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Filter removes prions from blood product used in transfusions

April 8, 2008

ProMetic Life Sciences researchers have developed a blood filter able to remove the prions that cause variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (the human form of mad cow disease) from a blood product used for transfusions.

The filter contains ligands on a resin scaffold material that recognize and bind to prions. It can remove them from red blood cell concentrate in less than an hour. Future versions will work on other blood… read more

In Push to Detect Early Alzheimer’s Markers, Hopes for Prevention

August 9, 2010

New diagnostic guidelines for research purposes being proposed by the National Institute on Aging and the Alzheimer’s Association call for early biomarkers of risk, analogous to high cholesterol levels) that predict who is likely to get it. These include scans for amyloid plaque in the brain, a unique feature of Alzheimer’s, and tests of cerebrospinal fluid.

Researchers agree that Alzheimer’s smolders… read more

Brighter Nanotubes

November 29, 2005

IBM researchers have fabricated nanotube devices around 1,000 times more efficient than previous ones at emitting light.

Such light-emitting nanotubes could find applications in creating faster transistor interconnections and in telecommunications. The tubes emit light in the wavelengths used by the telecom industry to send information through optical fibers.

The nanotubes, which produce tightly focused light, could also be used for optical probing, manipulation, and spectroscopic analysis at… read more

Utopia 2.0

February 10, 2003

Dave Biggs, a systems manager at the University of British Columbia’s Sustainable Development Research Institute, helps people of different philosophical backgrounds forge a common future with an innovative Web-based game called QUEST, which lets tens of thousands of users model and reshape the future of the towns where they live.

Out of your head: Leaving the body behind

October 13, 2009

The study of out-of-body experiences promises to help answer a profound question in neuroscience and philosophy: how does self-consciousness emerge?

Out-of-body experiences arise when the temporoparietal junction (TPJ) region of the brain fails (from neurological disorders or brain surgery) to integrate visual and touch signals, balance and spatial information from the inner ear, and the proprioceptive sensations from joints, tendons and muscles that tell us where our body parts… read more

Scientists create nanoparticles that image brain tumors, increasing accuracy of surgical removal

April 17, 2012


Nanoparticles that can be imaged three different ways at once have enabled Stanford University School of Medicine scientists to remove brain tumors from mice with unprecedented accuracy.

A team led by Sam Gambhir, MD, PhD, professor and chair of radiology, showed that the nanoparticles engineered in his lab homed in on and highlighted brain tumors, precisely delineating their boundaries and greatly easing their… read more

Curious cloud formations linked to quakes

April 14, 2008

Chinese geophysicists noticed a gap in the clouds in satellite images from December 2004 that precisely matched the location of the main fault in southern Iran.

It stretched for hundreds of kilometers, was visible for several hours, and remained in the same place, although the clouds around it were moving.

They suggest that an eruption of hot gases from inside the fault could have caused water in the… read more

Breakthrough chip delivers better digital pictures for less power

December 10, 2005

University of Rochester researchers have designed a prototype chip that can directly digitize each pixel location in a CMOS sensor and they plan a second technology that will compress the image with far fewer computations than the best current compression techniques while increasing dynamic range 100 times.

The new technologies may enable imaging chips to use just a fraction of the energy used today and capture high-resolutoin images while… read more

First 3-D Map of Protein Universe

February 20, 2003

The first three-dimensional global map of the protein structure universe has been created by researchers with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the University of California at Berkeley. It provides important insight into the evolution and demographics of protein structures and may help scientists identify the functions of newly discovered proteins.

What’s Next In Augmented Reality?

October 21, 2009

At this week’s International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality, researchers will present systems designed to push the boundaries of AR–allowing users to interact with and manipulate virtual data, share real and virtual space with others, and see real time information around them.

Wearable muscle suit makes heavy lifting a cinch

April 23, 2012


Hiroshi Kobayashi’s team at the Tokyo University of Science in Japan has developed a series of cybernetic exoskeletons.

Scheduled for commercial release early next year, a wearable robot takes two forms: one augmenting the arms and back that is aimed at areas of commerce where heavy lifting is required; and a lighter, 5 kg version that will target the nursing industry to assist in lifting people in and… read more

Faster, more sensitive AFM probes extend nanoscale measurements

April 17, 2008

New Georgia Institute of Technology research demonstrates that novel probe technology based on flexible membranes can replace conventional atomic force microscopy (AFM) cantilevers for applications such as fast topographic imaging, quantitative material characterization and single-molecule mechanics measurements.

The force sensing integrated readout and active tip (FIRAT) probes also simultaneously measure material properties including adhesion, stiffness, elasticity and viscosity.

The new probe replaces the AFM cantilever with a drum-like… read more

Researchers develop new method for studying ‘mental time travel’

December 23, 2005

Neuroscientists at Princeton University have developed a new way of tracking people’s mental state as they think back to previous events — a process that has been described as “mental time travel.”

The findings, detailed in the Dec. 23 issue of Science, will aid efforts to learn more about how people mine the recesses of memory and could have a wide-ranging impact in the field of neuroscience, including studies… read more

Wrapping Solar Cells around an Optical Fiber

October 30, 2009

Researchers at Georgia Tech have made dye-sensitized solar cells with a much higher effective surface area by wrapping the cells around optical fibers.

These fiber solar cells are six times more efficient than a zinc oxide solar cell with the same surface area, and if they can be built using cheap polymer fibers, they shouldn’t be significantly more expensive to make.

Sleep Deprivation for Germs

April 22, 2008

Hebrew University in Jerusalem researchers have found a method to awaken bacteria that are in a dormant state that could improve the effectiveness of antibiotics.

Most antibiotics kill only microbes that are growing and multiplying, leaving dormant bacteria untouched.

The researchers gave fresh nutrients to a set of stationary (low or no growth) bacteria cultured in the lab. They started growing and dividing again, although some only for… read more

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