Oldest Most commentedBy Title | A-Z

Neural-like stem cells from muscle tissue may hold key to cell therapies for neurodegenerative diseases

October 17, 2012

neuronalstemcells

Scientists at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center have taken the first steps to create neural-like stem cells from muscle tissue in animals.

“Reversing brain degeneration and trauma lesions will depend on cell therapy, but we can’t harvest neural stem cells from the brain or spinal cord without harming the donor,” said Osvaldo Delbono, M.D., Ph.D., professor of internal medicine at Wake… read more

How ‘normal’ prion proteins in the brain actually aid learning and memory

October 17, 2012

Fluorescence images of primary hippocampal neurons showing the distribution of prion proteins in untreated (left) and siRNA-treated cells. Scale bar equals 10 microns.

Scientists from the University of Leeds have found that the protein called prion helps our brains to absorb zinc, which is believed to be crucial to our ability to learn and the well-being of our memory.

The findings published on Tuesday 16 October in Nature Communications (open access) show that prion protein regulates the amount of zinc in the brain by helping cells absorb it… read more

New techniques stretch carbon nanotubes, make stronger composites

October 17, 2012

Researchers used a rotating spool

North Carolina State University researchers have developed new techniques for stretching carbon nanotubes (CNT) and using them to create carbon composites that can be used as stronger, lighter materials in everything from airplanes to bicycles.

By stretching the CNT material before incorporating it into a composite for use in finished products, the researchers straighten the CNTs in the material, which significantly improves its tensile strength — and… read more

Stacked graphene layers used to create novel electronic and photonic devices

October 17, 2012

Multilayer cake that works as a nanoscale electric transformer

Graphene and associated one-atom-thick crystals offer the possibility of a vast range of new materials and devices by stacking individual atomic layers on top of each other, new research from The University of Manchester shows.

In a report published in Nature Physics, a group led Dr Leonid Ponomarenko and Nobel prize-winner Professor Andre Geim has assembled individual atomic layers on top of each… read more

Paging Dr. Watson: artificial intelligence as a prescription for health care

October 18, 2012

(Credit: IBM)

“It’s not humanly possible to practice the best possible medicine. We need machines,” said Herbert Chase, a professor of clinical medicine at Columbia University and member of IBM’s Watson Healthcare Advisory Board, Wired Science reports.

“A machine like [IBM's Watson], with massively parallel processing, is like 500,000 of me sitting at Google and Pubmed, trying to find the right information.”

Yet though Watson is clearly a powerful tool,… read more

Craig Venter imagines a world with printable life forms

October 18, 2012

organovobioprinter

Craig Venter imagines a future where you can download software, print a vaccine, inject it, and presto! Contagion averted.

“It’s a 3-D printer for DNA, a 3-D printer for life,” Venter said at the inaugural Wired Health Conference in New York City, Wired Science reports.

The geneticist and his team of scientists are already testing out a version of his digital biological converter, or “teleporter.”… read more

A ‘student-centered’ approach to science education

October 18, 2012

(Credit: iStockphoto)

A group of educational researchers at Florida State University are drawing widespread attention after their paper measuring the superior results of a more “student-centered” approach to teaching science was published in the pre-eminent journal Science.

The stakes are extraordinarily high, so it is critical that the United States find more effective ways of teaching the so-called STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) in K-12 classrooms, said the paper’s… read more

23-Year old with terminal brain cancer hopes to be cryopreserved (UPDATE)

October 18, 2012

kim_suozzi

As we noted previously, Kim Suozzi, 23, has terminal brain cancer that is highly aggressive and growing rapidly in a location that makes surgery impossible, and her final wish is to be cryopreserved.

Alcor Life Extension Foundation announced Wednesday that it has offered to cryopreserve Kim at a reduced cost, with the staff donating their time for her cryopreservation.

“I learned about cryonics… read more

Hacked terminals capable of causing pacemaker deaths

Security holes enable attackers to switch off pacemakers, rewrite firmware from 30 feet away
October 18, 2012

685px-Pacemaker

Barnaby Jack, a Research Architect with the TRACE research team at McAfee, has reverse-engineered a pacemaker transmitter to make it possible to deliver deadly electric shocks to pacemakers within 30 feet and rewrite their firmware, SC Magazine reports.

In a speech at the BreakPoint security conference in Melbourne Wednesday, Jack said such attacks were tantamount to “anonymous assassination” and in a realistic but worse-case… read more

Genome hunters go after martian DNA

October 18, 2012

Mars

Two high-profile entrepreneurs say they want to put a DNA sequencing machine on the surface of Mars in a bid to prove the existence of extraterrestrial life.

In what could become a race for the first extraterrestrial genome, researcher J. Craig Venter said Tuesday that his Maryland academic institute and company, Synthetic Genomics, would develop a machine capable of sequencing and beaming back DNA data… read more

Winners of the 2011 Feynman Prizes in nanotechnology

October 18, 2012

Foresight Institute logo

The Foresight Institute has announced the winners of the 2011 Foresight Institute Feynman Prizes for Nanotechnology Theory and Experiment.

The winner of the 2011 Feynman Prize for Experimental work is Leonhard Grill (Fritz Haber Institute, Max Planck Research School, Germany) in recognition of his pioneering and continuing work on manipulating and structuring functional matter at the atomic scale.

He has used scanning tunneling… read more

A cardboard bike

October 18, 2012

cardboard-bike

Working from his garden shed, Israeli inventor Izhar Gafni has invented a $20 cardboard bike, says The Telegraph.

The solid tires are made of reconstituted rubber from old car tires and some proprietary materials have been added for water protection and other purposes.

“This is a real game changer,” said Nimrod Elmish, Gafni’s business partner. ”It changes … the way products are manufactured and shipped, it causes factories to… read more

The state of the US election system

Gains in voting-machine technologies could be cancelled out by errors introduced through mail and Internet voting
October 19, 2012

(credit: Caltech/MIT Voting Technology Project)

The good news: widespread technological upgrades have largely eliminated the voting-machine problems that were so evident when Florida’s disputed recount determined the 2000 presidential election.

The bad news: early voting through the mail, which is increasing, is turning out to be a relatively low-accuracy method of voting, according to a new open access research report released by MIT and the Californiaread more

New military apparel repels chemical and biological agents

October 19, 2012

The highly breathable membranes have pores made of a few nanometer-wide vertically aligned carbon nanotubes that are surface modified with a chemical warfare agent-responsive functional layer (credit: Fornasiero, et al./Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory)

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory scientists and collaborators are developing a new military uniform material that repels chemical and biological agents, using a novel carbon-nanotube (CNT) fabric.

The material will be designed to undergo a rapid transition from a breathable state to a protective state. The highly breathable membranes would have pores made of a few-nanometer-wide vertically aligned carbon nanotubes with a layer that is responsive to chemical-warfare… read more

Harvard launches two free online courses, more than 100,000 sign up worldwide

October 19, 2012

“I figure I’d have to teach another 200 years to reach that many students in person,” said Harvard Professor Marcello Pagano (pictured), after learning that more than 100,000 people worldwide had signed up for the two Harvard courses being taught on the edX platform (credit: Aubrey LaMedica/Harvard School of Public Health)

Harvard University’s first two courses on the new edX digital education platform launched this week, as more than 100,000 learners worldwide began taking dynamic online versions of CS50, the College’s popular introductory computer science class, and PH207, a Harvard School of Public Health course in epidemiology and biostatistics.

For Marcello Pagano, a professor of statistical computing who is co-teaching PH207x, the potential to teach so… read more

close and return to Home