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Liquid method: pure graphene production

May 31, 2010

In a development that could lead to novel carbon composites and touch-screen displays, researchers from Rice University and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology today unveiled a new method for producing bulk quantities of one-atom-thick sheets of carbon called graphene.

Using concentrated solutions of graphene dissolved into acid, the scientists made transparent films that were electrically conductive. Such films could be useful in making touch screens that are less expensive… read more

Sunlight to Fuel Hydrogen Future

December 9, 2004

The photovoltaic cell is old news: the latest way to exploit the sun is through tiny materials that can directly convert sunlight into large amounts of hydrogen.

Hydrogen Solar of Guilford, England, and Altair Nanotechnologies are building a hydrogen-generation system that captures sunlight and uses the energy to break water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen. The company’s current project is a fuel station in Las Vegas that will soon… read more

Digital Content Wherever You Want It

September 16, 2008

The Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE) are planning to develop a standard that will let consumers buy movies and other digital content once and play them almost anywhere, on any type of device, without the onerous restrictions that have hobbled the growth of digital downloads.

Smart bacteria

May 28, 2001

Genetically engineered bacteria that function like microchip components are being developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Researchers modified Pseudomonas putida cells to produce AND and OR gates. For the AND gate, they used chemical “inducers” as inputs. One causes a gene to make a protein that the second input inducer must have to express the output enzyme.

In theory, a single cell could do massively parallel computations.

Hooked on Gadgets, and Paying a Mental Price

June 7, 2010

Scientists are discovering that even after computer multitasking ends, fractured thinking, diminished empathy, and lack of focus persist.

“The technology is rewiring our brains,”
said Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute of Drug Abuse and one of the world’s leading brain scientists. She and other researchers compare the lure of digital stimulation less to that of drugs and alcohol than to food and sex, which are essential but… read more

Dr Raj Reddy makes PCs talk the masses language

December 22, 2004

Raj Reddy, Head of the Carnegie Mellon University Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Lab, is using AI and speech recognition software to empower illiterates in villages in India to use computers.

The computer will also serve as a low-cost TV, DVD player/recorder and conferencing unit.

Team finds genetic link between immune and nerve systems

September 22, 2008

Duke University Medical Center researchers have discovered genetic links between the nervous system and the immune system in a well-studied worm, and the findings could illuminate new approaches to human therapies.

They found that NPR-1, a worm cell receptor linked to proteins that are similar to mammalian neuropeptide Y, functions to suppress the activity of specific neurons that block immune responses, but when the flawed receptor didn’t work, the… read more

Military Game Simulations Add Emotional Realism

June 21, 2001

The U.S. Army is adding emotional realism to its battlefield computer simulations, using sophisticated computer animation, voice synthesis, voice recognition, and surround theater sound in research at the University of Southern California, under a $45 million Army grant.

The exercise illustrates the latest challenge among researchers: to focus on the more unpredictable side of the human psyche, simulating emotions and the unexpected effects that panic, stress, anxiety and fear… read more

Astrocytes affect brain’s information signaling

June 15, 2010

New research from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, shows that astrocytes are directly involved in the regulation of signalling between neurons. Astrocytes sense activity from the synapses and respond by reducing the release of the neurotransmitter glutamate.

Astrocytes have previously been viewed primarily as the brain’s housekeeping cells, whose roles include regulating blood flow in different parts of the brain.

“This means that astrocytes should be given more… read more

wishlist@nature.com

January 4, 2005

Responses by news@nature.com readers to a request for New Year’s wishes ranged from futuristic visions such as photosynthesis in humans and nanocameras that fit inside cells, to serious themes including recognition for scientists in developing countries and freedom from reliance on oil.

California Academy of Sciences designs sustainability

September 29, 2008

A state-of-the-art digital dome planetarium, a stunning rain forest with live trees, birds and butterflies, and an aquarium highlight the just-opened California Academy of Sciences building in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco.

Biocompatible silicon developed

July 14, 2001

Silicon can be developed into a biocompatible and biodegradable material that could lead to smaller, smarter and more-interactive implants in the human body. The secret: “porous” silicon ­– bulk silicon that has been deliberately riddled with nanometer-sized holes.
Rather than having to shield a silicon-based device from body tissues and the bloodstream, it is now theoretically possible to construct silicon-based devices that are genuinely “bioactive.”

The surface of a… read more

Blinded eyes restored to sight by stem cells

June 24, 2010

Stem cells have restored sight to 82 people with eyes blinded by chemical or heat burns, restoring vision to a level up to 0.9 on a visual acuity scale (1 represents perfect vision), reports Graziella Pellegrini at the University of Modena in Italy.

Welcome to the biobank

March 30, 2012

ukbiobank

Anyone interested in combing through 20 terabytes of data on more than half a million aging Brits will have their chance beginning today, when the UK Biobank throws open its databanks to researchers, Nature News Blog reports.

The bank should help scientists to identify the genetic and environmental causes of diabetes, obesity, cancer, depression and many other diseases, based on testing of more than 500,000 participants aged… read more

Dr. Nanotech vs. Cancer

January 14, 2005

Nanosensors being developed by California Institute of Technology researchers will simultaneously look for thousands of different biomolecules and could be the basis for more accurate, cheaper, and more convenient cancer tests.

To turn a nanowire into a transistor, the researchers bring each of its ends into contact with metal wires so that a current can be passed through it. They then position an electrode close to the nanowire. Charging… read more

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