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10-year-old student discovers molecule that can store energy

February 7, 2012


For Kansas City, Mo. student Clara Lazen, 10, a classroom assignment turned into a scientific finding: a new molecule, and her first mention in a scientific journal.

Lazen randomly arranged a unique combination of oxygen, nitrogen and carbon atoms.

Responding to a request by the teacher, Kenneth Boehr, Humboldt State University chemistry professor Robert Zoellner, a computational chemist, searched Chemical Abstracts.

The result:a molecule with the same… read more

Waiter, There’s a Drug in My Rice

March 31, 2004

The California Rice Commission on Monday approved Ventria Bioscience’s request to grow the state’s first crop genetically modified to contain a drug.

The rice is genetically modified to produce two human proteins that fight infection: lactoferrin and lysozyme, both naturally present in breast milk.

Opponents say growing the crops in open fields endangers organic and conventional crops, as well as human health.

Researchers develop living, breathing human lung-on-a-chip

June 25, 2010

The lung on a chip, shown here, was crafted by combining microfabrication techniques from the computer industry with modern tissue engineering techniques, human cells and a plain old vacuum pump. (Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering)

A device that mimics a living, breathing human lung on a microchip has been developed by researchers from the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, Harvard Medical School and Children’s Hospital Boston.

The device, about the size of a rubber eraser, acts much like a lung in a human body and is made using human lung and blood vessel cells.

The lung-on-a-chip microdevice… read more

Retinal Implant Helping Blind People See Again

February 18, 2007

Some people who became blinded by eye diseases, such as pigmentosa or macular degeneration, are beginning to get some vision back after receiving a retinal implant, called the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System, from Doheny Eye Institute researchers.

Patients who have damaged photoreceptor cells in their retina received 16 electrodes which were inserted into their eye. Six patients who were blind were able to see light, detect movement, and… read more

Brilliantly bright light source is one step closer to reality, says scientist

October 6, 2008

The European X-ray Laser Project (XFEL) will harness a high energy x-ray light that is one billion times more brilliant than most modern x-rays to provide detailed images of molecules and atoms.

To see these images, electrons are shot down a 3.3 km long tube at very high speeds and are stimulated to emit x-ray light. These can analyze molecules and atoms in unprecedented detail because the x-ray light… read more

After 45 Years (and $700 Million), a Gravity Experiment Takes Flight

April 14, 2004

Gravity Probe B, to be launched next Monday, is an experiment to test Einstein’s general theory of relativity, which predicted the expansion of the universe and the existence of black holes.

The probe contains four gyroscopes and squids (superconducting quantum interference devices) to measure whether and how the spinning Earth twists space-time (frame dragging) and makes space-time sag (gamma).

It will give physicists precise measurements on ways that… read more

Genes for Extreme Longevity

July 2, 2010

By analyzing just 150 spots on the genome, Boston University researchers can predict who will live to extreme old age with almost 80 percent accuracy.

Preliminary analysis showed that centenarians had just as many genetic variants linked to diseases as did people in the control group, which suggests that what makes people live long lives is not lack of genetic disposition to disease but longevity-promoting genes.

Most centenarians… read more

Iran rocket claim raises tension

February 26, 2007

Iranian media say the country has successfully launched its first rocket capable of reaching space, adding that it was a sub-orbital rocket for scientific research.

EMP-safe, renewable-energy-fueled micro power grids

October 13, 2008

Instant Access Networks and Frostburg State University plan to create renewable-energy-powered, electromagnetic pulse (EMP)-protected microgrids that could provide electricity for critical infrastructure facilities in the event of an EMP attack.

IAN has developed patent-pending shielding technology that encloses a room or similar structure and protects it from EMP events.

It includes electrically isolated layers of steel and aluminum, and is up to 70 percent lighter than materials traditionally… read more

Integrative Annotation of 21,037 Human Genes Validated by Full-Length cDNA Clones

April 20, 2004

An international team has systematically validated and annotated just over 21,000 human genes using full-length cDNA, thereby providing a valuable new resource for the human genetics community.

Interesting environment wards off cancer

July 9, 2010

Mice raised in a complex environment providing social interactions, opportunities to learn and increased physical activity are less likely to get cancer, and better at fighting it when they do, a new study by researchers from the United States and New Zealand suggests.

A mild boost in stress hormones seems to be what keeps the cancer at bay by switching on a molecular pathway that restrains tumor growth.… read more

NASA can’t pay for killer asteroid hunt

March 7, 2007

NASA officials say the space agency is capable of finding nearly all the asteroids that might pose a devastating hit to Earth, but there isn’t enough money to pay for the task so it won’t get done.

The cost to find at least 90 percent of the 20,000 potentially hazardous asteroids and comets by 2020 would be about $1 billion, according to a report NASA will release later this… read more

Singularity Summit 2008 offers discount to readers; keynote by Kurzweil clarifies Turing test rules

October 20, 2008

The Singularity Summit (October 25 in San Jose) has offered a 15 percent discount to readers who register at this link. About 90 seats are left.

The Summit program includes a keynote by Ray Kurzweil, which will include updated charts based on extensive new research, and a comparison of test rules in the recent Loebner Turing test to more rigorousread more

High-speed nanotube transistors could lead to better cell phones, faster computers

April 28, 2004

Scientists have demonstrated for the first time that transistors made from single-walled carbon nanotubes can operate at extremely fast microwave frequencies, opening up the potential for better cell phones and much faster computers, perhaps as much as 1,000 times faster.

Peter Burke, Ph.D., a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the University of California, Irvine and his colleagues built an electrical circuit with a carbon nanotube between… read more

Submarines could use new nanotube technology for sonar and stealth

July 15, 2010


“Nanotube speakers” made from carbon nanotube sheets have been found to be able can both generate sound and cancel out noise — properties ideal for submarine sonar to probe the ocean depths and make subs invisible to enemies, according to a report in ACS’ Nano Letters.

Ali Aliev of MacDiarmid NanoTech Institute, University of Texas at Dallas and colleagues explain that thermoacoustic sound generation results from temperature variation in a carbon nanotube sheet… read more

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