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DNA 2.0: A new operating system for life is created

February 15, 2010

University of Cambridge scientists have created a new way of using the genetic code, allowing proteins to be made with properties that have never been seen in the natural world.

The breakthrough could eventually lead to the creation of new or “improved” life forms incorporating these new materials into their tissue. For example, they could help make drugs that can be taken orally without being destroyed by the acids… read more

Using a light touch to measure protein bonds

July 1, 2008

MIT researchers have used optical tweezers (light beams) to achieve a precise measurement of the strength of bonds between two protein molecules important in cell machinery.

They focused on proteins that bind to actin filaments, an important component of the cytoskeleton that provide structural support, help the cell crawl across a surface or sustain a load (in muscle cells).

They found the force holding the proteins together is… read more

Switchable hologram promises memory boost

June 4, 2007

A device that stores holograms using a liquid crystal film controlled electronically has been created by researchers in Singapore.

They hope that future versions could be used to store large amounts of digital data in small areas, for rewritable memory, or to manipulate living cells with light.

Search and rescue robots

September 3, 2004

Robotics researchers are focusing on using small robots to venture where humans cannot go to search for survivors of earthquakes, collapsed mines and other disasters.

Life-like evolution in a test tube

February 22, 2010

Scripps Research Institute scientists have synthesized RNA enzymes (also known as ribozymes) that can replicate themselves chemically without the help of any proteins or other cellular components.

Many scientists believe that early life was based on RNA and predated the arrival of life based on DNA and proteins.

Former astronaut to lead starship effort

January 9, 2012


DARPA, the Pentagon’s premiere research agency, has chosen Mae Jemison, a former astronaut, to lead the 100-Year Starship project,designed to take humanity to the stars.

Her organization, the Dorothy Jemison Foundation for Excellence, has been awarded $500,000. It is partnered on the project with Icarus Interstellar, a non-profit organization dedicated to interstellar travel, and the Foundation for Enterprise Development.

See also: 100 Yearread more

Gold, DNA Combination May Lead To Nano-Sensor

July 9, 2008

Duke University scientists have developed intracellular biological sensors based on gold nanostructures with tethered DNA recognition molecules that can create signals from subtle changes in light reflecting off their nanoscale surfaces.

By measuring color changes, researchers can tell what is happening at the molecular level, and the nanoparticles are small enough to pass through cell membranes.

Duke University news release

Foresight Institute Announces Feynman Prize Finalists

September 15, 2004

Foresight Institute has announced the finalists for the 2004 Foresight Feynman Prize. The $10,000 prize, awarded in two categories, theory and experimental, recognizes researchers whose recent work has most advanced the field toward the achievement of Feynman’s vision for nanotechnology: molecular manufacturing.

The 2004 finalists for the Experimental prize are: Angela Belcher from MIT Department of Materials; Homme Hellinga, Duke University Medical Center; William Shih, Dana Farber Research Laboratory,… read more

Touch Screens that Touch Back

March 3, 2010

A new haptic interface that creates the sensation of a physical button when a user touches the screen has been designed by California-based company Immersion.

The device uses piezoelectric actuators that generate rapid horizontal vibrations to create the sensory experience.

Take a tour of the virtual future at Stanford

January 16, 2012


If you want to see what your living room is likely to look like four years from now, come and take a tour of Stanford’s new Virtual Human Interaction Lab, says Jeremy Bailenson, an associate professor of communication and co-author of the book Infinite Reality.

“It’s a high-tech vision of the future,” Bailenson said.

“We’re using this cutting-edge lab to try to think ahead by a… read more

Schwarzenegger tours NASA/Ames to tout agency’s fire-fighting technology

July 15, 2008

NASA/Ames Research Center researchers are taking data from a remotely controlled airplane and delivering real-time infrared images of hot spots and flare-ups to fire commanders on the ground.

The $6 million Ikhana aircraft has an onboard sensor that can look through the smoke and detect temperatures ranging from one-half degree to 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Ikhana sends images through a communications satellite to NASA/Ames, where the imagery is superimposed over… read more

Programmed Human Aging Supports Survival of Species

September 29, 2004

A University of Southern California researcher proposes that aging is programmed so that the majority of a population dies prematurely to provide nutrients for the sake of a few individuals who have acquired the genetic mutations that increase their chances of reproduction.

Valter Longo’s research, based on observations of programmed aging in baker’s yeast, could imply that humans die earlier than they have to due to programmed human aging.… read more

Solar power could provide 10% of US energy: report

March 11, 2010

The U.S. could source 10 percent of its electricity from solar power by 2030, up from just 0.1 percent in 2008, according to a report produced by the independent environmental group Environment America.

A Book With 90,000 Authors

July 21, 2008

German publisher Bertelsmann plans to publish a book with the most credited individual authors ever–approximately 90,000: “The One-Volume Wikipedia Encyclopedia,” containing the 25,000 most popular articles on German Wikipedia.

WTN X PRIZE Technology Prizes Initiative Launched

October 12, 2004

The X Prize Foundation and the World Technology Network (WTN) announced the launch of the WTN X PRIZE, which will award prizes for significant achievements towards specific science or technology challenges such as cures for major diseases, artificial intelligence, or molecular assemblers.

The prizes will use the same methods developed for the recently awarded Ansari X PRIZE (10 million dollars for the first private space flight) to choose both… read more

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