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Switching off Aging in Stem Cells

September 7, 2006

A single molecular switch plays a central role in inducing stem cells in the brain, pancreas, and blood to lose function as they age, Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers have found.

Genetically engineered mice deficient in the p16INK4a gene show considerably reduced aging-related decline in stem cell function and tissue regeneration.

Source: Howard Hughes Medical Institute news release

US develops lethal new viruses

October 30, 2003

A scientist funded by the US government has deliberately created an extremely deadly form of mousepox, a relative of the smallpox virus, through genetic engineering.

The new virus kills all mice even if they have been given antiviral drugs as well as vaccinated. The research brings closer the prospect of pox viruses that cause only mild infections in humans being turned into diseases lethal even to people who have… read more

Scientists Program Blood Stem Cells To Become Vision Cells

August 3, 2009

University of Florida researchers have programmed bone marrow stem cells to build retinal pigment epithelial cells by mimicking the body’s natural signaling channels with chemicals instead of genetic manipulation.

Stem cell breakthrough may reduce cancer risk

February 28, 2008

PrimeGen says the main obstacle to using “reprogrammed” human stem cells–the danger that they might turn cancerous– has been solved.

It claims to have converted specialized adult human cells to induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells) by using methods that are more efficient–making a thousand times more colonies of reprogrammed cells–and less likely to trigger cancer than methods deployed previously.

Rather than using retroviruses to ferry the genes… read more

Brain stimulation creates shadow person

September 21, 2006

Swiss scientists say they’ve found electrical stimulation of the brain can create the sensation of a “shadow person” mimicking one’s bodily movements.

The End of the Oil Industry

November 7, 2003

Advances in technology are allowing the developed world to diversify supplies of energy and reduce their demand for petroleum, thus loosening the grip of oil and the countries that produce it.

Inventor Dean Kamen Says Healthcare Debate “Backward Looking”

August 11, 2009

Inventor Dean Kamen challenges the notion that the U.S. has a healthcare crisis.

Rather than slowing the pace of medical progress to cut healthcare costs, he argues, America should be encouraging more innovation in life-saving drugs and technologies.

Evolution of skin and ovarian cancer cells

June 30, 2011

A team of researchers led by scientists at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) has developed a way to uncover the evolution of human cancer cells, determining the order in which mutations emerge in them as they shift from a normal, healthy state into invasive, malignant masses.

The team developed a way of teasing gene mutations apart: long pieces of DNA in cancers often… read more

Tiny Etch-a-Sketch

March 5, 2008
(Jeremy Levy)

University of Pittsburgh researchers have demonstrated a new technique that could be used to create rewritable logic circuits and denser computer memory.

Using an atomic force microscope (AFM), the researchers were able to draw electrically conductive paths to create nano-sized wires and dots that could be repeatedly erased and written.

Software Being Developed to Monitor Opinions of U.S.

October 5, 2006

A consortium of major universities is developing natural language processing software that would let the government monitor negative opinions of the United States or its leaders in newspapers and other publications overseas.

The researchers have complied a database of hundreds of articles that it is being used to train a computer to recognize, rank and interpret statements.

The Way We Nest Now

November 18, 2003

“Smart helpmeets” are on their way: our homes, our offices, our cars and our clothes. They are meant to be aware, not dumb; proactive, not inert.

“Desks and doors, televisions and telephones, cars and trains, eyeglasses and shoes and even the shirts on our backs — all are changing from static, inanimate objects into adaptive, reactive systems,” wrote Alex Pentland, a pioneer in smart environments at the M.I.T. Media… read more

FastForward Radio — The Technological Singularity

August 18, 2009

Phil Bowermaster and Stephen Gordon will interview Ray Kurzweil Tuesday evening on FastForward Radio at 10:30 Eastern/7:30 Pacific, with audience participation by text chat.

Language of a fly proves surprising

March 10, 2008

Los Alamos, Princeton University, and Indiana University research fundamentally alters earlier beliefs about how neural networks function and could provide the basis for intelligent computers that mimic biological processes.

The researchers developed a novel way to view the world through the eyes of a common fly and partially decode the insect’s reactions to changes in the world around it.

They used electrodes to tap into motion-sensitive neurons in… read more

Say hello to your robot self

October 16, 2006

Dr. Hiroshi Ishiguro is at the forefront of designing machines that look just like us.

Equipped with off-board cameras, microphones and floor sensors, Repliee Q1Expo, an android copy of Ayako Fujii, a real newscaster, can detect human presence and interview people with a microphone, moving its upper body in a smooth, natural fashion.

Dr. Ishiguro can remote-control it, Wizard of Oz-style, using a motion-capture system that transmits his… read more

Wireless World

November 26, 2003

In a few years, wireless will become the dominant form of communication service in the U.S. Already there are about 147 million cell phones in the country, compared with 187 million traditional phone lines, according to FCC figures.

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