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Creating magnetic clouds in graphene and switching them on and off

Could lead to transistor-like graphene devices
June 14, 2013

Controlling magnetic clouds in graphene.

A University of Manchester team led by Dr. Irina Grigorieva has discovered how to create elementary magnetic moments in graphene and then switch them on and off, opening a new avenue towards electronics with very low energy consumption..

This is the first time magnetism itself has been toggled, rather than the magnetization direction being reversed.

Each micro-magnet allows a bit of information (0 or… read more

How to quickly generate a large quantity of personalized nerve cells

Personalized regenerative medicine breakthrough
June 14, 2013

ESC-generated neurons

A team under the direction of Stanford cell physiologist and neuroscientist Tom Sudhof, PhD, has shown that in human ESCs or iPSCs, just boosting the level of a single transcription factor results in an abundant and quite pure population of nerve cells withinread more

A global quantum network

June 14, 2013

Atoms, coupled to a glass fiber - the basis of the worldwide communication network of the future?

By quantum-mechanically coupling laser-cooled atoms to glass fiber cables, Vienna University of Technology researchers have developed a way to store quantum information over a long enough period of time to allow for entangling atoms hundreds of kilometers apart via fiber cables.

This finding is a fundamental building block for a global fiber-based quantum communication network, the researchers suggest.

Atoms and light

“In our… read more

European neuroscience projects to benefit from hybrid supercomputer memory

June 14, 2013


To handle large amounts of data from detailed brain models used in the Blue Brain Project and the Human Brain Project, IBM Research, EPFL, and ETH Zürich are collaborating on a new hybrid memory strategy for supercomputers.

The Blue Brain Project, for example, is building detailed models of the rodent brain based on vast amounts of information — incorporating experimental data and a large number of parameters — to describe… read more

A simple, non-invasive gene therapy restores sight

Can now safely insert repair genes into photoreceptors in the fine-vision fovea
June 14, 2013


UC Berkeley researchers have developed an new method for inserting genes into retina cells that is easier and more effective, It could greatly expand gene therapy to help restore sight to patients with blinding diseases ranging from inherited defects like retinitis pigmentosa to degenerative illnesses of old age, such as macular degeneration.

Unlike current treatments, the new procedure delivers genes to hard-to-reach cells throughout the entire retina,… read more

Crowd-sourcing messaging to intelligent life

June 13, 2013

Jamesburg Earth Station

Lone Signal believes that crowd sourcing messaging to intelligent life (METI) is the ideal approach to establishing a stable, cohesive, and well-resourced interstellar beacon on Earth.

Lone Signal allows anyone with Internet access to compose and transmit messages to strategically targeted stellar systems.

Launching June 18, 2013, Lone Signal’s unfettered access to the broadcasting capacity of Jamesburg Earth Station in Carmel, CA allows them to target the closest known… read more

Online learning at Stanford goes open source with OpenEdX

MIT, Harvard study: what works in online learning?
June 13, 2013


Stanford online coursework will be available starting this summer on a new open-source platform, OpenEdX, the university has announced.

In April, Stanford and edX, the nonprofit online learning enterprise founded by Harvard and MIT, announced they would collaborate on future development of the edX online platform. As part of that effort, edX has released the platform as open-source for developers around the world to… read more

The world as free-fire zone

How drones made it easy for Americans to kill a particular person anywhere on the planet
June 13, 2013

Reaper Drone (Credit: USAF)

“The rise of the drone is not a case of technology run amok. It is the result of human decision: of political calculation and, too often, strategic evasion,” says author Fred Kaplan in MIT Technology Review.

“Judging from its expanded use over the past five years, the drone’s chief danger is that it makes war too easy — so easy that commanders, including the commander-in-chief, can fool themselves… read more

Turning human spare parts into exports

June 13, 2013


Professor György K.B. Sándor believes that tissue engineering can become a new global export item.

Sándor specializes in oral and maxillofacial surgery, and does research on bone regeneration, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, tissue engineering, and stem cells.

The goal of his research at the University of Tampere in Finland is to produce bone and cartilage using tissue engineering and to optimize the use of tissue-derived stem cells for… read more

Video gamers capture more information faster for visual decision-making

June 13, 2013


Hours spent at the video gaming console probably train the brain to make better and faster use of visual input, according to Duke University researchers.

“Gamers see the world differently,” said Greg Appelbaum, an assistant professor of psychiatry in the Duke School of Medicine. “They are able to extract more information from a visual scene.”

The study

In… read more

New tasks become as simple as waving a hand with brain-computer interfaces

A new marker for BCI task learning
June 13, 2013

This image shows the changes that took place in the brain for all patients participating in the study using a brain-computer interface. Changes in activity were distributed widely throughout the brain. (Credit: University of Washington)

Small brain-computer interface (BCI) electrodes placed on or inside the brain allow patients to interact with computers or control robotic limbs simply by thinking about how to execute those actions.

This technology could improve communication and daily life for a person who is paralyzed or has lost the ability to speak from a stroke or neurodegenerative disease.

Now, University of Washington researchers have demonstrated that… read more

Nanofiber sensor instantly detects diabetes or lung cancer in breath

Expect these sensors for medical diagnosis in smartphones and tricorders
June 13, 2013

Breath sensor-cover

Researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) have developed a highly sensitive exhaled-breath sensor, using tin dioxide (SnO2)  fibers assembled from thin, wrinkled SnO2 nanotubes.

These metal-oxide nanofiber-based chemiresistive gas sensors allow for portable real-time breath tests that could be available on smart phones or tablets in the near future.

They sensors allow for diagnosing serious diseases such as diabetes or lung… read more

A diabetes ‘breathalyzer’

June 12, 2013

A transmission electron microscopy image of the hybrid material revealing the formation of “titanium dioxide on a stick” (credit:

Diabetes patients often receive their diagnosis after a series of glucose-related blood tests in hospital settings, and then have to monitor their condition daily through expensive, invasive methods. But what if diabetes could be diagnosed and monitored through cheaper, noninvasive methods?

Chemists at the University of Pittsburgh have demonstrated a sensor technology that could significantly simplify the diagnosis and monitoring of diabetes through breath analysis… read more

Astrobiologists find Martian clay contains chemical implicated in the origin of life

June 12, 2013

Electron microscope image showing the 700-million-year-old Martian clay veins containing boron (100 µm = one tenth of a millimeter) (credit:

Researchers from the University of Hawaii at Manoa NASA Astrobiology Institute (UHNAI) have discovered high concentrations of boron in a Martian meteorite.

When present in its oxidized form (borate), boron may have played a key role in the formation of RNA, one of the building blocks for life. The work was published on June 6 in open-access PLOS One.

“Borates may have been important… read more

Lifespan-extending drug given late in life reverses age-related heart disease in mice

June 12, 2013


Elderly mice suffering from age-related heart disease saw a significant improvement in cardiac function after being treated with the FDA-approved drug rapamycin for just three months.

The research, led by a team of scientists at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging, shows how rapamycin impacts mammalian tissues, providing functional insights and possible benefits for a drug that has been shown to extend the lifespan… read more

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