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Step Toward Universal Computing

September 13, 2004

Transitive Corp. of Los Gatos, California claims to have cracked one of most elusive goals of the software industry: a near-universal emulator (called QuickTransit) that allows software developed for one platform to run on any other, with almost no performance hit.

Video: Jumping rolling robot avoids all obstacles

December 9, 2008

A new robot design from University of Bath allows it to either jump or roll over obstacles, making it useful for space exploration.


First map of core white-matter connections of human brain developed at USC

May help better address clinical challenges such as traumatic brain injury
February 12, 2014


USC neuroscientists have systematically created the first map of the core white-matter “scaffold” (connections) of the human brain — the critical communications network that supports brain function.

Their work, published Feb. 11 in the open-access journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, has major implications for understanding brain injury and disease, the researchers say.

By detailing the connections that have the greatest influence over all other connections, the researchers offer… read more

Bones could allow data swaps via handshake

June 18, 2007

Rice University researchers want to use the human skeleton to transmit commands reliably and securely to wearable gadgets and medical implants, using frequency-shift-keyed, low-power acoustic signals.

Glial cells supply axon nerve fibers with energy, researchers find

May 14, 2012

Electron microscope cross-section image of the nerve fibres (axons) of the optic nerve. Axons are surrounded by special glial cells, the oligodendrocytes, wrapping themselves around the axons in several layers. Between the axons, there are extensions of astrocytes, another type of glial cells

Max Planck Institute of Experimental Medicine researchers have discovered a possible mechanisms by which glial cells in the brain support axons and keep them alive.

Oligodendrocytes are a group of highly specialized glial cells in the central nervous system. They form the fat-rich myelin sheath that surrounds the nerve fibers as an insulating layer increases the transmission speed of the axons and also reduces ongoing… read more

How Flexible Solar Panels Could Make Solar Power Competitive

September 24, 2010

The cost of making and installing thin and flexible solar cells can be less than a dollar a watt, low enough to compete generally with fossil fuels, says Cal Tech professor Harry Atwater.

Two ways  to use high-efficiency solar cell materials in flexible cells, he suggests: deposit gallium arsenide on a rigid surface, then peel it off to make a flexible solar cell; and grow crystalline… read more

Researchers Create Nanotubes That Change Colors, Form ‘Nanocarpet’ and Kill Bacteria

September 27, 2004

University of Pittsburgh researchers have synthesized a simple molecule that produces perfectly uniform, self-assembled nanotubes which organize themselves into a “nanocarpet” of upright clusters resembling a carpet (including a self-assembled backing) and can act as a bacterial biosensor or biocide.

These nanotubes can change color in the presence of chemical agents. In tests with E. coli the nanotubes changed color when the bacteria were present. The tubes also killed… read more

Gas memory could send spooky messages the full distance

December 17, 2008

Georgia Institute of Technology scientists have succeeded in creating quantum memories that last for 7.2 microseconds — more than two orders of magnitude longer than previously reported, and time enough to theoretically transmit quantum information over 1000 kilometers via photons.

The qubits are stored in gas atoms, encoded into a magnetic property known as “spin.”

Monitoring the Brain in 3-D

June 28, 2007

Duke University researchers have developed an ultrasound endoscope that will give surgeons a 3-D view of the brain during and after an operation.

Tunable, Cloaked Toxin Delivery System to Kill Tumors from Within

October 5, 2010

Rotello nanotech therapy_0

Researchers led by University of Massachusetts Amherst chemist Vincent Rotello have demonstrated that they can deliver a dormant toxin into a specific site such as a tumor for anti-cancer therapy, then chemically trigger the toxin to de-cloak and attack from within.

It holds promise as a “complex and sophisticated” synthetic, therapeutic drug delivery system for living cells.

As Rotello explains, “Supramolecular chemistry focuses on understanding what forces… read more

Device Translates Spoken Japanese and English

October 8, 2004

A handheld device that enables a user to chat in another language — without having to learn any words or phrases — has been developed by NEC.

It consists of a speech recognition engine, translation software and a voice generator. Spoken English or Japanese is recognized and converted into text by the speech-recognition engine. The text is then converted from Japanese to English (or the other way) by translation… read more

Genetics: Top 10 articles from 2008

December 26, 2008

The top 10 best features on genetics in New Scientist include Me and my genome, Genetically modified humans: Here and more coming soon, and MicroRNAs: The cell’s little emperors. is now making free all in-depth articles from the past 12 months.

Microholography milks 500GB out of DVD-sized discs

July 9, 2007

Scientists at the Technical University of Berlin claim to have discovered a way to store 500GB worth of data on DVD-sized discs. They plan to double the storage capacity to 1TB by 2010.

By combining multilayer storage and holographic multiplexing, “microholography” allows data to be stored in three dimensions.

Guiding Light Through Liquids and Gases on a Chip

October 20, 2004

UC Santa Cruz researchers have reported the first demonstration of integrated optical waveguides with liquid cores, a technology that enables light propagation through small volumes of liquids on a chip.

The new technology has a wide range of potential applications, including chemical and biological sensors with single-molecule sensitivity.

UC Santa Cruz news release

A Moment Of Tooth

January 6, 2009

The tooth will probably be the first complex organ to be completely regenerated from stem cell, University of Southern California researchers say.

Groups in Japan and Taiwan and at the University of Michigan are using stem cells to create hard and soft tissue in humans. The idea is to take a tooth about to fall out and reconnect it firmly.

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