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Speed Limit To The Pace Of Evolution, Biologists Say

November 3, 2009

University of Pennsylvania researchers have developed a theoretical model that provides quantitative predictions for the speed of evolution on various “fitness landscapes,” the dynamic and varied conditions under which bacteria, viruses and even humans adapt.

A major conclusion of the work is that for some organisms, possibly including humans, continued evolution will not translate into ever-increasing fitness.

Speed of brain signals clocked

July 6, 2011

Two studies featuring research from Weill Cornell Medical College have uncovered details have uncovered surprising details about the complex process that leads to the flow of neurotransmitters between brain neurons — a dance of chemical messages so delicate that missteps often lead to neurological dysfunctions, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia and other neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders.

Speed of vesicle recovery
The first study… read more

Speed of light broken with basic lab kit

September 16, 2002

Electric signals can be transmitted at least four times faster than the speed of light using only basic equipment, Tennessee State University physicists have discovered.

However, signals also get weaker and more distorted the faster they go, so in theory no useful information can get transmitted at faster-than-light speeds.

Speed of light may have changed recently

July 1, 2004

The speed of light may have been lower as recently as two billion years ago on Earth, based on measurements of the fine structure constant, or alpha, which dictates the strength of the electromagnetic force.

Speed Reading of DNA May Help Cancer Treatment

March 9, 2010

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University have developed a way to monitor the progress of a patient’s cancer treatment using a new technique for rapidly sequencing, or decoding, large amounts of DNA.

It uses mitochondrial DNA as markers of cancerous cells, based on the finding that more than 80 percent of cancers had mutations in their mitochondrial DNA.

Speed thrills with neural networks

February 17, 2006

Software and hardware-based neural network-based techniques are being successfully applied to engine control and diagnostics in automotive embedded systems.

Taking them further, Steve Furber, ICL Professor of Computer Engineering at Manchester University, is planning to model various ways in which neurons may express information in their patterns of spikes, based on the assumption that populations of neurons producing firing patterns have a very high information capacity, based on the… read more

Speed-of-light computing comes a step closer

July 20, 2007

Harvard University researchers have devised a light-based transistor made of semiconducting nanowires that could be a key building block of machines that are hundreds of times faster than today’s supercomputers.

It uses a single photon to switch the state of a light beam. This is the first workable suggestion for building an optical computer, they say.

Speedier Bug Catching

March 31, 2010

Engineers at Stanford University have proposed a new method called “instruction footprint recording and analysis” (IFRA) to help locate bugs in a fraction of the time normally required.

About 1 percent of the transistors on a chip are used to record a log of chip activity–the instructions that pass through the chip’s circuits. This log can be extracted from the chip, dumped into a computer, and analyzed to find… read more

Speedier cell-phone circuitry

June 10, 2011

Graphene circuit (credit: Science/AAAS)

Researchers at IBM have made the best integrated circuits yet from graphene, a material that promises much faster components than silicon allows, but has proven difficult to work with.

The team made the circuits using existing manufacturing methods, showing that graphene could be used to make faster, more power-efficient radio communications circuitry for cell phones, and other wireless devices.

The researchers made a frequency mixer, combining one graphene… read more

Speeding up biomolecular evolution

April 11, 2011

Scientists at Harvard University have harnessed the ability of fast-replicating bacterial viruses to accelerate the evolution of biomolecules in the laboratory.

The research exploited the continuous culture and selection of bacterial viruses to enable the continuous directed evolution of proteins and nucleic acids. This phage-assisted continuous evolution (PACE) is roughly 100 times faster than conventional laboratory evolution, and far less labor-intensive for scientists.

The… read more

Speeding up brain networks might boost IQ

June 10, 2009

After analyzing the brain as an incredibly dense network of interconnected points, a team of Dutch scientists has found that the most efficiently wired brains tend to belong to the most intelligent people.

And improving this efficiency with drugs suggests a way to boost intelligence, say researchers.

Speeding up genome sequencing

November 25, 2003

The BioMEMS 768 Sequencer can sequence the entire human genome in only one year, processing up to 7 million DNA letters a day, about seven times faster than its nearest rival. It will be tested at Whitehead Institute this fall.

The technology eventually will help scientists quickly determine the exact genetic sequence of the DNA of many different organisms, and could lead to faster forensic analysis of DNA gathered… read more

Speeding up lab testing for medical diagnosis and toxin detection

Faster, less expensive device gives lab test results in 15 minutes at point-of-care
July 13, 2012

SpinDx-device

Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories have developed a lab-on-a-disk platform that they believe will be faster, less expensive and more versatile than similar medical diagnostic tools.

Lab officials are seeking industry partners to license and commercialize the SpinDx technology, which can determine a patient’s white blood cell count, analyze important protein markers, and process up to 64 assays from a single sample, all… read more

Speedy robot legs it to break record

April 5, 2006

Runbot, a two-legged robot that walks at record-breaking speed, has been developed by researchers from Germany and Scotland.

At 30 centimeters high, it can walk at a speedy 3.5 leg-lengths per second. The robot is controlled by a simple program that mimics the way neurons control reflexes in humans and other animals: it detects just two things — when a foot touches the ground and when a leg swings… read more

Speedy silicon sets world record

August 18, 2006

A simple tweak to the way common silicon transistors are made — adding fluorine implants to the silicon layers using a common ion-implantation manufacturing process — could allow them to operate at a speed of about 110GHz, using existing silicon manufacturing technology.

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