science + technology news

Video appears in paper magazines

August 21, 2009

The first video-in-print ads, using chips and thin screens around the size of mobile phone displays, will appear in select copies of Entertainment Weekly magazine in September and hold 40 minutes of video.

The first clips will be promos for CBS programs and Pepsi.

Testing Over, to Open Its TV and Film Offerings This Week

March 11, 2008 will make its catalog of TV shows and video clips available to anyone on the Web starting Wednesday.

The streaming-video site displays free, ad-supported shows and feature films from NBC, Fox and more than 50 media companies, including Sony Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

Creating 3D brain tissues in a lab dish

December 3, 2012

Fabrication of 3D multilayer tissue prototypes via a layer-by-layer photomasking (credit: U. Gurkan et al./Advanced Materials)

Borrowing from microfabrication techniques used in the semiconductor industry, MIT and Harvard Medical School (HMS) engineers have developed a simple, inexpensive way to create three-dimensional brain tissues in a lab dish, using brain cells taken from the primary cortex of rats.

The new technique yields tissue constructs that closely mimic the cellular composition of those in the living brain, allowing scientists to study how neurons… read more

Stems cells as drug delivery carriers to the brain

December 15, 2005

Engineered human brain progenitor cells, transplanted into the brains of rats and monkeys, can effectively integrate into the brain and deliver medicine where it is needed, bypassing the blood-brain barrier, University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers have found.

The Wisconsin team obtained and grew large numbers of progenitor cells from human fetal brain tissue. They then engineered the cells to produce a growth factor known as glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor… read more

Tiny ruler to measure macromolecular movement

June 17, 2011


Paul Alivisatos of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and colleagues have designed a first-of-its-kind ruler capable of measuring the configuration and movement of macromolecules, such as DNA.

The researchers constructed an “H”-shaped device out of five gold nanorods, the length and position of each of which could be controlled. They then looked for changes in spectra associated with plasmon coupling — the tendency… read more

Swarm Intelligence: An Interview with Eric Bonabeau

February 26, 2003

Dr. Eric Bonabeau takes us from his childhood nightmares of carnivorous wasps to applying the theories of swarm intelligence to solving real problems in the business world.

“It’s no longer possible to use traditional, centralized, hierarchical command and control techniques to deal with systems that have thousands or even millions of dynamically changing, communicating, heterogeneous entities,” he says. “I think that the type of solution swarm intelligence offers is… read more

Where Have You Gone, Bell Labs?

August 31, 2009

The root of the current lack of new, high-quality job creation is the massive scaling back of science and engineering research, which has in the past made enormous contributions to science, technology, and the economy, including the creation of millions of high-paying jobs, says management consultant Adrian Slywotzky.

Here’s what’s needed to get that model back on track, he suggests:

• Clear national goals in two or three… read more

An Assistant Who May Need the Occasional Battery

March 17, 2008

Georgia Tech researchers have built “El-E,” a laser-pointer guided robot that can fetch objects as varied as towels, wallets, or coffee mugs with no need for elaborate computer modeling.

The laser pointer gives the robot just enough context and guidance to solve the problem of figuring out which object in a room to pick up.

This type of dexterous robot may be helpful in assisting people with severely… read more

Chip Industry Sets a Plan for Life After Silicon

December 29, 2005

A transition from silicon to nanontechnology around the year 2015 is forecast in the biannual International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors, to be issued Saturday. The report is used by the semiconductor industry as a planning tool to determine how best to spend research and development money for new technology.

SETI to target most tantalising radio transmissions

March 12, 2003

Astronomers searching for signs of extraterrestrial intelligence are about to zoom in on 150 of the more tantalizing radio transmissions that have reached Earth.

College for $99 a Month

September 7, 2009

The next generation of online education could be great for students — and catastrophic for universities, as a great deal of money is going to abruptly melt out of the higher education system, just as it has in scores of other industries that traffic in information that is now far cheaper and more easily accessible than it has ever been before, says Kevin Carey, the policy director of Education Sector,… read more

‘Designer enzymes’ created by chemists

March 19, 2008

UCLA and the University of Washington chemists have created “designer enzymes” for generating reactions not possible with natural enzymes–a major milestone in computational chemistry and protein engineering.

The UCLA team used supercomputers to model the detailed mechanisms of chemical reactions and design the enzymes’ active site–the area of the enzymes in which the chemical reactions take place. The U of W team designed sequences of amino acids that folded… read more

Cells That Read Minds

January 9, 2006

The monkey brain contains a special class of cells, called mirror neurons, that, surprisingly, fire when the animal sees or hears an action and when the animal carries out the same action on its own.

The discovery is shaking up numerous scientific disciplines, shifting the understanding of culture, empathy, philosophy, language, imitation, autism and psychotherapy.

Everyday experiences are also being viewed in a new light. Mirror neurons reveal… read more

Genetic ‘conductor’ involved with new brain cell production in adults

July 1, 2011

A team of North Carolina State University researchers has discovered more about how the Foxj1 gene — connected to the production of new brain cells in adults — does its job.

The team had previously discovered that the gene was an “off switch” that told neuronal stem cells to stop reproducing and triggered the development of a stem cell “niche” in the olfactory bulbs. However, further experiments… read more

Sony Seeks Homes for Robots

March 28, 2003

Sony’s humanoid SDR robot can entertain and converse with humans but it’s still in search of a market.

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