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New Artificial Material Paves Way To Improved Electronics

April 17, 2008
(University of Liege)

University of Liege and University of Geneva scientists have developed a new artificial material based on interface engineering at the atomic scale that promises to open up radically new electronic applications.

The material is a superlattice, with a multilayer structure composed of alternating atomically thin layers of two different oxides (PbTiO3 and SrTiO3). It has properties that are different from either of the two materials–ferroelectricity and a… read more

When it comes to intelligence, size isn’t everything

March 30, 2006

Intelligence has more to do with when and how the brain grows rather than its overall size, suggests a new study.

In the brightest children, the thickness of the prefrontal cortex — a brain region thought to be responsible for many facets of intelligence — increased rapidly through their pre-teen years before thinning out again after the age of 11. The pattern was the same in those of average… read more

Savant for a Day

June 23, 2003

Cognitive scientist Allan Snyder has found that 40 percent of test subjects undergoing transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) exhibited extraordinary, and newfound, mental skills.

Xerox Claims Printable Electronics Breakthrough

October 30, 2009

Xerox has announced a new silver ink that is apparently a breakthrough in printable electronics.

The possibilities range from printing on flexible plastic, paper and cardboard, and fabric, to printing RFID tags on almost anything.

Vitamin D deficiency may be linked to brain dysfunction

April 22, 2008

Scientists at Children’s Hospital & Research Center at Oakland have found evidence for vitamin D’s involvement in brain function, warranting vitamin D supplementation for groups chronically low in vitamin D, particularly nursing infants, the elderly, and African Americans.

The evidence includes wide distribution of vitamin D receptors throughout the brain and the vitamin’s ability to affect proteins in the brain known to be directly involved in learning and memory,… read more

Building a hand-held lab-on-a-chip to simplify blood tests

April 12, 2006

A cell phone-sized blood-count machine requiring less blood than a mosquito bite will make blood tests easier for many patients, from neonatal units to astronauts in space.

Source: National Space Biomedical Research Institute news release

Mice born from transplanted womb

July 2, 2003

Mice with transplanted wombs have given birth to healthy pups — the first time that live offspring have been produced from a surgically implanted uterus.

Researchers hope the technique will benefit women who currently cannot bear children because their wombs are damaged or missing.

Moore’s Law: Beating The Noise Problem

November 9, 2009

It may be possible to improve computer memories by using noise to overcome the increase in noise as transistors become smaller, using stochastic resonance, researchers at the Instituto Tecnologico de Buenos Aires suggest.

Adult heart derived stem cells develop into heart muscle

April 24, 2008

University Medical Center Utrecht and Hubrecht Institute researchers have succeeded in taking stem cells from adult human hearts and growing them into large numbers of new heart muscle cells.

The stem cells were derived from material left over from open-heart operations, and grew into fully developed heart muscle cells that contract rhythmically, respond to electrical activity, and react to adrenaline.

The method results in identical cells that could… read more

Micro-pump to cool future computer chips

April 27, 2006

Purdue University engineers have developed a “micro-pump” cooling device small enough to fit on a computer chip that circulates coolant through channels etched into the chip.

“Our goal is to develop advanced cooling systems that are self-contained on chips and are capable of handling the more extreme heating in future chips,” said Suresh Garimella, director of Purdue’s Cooling Technologies Research Center.

The prototype chip contains numerous water-filled micro-channels,… read more

New map shows where tastes are coded in the brain

September 6, 2011

Bitter hot spot in the mouse insular cortex (credit: Xiaoke Chen et al./Science)

Howard Hughes Medical Institute and NIH scientists have discovered that our four basic tastes — sweet, bitter, salty, and “umami,” or savory —- are processed by neurons arranged discretely in a “gustotopic map” in the brain.

In the past, researchers measured the electrical activity of small clusters of neurons to see which areas of a mouse’s brain were activated by different tastes. In… read more

Teaching Computers to Work in Unison

July 15, 2003

This month, grid computing moved further toward the commercial mainstream when the Globus Project released new software tools that blend the grid standards with a programming technology called Web services, developed mainly in corporate labs, for automated computer-to-computer communications.

Enthusiasm for grid computing is also broadening among scientists. A report this year by a National Science Foundation panel, “Revolutionizing Science and Engineering Through Cyberinfrastructure,” called for new financing of… read more

Can personalized medicine fix healthcare?

November 15, 2009

“Healthcare is a trial and error industry…because the current pharma R&D model of blockbusters for broad patient groups is broken,” says Rita Lim-Wilby, Conference Director at PCI Pharma. “The solution is targeted therapeutics.”

That’s the premise of PCI Pharma’s “Advances Towards Personalized Medicine,” a one-day symposium, to be held at the Claremont Resort and Spa, Berkeley, California, on Thursday, November 19, 2009, featuring ten speakers from the University of… read more

Home Brew for the Car, Not the Beer Cup

April 28, 2008

E-Fuel Corporation is developing a home ethanol system, the E-Fuel 100 MicroFueler.

It will be about as large as a stackable washer-dryer, sell for $9,995, and ship before year-end.

Using sugar as its main fuel source, it could cost as little as a dollar a gallon to make ethanol, which would produce one-eighth the carbon of the same amount of gasoline.

Biggest map of universe reveals colossal structures

May 16, 2006

Giant structures stretching more than a billion light years across have been revealed by two new maps of the distribution of galaxies in the universe. The updated atlases lend more support to the idea that the universe is dominated by dark matter and dark energy.

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