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Breakthrough achieved in the production of double-walled carbon nanotubes

December 29, 2008

Northwestern University researchers have developed a solution to the double-walled nanotube production problem.

They used a technique called density gradient ultracentrifugation to cleanly and easily separate double-walled nanotubes (DWNTs) from single-walled nanotubes (SWNTs) and multi-walled nanotubes (MWNTs).

Double-walled nanotubes enable better electrical conductivity than SWNTs, improved spatial resolution, and longer scanning lifetimes as tips for atomic force microscopes. They are also useful in field-effect transistors, biosensing and drug… read more

Breakout Labs announces first grants to support radical scientific innovation

April 20, 2012


Six visionary teams are the first to receive funding from Breakout Labs, a Thiel Foundation program to support radical scientific innovation.

The projects involve digital brain reconstruction, reversible cryopreservation, human cell re-engineering, universal airborne contaminant detection, artificial protein therapeutics, and antimatter-based fuel.

Breakout Labs is a revolutionary revolving fund to promote innovation in science and technology. It provides teams of researchers in very… read more

Breaking the noise barrier: Enter the phonon computer

October 5, 2010

A growing number of researchers and chip-makers are exploring ways to overcome electrical noise, which limits to performance of low-power chips.

In fact, it may one day be possible to use noise itself to store, carry and process information, opening up a new era of ultra-low-power computing.

Breaking the million-core supercomputer barrier

January 30, 2013

A floor view of the newly installed Sequoia supercomputer at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories (credit: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories)

Stanford Engineering‘s Center for Turbulence Research (CTR) has set a new record in computational science by successfully using a supercomputer with more than 1.5 million computing cores to solve a complex fluid dynamics problem: the prediction of noise generated by a supersonic jet engine.

Joseph Nichols, a research associate in the center, worked on the newly installed Sequoia IBM Bluegene/Q system at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories (LLNL)… read more

Breaking The Barrier Toward Nanometer X-ray Resolution

October 1, 2007

A team of researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory have overcome a major obstacle for using refractive lenses to focus x-rays.

This method will allow the efficient focusing of x-rays down to extremely small spots and is an important breakthrough in the development of a new, world-leading light source facility that promises advances in nanoscience, energy, biology, and materials research.

One of the major… read more

Breaking fish advice during pregnancy might benefit babies

February 15, 2007

Women who follow government guidelines and eat no more than three portions of fish a week during pregnancy increase the risk of their children developing poor verbal and social skills, a new study by the National Institutes of Health suggests, because omega-3 fatty acids in fish appear to promote brain growth during fetal development.

In 2004 the US Environmental Protection Agency and FDA jointly advised pregnant and nursing women… read more

Breakdowns in DNA copying process lead to cancer, other diseases

April 23, 2013

(credit: University of York)

The cell protein machines that copy DNA in a model organism pause frequently during this copying process, creating the potential for dangerous mutations to develop that can contribute to cancer and other diseases., University of York researchers have discovered.

The project focused on a bacterium called Escherichia coli, a powerful model for studying the DNA copying process.

“We have analyzed what causes most of… read more

Breakdown of white-matter pathways affects decisionmaking as we age

April 13, 2012

Brain scans showing the white-matter pathways involved in everyday learning: Top, the pathway shown in red that connects the medial prefrontal cortex to the ventral striatum and, bottom, the pathway shown in blue that connects the medial prefrontal cortex to the thalamus (credit: of Gregory Samanez-Larkin)

A Vanderbilt University brain-mapping study has found that people’s ability to make decisions in novel situations decreases with age and is associated with a reduction in the integrity of two specific white-matter pathways.

The pathways connect an area in the cerebral cortex called the medial prefrontal cortex (involved with decision making) with two other areas deeper in the brain: the thalamus (a highly connected relay center in the brain) and ventral… read more

Break gridlock on global challenges or risk an unstable future, says report

October 28, 2013


The Oxford Martin Commission for Future Generations has launched a report, Now for the Long Term, on the successes and failures in addressing global challenges over recent decades.

Published by the Oxford Martin School at Oxford University, the report calls for a radical shake-up in politics and business to deliver progress on climate change, reduce economic inequality, improve corporate practices, and address the chronic… read more

Brazil aims to clone endangered animals

November 14, 2012


Conservationists in Brazil are poised to try cloning eight animals that are under pressure, including jaguars and maned wolves, New Scientist reports.

None of the targeted animals are critically endangered, but Brazil’s agricultural research agency, Embrapa, wants a headstart. Working with the Brasilia Zoological Garden, it has collected around 420 tissue samples, mostlyread more

Braving Medicine’s Frontier

August 3, 2005

Bush’s apparently simple decision to withhold federal money for stem-cell research inadvertently created an enormous regulatory maze that few scientists have managed to escape.

With a few exceptions, private funding sources–philanthropies and businesses–have not stepped into the gap left by Washington’s withdrawal. Nor have research groups been able to capitalize on federal funding for the study of existing stem cell lines, partly because they are fewer in number than… read more

Brave new world. Get ready for robots that can think

February 24, 2005

A robot capable of speeds up to 20 kilometers an hour that plays soccer with and against humans on Segway human transporters is being developed.

Brave new world in life sciences

August 23, 2006

The authors of the 2006 report, “Globalization, Biosecurity, and the Future of Life Sciences,” propose a “web of protection” that bolsters the development of robust defenses without restricting the free flow of scientific information.

Source: Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Brave New Babies

January 20, 2004

Parents now have the power to choose the sex of their children. But as technology answers prayers, it also raises some troubling questions.

Brain’s visual circuits edit what we see before we see it

December 10, 2010

MRI scans (Duke University)

The brain’s visual neurons continually develop predictions of what they will perceive and then correct erroneous assumptions as they take in additional external information, according to new research done at Duke University.

This new mechanism for visual cognition challenges the currently held model of sight and could change the way neuroscientists study the brain. Neurons in the brain predict and edit what we see before we see it, the… read more

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