science + technology news

Scientist proposes adhesive Spider-Man suit

April 30, 2007

In an upcoming paper, Nicola Pugno, a professor of structural engineering at the Polytechnic University in Turin, Italy, discusses formulas for fashioning carbon nanotubes into superadhesive gloves and boots that could be used to create a Spider-Man-like suit in the near future.

He also outlines a theory for using carbon nanotubes to create large invisible cables that could act as human-strength cobwebs.

Scientist: Holographic television to become reality

October 7, 2008

University of Arizona scientists have developed the first updatable three-dimensional display with memory.

The researchers produced displays that can be erased and rewritten in a matter of minutes. They believe it could reach the market within five to ten years.

Scientist: Human brain could be replicated in 10 years

September 8, 2009

Inhibitory neurons in the neocortex (Blue Brain Project, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne)

A model that replicates the functions of the human brain is feasible in 10 years according to neuroscientist Professor Henry Markram of the Brain Mind Institute in Switzerland.

“A brain model will sit on a massive supercomputer and serve as a kind of educational and diagnostic service to society,” he said. “As the industrial revolution in science progresses we will generate more data than anyone can track or any… read more

Scientists a step nearer to creating artificial life

September 10, 2007

Enrico Fermi researchers have made simple cells comprising a fatty membrane containing just 36 enzymes and purified ribosomes. The primitive cells are capable of manufacturing protein from one gene.

The ultimate aim is to build a living thing from the bottom up.

Scientists able to zoom in and out as the brain processes sound

Mouse research could lead to better treatments for hearing loss
August 18, 2014

A two-photon microscopy image showing a calcium sensor (green), the nuclei of neurons (red) and supporting cells called astrocytes (magenta). (Credit: John Issa/Johns Hopkins Medicine)

Researchers at Johns Hopkins have mapped a new technique for watching auditory processing in the brains of mice as brain cells lit up when the mice listened to tones and one another’s calls.

The results, which represent a step toward better understanding how our own brains process language, appear online July 31 in the journal Neuron.

In the past, researchers often studied sound processing… read more

Scientists accurately predict age using just a saliva sample

June 23, 2011

Geneticists at the University of California, Los Angeles, have discovered a way to use saliva to reveal how old you are.

The researchers used saliva samples contributed by 34 pairs of identical male twins between the ages of 21 and 55. They scoured the men’s genomes and identified 88 sites on the DNA that strongly correlated methylation to age. They replicated their findings in a general… read more

Scientists achieve first rewire of genetic switches

January 26, 2010

University of Manchester researchers have successfully carried out the first rewire of genetic switches, creating what could be a vital tool for the development of new drugs and even future gene therapies.

They rewired the genetic switches of bacteria so they are activated by a synthetic molecule instead of naturally occurring molecules found in cells.

Scientists achieve fuel gain exceeding unity in confined fusion implosion

February 13, 2014

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The milestone of achieving fuel gains greater than 1 has been reached at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) National Ignition Facility (NIF) — for the first time ever at any facility.

Ignition — the process of releasing fusion energy equal to or greater than the amount of energy used to confine the fuel — has long been considered the “holy grail” of inertial confinement… read more

Scientists adapt economics theory to trace brain’s information flow

October 10, 2008

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine and Florida Atlantic University have used the “Granger causality” technique, originally developed to use current economic data to forecast changes in the economy, to determine the flow of information from one part of the brain to another.

The economic technique involves comparisons of streams of data known as time series, such as fluctuations in the stock market index.

It will provide… read more

Scientists adroitly manipulate a quantum bit using laser light alone

May 6, 2013

An artist's rendering of all-optical control of an individual electronic spin within a diamond. This spin is associated with a naturally occurring defect in diamond known as the nitrogen-vacancy center, a promising quantum bit (qubit) for quantum information processing. In their recently published paper, Yale et al. develop techniques to initialize, manipulate, and read out the electronic spin of this qubit using only pulses of light. Image courtesy of Peter Allen. (Credit: UC Santa Barbara)

By using light, researchers at UC Santa Barbara have manipulated the quantum state of a single atomic-sized defect in diamond — the nitrogen-vacancy center — in a method that allows for more unified control than conventional processes.

The method is also more versatile, and opens up the possibility of exploring new solid-state quantum systems.

“In contrast to conventional electronics, we developed an all-optical scheme… read more

Scientists advance safety of nanotechnology

June 11, 2009

An autophagy inhibitor has counteracted nanoparticle-induced lung damage in mice from ployamidoamine dendrimers (cause lung damage by triggering programmed autophagic cell death), Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences researchers have found.

The findings suggest that compounds could be developed that could be incorporated into the nano product to protect against lung damage, or patients could be given pills to counteract the effects. The findings could also provide important insights into… read more

Scientists aim to boost world energy supplies — with microbes

April 30, 2008

Newcastle University and University of Calgary scientists expect to begin trials ih May to find out if microbes can unlock the vast amount of energy trapped in the world’s unrecoverable heavy oil deposits.

An estimated six trillion barrels of oil remain underground because the oil has become either solid or too thick to be brought to the surface at economic cost by conventional means.

The scientists’ research has… read more

Scientists allowed to experiment on hybrid embryos

May 18, 2007

Two teams of British researchers are seeking permission to create “cybrid” embryos that would be around 99.9 per cent human and 0.1 per cent animal to produce embryonic stem cells.

They want to use the stem cells to understand and provide new treatments for diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, cystic fibrosis, motor neuron disease and Huntington’s.

Scientists and bankers — a new model army

April 12, 2012

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Bankers must surrender more information on their activities to scientists to use it to build better system-wide financial models, says John Liechty, director of the Center for the Study of Global Financial Stability and Professor of Marketing and Statistics at Pennsylvania State University in University Park.

Existing financial models failed to predict the crisis of 2008 and the follow-on crisis of 2011–12. They missed the huge system-wide risks that… read more

Scientists Announce First 3-D Assembly Of Magnetic And Semiconducting Nanoparticles

June 27, 2003

Scientists from Columbia University, IBM and the University of New Orleans today announced a new, three-dimensional designer material assembled from two different types of nanoparticles.

In the June 26 issue of the journal Nature, the team describes the precision chemistry methods developed to tune the particles’ sizes in increments of less than one nanometer and to tailor the experimental conditions so the particles would assemble themselves into repeating 3-D… read more

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