science + technology news

Decoders target 18 new genomes

August 5, 2004

The National Human Genome Research Institute plans to sequence genomes for 18 species to shed light on both the human genome and the evolution of the entire tree of life.

Among the diverse organisms selected are the African savannah elephant, the domestic cat, the nine-banded armadillo and a cadre of moulds, snails and worms.

Broken nerves can be fixed in a flash

November 18, 2008

Rats with breathing problems caused by damage to their nerves have had normal breathing restored by bursts of visible light aimed onto the spinal cord.

This achievement raises hopes that a miniature light source implanted near the spine might one day allow people with similar injuries to breathe normally.

A similar device might be used to relieve constriction of the bladder caused by nerve damage.

Open collaboration leading to novel organizations

January 6, 2014

bitcoin

Open collaboration — which has brought the world Bitcoin, TEDx and Wikipedia — is likely to lead to new organizations that are not quite non-profits and not quite corporations, according to a paper by Sheen S. Levine of Columbia University and Michael J. Prietula of Emory University published in the journal Organization Science.

The authors define open collaboration as “any system of innovation or production that relies on goal-oriented yet… read more

IBM’s New Chip: Big Blue Goes Green

May 22, 2007

IBM has unveiled its new POWER6 microprocessor, which it claims is the world’s fastest chip (at 4.7 gigahertz), boasting twice the clock speed of the previous generation while consuming roughly the same amount of power.

The new IBM chip operates at some 300 gigabytes per second. IBM has also quadrupled the amount of on-chip memory, or cache, to eight megabytes. The chip is designed for higher-end servers running the… read more

New Technique That Improves The Power Of Atomic Force Microscopy

August 18, 2004

Researchers have developed a method that could vastly improve the ability of atomic force microscopes (AFM) to “see” the chemical composition of a sample on a nanometer scale, follow variations of the sample, and map its topographic structure.

To use the AFM in its new mode, the researchers attached antibodies keyed to individual proteins to the tip of an AFM’s probe. When an antibody reacts with the protein it… read more

Invention: Microscopic bio-robot slaves

November 24, 2008

University of California, Berkeley scientists say it may be possible to create a new species of “biobots” — genetically engineered specialty bacteria with the kind of microscopic features needed on microprocessors, or gene chips used to test for millions of specific DNA sequences at once.

They would be controlled using light of a specific frequency. Varying the amount of light would switch the biobots on or off by activating… read more

Xerox Develops New Way to Print Invisible Ink

May 31, 2007

Xerox scientists have perfected a new method for printing hidden fluorescent wording using standard digital printing equipment, allowing for an additional layer of security to commonly printed materials such as checks, tickets, coupons, and other high-value documents.

First practical plastic magnets created

September 1, 2004

The world’s first plastic magnet to work at room temperature has passed the elementary test of magnetism.

One of the most likely applications is magnetic coating of computer hard disks, which could lead to a new generation of high-capacity disks.

Plastic magnets could also have important medical applications, for example in dentistry or the transducers used in cochlear implants. Organic magnetic materials are less likely to be rejected… read more

Silver-nanowire filters provide clean water for the developing world

September 9, 2010

A scanning electron microscope image of the silver nanowires in which the cotton is dipped during the process of constructing a filter. The large fibers are cotton. (Yi Cui)

Stanford researchers have developed a water-purifying filter that makes the process more than 80,000 times faster than existing filters.  The key is coating the filter fabric – ordinary cotton – with nanotubes and silver nanowires, then electrifying it. The filter uses very little power, has no moving parts and could be used throughout the developing world.

Instead of physically trapping bacteria as most existing filters do, the… read more

Too Little Vitamin D Puts Heart at Risk

December 3, 2008

Vitamin D deficiency increases the risk of heart disease and is linked to other, well-known heart disease risk factors such as high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes, says researcher James H. O’Keefe, MD, director of preventive cardiology at the Mid America Heart Institute in Kansas City, Mo.

Self-assembly could simplify nanotech construction

June 8, 2007

“Molecular origami” could become the latest nanotech construction technique, thanks to a Harvard University study.

The self-assembly process might yield simpler ways to make the microscopic components required by the electronics and computing industries.

FCC: Broadband Usage Has Tripled

September 13, 2004

The number of U.S. broadband subscribers has tripled in recent years, according to an FCC report.

The report also says that the number of users of broadband services (speeds exceeding 200 kbps in both directions) soared to 28 million in December 2003 from 9.6 million in 2001.

Forty-three percent of Internet-enabled households will have high-speed connections by the end of this year, according to IDC, up from 36… read more

Spin soliton could make cell phone communication more secure

September 16, 2010

Soliton (NIST)

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have found theoretical evidence of a new way to generate the microwave transmissions used in modern communication devices such as cell phones. Their analysis, if supported by experimental evidence, could contribute to a new generation of wireless technology that would be more secure and resistant to interference than conventional devices.

The team’s findings point toward an oscillator that would… read more

Mumbai Terrorists Relied on New Technology for Attacks

December 9, 2008

The terrorists who struck Mumbai last month stunned authorities not only with their use of sophisticated weaponry but also with their comfort with modern technology, including GPS systems, satellite phones, and Internet VoIP phones.

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

human_brain_connectivity

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

close and return to Home