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‘Survival protein’ protects the brain against effects of stroke

May 25, 2011

(Credit: iStockphoto)

A “survival protein” that protects the brain against the effects of stroke in rodent brain tissue has been discovered by scientists at Johns Hopkins University. The finding has implications for treating stroke as well as Parkinson’s Disease, diabetes, and heart attack.

When brain tissue is subjected to a stressful but not lethal insult, a defense response occurs that protects cells from subsequent insult. The scientists dissected this preconditioning… read more

Surviving Immortality: Just getting to the Singularity is the hard part

August 20, 2007

“The real peril in [the Singularity] is that our social, cultural, and political technologies probably won’t keep pace, meaning we’ll have whole new ways to hurt ourselves and others along with the same old ways to keep ourselves from doing so,” opines PBS columnist Robert X. Cringely.

Susan Greenfield: living online is changing our brains

August 5, 2011

(Credit: iStockphoto)

Neuroscientist Susan Greenfield cited evidence that digital technology is having an impact on our brains:

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Suspected cause of type 1 diabetes observed

May 12, 2008

Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis working with diabetic mice have found dendritic cells in the islets of Langerhans carrying insulin and fragments of insulin-producing cells known as beta cells, which could trigger an immune attack on beta cells.

“Now that we’ve isolated dendritic cells from the pancreas, we can look at why they get into the pancreas and determine which of the materials that… read more

Swarm Intelligence: An Interview with Eric Bonabeau

February 26, 2003

Dr. Eric Bonabeau takes us from his childhood nightmares of carnivorous wasps to applying the theories of swarm intelligence to solving real problems in the business world.

“It’s no longer possible to use traditional, centralized, hierarchical command and control techniques to deal with systems that have thousands or even millions of dynamically changing, communicating, heterogeneous entities,” he says. “I think that the type of solution swarm intelligence offers is… read more

Swarm Theory

July 6, 2007

The study of swarm intelligence is providing insights that can help humans manage complex systems, from truck routing to military robots.

Swarming robots could be our future servants

April 1, 2013

Swarming robots push object (credit: University of Sheffield)

Researchers in the Sheffield Centre for Robotics, jointly established by the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University, are programming a group of 40 robots.

The researchers have demonstrated that the swarm can carry out simple fetching and carrying tasks, by grouping around an object and working together to push it across a surface.

The robots can also group themselves together into a single… read more

Swarms of sensor robots to monitor Japan radiation in ocean

May 4, 2011

Glider Monitor

With concerns about the spread of radiation from damaged Japanese nuclear reactors and the year-old Deepwater Horizon oil spill, MIT researchers have developed a new algorithm that enables sensor-laden robots to focus on the parts of their environments that change most frequently, without losing track of the regions that change more slowly.

The algorithm is designed for robots that will be monitoring an environment for long… read more

Sweat ducts may act as giveaway ‘antennae’

April 4, 2008

Our skin contains millions of microscopic helical sweat ducts that may act as antennas that reveal a person’s physical and emotional state from a distance, Hebrew University researches have discovered.

Treating the skin as an array of helical antennas could open up a new method of measuring physiological changes. The researchers beamed microwave signals to test subjects and measured the reflected signals. They found a strong correlation between subjects’… read more

Swine flu could protect against deadly mutation: experts

May 7, 2009

The global outbreak of swine flu hovering just below the pandemic threshold could provide immunity for those already infected if the virus mutates into a more deadly form, epidemiologists say.

That is what happened in 1918, when most people who fell ill with a mild Spring flu were effectively inoculated from the far more lethal strains that roared back a few months later and killed at least 40 million… read more

Swine Flu May Be Human Error; WHO Investigates Claim

May 14, 2009

The World Health Organization is investigating a claim by an Australian researcher that the #swineflu virus may have been created as a result of human error, says researcher Adrian Gibbs, based on its genetic makeup.

He said he intends to publish a report suggesting the new strain may have accidentally evolved in eggs scientists use to grow viruses and drugmakers use to make vaccines.

Swine Flu: the predictable pandemic?

April 29, 2009

We’ve known that swine flu could cause a human pandemic for more than a decade — but no one paid attention, says New Scientist in this special issue, which covers global preparedness (patchy), treatments that might be effective (Tamiflu may not work), and expert analysis of how deadly it is (unknown).

Follow @newscientist and @CDCemergency Twitter feeds, and search “swine flu” and

Swine flu: What you need to know

April 27, 2009

Several hundred people in Mexico and 20 people in the US have come down with a new kind of swine flu, which could become a serious worldwide epidemic.

“We don’t know yet if this will be one. Cover coughs and sneezes and wash your hands a lot. Don’t run down your ability to fight infection — eat well and be sensible. Some scientists recommend going on statins as there… read more

Swiping is the easy part

March 24, 2011

Wide adoption of mobile wallets has been slowed by a major behind-the-scenes battle among corporations, says Drew Sievers, chief executive of mFoundry, which makes mobile payment software.

The cellphone is capable of holding all of the credit and debit cards crammed into a wallet. Instead of swiping a plastic card at the checkout counter, consumers can merely wave their phones.

Bank of America, Wells Fargo, U.S. Bancorp, and… read more

Swiss man soars above Alps with jet-powered wing

May 16, 2008
(AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

Yves Rossy, a Swiss pilot known as the
“Fusion Man,” strapped on a jet-powered wing and leaped from a plane Wednesday for the first public demonstration of the homemade device, turning figure eights and soaring high above the Alps.

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