Sub-nanometer graphene nanopores for low-cost DNA sequencing

Less costly ways of seqequencing DNA could open new possibilities for disease prevention
October 4, 2012

TEM image of shrinkage of nanopore in a graphene sheet

Engineers at the University of Texas at Dallas have used advanced techniques to make the material graphene small enough to read DNA by shrinking the size of a graphene pore to less than one nanometer — opening the possibility of using graphene as a low-cost tool to sequence DNA.

“Sequencing DNA at a very cheap cost would enable scientists and doctors to better predict and diagnose disease,… read more

Intelligence could not be linked to 12 specific genetic variants, contradicting studies

October 4, 2012


Most of the specific genes long thought to be linked to intelligence probably have no bearing on one’s IQ, and new study by psychological scientist Christopher Chabris of Union College has revealed.

Chabris and David Laibson, a Harvard economist, led an international team of researchers that analyzed a dozen genes using large data sets that included both intelligence testing and genetic data.

In nearly every case, the researchers found… read more

Immune system can boost regeneration of peripheral nerves

Finding the master knob to turn on nerve repair
October 4, 2012


Modulating immune response to injury could accelerate the regeneration of severed peripheral nerves, a new Georgia Tech study in an animal model has found. By altering activity of the macrophage cells that respond to injuries, researchers dramatically increased the rate at which nerve processes regrew.

Influencing the macrophages immediately after injury may affect the whole cascade of biochemical events that occurs after nerve damage, potentially eliminating… read more

Reality is a computer projection: physicists

What we call reality might actually be the output of a program running on a cosmos-sized quantum computer
October 4, 2012


Whatever kind of reality you think you’re living in, you’re probably wrong. The universe is a computer, and everything that goes on in it can be explained in terms of information processing, speculates New Scientist in a special issue on What is reality?

“Quantum physics is almost phrased in terms of information processing,” says Vlatko Vedral of the University of Oxford. “It’s suggestive that you will… read more

Why artificial general intelligence has failed and how to fix it

October 4, 2012

(Credit: iStockphoto)

The field of “artificial general intelligence” or AGI has made no progress whatever during the entire six decades of its existence, says Oxford University physicist David Deutsch in this abridged version of an essay in aeon magazine. — Ed.

It is uncontroversial that the human brain has capabilities that are, in some respects, far superior to those of all other known objects in the cosmos. It is the… read more

A closed Android-based network to study cyber disruptions and help secure hand-held devices

October 4, 2012

Sandia builds self-contained, Android-based network to study cyber disruptions and help secure hand-held devices

As part of ongoing research to help prevent and mitigate disruptions to computer networks on the Internet, researchers at Sandia National Laboratories in California have turned their attention to smartphones and other hand-held computing devices.

Sandia cyber researchers linked together 300,000 virtual hand-held computing devices running the Android operating system so they could study large networks of smartphones and find ways to make them more reliable and… read more

Plasma jet zaps superbugs

October 4, 2012


Scientists at Queen’s University Belfast have developed a new technique with the potential to kill off hospital superbugs like Pseudomonas aeruginosaC. difficile and MRSA.

The novel method uses a cold plasma jet to rapidly penetrate dense bacterial structures known as biofilms that bind bacteria together and make them resistant to conventional chemical approaches. The new approach developed by scientists in the School of Mathematics and Physics and… read more

Neurons created from other brain cells to treat neurodegenerative diseases

October 5, 2012


Researchers have discovered a way to generate new human neurons from pericyte cells, providing a possible new approach to cell-based therapy of neurodegenerative diseases,  said Benedikt Berninger of the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz.

“The ultimate goal is to induce such conversion within the brain itself to provide a novel strategy for repairing the injured or diseased brain.”

Pericytes keep the blood-brain barrier intact and participate in… read more

How neuron electrical activity controls the biological clock

October 5, 2012


New York University biologists have discovered new ways our biological clock’s neurons use electrical activity to help control behavioral rhythms. The findings also point to new way to explore sleep disorders and related afflictions.

“This process helps explain how our biological clocks keep such amazingly good time,” said Justin Blau, an associate professor of biology at NYU and one of the study’s authors. The findings may offer new… read more

Cryonics photos delve into the frozen world of the immortality faithful

October 5, 2012


The Prospect of Immortality is a six-year study by UK photographer Murray Ballard, who has traveled the world pulling back the curtain on the amateurs, optimists, businesses, and apparatuses of cryonics, the preservation of deceased humans in liquid nitrogen, Wired reports.

“It’s not a large industry,” says Ballard, who visited the Alcor Life Extension Foundation in Phoenix, Arizona; the Cryonics Instituteread more

The race to bring quantum teleportation to your world

There'd an international quantum teleportation space race heating up
October 5, 2012


Around the world, countries are investing time and millions of dollars into the technology, which uses satellites to beam bits of quantum information down from the sky and and could profoundly change worldwide communication, Wired Science reports.

In the past year, a team from China and another in Austria set new records for quantum teleportation, using a laser to beam photons through the open… read more

A multi-photon approach to quantum cryptography

Information breach may be drastically reduced as a result of a technology breakthrough
October 5, 2012


University of Oklahoma researchers have,  demonstrated a novel technique for cryptography that offers the potential of unconditional security.

As increasing volumes of data become accessible, transferable and, therefore actionable, information is the treasure companies want to amass.

To protect this wealth, organizations use cryptography, or coded messages, to secure information from “technology robbers.” This group of hackers and malware creators increasingly is becoming more sophisticated at… read more

Google simulates brain networks to recognize speech and images

October 5, 2012


This summer Google set a new landmark in the field of artificial intelligence with software that learned how to recognize cats, people, and other things simply by watching YouTube videos (see “Self-Taught Software“).

That technology, modeled on how brain cells operate, is now being put to work making Google’s products smarter, with speech recognition being the first service to benefit, Technology Review reports.… read more

Proteins remember the past to predict the future

October 5, 2012


The most efficient machines remember what has happened to them, and use that memory to predict what the future holds.

That is the conclusion of a theoretical study by Susanne Still, a computer scientist at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and her colleagues, and it should apply equally to “machines” ranging from molecular enzymes to computers, Nature News reports. The finding could help to improve scientific… read more

Sperm and eggs created in dish produce mouse pups

October 5, 2012


After producing normal mouse pups last year using sperm derived from stem cells, a Kyoto University team of researchers has now accomplished the same feat using eggs created the same way, Science Now reports. The study may eventually lead to new ways of helping infertile couples conceive.

The stem cells in both cases are embryonic stem (ES) cells and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. The former are taken… read more

close and return to Home