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How Plug-In Hybrids Will Save the Grid

December 21, 2006

A new concept, “vehicle-to-grid,” would allow plug-in hybrids to help stabilize the power grid.

Millions of cars, each with several kilowatt hours of storage capacity, would act as an enormous buffer, taking on charge when the system temporarily generates too much power, and giving it back when there are short peaks in demand.

Particle-free silver ink prints small, high-performance electronics

January 17, 2012

Silver Ink

University of Illinois materials scientists have developed a new silver ink for printing high-performance electronics on ubiquitous, low-cost materials such as flexible plastic, paper or fabric substrates.

Electronics printed on low-cost, flexible materials hold promise for antennas, batteries, sensors, solar energy, wearable devices and more. Most conductive inks rely on tiny metal particles suspended in the ink. The new ink is a transparent solution of… read more

Cool New Ideas to Save Brains

February 10, 2004

A “cool helmet” and a corkscrew device that removes clots in blood vessels are among radical new technologies for stroke treatment.

Printed cells to treat burn victims

April 13, 2010

Science US Wounds Printer

A new “bioprinter” medical device that works like an inkjet printer is being developed by Wake Forest Institute of Regenerative Medicine to heal burns and other wounds by “printing” skin cells directly onto the wound, reducing the need for skin grafts.

Handle With Care

August 12, 2008

A growing number of experts say it is time for a broad discussion of environmental effects of emerging geoengineering projects.

Examples of such projects include “fertilizing” parts of the ocean with iron, in hopes of encouraging carbon-absorbing blooms of plankton; and injecting chemicals into the atmosphere, launching sun-reflecting mirrors into stationary orbit above the earth, or taking other steps to reset the thermostat of a warming planet.

Similar… read more

Free Will: Now You Have It, Now You Don’t

January 2, 2007

In making decisions, the conscious brain is only playing catch-up to what the unconscious brain was already doing, Benjamin Libet, a physiologist at the University of California, San Francisco, has found from his research.

Daniel C. Dennett, a philosopher and cognitive scientist at Tufts University, is one of many who have tried to redefine free will in a way that involves no escape from the materialist world while still… read more

On the Therapist’s Couch, a Jolt of Virtual Reality

February 19, 2004

A Georgia-based company called Virtually Better creates virtual environments with 3-D imaging software for use by psychologists, psychiatrists and researchers.

The scenes combine video images of real people with special effects. A patient wears a helmet with screens extending over each eye that create a lifelike stereoscopic view, a motion sensor that adjusts the scene to correspond to the head position, and audio headset. Vibrating platforms and odors optional.… read more

U. scientist links one gene to intelligence

April 22, 2010

A research team led by University of Utah neuroscientist Julie Korenberg has identified a gene, STX1A (which helps control electrochemical processes at synapses), whose expression can be linked to intelligence.

In studies of Williams Syndrome patients, they found the STX1A gene can account for 15.6 percent of variation in cognitive function, according to findings published Wednesday in the on-line journal PLoS ONE.

U.S. Not Ready for Georgia-Style Computer Attacks

August 18, 2008

The federal government and private sector are not prepared for cyber attacks from China and Russia, according to national intelligence officials, and a 2007 Department of Defense report said the Chinese government sees cyber war as part of its first strike.

Silky brain implants may help stop spread of epilepsy

July 29, 2013

Example of Silk Implant Used in the Study. Silk implants designed to release adenosine were placed into rat brains to stop the spread of epilepsy. Image courtesy of Dr. Boison, from Legacy Research Institute and OHSU.

A NIH-funded study suggests a role for adenosine in molecular processes involved in epilepsy.

Silk has walked straight off the runway and into the lab. According to a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, silk implants placed in the brain of laboratory animals and designed to release a specific chemical, adenosine, may help stop the progression of epilepsy.

The research was… read more

A Better Artificial Skin

January 12, 2007

University of Cincinnati scientists have grown artificial skin cells, using collagen scaffolds. They could ultimately produce a type of artificial skin that can sweat, tan, and fight off infection more effectively.

Artificial emotion

March 1, 2004

Sherry Turkle will host a Symposium at MIT on March 5 to discuss “Evocative Objects.”

We become attached to sophisticated machines not for their smarts but their emotional reach, she says. “They seduce us by asking for human nurturance, not intelligence.”

The market for robotics in health care is about to explode, Turkle says. The question is: Do we want machines moving into these emotive areas?… read more

Potentially Dangerous Asteroid Spotted Passing Earth

April 30, 2010

Asteroid 2005 YU55 — about 1,300 feet (400 meters) in size — came within 1.5 million miles (2.4 million km) of the Earth and is expected back Nov. 8, 2011.

New observations at Arecibo have allowed astronomers to rule out any chance of 2005 YU55 hitting Earth in the next 100 years.

Intel Moves to Free Gadgets of Their Recharging Cords

August 21, 2008

Intel has made progress in a technique for wirelessly powering consumer gadgets and computers, using “resonant induction” to transmit power several feet without wires.

See also: Charging Batteries without Wires

Nano-wheels seen rolling at last

January 23, 2007

Researchers created a carbon molecule resembling a pair of wheels just 0.8 nanometers in diameter, joined together by an axle only four carbon atoms long.

They used the tip of a scanning tunnelling electron microscope to push individual molecules across a copper surface, which provided a direct readout that shows the wheels only roll when pushed in the right direction.

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