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Supercomputer-discovered drug could lead to new blood pressure medicines

May 5, 2008

University of Florida researchers used a supercomputer to compare the shapes of 140,000 molecules with the structure of the ACE2 enzyme, which protects against high blood pressure.

They found a drug that lowers blood pressure, improves heart function, and prevents damage to the heart.

University of Florida News Release

GNU Radio Opens an Unseen World

June 6, 2006

The Universal Software Radio Peripheral (USRP) allows for building a software-defined general radio that can receive and transmit on any frequency from DC (zero) to 2.9 GHz.

Inventor Matt Ettus paints a picture of radio bringing about a many-to-many revolution, like blogging, but for a wider segment of the world. “It enables everybody to be a broadcaster,” he says.

Student challenges basic ideas of time

August 1, 2003

A bold paper that been published in the August issue of Foundations of Physics Letters seems set to change the way we think about the nature of time and its relationship to motion and classical and quantum mechanics. The work also appears to provide solutions to Zeno’s paradoxes.

In the paper, “Time and Classical and Quantum Mechanics: Indeterminacy vs. Discontinuity”, Peter Lynds argues that “There’s no such thing as… read more

How our brains build social worlds

December 3, 2009

The Interacting Minds project at the Danish Neuroscience Centre in Aarhus aims to develop a new kind of psychological experiment focused on interactions.

The Internet has dramatically increased both the possibilities for interactions and the size of the interacting groups. But there are also greater possibilities for false models, in the shape of deception, propaganda, or genuinely held but dangerously wrong-headed ideas.

Nanoworms target tumors

May 8, 2008

Scientists at UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara and MIT have developed nanometer-sized “nanoworms” that can cruise through the bloodstream without significant interference from the body’s immune defense system and home in on tumors, reminiscent of the science fiction movie, Fantastic Voyage.

The scientists constructed their nanoworms from spherical iron oxide nanoparticles that join together, like segments of an earthworm, to produce tiny gummy worm-like structures about 30 nanometers… read more

Quantum dots device counts single electrons

June 16, 2006

A device capable of counting the individual electrons in an electric current, by feeding them through a pair of quantum dots, has been developed at NTT Basic Research Laboratories.

Independent experts say the device could be used to study the fundamental behavior of electrons and as critical components inside quantum computers, which must exploit quantum physics to perform calculations.

Far from any lab, paper bits find illness

September 29, 2011
Diagnostics for All

Diagnostics for All has created a stamp-size test for liver damage that only requires a single drop of blood, takes 15 minutes, can be read by an untrained eye, and could cost less than a penny, replacing tests that cost $50,000.

The initial target audience: AIDS patients with tuberculosis who must take powerful cocktails of drugs that may damage the liver.

A second test checks for… read more

Casimir force measured precisely

August 12, 2003

The latest in a series of experiments has yielded precise measurement of the Casimir force, which could make nanoscale machines behave erratically.

The Casimir force has to do with the minute pressure that real and virtual photons of light exert when they bump against an object. To manipulate light beams at the nanoscale will likely require tiny mirrors that can pivot to reflect photons down different channels.

Knowledge… read more

Brain Implant Cuts Seizures

December 10, 2009


The Responsive Neurostimulator, a brain implant designed by Neuropace to detect and block the onset of seizures, can significantly reduce their frequency in people with difficult-to-treat epilepsy.

The device, which consists of a neurostimulator that’s smaller than a deck of cards, a battery, and a small computer, continuously monitors electrical activity. It’s surgically implanted into a hollowed out part of the skull, along with a set of electrical leads… read more

A Faster Way to Detect Heart Attacks

May 13, 2008

University of Texas at Austin researchers are testing a “nano-biochip” made of silicon that could detect heart attacks based on the proteins found in a patient’s saliva.

The dime-sized chip, read in a toaster-sized analyzer, could be used concurrently with EKGs in ambulances.

Heart attacks are currently diagnosed by biomarkers in the blood and electrocardiograms. EKGs miss a large number of heart attacks, particularly those with lesser or… read more

Cancer Rewind?

June 28, 2006

Using an experimental anti-cancer drug called flavopiridol, scientists were able to actually rewind the process of cell division. Cells that had already split in two could recombine and re-form a single nucleus.

Smartphone app measures vital heart and respiration signs

October 6, 2011

Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) researchers have developed a smart phone app that can measure heart rhythm and rate, respiration rate, and blood oxygen saturation using the phone’s built-in video camera.

As the camera‚Äôs light penetrates the skin, it reflects off pulsing blood in the finger. The app can correlate subtle shifts in the color of the reflected light with changes in the patient’s vital signs.… read more

DoD Seeks New Chip Technologies

August 21, 2003

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency thinks Moore’s Law will remain viable for about a decade and is investigating a variety of alternative chip technologies beyond that.

These include alternative manufacturing processes, photonics, MEMS, and carbon nanotubes.

Know a gene’s ‘parent’ to improve disease prediction

December 17, 2009

A team at deCODE genetics in Reykjavik, Iceland has looked at hundreds of thousands of single-letter DNA variations to examine how imprinting* affects the risk of disease.

They identified at least five variations whose correlation with a certain disease depended on whether the gene is maternal or paternal.

They also found disease-linked variants that other studies had missed. One of these boosts a person’s risk of type 2… read more

Instant messaging ‘a linguistic renaissance’ for teens

May 16, 2008

A study by speech researchers suggests that instant messaging represents “an expansive new linguistic renaissance” for teenagers.

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