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Online search engines lift cover of privacy

February 10, 2004

Cybersecurity experts say an increasing number of private or putatively secret documents are online in out-of-the-way corners of computers all over the globe, leaving the government, individuals, and companies vulnerable to security penetration by “Googledorks,” who troll the Internet for confidential information.

The article’s reference to a file that avoids search-engine indexing is erroneous. “robots.txt” is the correct file name. – Ed

Artificial light at night disrupts cell division

April 13, 2010

Just one “pulse” of artificial light at night disrupts circadian cell division, affecting the transcription of a large number of genes, including genes that are connected to the formation of cancer and those that assist in the fight against cancer, University of Haifa researchers have found.

Robots learn to move themselves

August 12, 2008
Simulated human learned to do back flips

Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences have demonstrated software for robots that allows them to “learn” to move through trial and error, using an artificial neural network.

2006: A year of invention

January 2, 2007

A CD-ROM that doubles as a biological weapons detector, body-wired headphones, and a display that takes pictures while displaying images were among the interesting patents awarded in 2006.

Startup makes ‘wireless router for the brain’

January 23, 2012


Small, light, wireless prototype devices developed by Kendall Research could make optogenetics research much more practical.

Optogenetics relies on genetically altering certain cells to make them responsive to light, and then selectively stimulating them with a laser to either turn the cells on or off.

Instead of an expensive, bulky laser light source, the researchers use LEDs and laser diodes incorporated into a small head-borne device that… read more

Researchers Develop Nanoscale Fiber Optics

February 18, 2004

Researchers from Harvard University, Zhejiang University Tohoku University have made glass optical fibers only 50 nanometers wide that guide light with minimal losses.

Because the wires are thinner than the wavelengths of light they transport, the material serves as a guide around which light waves flow. The researchers can fabricate the wires with a uniform diameter and smooth surfaces down to the atomic level, so the light waves remain… read more

Caltech researchers create ‘sound bullets’

April 22, 2010

Sound Bullets

Caltech researchers have built a nonlinear acoustic lens that produces highly focused, high-amplitude acoustic “sound bullets” that could be used for more powerful medical ultrasound imaging and for hyperthermia procedures.

The device is a longer version of a Newton’s cradle toy, which consists of a line of identical balls suspended from a frame by wires. In the lens, a pulse is excited at one end by an impact with… read more

Digitizing Old Text and Fighting Spam, Too

August 15, 2008

Carnegie Mellon University scientists have developed a program called reCAPTCHA that collects words flagged as unreadable by optical scanners as they digitize texts, sending those words (in the form of OCR scans) to cooperating Web sites and used in place of random CAPTCHAs.

The reCAPTCHA system now automatically collects about 4 million responses every day from 40,000 Web sites, the equivalent of 1500 people working full-time and transcribing 60… read more

NIH researchers discover how brain cells change their tune

July 29, 2013


Study may advance fundamental understanding of how brain cells communicate.

Brain cells talk to each other in a variety of tones. Sometimes they speak loudly but other times struggle to be heard.

For many years scientists have asked why and how brain cells change tones so frequently.  National Institutes of Health researchers showed that brief bursts of chemical energy coming from rapidly moving power… read more

Animal-human hybrid cloning deferred

January 11, 2007

Controversial proposals to make embryos by merging human and animal material remain on hold following a decision on Thursday by the UK regulator of embryo research.

The researchers want to use cow or rabbit eggs as a short cut to making cloned embryos which could yield human embryonic stem cells. These are vital for research into major illnesses.
Opponents of embryo research say the creation of embryos from animal… read more

Biologists discover rotational motion of breast cells, required to avoid malignancy

January 27, 2012

After five days of mitosis and CAMo, polarized breast cells have assembled into an acinar sphere with a lumen in the center (inset) (credit: Berkeley Lab)

In a study that holds major implications for breast cancer research and basic cell biology, scientists with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have discovered a rotational motion that plays a critical role in the ability of breast cells to form the spherical structures in the mammary gland known as acini.

This rotation, which the researchers call “CAMo,” for… read more

Marine sponges provide model for nanoscale materials production

March 1, 2004

University of California, Santa Barbara researchers are learning how to harness the biomolecular mechanism that directs the nanofabrication of silica in living organisms.

“This is to learn to direct the synthesis of photovoltaic and semiconductor nanocrystals of titanium dioxide, gallium oxide and other semiconductors — materials with which nature has never built structures before,” said Dan Morse, who directs the new Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies at UCSB.

Morse… read more

Heart operation performed with robotic arm

April 30, 2010

The world’s first heart operation to use a remote-controlled robotic arm has been carried out at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester, U.K.

The technique, designed to cure irregular heart beats, involved using a Remote Catheter Manipulation System (RCMS) to steer catheters into blood vessels at the top of the groin and into the heart.

The procedure, which can take over six hours, is currently carried out by surgeons who… read more

Boosting ‘good’ fat to burn off the bad

August 21, 2008

A simple solution to the growing obesity problem might be to find a way to generate extra “brown fat” (burns a tremendous amount of energy) and let the body burn away the energy stored in its excess “white fat.”

Coated nanoparticles slip through mucus

January 23, 2007

Nanoparticles coated with polyethylene glycol can quickly slip through human mucus. The results raise hopes for more efficient delivery of a variety of drugs.

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