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New hydrogel improves delivery of breast-cancer treatment

November 6, 2013


The Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) in Singapore and IBM Research (IBM) have developed a new non-toxic hydrogel that is capable of shrinking breast cancer tumors more rapidly than existing therapies.

As described in their publication in Advanced Functional Materials, the Vitamin E-incorporated hydrogel can be easily injected under the skin without causing any inflammatory response, and releases anti-cancer drugs in a sustained manner… read more

Southeast Asia’s first nanomedicine research institute gets $60 million funding

November 6, 2013

NTU is the world's largest engineering university

Nanyang Technological University (NTU) is establishing the new $60 million Nanomedicine Institute@NTU to focus on applications of nanotechnology for diabetes, cardiovascular, ophthalmology, and skin therapeutics.

Set to be Southeast Asia’s first research institute in nanomedicine, the new institute will be headed by Professor Subbu Venkatraman, Chair of NTU’s School of Materials Science and Engineering, with Professor Chad Mirkin from Northwestern University as the chairman of its advisory committee.… read more

Findings may lead to new tissue cryopreservation methods for grafts and organ transplantations

November 6, 2013


Researchers have gained new information about the processes that promote freezing of cells within tissues, which could ultimately lead to novel approaches for preventing tissue injury during cryopreservation, they report in the Nov. 5 issue of the Biophysical Journal (open access), a Cell Press publication.

Developing an efficient way to freeze and store living tissues could transform many aspects of medical care and research, but… read more

Tens of billions of potentially habitable, Earth-size planets in our galaxy, say astronomers

The nearest such planet may be within 12 light-years
November 6, 2013

Artist’s representation of the “habitable zone,” the range of orbits where liquid water is permitted on the surface of a planet. The authors find that 22% of Sun-like stars harbor a planet between one and two times the size of Earth in the habitable zone (credit: UC Berkeley)

One in five stars in our galaxy like the Sun have planets about the size of Earth and a surface temperature conducive to life, astronomers at UC Berkeley and University of Hawaii, Manoa now estimate.

The estimate was based on a statistical analysis of all the Kepler observations of NASA’s Kepler space telescope of the 200 billion stars in our galaxy.

Given that about… read more

Black holes found in globular star clusters, upsetting 40 years of theory

November 6, 2013

The black hole above was discovered in the M62 star cluster, which is 23,000 light years away from Earth. These star clusters contain some of the oldest stars in the galaxy. (Credit: Texas Tech University)

Astrophysicists have discovered another example of a black hole in a globular star cluster for a total of three, upsetting 40 years of theories against their possible existence.

Tom Maccarone, a Texas Tech University associate professor of physics, said globular star clusters are large groupings of stars thought to contain some of the oldest stars in the universe and could have… read more

Metamaterial might improve TMS depression treatment

November 5, 2013

TMS headpiece

A brain stimulation technique that is used to treat tough cases of depression could be considerably improved with a new headpiece designed by University of Michigan engineers.

Computer simulations showed that the headpiece — a square array of 64 circular metallic coils — could one day help researchers and doctors hit finer targets in the brain that are twice as deep as they can reach… read more

How nanotechnology can advance regenerative medicine

November 5, 2013


Nanotechnology may provide new strategies for regenerative medicine, including better tools to improve or restore damaged tissues, according to a review paper that summarizes the current state of knowledge on nanotechnology with application to stem cell biology.

Researchers have found that the adhesion, growth, and differentiation of stem cells are likely controlled by their surrounding microenvironment, which contains both chemical and physical cues. These cues include the… read more

‘No morsel too minuscule for NSA,’ says New York Times

November 5, 2013


“From thousands of classified documents, the National Security Agency emerges as an electronic omnivore of staggering capabilities, eavesdropping and hacking its way around the world to strip governments and other targets of their secrets, all the while enforcing the utmost secrecy about its own operations,” The New York Times claims.

“A review of classified agency documents obtained by Mr. Snowden and shared with The New York Timesread more

Making robots more like us

November 4, 2013

NaoBOT robot

Robots are beginning to move around in the world and perform tasks as humans do, The New York Times reports.

Many of the new generation of robots are tele-operated from a distance, but are increasingly doing tasks independent of direct human control. …

Today’s robot designers believe that their creations will become therapists, caregivers, guides and security guards, and will ultimately perform virtually any form of… read more

New implantable sensor may allow long-term monitoring of cancer cells and glucose

Carbon nanotubes that detect nitric oxide can be implanted under the skin for more than a year
November 4, 2013


MIT chemists have built a sensor using carbon nanotubes that can monitor nitric oxide (NO) in living animals for more than a year.

Nitric oxide (NO) is one of the most important signaling molecules in living cells, carrying messages within the brain and coordinating immune system functions. In many cancerous cells, levels are perturbed.

“Nitric oxide has contradictory roles in cancer progression, and we need new… read more

Americans’ media consumption to soar in 2015

Predicts by 2015, average media consumption will be 15.5 hours a day per person
November 4, 2013


A total of 6.9 zettabytes of media flows to individuals and households in a year — that’s 6.9 million million gigabytes.… read more

Google’s secret revealed: barge to offer high-end showrooms, party deck

November 3, 2013


Google’s mysterious floating barge on San Francisco Bay will feature luxury showrooms and a party deck for the tech giant to market Google Glass and other gadgets to invitation-only clients, according to KPIX 5 in San Francisco.

The station cited “multiple sources” including at least one who has been aboard the barge, and said it was dreamed up at Google X, the company’s secret facility.… read more

How economic growth has become anti-life

November 3, 2013

"Economic growth begins when seeds are genetically modified and patented, leading to farmers having to buy seeds every season" (credit: Raminder Pal Singh/EPA)

“An obsession with growth has eclipsed our concern for sustainability, justice and human dignity. But people are not disposable — the value of life lies outside economic development,” writes philosopher, environmental activist, and author Vandana Shiva at The Guardian.

“Limitless growth is the fantasy of economists, businesses and politicians,” she says. “It is seen as a measure of progress. As a result, gross domestic product (GDP), which is supposed… read more

Hangout on Air: Which technologies will have the biggest impact by 2025?

November 2, 2013

London Futurists

Which five futuristic technologies are likely to have the biggest impact by 2025? And what can people start doing, from today, to prepare for the changes and to ensure positive outcomes?

This London Futurists Hngout on Air featured a live discussion between futurists Kevin Russell,Peter Rothman, Riva-Melissa Tez, Clyde DeSouza, and José Luis Cordeiro.

When: 7 pm to 8.30 pm London time (2 pm to 3:30 pm EST) on… read more

Study with totally blind people shows how light helps activate the brain

November 1, 2013

Photoreceptive ganglion cell (credit: David Berson's lab/Brown University)

Light stimulates brain activity during a cognitive task even in some people who are totally blind, according to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Montreal and Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

“We were stunned to discover  that the brain still responds to light in these rare three completely blind patients  despite having absolutely no conscious vision at all,” said senior co-author Steven… read more

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