Oldest

Self-braking cars will save thousands of lives

October 8, 2012

car_crash

How effective are systems that warn a driver about an impending front collision, then slam on the brakes if the driver doesn’t act quickly enough?

A lot, says a paper recently published in IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems, IEEE Spectrum Tech Talk reports.

Researchers at Virginia Tech’s Center for Injury Biomechanics studied systems that rely on radar to tell the car when it is coming… read more

The CIA and Jeff Bezos bet on quantum computing

October 8, 2012

dwave_ones_in_the_lab_large

With funding from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and the CIA’s investment arm, the Canadian company D-Wave Systems is gaining momentum for its revolutionary approach to computing, Technology Review reports.

D-Wave’s supercooled processor is designed to handle what software engineers call “optimization” problems, the core of conundrums such as figuring out the most efficient delivery route, or how the atoms in a protein will move around when it meets… read more

A simple way to cloak objects at microwave frequencies to improve transmission

October 8, 2012

sylinteri

A metal object can be made invisible to to electromagnetic radiation at microwave frequencies by approximately 70 per cent with the help of ordinary plastic, Aalto University researchers have shown.

In practical terms, this means that electromagnetic waves travelling, for example, between two antennas, do not detect an object located in their path, allowing the waves to travel the distance between them despite the obstacle, without any disruption… read more

Brainless slime mold uses external spatial ‘memory’ to navigate complex environments

Slime mold smarter than some robots
October 9, 2012

Photograph of P. polycephalum plasmodium showing (A) extending pseudopod, (B) search front, (C) tubule network, and (D) extracellular slime<br />
deposited where the cell has previously explored. The food disk containing the inoculation of plasmodial culture is depicted at (E).

They only have a single cell — no brain, but slime molds “remember” where they’ve been.

How? The brainless slime mold Physarum polycephalum constructs a form of spatial “memory” by avoiding areas it has previously explored, researchers at University of Sydney and Université Toulouse III have discovered.

“As it moves, the plasmodium leaves behind a thick mat of nonliving, translucent, extracellular slime,” the scientists said in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, October 8.… read more

Moore’s Law threatened by lithography woes

October 9, 2012

707px-Extreme_ultraviolet_lithography_tool

Moore’s Law is losing steam due to delayed introduction of next-generation extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUV), said experts at the 2012 International Symposium on Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography, EE Times reports.

EUV systems need light sources that are nearly 20 times more powerful than the ones used today to lay down patterns on next-generation chips that target sizes as small as 14 nm. Lithography experts said that… read more

New imaging technologies transforming medicine

October 9, 2012

fantastic-voyage

A new wave of imaging technologies is transforming the practice of medicine, The New York Times reports, to give doctors an instantaneous diagnosis, as well as inexpensive systems, often based on smartphones, that can extend advanced imaging technologies to the entire world.

Driven largely by the falling cost of computing and the increasing availability of other miniaturization technologies, including nanotechnology, they include:

  • Endoscopes that use

read more

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2012 awarded to Gurdon, Yamanaka

October 9, 2012

Gurdon - Yamanaka

The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet has awarded The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2012 jointly to John B. Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka for the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent.

The Nobel Prize recognizes two scientists who discovered that mature, specialized cells can be reprogrammed to become immature cells capable of developing into all tissues of the body. Their findings have revolutionized our… read more

Nanoparticles against cellular aging

October 9, 2012

Intracellular controlled release of molecules within senescent cells was achieved using mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) capped with a galacto-oligosaccharide (GOS) to contain the cargo molecules (magenta spheres; see scheme). The GOS is a substrate of the senescent biomarker, senescence-associated β-galactosidase (SA-β-gal), and releases the cargo upon entry into SA-β-gal expressing cells. (Credit: Alessandro Agostini et al./Angewandte Chemie)

A team of Spanish scientists has developed nanoparticles to selectively release therapeutic substances in aged human cells.

They are intended to treat diseases involving cellular degeneration of tissue, such as cancer, Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s, among other accelerated aging pathologies.

The mesoporous nanoparticles contain galactooligosaccharide (a chemical normally used in probiotics, which are pills to stimulate growth of healthy bacteria).

The next step of this research is… read more

2012 Nobel Prize in Physics for Measuring and Manipulating Individual Quantum Systems

October 9, 2012

nobelphysics2012

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Nobel Prize in Physics for 2012 to Serge Haroche, Collège de France and Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris, France and David J. WinelandNational Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and University of Colorado Boulder, CO, USA ”for ground-breaking experimental methods that enable measuring and manipulation of individual quantum systems.”

Quantum mechanics, the study of how matter interacts with energy at the scale… read more

How to draw a chemical sensor with carbon-nanotube ‘pencil lead’

October 10, 2012

drawing-nanotubes-mit

New low-cost, durable carbon nanotube sensors can be etched with mechanical pencils.

The methods typically used to fabricate carbon nanotube sensors are hazardous and not suited for large-scale production. But a new  method created by MIT chemists — as simple to use as drawing a line on a sheet of paper — may overcome that obstacle.

MIT postdoc Katherine Mirica has designed a new type… read more

Kinect-based system detects touch and gestures on any surface

October 10, 2012

skettchpad

People can let their fingers — and hands — do the talking with a new touch-activated system that projects onto walls and other surfaces and allows users to interact with their environment and each other.

The system uses a Microsoft Kinect camera, which identifies the fingers of a person’s hand while touching any plain surface. It also recognizes hand posture and gestures, revealing individual users by their… read more

How cancer cells break free from tumors and spread

New MIT study identifies adhesion molecules key to cancer’s spread through the body
October 10, 2012

mit-cancer-cells

A new study from MIT cancer researchers reveals some of the cellular adhesion molecules that are critical to this how cancer cells break free from tumors, spread, and reattach to a new site.

Although tumor metastasis (spreading) causes about 90 percent of cancer deaths, the exact mechanism that allows cancer cells to spread from one part of the body to another is not well understood.… read more

Phil Zimmermann’s Silent Circle builds a secure, seductive fortress around your smartphone

October 10, 2012

silent_circle

The cryptography legend Phil Zimmermann is teaming up with two ex-Navy SEALs to offer encrypted phone calls, video conferencing, and text messages with no learning curve whatsoever.

The target market? Businesspeople and government employees traveling abroad, Fast Company reports.

Silent Circle, which launches on October 15, is a secure communications product for Android and iOS that works on a paid subscription model. Users will… read more

DNA’s half-life identified using fossil bones

October 10, 2012

bones-old-dna

A study of bones from extinct birds suggests the double helix too has a measurable half-life — and that we have underestimated its ability to survive in the fossil record, New Scientist reports.

Part of the reason a DNA half-life has been so elusive is that it is hard to find a large enough cache of samples that have been exposed to similar conditions. The moa bones… read more

Brain connectivity predicts reading skills

Children could benefit from personalized lessons based on brain scans
October 10, 2012

white_matter_connections_reading

The growth pattern of long-range connections in the brain predicts how a child’s reading skills will develop, according to research published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Nature News reports.

Literacy requires the integration of activity in brain areas involved in vision, hearing and language. These areas are distributed throughout the brain, so efficient communication between them is essential for proficient reading.

Jason Yeatman,… read more

close and return to Home