science + technology news

Five ways to trigger a natural disaster

July 30, 2008

From mud volcanoes, flooding, earthquakes, and hurricanes to disappearing lakes, human actions can have all sorts of unforeseen environmental consequences.

New slide speeds disease diagnosis

December 13, 2006

A glass microscope slide covered with bits and pieces of genetic information from nearly 30,000 different viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites can quickly tell disease hunters whether a patient has malaria, influenza or myriad other diseases, researchers say.

The device, known as a GreeneChip, is already being used by the World Health Organization and the Defense Department. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is to receive its first… read more

Nanotechnology Takes On Cancer

January 30, 2004

The NIH Roadmap for Medical Research includes nanomedicine research for cancer therapy.

For example, the Center For Biologic Nanotechnology at the University of Michigan is developing dendrimers (molecules shaped like spheres and made up of nanoscale polymers in a very specific pattern) that can create smart-therapeutic nanodevices used to treat disease. One type seeks out and recognizes only cancer cells. Another type can diagnose what type of cancer it… read more

Diamond chips to make meaner, greener electronics

April 7, 2010

Synthetic Diamond Chips

Synthetic diamond doped with impurities could be used to make microchips that handle high-power signals but do not require power-hungry cooling systems, leading to considerable energy savings, say researchers at Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST).

Researchers introduce next generation tool for visualizing genomic data

August 5, 2008

Researchers at the Broad Institute have developed the Integrative Genomics Viewer (IGV), a novel and freely available visualization tool that helps users simultaneously integrate and analyze different types of genomic data, and gives them the flexibility to zoom in on a specific genomic region of interest or to pan out for a broad, whole-genome view.

Will robots ever become just like humans?

December 25, 2006

The development of humanoid robots today focuses on three major areas:
control of manipulators, biped locomotion, and interaction with humans.

New automated tomography imaging process speeds up whole-brain mapping

January 18, 2012

STP tomography

Serial Two-Photon Tomography (STP tomography), a new technology developed by neuroscientists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) and MIT, significantly speeds up the process of acquiring highly detailed anatomical images of whole brains. Until now, the process has been painstakingly slow and available only to a handful of highly specialized research teams.

“The new technology should greatly facilitate the systematic study of neuroanatomy in mouse… read more

Superconductors, Quantum Mechanics and Nanotech to the Rescue

February 11, 2004

A trio of high technologies — superconductors, quantum mechanics and nanotech — may allow cancer specialists to spot tumors so small they elude today’s best imaging methods.

A “Superconducting QUantum Interference Device,” or SQUID, lets oncologists and surgeons locate previously injected tumor-specific nanoparticles that act like submicroscopic cancer-detection beacons.

Network expands to 256 times its original size to bridge the micro and macro worlds

April 16, 2010

Expandable Network

To integrate a high-density array of nano/microdevices in macroscopic materials, Stanford University researchers have developed an effective way to bridge the micro and macro scales by designing a stretchable substrate network of microwires and micronodes that can be expanded from a few square centimeters to one square meter at low strain levels in the material, resembling a giant ultra-light spider web.

Stem Cell Lines Mark Birth of New Field

August 12, 2008

Researchers at Harvard used cells from adults with genetic diseases to make nine stem cell lines (induced pluripotent stem, or iPS cells) capable of being turned into any type of cell or tissue) that have the genes for those diseases.

These disease-specific cell lines (including Down syndrome, Type 1 diabetes, and Parkinson’s disease) provide a new way for researchers to study diseases: by cultivating the iPS cells into specific… read more

Hearing Machines

January 4, 2007

While hearing in machines lags far behind vision in machines, the potential is great, and researchers are beginning to make impressive progress.

Earth sows its seeds in space

February 23, 2004

Deep-frozen spores that spread life in space (the Panspermia concept) could survive if they can escape the Sun’s gravity more quickly. And that might happen if the rocks they sit on are first ground to dust, says William Napier, an astronomer at the Armagh Observatory in Northern Ireland.

The pressure of sunlight can quickly blow grains this small out of the solar system and such a grain could travel… read more

Achieving Fiber-Optic Speeds over Copper Lines

April 26, 2010

Alcatel-Lucent has developed a prototype technology that could dramatically increase the speed of data communications, using two copper phone lines: 100 megabits per second at one kilometer.

By amplifying cell death signals, scientists make precancerous cells self-destruct

August 18, 2008

Rockefeller University scientists have figured out a way in mice to amplify the signals that tell precancerous cells to die, by inactivating the IAP protein (stands for “inhibitor of apoptosis protein”), which normally helps cells avoid self-destruction.

How cancer chromosome abnormalities form in living cells

August 12, 2013

Chromosome translocation

National Cancer Institute (NCI) scientists have directly observed events that lead to the formation of a chromosome abnormality that is often found in cancer cells.

The abnormality, called a translocation, occurs when part of a chromosome breaks off and becomes attached to another chromosome.

Chromosomes are thread-like structures inside cells that carry genes and function in heredity. Human chromosomes each contain a… read more

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