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Synaptic electronic circuits that learn and forget like neural processes

December 27, 2012

nanoionic device

Rui Yang, Kazuya Terabe and colleagues at the National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS), and the International Center for Materials Nanoarchitectonics (MANA) in Japan and at the California NanoSystems Institute/UCLA have developednanoionic” (processes connected with fast ion transport in all-solid-state nanoscale systems) devices capable of a broad range of neuromorphic and electrical functions.

Background

Such a device would allow for fabrication of on-demand configurable circuits,… read more

Synchronising ‘heartbeat’ saves sensor batteries

July 8, 2008

IBM’s TJ Watson Labs has developed a “heartbeat” design for sensor networks that allows the sensors’ batteries to last four times as long: nodes only turn on when the beat reaches them, saving battery power.

Synchronized brain waves enable rapid learning

Why brain-wave resonance may be the key to learning, not synapses
June 17, 2014

MIT neuroscientists found that brain waves originating from the striatum (red) and from the prefrontal cortex (blue) become synchronized when an animal learns to categorize different patterns of dots (credit: Jose-Luis Olivares/MIT)

MIT neuroscientists have found that as monkeys learn to categorize different patterns of dots, two brain areas involved in learning — the prefrontal cortex and the striatum — synchronize their brain waves to form new communication circuits.

“We’re seeing direct evidence for the interactions between these two systems during learning, which hasn’t been seen before,” says Earl Miller, the Picower Professor of Neuroscience at… read more

Synchronized oscillators may allow for computing that works like the brain

May 15, 2014

oscillating_switch

Computing is currently based on binary (Boolean) logic, but a new type of computing architecture created by electrical engineers at Penn State stores information in the frequencies and phases of periodic signals and could work more like the human brain.

It would use a fraction of the energy necessary for today’s computers, according to the engineers.

To achieve the new architecture, they used a thin film… read more

Synthesizing collagen for drug design and disease treatments

Program defines stable sequences for synthesis, could help fight disease, design drugs
October 16, 2012

A program developed at Rice University details stable forms of collagen proteins for synthesis in the lab. The ability to synthesize custom collagen could lead to better drug design and treatment of disease. The colored portion of the molecule in this illustration shows positively charged lysine and negatively charged aspartate interacting in the required axial geometry that stabilizes the triple helix. (Credit: Hartgerink Lab/Rice University)

In a development that could lead to better drug design and new treatments for disease, Rice University researchers have made a major step toward synthesizing custom collagen, the fibrous protein that binds cells together into organs and tissues.

Jeffrey Hartgerink, an associate professor of chemistry and of bioengineering, and his former graduate student Jorge Fallas, now a postdoctoral researcher at the University… read more

Synthespians more prevalent in future films

August 19, 2001

Newly developed computer tools are allowing filmmakers to add synthespians (virtual actors) into the action. New technology for digitally modeling hair, cloth, skin and muscles will make digital humans even more prevalent and indistinguishable from the flesh-and-blood kind over the next year.

Synthetic and biological nanoparticles combined to produce new metamaterials

January 9, 2013

Two different protein cages, cowpea chlorotic mottle virus (blue) and Pyrococcus furiosus ferritin (red), can be used to guide the assembly of binary nanoparticles superlattices through tunable electrostatic interactions with charged gold nanoparticles (yellow). (Credit: Aalto University)

Aalto University scientists have organized synthetic and biological building blocks in a single structure — combining virus particles (and other protein cages) with inorganic nanoparticles to form crystalline layer structures, or superlattices.

The research aims to develop hierarchically structured nanomaterials with tunable optical, magnetic, electronic and catalytic properties. Such nanomaterials are important for applications in sensing, optics, electronics and drug delivery.

By generating biohybrid 3D superlattices of nanoparticles and proteins,… read more

Synthetic biologists reject controversial guidelines

May 24, 2006

Researchers in the new field of synthetic biology have pledged to develop better tools to identify anyone trying to order the DNA needed to make deadly pathogens. But at the Synthetic Biology 2.0 meeting in Berkeley, California, they decided against adopting a controversial code of conduct intended to prevent their technologies being used to make new bioweapons.

Synthetic biologists vs. conservationists

The unintended consequences of tinkering with nature
April 18, 2013

This is a gastric-brooding frog, Rheobatrachus silus, giving oral birth in the lab of Mike Tyler of the University of Adelaide (credit: Mike Tyler/University of Adelaide)

At a first-of-its-kind meeting, held on April 9–11 at the University of Cambridge, leading conservationists and synthetic biologists discussed how synthetic biology could be used to benefit the planet, Nature News reports.

Example might include producing heat-tolerant coral reefs, pollution-sensing soil microbes, ruminant gut microbes that don’t belch methane, and helping frogs to overcome chytridiomycosis, the fungal disease threatening amphibians worldwide that is thought to have contributed to… read more

Synthetic biology could replace oil for chemical industry

September 15, 2011

Vats of blue-green algae could one day replace oil wells in producing raw materials for the chemical industry, a UC Davis chemist predicts.

Shota Atsumi, a UC Davis assistant professor of chemistry, is using synthetic biology to create cyanobacteria (blue-green algae), which convert carbon dioxide in the air into complex hydrocarbons. Cyanobacteria are single-celled organisms that, like green plants, can use… read more

Synthetic biology on ordinary paper: a new operating system

A tiny paper color test for a strain-specific Ebola virus, antibiotic-resistant bacteria, or other pathogens --- no lab required
October 24, 2014

Wyss Institute scientists have embedded effective synthetic gene networks in pocket-sized slips of paper. An array of RNA–activated sensors uses visible color changing proteins to indicate presence of a targeted RNA, capable of identifying pathogens such as antibiotic–resistant bacteria and strain–specific Ebola virus. (Credit: Harvard's Wyss Institute)

Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering announced Thursday (Oct. 23) a way to allow complex cellular recognition reactions to proceed outside of living cells, using pocket-sized slips of paper.

Imagine inexpensive, shippable, and accurate test kits using a pocket-sized paper diagnostic tool using saliva or a drop of blood to identify specific disease or infection — a feat that could be accomplished anywhere in the world, within minutes and… read more

Synthetic biology startup launchpad announced by Singularity University

March 28, 2012

SynBio-Startup-Slide-Banner2

Singularity University (SU) is partnering with Triple Ring Technologies to launch a pilot program whose mission is to “help great synthetic biology ideas turn into startup companies.”

“Promising entrepreneurs with great ideas will be intensively mentored over a 4-month period to develop exciting products and services,” according to the SU announcement. The program will run from May to August 2012 in the San… read more

Synthetic Biology Under Government Surveillance … and Liking It?

July 6, 2007

George Church, director of Harvard’s Center for Medical Genetics, feels that synthetic biologists ought to be under government surveillance — and if they don’t like it, they should pick another field.

Synthetic blood created by British scientists could be used in transfusions in just two years

October 28, 2011

Artificial blood created from stem cells could be tested within two years, suggest Edinburgh and Bristol university researchers, who have made billions of red blood cells from stem cells taken from bone marrow and say the process could provide industrial-scale quantities of blood.

The scientists believe it will transform transfusions by preventing hospital shortages, and save thousands of lives on battlefields and at the scene of car crashes. Heart… read more

Synthetic cells get together to make electronics

June 18, 2009
(Nature)

A network of artificial cells that work together to act as a rectifier (AC to DC converter) has been built by researchers at the University of Oxford and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Like real cells, the protocells are droplets of watery fluid enclosed in an oily membrane, but they can fuse together, forming unidirectional electronic circuits.

The droplet networks could be used as an… read more

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