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Graphene Nanopores Solve DNA Sequencing Problem

May 28, 2010


A Dutch team has developed a proof-of-concept device capable in theory of sequencing a complete human genome in a time measured in minutes and at a cost measured in pennies.

It passes an individual DNA molecule at a time through a nanopore (created using an electron beam) in a sheet of graphene to measure the conductivity of a single DNA molecule. As these individual DNA molecules translocate through the… read more

Mouse Model of Schizophrenia Could Speed Identification of New Antipsychotic Drugs

July 1, 2003

Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers have produced a genetically altered mouse that exhibits behavioral abnormalities strikingly similar to those observed in humans with schizophrenia and have identified a genetic variant associated with schizophrenia in humans.

According to the researchers, the findings could mean they have identified a molecular signaling pathway — the calcineurin pathway in the forebrain — involved in the origin of schizophrenia. If so, the search for… read more

DNA firms step up security over bioterrorism threat

September 15, 2008

To counter fears that terrorists could order the genes needed to make a deadly virus, Industry Association of Synthetic Biology (IASB) members will carry a seal of approval on their websites confirming that they screen their orders, putting pressure on the minority of firms that cut costs by not screening to change.

Model hearing

April 25, 2006

Robots may one day be equipped with the advanced listening skills of human beings if a team of Newcastle University researchers succeeds in its attempt to develop a complex computer model of the part of the brain that processes sound.

The technology could be used to enable voice control of machines in noisy conditions, or be used at the heart of a new generation of sophisticated hearing aids that… read more

Eat less, live longer?

June 4, 2010

A new “dietary restriction” (not just calorie restriction) theory about how diet affects aging suggests that the drop in calories is not solely responsible for lifespan extension — in some species at least, perhaps it is also the accompanying drop in dietary protein.

Protein restriction is much less difficult to maintain than calorie restriction and may be more powerful in reducing insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) in humans (a… read more

Construction bugs find tiny work

July 11, 2003

“Biorobotic” bugs could help to construct nanoscale microscopic electrical circuits or other devices, using severed bacterial arms to lift and move objects, according to researchers speaking at the American Society of Microbiology’s Conference on Bio-, Micro- and Nanosystems.

How telcos and ISPs are prepping for a pandemic

September 22, 2008

Telecom carriers and ISPs have discussed what steps they’ve been taking to prepare for the mass outbreak of a disease such as influenza.

They are dealing with significant numbers of people living in shelters or staying at home to work, and determining where public safety needs the most help — for example, where key 911 facilities and key hospitals are located so they can boost key cellular signals.

The Future Is Now

May 15, 2006

The Tofflers’ new book, “Revolutionary Wealth,” argues convincingly that we are on the verge of a post-scarcity world that will slash poverty and “unlock countless opportunities and new life trajectories,” at least if we avoid the rapidly escalating risks to such progress.

Carbon nanotubes create underwater sonar speakers

June 14, 2010

Engineers at the University of Texas at Dallas have created an underwater speaker using thin sheets of nanotubes, which they hope could provide a lightweight alternative to the sound projectors used in long-range sonar.

Taking control: Lab testing you order for yourself

July 21, 2003

Healthcare consumers can now order laboratory tests on themselves in more than 30 states. “Direct Access Testing” is on the verge of tremendous expansion in providing laboratory services such as allergy, cardiac risk, and Diabetes screening tests to the patient population.

American Association for Clinical Chemistry press release

Imaging nanoscale objects at nanosecond speeds

September 26, 2008

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory researchers have achieved a milestone in materials science and electron microscopy by imaging a material at nanometer and nanosecond scales, an unprecedented combination of spatial and temporal resolution.

They used the Lab’s new Dynamic Transmission Electron Microscope (DTEM) to image a multilayer foil at 15-nanosecond resolution.

Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) is capable of sub-angstrom spatial resolution (under .1 nanometer), but is limited to about… read more

The next wave of the web

May 30, 2006

The imminence of wireless broadband for mobiles means we are about to enter the phase of mobile and ubiquitous computing. It is also going to bring the Internet to the hundreds of millions of people who have no Internet access.

The Web is already full of knowledge-intensive AI components. Take Bayesian methods, a branch of statistics that allows a machine to make decisions, shifting probabilities based on its past… read more

Researchers create self-assembling nanodevices that move and change shape on demand

June 23, 2010

An electron micrograph of an actual nanoscale tensegrity built using the new DNA-based, self-assembling nanofabrication capabilities. (Tim Liedl)

Harvard researchers have created nanodevices made of DNA that self-assemble and can be programmed to move and change shape on demand.

The nanodevice structure is based on the principle of tensegrity: its strength and stability results from the way it distributes and balances the counteracting forces of tension and compression.

This new technology could lead to nanoscale medical devices and drug delivery systems, such as virus mimics that… read more

Greenpeace Wades Into Nano Debate With Report That Calls For Caution

July 28, 2003

Greenpeace has entered the debate over nanotech’s impact on the environment and society with a study that calls for the industry to “demonstrate a commitment to (environmental concerns) by funding the relevant research on a far greater scale than currently witnessed.”

Greenpeace explores the idea that “quantum dots, nanoparticles, and other throwaway nanodevices may constitute whole new classes of non-biodegradable pollutants that scientists have very little understanding of.”… read more

New Sony Reader has light, note-taking stylus

October 3, 2008

Sony Corp. unveiled a new e-book reader (PRS-700) Thursday with a built-in light and a touch-sensitive display, features that set it apart from Inc.’s Kindle reader.

Books are loaded on to the device by connecting it to a PC, not via wireless, as with the Kindle. Sony is opening up its Readers to e-books from other vendors.

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