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3D Systems partners with Singularity University to develop creative uses of 3D printing

October 24, 2012

ProJet HD3500 professional 3D printer (credit: 3D Systems)

3D printer leader 3D Systems announced today that it plans to provide Singularity University (SU) with several of its 3D printers.

“We are excited to be part of Singularity’s visionary initiative to democratize access to 3D content-to-print solutions that will enable greater entrepreneurialism and inventiveness,” said Abe Reichental, President and CEO of 3D Systems.

“SU has shown a great deal of foresight and leadership in… read more

Identifying the brain’s own facial recognition system

October 25, 2012

Two locations in the brain's fusiform gyrus respond to faces (red) but not to other objects (yellow) (credit: J. Parvizi et al./J. Neurosci, Advance Online Edition)

The ability to recognize faces is so important in humans that the brain appears to have an area solely devoted to the task: the fusiform gyrus in the temporal lobe, Science Now reports.

Brain imaging studies consistently find that this region of  becomes active when people look at faces. Skeptics have countered, however, that these studies show only a correlation, but not proof, that activity in this… read more

Sequencing the Connectome

Genetic barcoding to trace the brain's wiring down to the neuron level
October 25, 2012

DNA barcode

A team of neuroscientists led by Professor Anthony Zador, Ph.D., of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory have proposed a revolutionary new way to create a connectivity map (“connectome”) of the whole brain of the mouse at the resolution of single neurons: high-throughput DNA sequencing.

The only current method for obtaining the connectome with high precision relies on laboriously examining individual cell-to-cell contacts (synapses) in electron microscopes, which is slow, expensive… read more

Looking deeper into semiconductors to create faster, smaller electronics

October 25, 2012

gallium_ucdavis1

University of California, Davis researchers for the first time have looked inside gallium manganese arsenide, which could open up an entirely new class of faster, smaller devices based on an emerging field known as “spintronics.”

Materials of this type might be used to read and write digital information not by using the electron’s charge, as is the case with today’s electronic devices, but by using… read more

American schools go on utterly insane hiring spree since 1950. Kids shrug, continue to do poorly on tests

October 25, 2012

2011-03-01-studentspendvsachievement

A new study from the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice finds that America’s public schools saw a 96 percent increase in students but increased administrators and other non-teaching staff a staggering 702 percent since 1950. Teaching staff, in comparison, increased 252 percent, Reason reports.

If non-teaching personnel had grown at the same rate as student population, American public schools would have an additional $24.3… read more

Can diabetes devices be damaged by airport security scanners?

October 25, 2012

Insulin pump, showing an infusion set loaded into spring-loaded insertion device. A reservoir is attached to the infusion set (shown here removed from the pump).(Credit: Jacopo Werther/Wikimedia Commons)

Full-body or X-ray scanners used for airport security screening may affect the function of insulin pump or continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) devices.

Andrew Cornish and H. Peter Chase, MD, University of Colorado, Denver, caution that the motor of an insulin delivery pump or glucose monitoring device may experience electromagnetic malfunctioning when passed through an airport security scanner.

“Given the increased use of insulin pump therapy around the world, with hundreds… read more

Parkinson’s breakthrough could slow disease progression

October 25, 2012

688px-Protein_CACNA1D_PDB_2be6

Northwestern University scientists have developed a new family of compounds that could slow the progression of Parkinson’s disease.

Parkinson’s, the second most common neurodegenerative disease, is caused by the death of dopamine neurons, resulting in tremors, rigidity and difficulty moving. Current treatments target the symptoms but do not slow the progression of the disease.

The compounds work by blocking calcium. The compounds target and shut a relatively… read more

A biology-friendly robot programming language

October 25, 2012

PaR-PaR-robot1

For researchers in the biological sciences, however, the future training of robots has been made much easier thanks to a new program called “PaR-PaR” (Programming a Robot).

Nathan Hillson, a biochemist at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI), led the development of PaR-PaR, a simple high-level, biology-friendly, robot-programming language that allows researchers to make better use of liquid-handling robots… read more

Safer bioimaging of cancer cells without biopses

October 25, 2012

A new fluorescent glucose-amine probe can make identification of cancer cells (green) using two-photon microscopy easier and safer (credit: Guan Wang/National University of Singapore)

Early detection of soft-tissue diseases, such as breast cancer, typically requires invasive biopsies. Now, a new self-assembled nanoparticle developed by Bin Liu at the A*STAR Institute of Materials Research and Engineering and co-workers may soon make biopsies obsolete.

The team’s material significantly enhances the safety of two-photon microscopy (TPM) — a technique that uses fluorescent probes to generate three-dimensional pictures of cancer cell structures in… read more

Brainwave training boosts brain network for cognitive control

October 25, 2012

eeg_amplitide_change_during_feedback

Researchers at  University of Western Ontario and the Lawson Health Research Institute have found that functional changes within a key brain network occur directly after a 30-minute session of noninvasive, neurofeedback training.

Background

Dysfunction of this cognitive-control network has previously been implicated in a range of brain disorders including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, schizophrenia, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

During neurofeedback, users learn to… read more

ProtoHouse

October 26, 2012

ProtoHouse (credit: Softkill Disign)

Softkill Design‘s ProtoHouse project investigates the architectural potential of the latest Selective laser sintering technologies, testing the boundaries of large scale 3D printing by designing with computer algorithms that micro-organize the printed material itself.

With the support of Materialise, Softkill Design produced a high-resolution prototype of a 3D printed house at 1:33 scale. The model consists of 30 detailed fibrous pieces that can be assembled into one… read more

Tiny pores in graphene could form a membrane

New membranes may filter water, separate biological samples, or deliver drugs
October 26, 2012

sem_graphene_hole

By assembling large membranes from single sheets of graphene grown by chemical vapor deposition, researchers from MIT, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and elsewhere have found that graphene has intrinsic defects, or holes, in its atom-sized armor.

In experiments, the researchers found that small molecules like salts passed easily through a graphene membrane’s tiny pores, while larger molecules were unable to penetrate.

The researchers found… read more

Living power cables discovered

Multicellular bacteria transmit electrons across relatively enormous distances
October 26, 2012

Electrifying_microbial_filaments

A multinational research team has discovered filamentous bacteria that function as living power cables that transmit electrons thousands of cell lengths away.

The Desulfobulbus bacterial cells, which are only a few hundreds of a nanometer long each, are so tiny that they are invisible to the naked eye. And yet, under the right circumstances, they form a multicellular filament that can transmit electrons across a distance as large as 1 centimeter… read more

The island where people forget to die

October 26, 2012

Ikaria

For a decade, with support from the National Geographic Society, I’ve been organizing a study of the places where people live longest, Dan Buettner, author of The Blue Zoneswrites in The New York Times.

The project grew out of studies by my partners, Dr. Gianni Pes of the University of Sassari in Italy and Dr. Michel Poulain, a Belgian demographer. In 2000, they identified a region of… read more

Singularity Summit videos posted

October 27, 2012

summitvideos

The Singularity Institute has just posted videos here for all sessions at the recent Singularity Summit 12. (To view the videos, click on the preview video, and scroll down to WATCH FULL PROGRAM.)

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