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John Sperling Wants You to Live Forever

February 5, 2004

John Sperling has quietly assembled an unorthodox team of researchers poised to use all relevant technology in “regenerative medicine” — including, ultimately, therapeutic cloning, stem cell medicine, and genetic engineering — to alleviate human suffering and the fear of death.

Invisibility cloak that generates virtual images gets closer to realization

April 9, 2010

Researchers at Southeast University in Nanjing, China have designed a metamaterial that not only makes an object invisible, but also generates one or more virtual images in its place.

Because it doesn’t simply display the background environment to a viewer, this kind of optical device could have applications that go beyond a normal invisibility cloak.

An Artificial Pancreas

August 8, 2008
(Medtronic, Inc.)

Scientists at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation are pairing continuous glucose monitors with insulin pumps to create an artificial pancreas for people with diabetes.

The Year in Biotech

December 27, 2006

Brain chips, gene Chips, life-extending pills, and stem-cell cures and among the biotech developments on 2006.

Bitcoin online currency gets new job in web security

January 19, 2012


Bitcoin software could prove at least as useful as the Bitcoin online peer-to-peer currency itself by underpinning a number of important new technologies:

  • A form of “carbon dating” for digital information — something that would make electronic voting more secure,  because of the way Bitcoin records transactions.
  • Namecoin, which uses modified Bitcoin software to provide decentralized domain names for websites, could be used

read more

Sony, Toshiba to push chip technology limits

February 13, 2004

Sony and Toshiba announced today they will pool resources to develop 45-nanometer-process chips. The chips could be significantly smaller, faster and consume less power than today’s cutting-edge 90 nm semiconductors.

Study identifies small molecules mimicking key brain growth factor

April 20, 2010

Stanford University School of Medicine researchers have identified several small molecules that mimic BDNF, a key protein in the brain, a discovery that could open the door to new therapies for a variety of brain disorders.

BDNF belongs to a family of proteins called nerve growth factors, which are critical during development of the nervous system. When a growth factor binds to its receptor on the surface of a… read more

Scientists to study synthetic telepathy

August 14, 2008

A team of UC Irvine scientists has been awarded a $4 million grant from the U.S. Army Research Office to study the neuroscientific and signal-processing foundations of “synthetic telepathy.”

The brain-computer interface would use a noninvasive brain imaging technology like electroencephalography to let people communicate thoughts to each other.

The research could lead to a communication system that would benefit soldiers on the battlefield and paralysis and stroke… read more

Desktop fabricator may kick-start home revolution

January 10, 2007

Fab@Home, a cheap self-assembly device capable of fabricating 3D objects, has been developed by Carnegie Mellon University researchers.

They hope the machine could kick start a revolution in home fabrication, or “rapid prototyping,” just as early computer kits sparked an explosion in home computing.

Researchers discover way to grow silicon nanowires

February 24, 2004

Oregon Health & Science University researchers have discovered a new way to accurately grow silicon nanowires on an electrode for use in fabricating nanoscale electronic devices.

Silicon nanowires are typically between 5 and 20 nanometers in diameter. They are grown in a quartz reactor using a technique developed decades ago by Bell Labs called vapor-liquid-solid deposition. “The addition of the electrical fields is what’s new,” said Raj Solanki, Ph.D.,… read more

The secrets of intelligence lie within a single cell

April 27, 2010

The brain’s power will turn out to derive from data processing within the neuron rather than activity between neurons, suggests University of Cambridge research biologist Brian J. Ford.

“Each individual neuron is itself a computer, and the brain a vast community of microscopic computers… the human brain may be a trillion times more capable than we imagine,” he adds.

Lighting Up Tumors

August 20, 2008
A real-time surgical imaging system (top) displays live video of a surgical area overlaid with images of hidden features such as cancer cells, blood vessels, and lymph nodes.

A new imaging system that highlights cancerous tissue in lurid colors should help surgeons remove every last trace of cancer without harming the surrounding tissue.

The system, developed by a Harvard Medical School professor, is currently in early clinical trials, using a new class of contrast agents that emit near-infrared light and can attach to virtually any kind of tissue, cancerous or a healthy–showing surgeons just where… read more

Single-pixel camera takes on digital

January 18, 2007

Rice University researchers are developing a single-pixel camera to capture high-quality images without the expense of traditional digital photography.

This “digital micromirror device” consists of a million or more tiny mirrors each the size of a bacterium. The light is focused through a second lens on to one single photodetector. As the light passes through the device, the millions of tiny mirrors are turned on and off at random… read more

Why the brain slows down when we age

February 2, 2012


New findings by neuroscientists at the University of Bristol reveal why the brain may become less able to function as we grow older.

In mice studies, the research identified a novel cellular mechanism (sodium channels) underpinning changes to the activity of neurons, which may underlie cognitive decline during normal healthy aging.

The researchers recorded electrical signals in single cells of the hippocampus, a structure… read more

Hubble Finds Farthest Galaxies Strangest Yet

March 10, 2004

Astronomers have taken the deepest look into the universe yet, at what could be the most distant galaxies ever seen.

The new image, called the Hubble Ultra Deep Field (HUDF), includes ancient galaxies that emerged just 700 million years after the Big Bang from what astronomers call the “dark ages” of the universe.

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