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The World’s First Powered Ankle

May 11, 2007

Hugh Herr, director of the biomechatronics group at the MIT Media Lab, unveiled his latest design at an MIT conference on Wednesday: a novel prosthesis modeled on the human ankle.

Microsoft Releases Service Pack 2

August 9, 2004

Microsoft released a long-awaited security update for its Windows XP program on Friday, a response to the growing number of security shortcomings.

The upgrade is designed to make users safer from cyberattacks by sealing entries to viruses, better protecting personal data, and fending off spyware.

Service Pack 2 should be available on compact disc and from the company’s Windows Update site by end of the month.

Eating berries may activate the brain’s natural housekeeper for healthy aging

August 24, 2010


Scientists on Monday reported the first evidence that eating blueberries, strawberries, acai berries, and possibly walnuts may help the aging brain stay healthy in a crucial but previously unrecognized way. Their study concluded that berries activate the brain’s natural “housekeeper” mechanism, which cleans up and recycles toxic proteins linked to age-related memory loss and other mental decline.

It involves a reduction in the brain’sread more

Hunting for a Brainy Computer

November 20, 2008

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has awarded a $4.9 million grant to five universities and IBM Research for the first phase of an ambitious research venture in cognitive computing, an emerging field that lies at the outer edge of artificial intelligence and is based on advances in computing, nanotechnology and neuroscience.

The leader of IBM’s cognitive computing program, Dharmendra Modha, describes the research as “the quest to engineer… read more

Better Pictures of Proteins

May 24, 2007

MIT researchers have significantly increased the sensitivity of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy.

Improved NMR could help drug companies quickly screen libraries of potential therapies. It might also be used one day to test patients for the presence of abnormal proteins, such as those that build up in the brain as a result of Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s disease.

DNA technique protects against ‘evil’ emails

August 23, 2004

An algorithm named Chung-Kwei, originally designed to analyze DNA sequences, was able to identify spam with 96.56 per cent accuracy by analyzing text patterns.

Instead of chains of characters representing DNA sequences, the research group fed the algorithm 65,000 examples of known spam. Each email was treated as a long, DNA-like chain of characters. Teiresias identified six million recurring patterns in this collection, such as “Viagra”.

Regenerating Neurons in Eyes

November 25, 2008

Cells in the retina of mice can be coaxed to create new neurons following an injury, suggesting it may be possible to replace cells that are lost in diseases like macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa, according to new research from the University of Washington.

Embedded nanowires could control tissue growth

June 4, 2007

A new way of embedding silicon nanowires in cells could one day allow scientists to control how living tissues grow using electrical stimulation.

If the technique works, it would represent a new way of controlling differentiation of stem cells to form specific tissues and inserting genes into specific organelles within the cell.

The future of nanotechnology

September 3, 2004

Eric Drexler’s vision of self-assembling nanoscale machines will be difficult to achieve because of low Reynolds numbers, ubiquitous Brownian motion, and strong surface forces, says physicist Richard Jones of the University of Sheffield.

As an alternative way to achieve “radical nanotechnology,” he proposes two methods: using biological components, such as molecular motors and incorporating them into artificial nanostructures; and bionanotechnology, using some of the design methods of biology and… read more

Efficient Thin-Film Solar Cells

December 4, 2008
(Lirong Zeng)

MIT researchers have unveiled a new type of silicon solar cell that could be 15% more efficient and cost less than currently used solar cells.

It combines a highly effective reflector on the back of a solar cell with an antireflective coating on the front. This helps trap red and near-infrared light, which can be used to make electricity, in the silicon.

Scientists Dish Up Rice Vaccine to Fight Cholera

June 12, 2007

Japanese researchers have created a strain of rice that can act as a vaccine and last for more than a year and a half at room temperature.

Immunologist Hiroshi Kiyono of the University of Tokyo and his colleagues inserted the genetic material from the microbe responsible for producing cholera toxin into a rice plant, whose genome has recently been sequenced. The plants produced the toxin and when the rice… read more

Speech Code From I.B.M. to Become Open Source

September 15, 2004

IBM announced it will contribute some of its speech-recognition software to two open-source software groups.

After decades of research and development, speech recognition is moving toward mainstream use. Advances in statistical modeling, pattern-matching algorithms and processing power have enabled speech recognition to interpret a far broader vocabulary of words and phrases than in the past, though glitches remain.

The software for speech-recognition applications once had to be custom… read more

Medical robot is doctor’s eyes on battlefield

December 10, 2008

An American soldier is hit by enemy fire in Iraq. A Humvee speeds him to a field hospital just outside the combat area. He looks up groggily to see a robot peering down at him…linked to a trauma surgeon sitting at a laptop in the Ryder Trauma Center at the University of Miami/Jackson Medical Center, 11,200 miles away….

Papers reveal Newton’s religious side

June 20, 2007

Three-century-old manuscripts by Isaac Newton calculating the exact date of the apocalypse (no earlier than 2060), detailing the precise dimensions of the ancient temple in Jerusalem and interpreting passages of the Bible –exhibited this week for the first time — lay bare the little-known religious intensity of a man many consider history’s greatest scientist.

Nanotube Defects Detected Using Vibrations

September 29, 2004

Max Planck Institute researchers have measured the vibrational modes of carbon nanotubes with atomic resolution and demonstrated that the vibrations are substantially modified near defects.

Using a scanning tunneling microscopy technique, the vibrational modes of carbon nanotubes were mapped with sub-nanometer spatial resolution. This allows the study of the role of local defects in the flow of heat and electrical charge in carbon nanostructures.

Maxread more

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