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Using carbon nanotubes to seek and destroy anthrax toxin and other harmful proteins

December 11, 2007

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute researchers have developed a new way to seek out specific proteins, including dangerous proteins such as anthrax toxin, and render them harmless using nothing but light.

Ravi S. Kane, professor of chemical and biological engineering, described the research: “By attaching peptides to carbon nanotubes, we gave them the ability to selectively recognize a protein of interest — in this case anthrax toxin — from a mixture… read more

Infineon, IBM collaborate on new memory tech

May 24, 2005

Infineon and IBM have launched a program to research phase-change memory, material that retains data by changing its structure between crystalline and amorphous.

Phase change memory has the advantage that data doesn’t depend on an electrical charge, so, like flash memory it persists when a computer is turned off. On the other hand, phase change memories can wear out mechanically.

From ‘End of History’ author, a look at the beginning and middle

March 8, 2011

In a book to be published in April, The Origins of Political Order, Francis Fukuyama of Stanford University presents a sweeping new overview of human social structures throughout history, taking over from where Edward O. Wilson’s book Sociobiology left off.

He considers several factors, including warfare, religion, and in particular human social behaviors like favoring kin. The book traces the development of political order from the earliest human societies, which… read more

Liquid crystal displays ‘painted on’

May 3, 2002

Philips laboratories researchers are developing ways to paint liquid crystal displays on surfaces instead of between two layers of plastic or glass. The method could allow manufacturers to make displays more quickly.

Diamond challenges for quantum computing crown

May 4, 2009

University College London resarchers say crystalline carbon containing nitrogen vacancies can store qubits for relatively long periods of time and can house a relatively large number of qubits in a small volume and at room temperature.

Encouraging people to contribute knowledge

December 17, 2007

Google is inviting a selected group of people to try a new, free tool they call “knol,” which stands for a unit of knowledge.

Similar to Wikipedia, the goal is to “encourage people who know a particular subject to write an authoritative article about it,” and Google hopes authors will cover all topics. Google says it will provide easy-to-use tools for writing, editing, and so on, as well as… read more

Yahoo Meets Searchers’ Mindsets

June 2, 2005

Yahoo has developed a smart search tool, Mindset, that adjusts results based on how commercial they are.

When people search using Mindset, a simple slider appears on top of the search results. As the slider is moved closer to shopping, commercial listings rise to the top. If it’s moved in the other direction, toward researching, the results weigh toward educational, community and informational sites.

Face Scans Set Up at Lady Liberty

May 26, 2002

A new surveillance system is taking pictures of visitors to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island and comparing them to a database of terror suspects.

The American Civil Liberties Union criticized the system.

Flow of potassium into cells implicated in schizophrenia

May 7, 2009

A study by scientists at the National Institutes of Health and European colleagues on schizophrenia has implicated machinery that maintains the flow of potassium in cells and revealed a potential molecular target for new treatments.

Expression of a previously unknown form of a key such potassium channel was found to be 2.5 fold higher than normal in the brain memory hub of people with the chronic mental illness and… read more

Toshiba Builds 100x Smaller Micro Nuclear Reactor

December 21, 2007

Toshiba has developed a new class of micro size 200 kilowatt nuclear reactors designed to power individual apartment buildings or city blocks.

It uses reservoirs of liquid lithium-6, an isotope that is effective at absorbing neutrons. The process is self-sustaining and can last for up to 40 years, producing electricity for only 5 cents per kilowatt hour, about half the cost of grid energy, the company claims.

Further steps towards artificial eggs and sperm

June 20, 2005

Human embryonic stem cells have been coaxed in the lab to develop into the early forms of cells which eventually become eggs or sperm, UK researchers reveal.

It might one day be to allow people who cannot produce eggs or sperm to have children, by taking cells from their body, deriving embryonic stem cells via therapeutic cloning and then deriving eggs or sperm.

Being able to derive eggs… read more

Open-source software minimizes synthetic biology risks

March 22, 2011

Virginia Tech has licensed GenoTHREAT, a software tool that helps detect the use of synthetic DNA as bioterrorism agents, says Jean Peccoud, associate professor at Virginia Bioinformatics Institute.

GenoTHREAT implements the “best match” screening protocol recommended by the federal government to minimize the risk that unauthorized individuals or those with malicious intent will obtain toxins and other potentially dangerous materials from DNA synthesis… read more

Theory Challenges Darwin Doctrine Of Common Descent

June 21, 2002

Cellular evolution began in a communal environment in which the loosely organized cells took shape through extensive horizontal gene transfer, according to Carl Woese, a microbiologist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

His theory challenges the longstanding Darwinian assumption known as the Doctrine of Common Descent — that all life on Earth has descended from one original primordial form.
On the evolution of cells, Carl R.… read more

Tiny Implants for Treating Chronic Pain

May 15, 2009

A tiny (smaller than a grain of rice) injectable implant designed to treat chronic pain and other neurological disorders has been developed by MicroTransponder using RFID technology.

Radio waves transmitted by the external coil generate a magnetic field in the internal coil, which powers the electrodes.

Stomach-acid-powered micromotors tested in living animal

January 28, 2015

Zinc stomach micromotors

Imagine a micromotor fueled by stomach acid that can take a bubble-powered ride inside a mouse — and that could one day be a safer, more efficient way to deliver drugs or diagnose tumors for humans.

That’s the goal of a team of researchers at the University of California, San Diego.

The experiment is the first to show that these micromotors can operate safely in… read more

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