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Gas induces ‘suspended animation’

October 10, 2006

Hydrogen sulphide was found to slow down heart rate and breathing and decrease body temperature in mice, while keeping a normal blood pressure.

The effects of the gas seemed to be reversible, with the mice returning to normal two hours after the mice started to breathe normal air again.

Award for new virtual TV guide

November 20, 2003

A virtual TV guide aimed at helping visually impaired people can switch channels at the command of the viewer.

The software chats to viewers about what they want to see, a computer linked to the TV uses voice recognition to accept their answer and then switches the set to the correct channel.

First Self-Healing Coatings

December 12, 2008

New protective coatings developed at the University of Illinois heal over their own scratches with no external intervention, protecting the underlying metal from corrosion.

The self-healing elements, in a paint additive, are enclosed in microcapsules that rip open when the coating is scratched.

A New Search Engine, Where Less Is More

November 1, 2010

Blekko, a search engine that will open to the public on Monday, aims to show search results from only useful, trustworthy sites.

Blekko’s search engine scours three billion Web pages that it considers worthwhile, but it shows only the top results on any given topic. It calls its edited lists of Web sites slashtags. The engine also tries to weed out Web pages created by … read more

Robotic cars could take pressure off nation’s highways

June 24, 2007

Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab researchers foresee high-occupancy vehicle lanes and eventually entire highways filled bumper-to-bumper with fast-moving robotic cars carrying commuters reading e-mails and newspapers, working on their laptops or snoozing.

Two vaccines show promise against prion disease

October 18, 2006

University of Rochester Medical Center researchers have developed two new vaccine therapies that produced protective immune responses against prions in mice, and believe they could be further developed to work in humans or livestock.

DNA-sorted carbon nanotubes allow for nanoelectronics building blocks

December 3, 2003

DuPont, MIT and University of Illinois scientists have discovered an innovative way to advance electronics applications through the use of DNA that sorts carbon nanotubes.

Carbon nanotubes possess excellent electrical properties that make them potential building blocks in a broad range of nanotechnology-related electronic applications, including highly sensitive medical diagnostic devices and transistors more than 100 times tinier than those found in today’s microchips. When they are fabricated, however,… read more

Blind, Yet Seeing: The Brain’s Subconscious Visual Sense

December 23, 2008

An international team of brain researchers have reported experiments with a patient with destroyed visual lobes who shows “blindsight” — unconscious perception of obstacles.

Organic food ‘better’ for heart

July 6, 2007

A ten-year study comparing organic tomatoes with standard produce found almost double the level of flavonoids, which have been shown to reduce high blood pressure, lowering the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Flavonoids have also been linked with reduced rates of some types of cancer and dementia.

This crop revolution may succeed where GM failed

October 30, 2006

New agricultural technology called marker-assisted selection (MAS) offers a sophisticated method to greatly accelerate classical breeding.

A growing number of scientists believe MAS will eventually replace GM food.

Rapidly accumulating information about crop genomes is allowing scientists to identify genes associated with traits such as yield, and then scan crop relatives for the presence of those genes.

‘AI Bush’ chatbot uses advanced natural-language programming

December 14, 2003

AI Bush, “an interactive Robot President,” is an experimental natural-language program and game from EllaZ Systems.

Announced today, it is based on the program “Ella,” which won the worldwide Loebner Prize Contest in 2002 as the “most human computer.”

AI Bush games include the strategy game “Reelect Bush?” You are a close advisor, helping him make decisions. The President’s expressions, voice clips, and tracking… read more

Progress Toward a Biological Fuel Cell?

December 31, 2008

Japanese researchers have developed biological fuel cells based on metal-reducing bacteria that aggregate into an electrically conducting network.

They investigated how this transfer is carried out in Shewanella loihica. They added the cells to a solution containing very finely divided nanoscopic iron oxide particles and poured the solution into a chamber containing electrodes. A layer of bacteria and iron oxide particles was rapidly deposited onto the indium tin oxide… read more

Using the body’s own defenses to combat cancer

November 17, 2010

MIT engineers have developed a way to attach drug-carrying pouches (yellow) to the surfaces of cells. (Darrell Irvine and Matthias Stephan)

MIT researchers have engineered T cells with tiny pouches that can carry cytokines, which are gradually released from the pouches, enhancing the longevity of the T cells that carry them.

In a study published in the journal Nature Medicine in August, Irvine and Stephan used their modified T cells to treat mice with lung and bone marrow tumors. They are now working on ways to more easily synthesize the pouches… read more

Architects design building with waterfall walls

July 16, 2007

A building with waterfall walls that can display images and words is being designed by a team of MIT architects and engineers.

The effect is created by a row of valves spaced along a pipe suspended in the air. A computer controls the opening and closing of the valves. This produces a curtain of falling water similar to a waterfall, with gaps at specified locations. The entire surface becomes… read more

Entrepreneurs See a Web Guided by Common Sense

November 12, 2006

Computer scientists are finding new ways to mine human intelligence.

Their goal is to create Web 3.0, or the “semantic Web,” by adding a layer of meaning on top of the existing Web that would make it less of a catalog and more of a guide — and even provide the foundation for systems that can reason in a human fashion.

Radar Networks, for example, is one of… read more

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