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Scientists identify new longevity genes

March 13, 2008

University of Washington scientists have found 25 genes regulating lifespan in two organisms separated by 1.5 billion years of evolutionary change; at least 15 of those genes have similar versions in humans.

Finding genes that are conserved between the two organisms is significant, the researchers say, because the two species–single-celled budding yeast and the roundworm C. elegans–are far apart on the evolutionary scale. That, combined with the presence of… read more

Wikipedia alternative aims to be ‘PBS of the Web’

December 21, 2005

Digital Universe, a new online information service launching in early 2006, aims to build on the model of free online encyclopedia Wikipedia by inviting acknowledged experts in a range of subjects to review material contributed by the general public.

In tiny worm, unlocking secrets of the brain

June 21, 2011

In an effort to understand the nervous system of the Caenorhabditis elegans roundworm, Dr. Cornelia Bargmann, professor and Head of the Laboratory of Neural Circuits and Behavior at Rockefeller University, engineered two roundworm neurons to glow bright green if a neuron responds when the worm is exposed to certain pheromones.

The study of its nervous system offers one of the most promising approaches for understanding the human… read more

Microsoft researchers display their tinkering at TechFest

March 5, 2003

Microsoft researchers are developing computers controlled by waving a hand, tracking software that can find a person on an office campus, and an identification system that embeds a digitized image of the photo in the bar code, so forgers cannot simply paste on a picture to create a new ID.

Preparing for the Swine Flu

September 1, 2009

A scenario issued by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology last week posited an epidemic that could produce symptoms in 60 million to 120 million people and cause as many as 90 million to seek medical attention; up to 1.8 million could be hospitalized, 300,000 could flood into crowded ICUs, and 30,000 to 90,000 people could die (a vaccine to prevent swine flu will not be ready… read more

DARPA’s Amazing Robot Pack Mule Keeps its Balance On Ice

March 18, 2008

Boston Dynamics’ BigDog robot–an advanced four-legged robot developed for DARPA and the U.S. Army–can now jump up with no legs touching the ground, climb over a brick pile, walk on snow-covered slopes and icy surfaces, and can even recover from slipping while on ice.

It uses hyper-responsive hydraulic joints, an onboard PC processor, and a suite of sensors, accelerometers and gyroscopes.

See Also Robotic ‘pack mule’read more

Silver nanocubes make super-light-absorbers

December 10, 2012


Microscopic metallic cubes could unleash the enormous potential of metamaterials to absorb light, leading to more efficient and cost-effective large-area absorbers for sensors or solar cells, Duke University researchers have found.

Metamaterials are man-made materials that have properties often absent in natural materials. They are constructed to provide exquisite control over the properties of waves, such as light.

Creating these materials for visible light… read more

Biotech data mining

January 2, 2006

In the last ten years, biotech companies have been busy accumulating mountains of data. And it’s becoming more and more difficult to find useful information about interactions between genes and proteins for example.

It’s one of the reasons why the European Union has started the BioGrid project. The researchers involved in it have delivered a better search engine for PubMed by analyzing over-expressing genes and predicting the protein interactions… read more

Real World Robots

March 18, 2003

Robots have arrived. They are doing real jobs alongside humans — in homes, hospitals and on the battlefield.

Electrical circuit runs entirely off power in trees

September 9, 2009

University of Washington researchers have tapped electrical power from trees to run low-power (10 nanowatts) sensors.

A ‘Manhattan Project’ for the Next Generation of Bionic Arms

March 21, 2008

Johns Hopkins researchers are leading a DARPA-funded nationwide effort to make a bionic arm that wires directly into the brain to let amputees regain motor control and feeling.

Vanishing Gas Confirms Black Hole Event Horizons

January 12, 2006
 Animation of a neutron star X-ray burst. (NASA)

A type of X-ray explosion found on neutron stars does not occur near black holes, scientists announced at the 207th meeting of the American Astronomical Society.

The lack of explosions is strong evidence for the existence of a black hole event horizon, a theoretical boundary into which matter vanishes and cannot escape.

“By looking at objects that pull in gas, we can infer whether that gas… read more

‘Nanowire’ Breakthrough

April 2, 2003

Microscopic wires which could help form the miniature technology of the future have been constructed using the basic building blocks of living things.

Could we create quantum creatures in the lab?

September 16, 2009

Two laser beams could hold a tardigrade (water bear — an animal less than a millimeter in size that can survive in a vacuum) in a “ground state” in an “optical cavity,” where a photon could force it into a superposition of both its ground state and next vibrational energy state, scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics suggest.

Stretchy circuits promise elastic gadgets

March 28, 2008

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign researchers have made stretchable and flexible silicon and plastic integrated circuits that are just one crystal–1.5 microns–thick.

The circuits are designed so that the plastic, not the silicon, absorbs most of the stress when the chips are bent. Until now, integrated circuits have been limited by use of much thicker, brittle silicon wafers.

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