science + technology news

Honeybee genome sequenced

October 26, 2006

The just-completed genome sequence of the western honeybee may help explain the molecular and genetic basis of this insect’s unusual sociality.

The Baylor College of Medicine in Houston scientists found that several types of honeybee genes are more similar to vertebrate genes than to other insect genes, including many involved in circadian rhythms, RNA interference, DNA methylation, and learning and memory.

The Chinese solar machine

December 20, 2011

China's production of solar cells

Chinese manufacturers make about 50 million solar panels a year — over half the world’s supply in 2010 — and include four of the world’s top five solar-panel manufacturers.

The industry elsewhere has been doubling in size every two years, and Chinese manufacturers have done even better, doubling their production roughly every year.

They have succeeded in large part because it’s faster and cheaper for them to build… read more

Bee behavior suggests biologically inspired designs for robots and computers.

December 11, 2003
Tracked bees could help design robots and computers

Georgia Tech researchers are gathering data on the behavior of bees and ants using a computer vision system that can recognize which marked bee is doing which job. The research could have implications for biologically inspired design of robots and computers.

“Potentially, we could videotape ants for a long period of time, learn their ‘program’ and run it on a robot,” said Tucker Balch, assistant professor of… read more

Long-distance quantum communication gets closer as physicists increase light storage efficiency by an order of magnitude

March 2, 2010

Physicists at the Laboratoire Aime Cotton – CNRS and University of Geneva have achieved reversible light storage efficiencies of more than a magnitude greater than those offered by previous techniques.

The new method could be useful for extending the range of quantum repeaters, used for long-distance quantum communication.

Scientists decipher mechanisms in cells for extending human longevity

A sirtuin-dependent intermittent pattern of chromatin silencing during yeast aging that is crucial for longevity
November 6, 2017

Aging cells periodically switch their chromatin state. The image illustrates the "on" and "off" patterns in individual cells. (credit: UC San Diego)

A team of scientists at the University of California San Diego led by biologist Nan Hao have combined engineering, computer science, and biology technologies to decode the molecular processes in cells that influence aging.

Protecting DNA from damage

As cells age, damage in their DNA accumulates over time, leading to decay in normal functioning — eventually resulting in death. But a natural biochemical process… read more

‘Cross fire’ from the brain makes patients tremble

July 14, 2008

Scientists from Forschungszentrum Julich have demonstrated that the 5-Hz Parkinson’s disease tremor results from synchronous signals from the thalamus and the basal ganglia transmitted in loop-like neuron pathways of the brain and spinal cord, not only via proprioceptive nerve signals from the muscles (the current theory).

The finding supports the use of a Jülich-developed deep brain pacemaker, which uses two electrodes to deliver mild, targeted, and desynchronized stimuli to… read more

Retinal Transplant Restores Vision in Mice

November 9, 2006

The prospect of restoring vision in people who have been blinded by disease is now on the verge of being a real possibility, thanks to the first successful transplant of light-sensitive retinal cells in mice.

The researchers harvested stem cells that were in the process of turning into light-sensitive photoreceptor cells and implanted them in the eyes of mice that had been bred to suffer from retinal… read more

Are You Ready for Some Science?

December 19, 2003

The planned Cable Science Network will air unedited, C-SPAN-style talks from science conferences. Other shows will include Q&A’s with science authors and profiles of researchers performing cutting-edge brain experiments.

It is likely to happen in 2005.

Designer nano luggage to carry drugs to diseased cells

March 10, 2010

Particles derived from the Cowpea mosaic virus that can carry anti-cancer agents to cancer cells have been developed by researchers at Norwich BioScience Institutes.

Ultra-thin ‘atomistor’ synapse-like memory storage device paves way for faster, smaller, smarter computer chips

January 24, 2018

atomistors ft

A team of electrical engineers at The University of Texas at Austin and scientists at Peking University has developed a one-atom-thick 2D “atomristor” memory storage device that may lead to faster, smaller, smarter computer chips.

The atomristor (atomic memristor) improves upon memristor (memory resistor) memory storage technology by using atomically thin nanomaterials (atomic sheets). (Combining memory and logic functions, similar to the synapses of biological… read more

Texas Approves a $4.93 Billion Wind-Power Project

July 20, 2008

Texas regulators have approved a $4.93 billion wind-power transmission project, providing a major lift to the development of wind energy in the state.

Emissions of key greenhouse gas stabilise

November 22, 2006

Levels of the second most important greenhouse gas in the Earth’s atmosphere have levelled off, report atmospheric chemists.

They caution that although this is good news, it does not mean that methane levels will not rise again and that “carbon dioxide remains the 800-pound gorilla” of climate change.

Defining words, without the arbiters

January 3, 2012


When you search for the definition of a word in Wordnik, a vast online dictionary, it shows the information it has found on the Internet, with no editorial tinkering.

When readers ask about a word, Wordnik provides definitions on the left-hand side of the screen, callling on the┬ámore than six million words it has found so far. Example sentences on the right-hand side provide further understanding of… read more

New careers appear as old jobs fade

January 7, 2004

Coming new types of jobs will include A.I. programmer, bio-informatician, Wireless engineer, fuel-cell engineer, and nanotechnologist.

DNA nanotubes can carry drugs to tumors

March 18, 2010

McGill University chemists have built DNA nanotubes that can encapsulate and load cargo, and then release it rapidly and completely when when a particular molecule is present.

Unlike earlier research efforts, the nanotubes can be any shape. Future applications include drug delivery, tissue engineering, and nanosensors.

More info: McGill News

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