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Camera Phones Link World to Web

May 19, 2004

Semacode, a free system released this month, lets users scan bar codes on everyday objects with their camera phones and instantly pull up information about them. It’s an information bridge between the world and the Web.

The X-Mice

March 30, 2007

Researchers from Johns Hopkins University and the University of California, Santa Barbara genetically engineered mice to express a third, humanlike photoreceptor, giving them human color vision.

Can they do the same for humans? Turns out some people may actually have a fourth photoreceptor that detects light within the visible range at a slightly different wavelength range than the other three.

Revolutionary auto already on the road

November 10, 2008

Inventor Dean Kamen has developed the world’s first Stirling hybrid electric car, using a Stirling engine to powers the features that would normally drain huge power from the battery (defroster and heater), and can go about 60 miles on a single charge of its lithium battery, with practically zero emissions.

Genetically-modified virus explodes cancer cells

June 2, 2004

A genetically-modified virus that exploits the selfish behaviour of cancer cells may offer a powerful and selective way of killing tumors.

Deleting a key gene from the virus enabled it to infect and burst cancer cells while leaving normal tissues unharmed.

The UK researchers deleted one such gene in an adenovirus. This meant that the virus was immediately detected by normal cells and was unable to spread. But… read more

Chemical changes in hippocampus are early diagnostic clues for Alzheimer disease

May 10, 2012

brain_disorders_and_alterations_of_ph

Dr. Pravat K. Mandal and colleagues have developed a non-invasive brain imaging technique that measures specific brain chemical changes in the hippocampus, providing a signature of the early stages of Alzheimer disease.

Key findings in pre-Alzheimer and Alzheimer disease patients in the left hippocampus:

  • Increase in pH to the alkaline range.
  • Changes in four brain chemicals.

This diagnostic technique requires no blood work or radiation, and can… read more

How to Confine the Plants of the Future?

April 9, 2007

A new generation of genetically engineered crops that produce drugs and chemicals is fast approaching the market — bringing with it a new wave of concerns about the safety of the global food and feed supply.

The containment practices used by developers assume an ability to control living and propagating organisms, which scientific evidence does not support.

Telescoping Carbon Nanotubes Can Make Flash Memory Replacment

November 14, 2008

Researchers at The University of Nottingham have used carbon nanotubes to make fast non-volatile memory.

Sizing Up Consciousness by Its Bits

September 22, 2010

Dr. Giulio Tononi, distinguished chair in consciousness science at the University of Wisconsin, and colleagues are adapting information theory to build a “consciousness meter” that doctors can use to measure consciousness.

Tononi and his colleagues have been expanding traditional information theory to develop an “Integrated Information Theory.” Consciousness, he says, is nothing more than integrated information, measurable in bits.

It is possible, the researchers have shown, to calculate… read more

Mutant human stem cell lines created

June 14, 2004

Immortal cell lines have been made from genetically flawed human embryos. Scientists hope they will help develop new therapies.

Almost Human, and Sometimes Smarter

April 17, 2007

Chimps display a remarkable range of behavior and talent. They make and use simple tools, hunt in groups and engage in aggressive, violent acts. They are social creatures that appear to be capable of empathy, altruism, self-awareness, cooperation in problem solving and learning through example and experience. Chimps even outperform humans in some memory tasks.

New theory of visual computation reveals how brain makes sense of natural scenes

November 20, 2008

Computational neuroscientists at Carnegie Mellon University have developed a computational model that provides insight into the function of the brain’s visual cortex and the information processing that enables people to perceive contours and surfaces, and understand what they see in the world around them.

The model employs an algorithm that analyzes the myriad patterns that compose natural scenes and statistically characterizes those patterns to determine which patterns are most… read more

Fragments boost 3D TV

June 29, 2004

The ultimate in video is a system that renders three-dimensional images in real-time and lets the viewer change viewpoints at will.

It takes a lot of network bandwidth to transmit that much information, however. A system that turns two-dimensional pixels from a camera array into a set of independent points in space promises to lighten the load.

Stanford scientists make major breakthrough in regenerative medicine

April 25, 2007

Findings described in a new study by Stanford scientists may be the first step toward a major revolution in human regenerative medicine — a future where advanced organ damage can be repaired by the body itself.

In the May 2007 issue of The FASEB Journal, researchers show that a human evolutionary ancestor, the sea squirt, can correct abnormalities over a series of generations, suggesting that a similar regenerative process… read more

Brain works better with neurological disease

November 26, 2008

Huntington’s disease improves ability at some cognitive tests, possibly because neurons become abnormally sensitive to the neurotransmitter glutamate, which is vital for sensory discrimination.

The finding by the Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors in Germany strengthens the glutamate theory and suggests that the cognitive tasks be used as a test for drugs that block the glutamate response.

Microchip technology rapidly identifies compounds for nerve-cell regeneration

October 12, 2010

Surgery on single nerve cells in the worm C. elegans. The white lines represent axons. (Craig Millman and Yanik Lab)

Engineers at MIT have used a new microchip technology to rapidly test potential drugs on tiny worms called C. elegans, which are often used in studies of the nervous system. Using the new technology, associate professor Mehmet Fatih Yanik and his colleagues rapidly performed laser surgery, delivered drugs, and imaged the resulting neuron regrowth in thousands of live animals.

“Our technology helps researchers rapidly identify promising chemicals that can… read more

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