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BYU scientists create tool for ‘virtual surgery’

August 2, 2006

Computer scientists at Brigham Young University have created a “virtual surgery” tool that lets surgeons, diagnosticians and others extract a 3-D computer image from from MRI and CT scans or similar data.

The “Live Surface” software also can be used to extract a single actor’s performance or inanimate objects from video clips.

Bytes and Biology

March 27, 2006

The impact of computer science on science as a whole was considered by a group of leading researchers, led by Stephen Emmott of Microsoft Research. Their report, “Towards 2020 Science,” is at

Bypassing the blood-brain barrier with MRI and ultrasound

March 15, 2012

Permeability of the blood-brain barrier at the sonicated location shown with contrast-enhanced MRI

Researchers at Sunnybrook Research Institute at the University of Toronto have used an MRI machine to guide the use of  microbubbles and focused ultrasound to help drugs enter the brain.

The research may open new treatment avenues for devastating conditions like Alzheimer’s and brain cancers.

“It’s getting close to the point where this could be done safely in humans,” said Meaghan O’Reilly, an imaging researcher at… read more

Bye-Bye Batteries: Radio Waves as a Low-Power Source

July 19, 2010

Devices and systems are being developed that consume so little power that it can be drawn from ambient radio waves from radio and television stations, WiFi systems and other sources, reducing or even eliminating the need for batteries.

Joshua R. Smith, a principal engineer at Intel’s research center in Seattle has developed a device that collects enough power from ambient radio-frequency (RF) signals… read more

Bye Swarmbots, Hello Swarmanoids

November 30, 2006

A team at the Free University of Brussels in Belgium is embarking on a 42-month research project to build and test a 60-strong swarm of small, autonomous robots — the swarmanoid — capable of collaborating in 3-D environments.

By X-Raying Galaxies, Researchers Offer New Evidence of Rapidly Expanding Universe

May 19, 2004

Observations of giant clouds of galaxies far out in space and time have revealed new evidence of “dark energy” and that the expansion of the universe seems to be accelerating.

This could mean the universe could end in a “big rip,” in which even atoms would be torn apart. On the other hand, the dark energy could decrease and even turn into an attractive force, drawing the universe to… read more

By tracking water molecules, physicists hope to unlock secrets of life

February 8, 2010

Rockefeller University researchers have discovered how interaction between water molecules paves the way for understanding how water can be manipulated to facilitate or prevent substances from dissolving in it, an advance that could impact every corner of society, from reforming agricultural practices to improving chemotherapy drugs whose side effects arise from their solubility or insolubility in water.

By amplifying cell death signals, scientists make precancerous cells self-destruct

August 18, 2008

Rockefeller University scientists have figured out a way in mice to amplify the signals that tell precancerous cells to die, by inactivating the IAP protein (stands for “inhibitor of apoptosis protein”), which normally helps cells avoid self-destruction.

By 2040 you will be able to upload your brain,,,

September 28, 2009

We will be able to upload the human brain to a computer, capturing “a person’s entire personality, memory, skills and history,” by the end of the 2030s; humans and non-biological machines will then merge so effectively that the differences between them will no longer matter; and, after that, human intelligence, transformed for the better, will start to expand outward into the universe, about 2045, says Ray Kurzweil.

Buzzing the Web on a Meme Machine

October 28, 2004

The World Wide Web is the perfect Petri dish for memes.

Buyer Beware of Home DNA Tests

September 1, 2009

The reliability of most gene tests is questionable, says Dr. Siobhan Dolan, an expert in human genetics at Sarah Lawrence College, and interpretations of test results offered by some companies fall way short of what a consumer might learn from a certified medical geneticist or genetic counselor (which are in short supply).

Privacy concerns are another important issue. Consumers have no way to know how a company might use… read more

Butterfly wings could lead to advanced, low-cost thermal imaging devices

February 14, 2012

Morpho butterfly scales decorated with single-walled carbon nanotubes, efficiently detect mid-wave infrared light as visible iridescence changes.  GE’s butterfly-inspired design could enable a new class of thermal imaging sensors with enhanced heat sensitivity and response speed. (Credit: GE)

Taking heat detection to a new level of sensitivity and speed, GE Global Research scientists have developed new bio-inspired nanostructured systems that could outperform thermal imaging devices available today.

GE scientists are exploring many potential thermal imaging and sensing applications with their new detection concept such as medical diagnostics, surveillance, non-destructive inspection and others, where visual heat maps of imaged areas serve as a valuable condition indicator. Some… read more

‘Butterfly’ molecule could lead to new sensors, photoenergy conversion devices

September 2, 2014

A phosphorescent molecular “butterfly” that can generate dual (white) emission upon<br />
photoexcitation (credit: M. Han et al./Angewandte Chemie)

A novel molecule that can take your temperature, emit white light, and convert photon energy directly to mechanical motions has been enhanced by Florida State University researchers.

Biwu Ma, associate professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering in the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, created the molecular structure resembling a butterfly in a lab about a decade ago, but has… read more

Butterflies point to micro machines

December 26, 2002

Micro air vehicles that mimick insects will soon be a reality, thanks to aerodynamics research using high-speed cameras in a wind tunnel to analyze how the animals moved through the air.

Butterflies master photonics

November 23, 2005

Exeter University researchers have found that the nanoscale structure of the wings of the African Princeps nireus butterflies closely matches the most advanced photonic materials under development in laboratories around the world.

Its fluorescent blue patches are formed from two-dimensional photonic crystal positioned above distributed Bragg reflectors. Fluorescent pigment in the photonic crystal structure of the butterfly wing absorbs light from blue skies and emits darker blue light.… read more

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