science + technology news

Scientists Design Molecules That Mimic Nanostructure of Bone

November 26, 2001

Self-assembling molecules developed by scientists at Northwestern University mimic key features of bone at the nanoscale level.Scientists at Northwestern University have become the first to design molecules that could lead to a breakthrough in bone repair. The designer molecules hold promise for the development of a bonelike material to be used for bone fractures or in the treatment of bone cancer patients and have implications for the regeneration of other… read more

Brain wave patterns can predict blunders, new study finds

March 24, 2009
(Donders Institute)

A distinct electric signature in the brain that predicts that an error is about to be made has been found by UC Davis and Donders Institute neuroscientists by analyzing recorded magnetoencephalographic (MEG) brain activity.

About a second before errors were committed, alpha wave activity was about 25 percent stronger in the back of the head (the occipital region), and in the middle region, the sensorimotor cortex, there… read more

The Charge of the Ultra-Capacitors

November 5, 2007

MIT scientists plan to replace the activated carbon of current ultracapacitors, which can can store more charge than a capacitor, with a dense, microscopic forest of carbon nanotubes grown directly on the surface of the current collector.

This would create a device that can hold up to 50 percent as much electrical energy as a comparably sized battery, while being more effective at rapid, regenerative energy storage than chemical… read more

13 things that do not make sense

March 18, 2005

There are many scientific observations that simply defy explanation, such as the placebo effect, the horizon problem (the microwave background radiation filling the cosmos is at the same temperature everywhere), ultra-energetic cosmic rays, dark matter, and Viking’s methane.

Women catch up on net use

December 19, 2001

Women are catching up with men when it comes to logging on to the internet, according to research.Figures from the Office of National Statistics show a steady increase in the number of people using the internet in Britain.

But the number of women using the web leapt 12% on last year compared with a minimal change in figures for men.

The results of the Expenditure and Food Survey… read more

‘Polypill ‘could become a reality’

March 31, 2009

An inexpensive five-in-one daily “polypill” can guard against heart attacks and strokes with the same safety and results as taking the same medications separately, a study by McMaster University researchers found.

The pill combines aspirin, a statin, and three blood-pressure-­lowering drugs.

See Also ‘Polypill’ could slash heart attacks and strokes

New UHF RFID technology helps robots find household objects

Machine plays "hotter/colder” game while searching
September 24, 2014

Researchers equipped a PR2 robot with articulated, directionally sensitive antennas and a new algorithm that allows the robot to successfully find and navigate to objects (credit: Georgia Tech/Travis Deyle)

A new search algorithm that improves a robot’s ability to find and navigate to tagged objects in a room or house has been developed by Charlie Kemp, an associate professor in Georgia Tech’s Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering, former Georgia Tech student Travis Deyle, and University of Washington Professor Matthew Reynolds,

The team has implemented their system in a PR2 robot, allowing it to… read more

BlueGene/L is still world’s fastest supercomputer

November 13, 2007
BlueGene/L racks being installed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (Bob Hirschfeld/LLNL)

IBM’s Blue Gene/L supercomputer continues its four-year domination of the official
TOP500 Supercomputer Sites list
for 2007, announced today.

The IBM supercomputer at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory was expanded this summer to deliver a sustained performance of 478.2 teraflops, up from 280.6 teraflops in June.

The No. 2 computer in the world — and Europe’s fastest — is the new first-time installation of… read more

Gene project would seek keys to cancer

March 31, 2005

Federal officials are planning to compile a comprehensive catalog of the genetic abnormalities that characterize cancer, in hopes of discovering important new clues about how to diagnose, prevent, and treat cancer.

The proposed Human Cancer Genome Project would be greater in scale than the Human Genome Project. Its goal: determine the DNA sequence of thousands of tumor samples. Researchers would look for mutations that give rise to cancer or… read more

Flexible Displays Gain Momentum

January 24, 2002

Researchers at Cambridge, MA-based E Ink have completed the first working prototype of an electronic ink display attached to a flexible, silicon-based thin-film transistor backplane, the sheet of electronics that controls display pixels. This proof-of-concept prototype confirms that it will soon be possible to mass-produce reams of self-erasing electronic paper that combine sheets of electronic ink with flexible silicon circuitry.

The company estimates that by sometime in 2005 they’ll… read more

The Best Computer Interfaces: Past, Present, and Future

April 6, 2009

Multitouch screens, gesture sensing, force feedback, voice recognition, augmented reality, spatial interfaces, and future brain-computer interfaces are key developments in computer interfaces.

Enzymes Key To Brainpower Identified

November 19, 2007

MIT researchers have identified the enzymes that work behind the scenes on PSD-95, a key building block of synapses, by adding a phosphate group to a specific amino acid in the PSD-95 protein.

Manipulating PSD-95 through phosphorylation could lead to bigger and more robust synapses, which would boost brainpower in both normal and diseased brains, they believe.

“It’s possible that promoting PSD-95 phosphorylation could also help neuropsychiatric illnesses… read more

An Off-and-On Switch for Controlling Animals?

April 12, 2005

The recent discovery by Yale researchers that they can make fruit flies walk, leap or fly — by shining a laser at the genetically modified insects — may provide clues about a range of disorders, from Parkinson’s disease to drug addiction.

Implants for vision

February 14, 2002

Scientists have demonstrated that they can stimulate the visual cortex in the brain while bypassing the retina itself.
Several teams of scientists are trying to develop a device that would electrically stimulate the visual system in seeing-impaired individuals. Although serious problems must be overcome before a useful device is developed, a review in Science concludes that “a number of international groups are tackling the remaining problems associated with epiretinal and… read more

‘Chair disease’ — give it a rest

April 14, 2009

Chair-related ailments include increased risk of blood clots and back pain.

Remedies include a treadmill desk, lumbar roll, correct sitting position, posture, and exercises.

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