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Pig cell implants in Huntington’s trial

August 12, 2005

Pig brain cells could be implanted into human brains by the start of next year if trials of a pioneering treatment for Huntington’s disease are approved in the US.

The injection of live animal cells into human brains is likely to raise ethical concerns and fears of pig viruses being transmitted to humans.

How vesicles compute with chemical cocktails

April 15, 2011

(credit: Andrew Adamatzky et al.)

Andrew Adamatzky at the University of the West of England has developed a concept for “vesicle computing”: a chemical cocktail that can support a rich and complex set of behaviors in a honeycomb of cells, acting like tiny Turing machines.

These would be irregular arrangements of vesicles filled with excitable and precipitating chemical systems.

They would be microfactories, where the results of their computations are chemicals that form… read more

Senator to introduce nanotech bill

September 13, 2002

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore. and Sen. Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn. plan to introduce a nanotechnology bill on Sept. 17 focused on economic growth and development, jobs, and global competitiveness. The bill is expected to make the U.S. National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) a standing government program.

The future of robots is rat-shaped

June 8, 2009

Rather than try to replicate complex human intelligence, start at the bottom and figure out simpler abilities that humans share with other animals, like navigating, seeking food and avoiding dangers.

That’s the rationale for Psikharpax, using sensors and controls, with software based on rat neurology. The goal is to get Psikharpax to be able to “survive” in new environments.

Cosmic strings observed in background radiation

January 22, 2008

A controversial new study from Imperial College London scientists says traces of vast cosmic strings have been found in the cosmic microwave background radiation.

If confirmed to exist, cosmic strings could offer an unprecedented window into the extreme physics of the infant universe.

Nano Diamonds Serve as Circuitry-Writing Pens

August 25, 2005

Diamond slivers only nanometers wide could serve as atomic-force microscope tips that help print advanced circuitry, for DNA sequencing devices, or for conductivity measurements of neurons to examine synapses and signal mechanisms.

A common problem atomic-force microscopes face is how their cantilever tips break down as they run over surfaces. Researchers at Northwestern University and Argonne National Laboratory have invented probes made of what they call ultra nanocrystalline diamond.… read more

Building complex objects from Lego-like blocks

April 22, 2011

Building blocks for objects (credit: MIT/New Scientist)

Jonathan Bachrach, an MIT researcher, has developed a fabrication machine that will assemble real structures based on digital building blocks — a Lego set for grown-ups.

Once the outline of an object has been determined, the system overlays a 3D grid and assesses which cells will touch the exterior. Then it assigns a particular block shape to each square and decides on its orientation, so that a digital assembler… read more

Real-time 2D to 3D video conversion unveiled

October 8, 2002

New $99 software that converts standard two-dimensional video images into three-dimensional viewing in real time has been unveiled.

The PC-based system requires users to wear special glasses. The technology creates the illusion of depth by generating two images out of one, each tilted and distorted to generate the illusion of depth when combined.

A chip for TV sets is expected in 2003.

Researchers Test Nanoparticle To Treat Cardiovascular Disease In Mice

June 16, 2009

Nanoparticles that can attack plaque — a major cause of cardiovascular disease — have been developed by UC Santa Barbara researchers.

The nanoparticles are lipid-based collections of molecules that form a sphere called a micelle that has a peptide (a piece of protein) on its surface. The peptide binds to the surface of the plaque, rupturing it.

Thinking About Tomorrow

January 30, 2008

The Wall Street Journal looks ahead 10 years–2018–to imagine how technology will change the way we shop, learn and entertain ourselves, and how it will it change the way we get news, protect our privacy, and connect with friends.

Many of the changes will come from a couple of rapidly improving technologies: mobile devices and global positioning systems.

Molecules used as information processors

September 8, 2005

Chemists at Queen’s University Belfast are exploring the capabilities of molecules that act like conventional computers but in spaces only a few nanometers across.

Molecular information processors placed in nano-spaces can gather, process and supply valuable data on how chemistry and biology function at this tiny scale. Molecules can also be used as information processors in medical and other applications.

Source: Engineering and Physical Sciences Researchread more

Sensors Gone Wild

October 27, 2002

The real goal of a $40 million experiment is to explore the uses of intelligent sensors, a technology whose promise suddenly seems huge. The applications for this “embedded intelligence” are vast and profound. Eventually large swaths of the earth will communicate with the digital realm using millions of miniature sensors. Sensors will be placed in bridges to detect and warn of structural weakness and in water reservoirs to spot hazardous… read more

Human Eye Inspires Advance In Computer Vision

June 23, 2009

Inspired by the behavior of the human eye, Boston College computer scientists have developed a technique that lets computers see objects as fleeting as a butterfly with nearly double the accuracy and 10 times the speed of earlier methods.

Sniffling mice raise therapy hope

February 5, 2008

In a study led by London’s Imperial College, scientists have created a mouse that can catch a cold, raising hopes of new ways to treat serious respiratory conditions and asthma.

It had been thought rhinoviruses, which cause most human colds and can trigger asthma attacks, could only affect higher primates.

Rhinoviruses were discovered 50 years ago, but the failure to find a way to infect small animals had… read more

It’s A Whole New Web

September 20, 2005

“Web 2.0″ is shaking up a raft of industries as people individually and collectively program their own Web.

By the millions, they’re gathering and disseminating their own news with blogs and podcasts, creating customized article and photo feeds from their favorite sites and even annotating them with helpful text tags that others can search for. And they’re producing their own entertainment on video, social-networking, game, and photo-sharing sites.

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