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Nerve stimulation therapy alleviates pain for chronic headache

October 10, 2008

A novel therapy using a miniature nerve stimulator instead of medication for the treatment of profoundly disabling headache disorders improved the experience of pain by 80-95 percent, according to a new study from the University of California, San Francisco and the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London.

The device, called a bion, is a rechargeable battery-powered electrode, similar in size to a matchstick. When implanted near the… read more

Scientists Crack Code for Motor Neuron Wiring

November 4, 2005

Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) researchers have deciphered a key part of the regulatory code that governs how motor neurons in the spinal cord connect to specific target muscles in the limbs.

The researchers said that understanding this code may help guide progress in restoring motor neuron function in people whose spinal cords have been damaged by trauma or disease. The studies suggest that the code — which involves… read more

Mob-sourcing: the prejudice of crowds

November 10, 2010

As more web content is crowd sourced and crowd moderated, are we seeing only the wisdom of crowds? No, we’re also seeing their prejudice. The Internet reflects both the good and ugly in human nature.

Interface gets the point

January 7, 2003

Researchers are trying to get a computer to recognize gestures by correlating speech signals and hand velocity.

The system could eventually enable more natural human-computer interfaces in applications like crisis management, surgery, vvideo games, and biometric authentication.

FDA clears first implantable telescope for vision

July 8, 2010

The FDA has approved an implantable miniature telescope to help in the end stages of incurable age-related macular degeneration.

The idea: surgically insert the Implantable Miniature Telescope into one eye for better central vision, while leaving the other eye alone to provide peripheral vision.

In a 219-patient study, the FDA said 90 percent of telescope recipients had their vision improve by at least two lines on an eye… read more

Experiments support alternative theory of information processing in the cortex

October 17, 2008

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory neuroscientists have demonstrated that “spike timing” in cortical neurons can influence behavior even at minuscule time intervals, more precisely than previously imagined.

Experiments focusing on the auditory cortex revealed that animals in the midst of decision-making have the ability to distinguish incoming signals separated by as little as three milliseconds.

The new data suggest that the neural code might actually be a timing code,… read more

Visionary Kurzweil Touts Technologies Of Tomorrow

November 17, 2005

Computer visionary Ray Kurzweil examined the effects of accelerating growth of technologies on the present and future of human technological innovation during a speech at the ninth annual CRN Industry Hall of Fame, held Tuesday in Santa Clara, Calif.

The bulk of human intelligence is pattern recognition, which Kurzweil said is the quintessential example of a self-organizing system. This will be instrumental in the development of future Web-based applications,… read more

Antihydrogen trapped at long last

November 18, 2010

Atoms made of antimatter have been trapped for the first time, in experiment called the Antihydrogen Laser Physics Apparatus (ALPHA) at the CERN particle physics laboratory. The feat will allow us to test whether antimatter responds to the fundamental forces in the same way as regular matter.

Ref.: “Trapped antihydrogen,” Nature (2010)doi:10.1038/nature09610,

published online November 17, 2010

Chess Champion Faces Off With New Computer

January 21, 2003

On Sunday, Garry Kasparov begins a six-game $1 million match against an Israeli program, Deep Junior, the three-time world computer chess champion.

The games will be shown in real time at www.x3dworld.com and www.chessbase.com.

Deep Fritz’s handlers had to provide the world champion with a copy of the software and promise not to change it later. Experts say that requirement put the machine at… read more

Denser computer chips possible with plasmonic lenses

October 27, 2008
 (Liang Pan and Cheng Sun, UC Berkeley)

Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley have developed a new way to make computer chips by combining metal lenses that focus light through the excitation of plasmons (surface electrons) on the lens to create line patterns 80 nanometers wide, and theoretically as small as 5 to 10 nanometers.

The technology could lead to microprocessors more than 10 times smaller and ultra-high density disks that can hold… read more

Scientists, be on guard … ET might be a malicious hacker

November 29, 2005

Richard Carrigan, a particle physicist at the US Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, believes the SETI@home project is putting Earth’s security at risk by distributing the signals they receive to computers all over the world.

Computers Enlisted for Bioterror Fight

February 10, 2003

Scientists hope to develop the first treatment for smallpox by harnessing the “downtime” of two million PCs around the world.

How to eavesdrop on alien chat

October 31, 2008

An advanced alien civilization would likely use spread-spectrum transmission coding (used in cellphones), which is more efficient than a single carrier wave because chunks of information are essentially carried on multiple low-powered carrier waves.

Claudio Maccone, co-chair of the SETI Permanent Study Group based in Paris, France, argues that SETI should use an algorithm known as the Karhunen-Loève Transform (KLT), which could find a buried conversation using spread-spectrum coding… read more

Exploring Caves with Hopping Microbots

December 11, 2005

NASA-funded researchers are developing “hopping microbots” capable of exploring hazardous terrain, including underground caves and one day, to search for life below the surface of Mars.

Reproductive scientists create mice from 2 fathers

December 9, 2010

Using stem cell technology, reproductive scientists in Texas have produced male and female mice from two fathers — a new form of mammalian reproduction.

They manipulated fibroblasts from a male (XY) mouse fetus to produce an induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell line. About one percent of iPS cell colonies grown from this XY cell line spontaneously lost the Y chromosome, resulting in XO cells. The XO iPS cells were… read more

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