.

“A single atom fixed to a substrate is [typically] so sensitive that its magnetic orientation is stable only for less than a microsecond,” said Wulf Wulfhekel of KIT.

A… read more

Scientists create super-strong collagen

January 13, 2010

University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers have created the strongest form of collagen known to science, a stable alternative to human collagen that could one day be used to treat arthritis and other conditions that result from collagen defects.

Scientists create synthetic membranes that grow like living cells

June 23, 2015


Chemists and biologists at UC San Diego have succeeded in designing and synthesizing an artificial cell membrane capable of sustaining continual growth, just like a living cell.

Their achievement will allow scientists to more accurately replicate the behavior of living cell membranes, which until now have been modeled only by synthetic cell membranes without the ability to add new phospholipids.

“The… read more

Scientists create the sensation of invisibility

Could help reduce stress in challenging social situations
April 24, 2015

Ph.D. student Zakaryah Abdulkarim, M.D., shows how to create the illusion of invisibility in the lab (photomontage). (Credit: Staffan Larsson)

How would it feel to be invisible? Neuroscientists at Sweden’s Karolinska Institutet have found out. It can actually changes your physical stress response in challenging social situations, for example.

The history of literature features many well-known narrations of invisibility and its effect on the human mind, such as the myth of Gyges’ ring in Plato’s dialogue The Republic and the science fiction novel The Invisible Man by H.G.… read more

Scientists create tiny backpacks for cells

November 6, 2008

MIT engineers have outfitted cells with tiny “backpacks” that could allow them to deliver chemotherapy agents, diagnose tumors or become building blocks for tissue engineering.

Scientists create world’s first molecular transistor

December 24, 2009


The first transistor made from a single molecule has been created by researchers from Yale University and the Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology in South Korea.

The researchers were able to manipulate a benzene molecule’s different energy states, depending on the voltage they applied to it through gold contacts, to control the current passing through the molecule.

Scientists create world’s tiniest ear

January 16, 2012


The “nano-ear,” a nanoparticle of gold 60 nanometers in diameter held in optical tweezers (a laser beam) can detect sound at -60 dB, a million times fainter than the threshold for human hearing.

The Ludwig Maximilian University researchers suggest the work could open up a whole new field of “acoustic microscopy,” in which organisms are studied using the sound they emit, using 3D arrays of nano-ears working together to… read more

Scientists Cure Color Blindness In Monkeys

September 17, 2009

Gene therapy was used to cure two squirrel monkeys of color blindness, opening up the potential for gene therapy to treat adult vision disorders involving cone cells, such as macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. researchers from the University of Washington and the University of Florida have found.

“What I want is to see is gene therapy that will turn human beings from trichromats (seeing one million colors) into pentachromats… read more

Scientists debate blending of human, animal forms

November 22, 2004

How human must a chimera (hybrid animal) be before more stringent research rules should kick in?

During one recent meeting, scientists disagreed on such basic issues as whether it would be unethical for a human embryo to begin its development in an animal’s womb, and whether a mouse would be better or worse off with a brain made of human neurons.

Scientists debate value of citizens’ advisory panels

August 6, 2003

The National Science Foundation is experimenting with a system of citizens’ advisory panels to consider the ethical, social and practical implications of new technologies and recommend policies that might reduce misunderstanding and obstruction on issues such as genetically modified foods and nanotechnology.

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