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Cancer Redefined

September 5, 2008

In three new studies that could redefine how cancer is viewed, researched, and treated, scientists have created a detailed map of the genetic mutations that underlie two of the deadliest forms of the disease: pancreatic cancer and glioblastoma.

The new findings are the first steps in the huge task of mapping the genomes of cancer, as researchers work to learn about cancers from the ground up.

Fiber-optic/nanocrystal system enables live nanoscale sensing

Can sense changes to a single living cell in the human body in response to chemical signals
September 3, 2013


Researchers have identified the “world’s most sensitive nanoparticle” and can measure it from a distance, using light.

The discovery, by a team of researchers from Macquarie University, the University of Adelaide, and Peking University, opens the way for rapid localization and measurement of cells within a living environment at the nanoscale.

These super-bright, photostable nanocrystals enable a new approach to highly advanced sensing technologies using… read more

To Add Speed, Chipmakers Tune Structure

February 15, 2007

Chip companies are finding ways around the physical problems that have held them back from making chips go faster.

On Feb. 14, IBM said it plans to combine microprocessor and memory chips onto a single piece of silicon to substantially improve processor performance.

Earlier this week, Intel announced that it had built a chip with 80 cores that is capable of completing 1 trillion computations every second.… read more

Self-assembling nanotubes offer promise for future artificial joints

April 12, 2004
Self-assembly of rosettes

Researchers have discovered that bone cells called osteoblasts attach better to nanotube-coated titanium than to conventional titanium used to make artificial joints.

Conventional titanium used in artificial joints has surface features on the scale of microns, causing the body to recognize them as foreign and prompting a rejection response. This eventually weakens the attachment of the implants and causes them to become loose and painful, requiring replacement… read more

Man Infects Himself with (Computer) Virus

May 27, 2010

Implantable bionic devices are susceptible to computer viruses that can be passed along to other devices, Dr. Mark Gasson, a cybernetics expert at the University of Reading demonstrated by inserting a computer virus into an RFID chip implanted in his arm.

People with pacemakers, cochlear implants, and deep brain stimulators, for example, could be in big trouble if a virus infected their implanted devices.

DNA Deletion Tied to Cognitive Problems

September 11, 2008

A small deletion in a specific chunk of DNA can trigger a wide variety of cognitive problems, including autism, mental retardation, and developmental delay, according to research published today in the New England Journal of Medicine.

A number of studies using new gene microarray technology have shown that rearrangements of larger pieces of DNA–the equivalent of shuffling entire words, sentences, or pages–are surprisingly common and likely play a significant… read more

Agenda Set For Upcoming Planetary Defense Conference

February 26, 2007

The second Planetary Defense Conference will bring together scientists and engineers from the international space community on March 5 – 8 in Washington DC to assess our ability to discover and track near-Earth objects and deflect an asteroid or comet that poses a threat to Earth.

Xerox hopes plastic ink leads to printed chips

April 19, 2004

Xerox researchers have discovered a way to print plastic transistors using a semiconductive ink at room temperature, paving the way for flexible displays and low-cost RFID (radio frequency identification) chips.

The new technique builds on a polythiophene semiconductor, an organic compound that resists degradation in open air better than other semiconductor liquids and also exhibits self-assembling properties.

The researchers found a way to process this material to form… read more

DNA logic gates herald injectable computers

June 2, 2010

DNA-based logic gates that could carry out calculations inside the body have been constructed for the first time. The work brings the prospect of injectable biocomputers programmed to target diseases as they arise.

“The biocomputer would sense biomarkers and immediately react by releasing counter-agents for the disease,” says Itamar Willner of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, who led the work.

The new logic gates are formed from… read more

The Holes in Our Genomes

September 19, 2008

New microarray tools should generate a more complete picture of the genetic root of common diseases by screening for “copy number variations” (deletions, duplications, and rearrangements of stretches of DNA ranging in size from one thousand to one million base pairs).

Nanorod coating makes least reflective material ever

March 5, 2007

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute researchers have found that depositing an array of angled silicon-dioxide nanorods on a surface boosts the efficiency of silicon solar cells, by allowing them to absorb more light energy.

The coating could also reduce reflective losses in devices like LEDs and improve photographic lenses and mirrors that selectively reflect specific wavelengths.

Chip rewires itself on the fly

April 27, 2004

The first processor that can add new instructions while operating was announced by startup Stretch.

The chip combines an existing RISC (reduced instruction set computing) architecture with a large reconfigurable area of programmable logic. Developer-generated software automatically spots areas in a program that require intensive computation and creates new instructions for the processor to handle those tasks.

Typical tasks, such as performing encryption or digital video processing on… read more

Military-Grade Augmented Reality Could Redefine Modern Warfare

June 14, 2010


Tanagram Partners is developing military-grade augmented reality technology that — if developed to the full potential of its prototypes — would completely change the face of military combat as we know it.

The company is developing a system of lightweight sensors and displays that collect and provide data from and to each individual soldier in the field. This includes a computer, a 360-degree camera,… read more

Scientists develop new, more sensitive nanotechnology test for chemical DNA modifications

September 24, 2008

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine researchers have developed a novel test to screen for chemical modifications to DNA known as methylation that could be used for early cancer diagnoses and assessing patients’ response to cancer therapies.

Can computers make life-or-death medical decision?

March 13, 2007

A simple formula can predict how people would want to be treated in dire medical situations as accurately as their loved ones can, say researchers.

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