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Scientists Develop Nasal Spray That Improves Memory

October 2, 2009

A molecule from the body’s immune system (interleukin-6) administered through the nose helps the brain retain emotional and procedural memories during REM sleep, researchers from University of Lubeck in Germany have found.

Drawing superconductor circuits with x-rays

August 23, 2011

X-ray beams could one day be used to write superconducting circuits. Solid lines indicate electrical connections; semicircles indicate superconducting junctions, whose states are indicated by red arrows (credit: UCL Press Office)

Researchers from the London Centre for Nanotechnology and the Physics Department of Sapienza University of Rome have discovered a technique to “draw” superconductor circuits using an X-ray beam.

The research group manipulated regions of high temperature superconductivity in a material that combines oxygen, copper, and lanthanum. Illumination with X-rays causes a small-scale rearrangement of the oxygen atoms in the material, resulting in high… read more

Don’t Even Think About Lying

January 5, 2006

Functional magnetic resonance imaging and a new technology using near-infrared light are pushing the state-of-the-art in lie detection by measuring blood flow to key areas of the brain.

Identical Twins’ Genes Are Not Identical

April 7, 2008

University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers have found that twins’ DNA can differ due to copy number variants (different number of copies of the same gene).

These differences in identical twins can be used to identify genetic regions and genes that coincide with specific diseases due to copy number changes.

Differences between identical twins increase as they age through environmentally triggered changes, but this study suggests twins can… read more

I, Clone

March 24, 2003

The irrational fears people express today about cloning parallel those surrounding robotics half a century ago. The “The Three Laws of Cloning” will protect clones and advance science.

Novel Polymer Delivers Genetic Medicine, Allows Tracking

October 8, 2009

(Joshua Bryson)

Novel polymeric beacons capable of delivering plasmid DNA into mammalian cells, tracking delivery of genetic therapies, have been developed by Virginia Tech and University of Cincinnati researchers.

Ultrasensitive particles offer new way to find cancer

September 1, 2011

MIT chemical engineers have designed particles that can detect microRNA inside living cells (Image source: Stephen Clifford Chapin)

MIT researchers have engineered a way to detect abnormal microRNA levels in the blood of cancer patients, raising the possibility of developing a simple blood test to diagnose or monitor the disease.

The technology consists of an array of tiny particles, each designed to latch onto a specific type of microRNA. By exposing blood samples to these particles, the researchers can generate a microRNA… read more

Spin Doctors Create Quantum Chip

January 13, 2006

University of Michigan scientists have created the first quantum microchip, using an ion trap to isolate individual charged atoms and manipulate their quantum states.

To isolate an ion, scientists confine it in the ion trap while applying electric fields. Laser light manipulates the spin of the ion’s free electron to flip it between quantum states.

The new chip, which is made of gallium arsenide, should be easily scaled… read more

Carbon nanotubes made into conductive, flexible ‘stained glass’

April 10, 2008

Northwestern University researchers have used metallic nanotubes to make thin films that are semitransparent, highly conductive, flexible and come in a variety of colors, with an appearance similar to stained glass.

These results could lead to improved, lower-cost products such as flat-panel displays and solar cells.

Discovery of electrostatic spin challenges century-old theory

April 7, 2003

University of California, Riverside researchers have identified a new physical phenomenon, electrostatic rotation, that, in the absence of friction, leads to spin. The phenomenon will likely impact atomic physics, chemistry and nanotechnology.

Because the electric force is one of the fundamental forces of nature, this leap forward in understanding may help reveal how the smallest building blocks in nature react to form solids, liquids and gases that constitute the… read more

Mystery Space “Ribbon” Found at Solar System’s Edge

October 16, 2009

In a discovery that took astronomers by surprise, the first full-sky map of the solar system’s edge — more than 9 billion miles (15 billion kilometers) away — has revealed a bright “ribbon” of atoms called ENAs (energetic neutral atoms, which are atoms that have been stripped of their electric charges).

Scripps Research scientists produce first stem cells from endangered species

September 8, 2011
Drill primate

Scientists from The Scripps Research Institute have produced the first stem cells from endangered species, starting with normal skin cells.

Such cells could eventually make it possible to improve reproduction and genetic diversity for some species, possibly saving them from extinction, or to bolster the health of endangered animals in captivity.

They experimented with two endangered species: the drill and the northern white rhinoceros.… read more

3D structure of HIV is ‘revealed’

January 25, 2006

The 3D structure of the HIV virus has been revealed for the first time, scientists say.

The variable size and shape of HIV has made it hard to map, the team said in the journal Structure. So the UK-German team took hundreds of images of viruses and used a computer program to combine them.

“Identifying how the virus grows will allow us to address the formation of this… read more

New Ways to Store Solar Energy for Nighttime and Cloudy Days

April 15, 2008

Solar thermal systems are emerging as an alternative to batteries (which are not up to efficiently storing energy on a large scale) for storing solar energy.

Startups Seek Perfect Particles To Search And Destroy Cancer

April 21, 2003

Several companies are developing new cancer treatments that send nanoparticles into patients’ bodies to find tumor cells. Once they do, doctors excite the particles with electromagnetic energy to attack the tumor without collateral damage to nearby healthy cells and without the frightening side effects of chemotherapy and radiation: hair loss, nausea, and ravaged immune systems.

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