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Biologists Learn Structure, Mechanism Of Powerful ‘Molecular Motor’ In Virus

December 29, 2008
{The journal Cell, Dec. 26, 2008; Steven McQuinn, independent science artist, and Venigalla Rao, The Catholic University of America)

Purdue University and The Catholic University of America researchers have discovered the atomic structure of a powerful “molecular motor” that packages DNA into the head segment of some viruses during their assembly, an essential step in their ability to multiply and infect new host organisms.

NASA tests new robotic refueling technologies

March 10, 2014


NASA has successfully concluded a remotely controlled test of new technologies that would empower future space robots to transfer hazardous oxidizer — a type of propellant — into the tanks of satellites in space today.

NASA is also incorporating results from this test and the Robotic Refueling Mission on the International Space Station to prepare for an upcoming ground-based… read more

Determined to Reinspire a Culture of Innovation

July 10, 2007

An innovation economy depends on intellectual property law, tax codes, patent procedures, export controls, immigration regulations and factors making up what William A. Wulf, former president of the National Academy of Engineering, calls “the ecology of innovation.”

Unfortunately, he argues, in the United States too many of these components are unworkable, irrelevant, inadequate, outdated or “fundamentally broken.”

Scientists Detect Two Decision-making Pathways in Human Brain

October 20, 2004

New research suggests why people are often torn between impulsively choosing immediate rewards or more deliberatively planning for the future: human decision-making is influenced by the interactions of two distinct systems in the brain which are often at odds.

Study participants made choices between immediate and longer-term rewards. When participants chose between incentives that included an immediate reward, fMRI scans indicated heightened activity in parts of the brain, such… read more

Researchers create all seeing ‘eye’

January 6, 2009

Scientists at The Vision Center in Australia say the Perspex globe, designed primarily as a scientific tool to investigate how insects see, navigate and learn, also has potential uses for guiding robot vehicles and aircraft, providing low-cost panoramic security surveillance and novel lighting systems.

NRL researchers report spintronics advance

July 19, 2007

Naval Research Laboratory scientists will next month describe a technique that could bring next-generation spintronics–silicon semiconductors that encode bits based on the spin of individual electrons–a step closer.

“Our demonstration showed a 30 percent polarization of the injected electrons, which is not bad considering that polarizaiton of electrons in magnetic metals is about 45 percent,” said lead scientist Berend Jonker. “Now we want to build an electronic detector, rather… read more

Quantum dots identify sick cells

October 27, 2004

University of Toronto professor Warren Chan is developing quantum dots — nanoscale semiconductors — that can target a disease site and light it up.

By attaching a quantum dot to a molecule that will target a specific type of cancer, for example, over time, the dots will accumulate in the tumor and light up in that particular region.

This could someday lead to a system that would also… read more

The Brain That Changed Everything

October 26, 2010


In 1953, the majority of the hippocampus of Henry Molaison (the man who could not remember) along with some surrounding neuronal tissue, was surgically removed from both hemispheres of his brain. Because of Molaison, it is known that memory function originates in this region.

When Jacopo Annese finishes constructing his multidimensional, zoomable atlas of H.M.’s brain, scientists will be able to see at the neuronal level exactly how… read more

Bell Labs’ Researchers Create Plastic Superconductor

March 10, 2001

Researchers at Lucent Technologies’ Bell Labs in Murray Hill, N.J., have created a plastic that functions as a superconductor (can conduct electricity without resistance).

“Plastics are easier and cheaper to make and sculpt than other materials, so the achievement may eventually lead to … components for future computers that use quantum mechanical calculations.”

Memristors made into low cost, high density RRAM (Resistive Random Access Memory)

January 12, 2009

University of California, San Diego researchers have shown how memristors (resistors with memory) could work as low cost, high density memory.

The future of medicine: Insert chip, cure disease?

July 30, 2007

University of Florida researchers are developing a neuroprosthetic chip designed to be implanted in the brain that can interpret EEG signals and stimulate neurons to perform correctly.

To goal is to correct conditions such as paralysis or epilepsy.

Cosmic doomsday delayed

November 8, 2004

The Universe will last for at least the next 24 billion years, according to astrophysicists who have modeled the mysterious force of dark energy.

The team’s new calculation relies on recent observations from the Hubble Space Telescope, which has found several supernovae that are moving away from us faster than any others seen before, implying that the Universe is expanding faster than we thought.

Utah researchers discover how brain is wired for attention

November 2, 2010

University of Utah (U of U) medical researchers have uncovered a wiring diagram that shows how the brain pays attention to visual, cognitive, sensory, and motor cues. The research provides a critical foundation for the study of abnormalities in attention that can be seen in many brain disorders such as autism, schizophrenia, and attention deficit disorder. The study appears Nov. 1, 2010, online in the Proceedings of the National Academy… read more

Nanodot Lasers

April 8, 2001

MIT chemist Moungi Bawendi and Victor Klimov of Los Alamos National Lab have developed a way to create quantum-dot lasers from nanometer-size semiconductor particles.

Quantum dots, so called because quantum effects tune the color of the glow to the size of the particle, could be a boon for optical networking by providing lasers and amplifiers that work in a wide range of frequencies.

Bawendi and Klimov have discovered… read more

Young people spend more than 7 hours a day using entertainment media: study

January 21, 2009

Young people (8-18) devote an average of 7 hours and 38 minutes (7:38) to using entertainment media across a typical day (more than 53 hours a week), increasing by one hour and seventeen minutes a day over the past five years, according to a new study, Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8- to 18-Year-Olds, designed and analyzed by the Kaiser Family Foundation and Stanford University… read more

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