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Microorganisms act as tiny machines in future MEMS devices

April 30, 2007

The integration of microorganisms with MEMS, resulting in “biotic-MEMS,” is a hot topic for scientists designing micron-level machines.

Recently, scientists have catalogued a large number of the most promising microorganisms for different areas of MEMS systems. They show that many of these microorganisms can offer capabilities beyond the limits of conventional MEMS technology.

Google and the Wisdom of Clouds

December 24, 2007

Increasing access to computing clouds–globe-spanning network of computers and information such as Google’s–signals a fundamental shift in how we handle information.

The Google 101 project will spread cloud computing first to a handful of U.S. universities within a year and later deploy it globally.

Amazon has opened up its own networks of computers to paying customers, initiating new players to cloud computing. Yahoo has opened up a cluster… read more

Bookmachine self-contained printer

July 21, 2004

Yet another technology that could potentially render bookstores obsolete: the Book Machine lets you browse for a book by author, title, subject matter, or publisher. Once selected, the book text is sent to the machine via satellite and the book printed out in standard-format softcover in three to five minutes.

This basically turns the whole book browsing and purchasing process into an ATM transaction.

The Next Best Thing to You

May 18, 2009

Project LifeLike aims to to create avatars that are as realistic as possible, including 3-D measurements of a person’s form and of movements, natural language, and automated knowledge update and refinement.

The project is a collaboration between the Intelligent Systems Laboratory at the University of Central Florida and the Electronic Visualization Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Extending future electric-car battery life, range

January 12, 2014

A hybrid anode made of graphite and lithium could quadruple the lifespan of lithium-sulfur batteries (credit: Huang et al, Nature Communications)

A hybrid anode developed at the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) could quadruple the life of the lithium-sulfur batteries proposed for use in electric vehicles.

“Lithium-sulfur batteries could one day help us take electric cars on longer drives and store renewable wind energy more cheaply, but some technical challenges have to be overcome first,” said PNNL Laboratory Fellow Jun Liu. “PNNL’s new anode… read more

Stem Cells Repair Blood Vessels

May 7, 2007

Scientists have developed a way to coax embryonic stem cells into a more adult form of stem cell that has the potential to form blood vessels. The new type of cells helped repair tissue in animals that had had heart attacks or eye damage due to diabetes.

National Nanotechnology Initiative releases new strategic plan

January 3, 2008

The new 2007 NNI Strategic Plan for the work of the National Nanotechnology Initiative has been released, describing the vision, goals, and priorities of the NNI, high-impact application opportunities, and critical research needs.

Spotting Cancer Sooner

August 3, 2004

Blood tests that detect cancer in its early stages would save countless lives. The first could arrive within a year, using pattern-recognition algorithms for protein profiling.

Plugging In $40 Computers

May 22, 2009

SheevaPlug, a tiny plastic “plug computer” that you plug into an electric outlet, includes a 1.2 Ghz application processor running Linux with 512 megabytes of RAM and 512 megabytes of flash storage, and USB and Gigabit Ethernet sockets.

By adding peripherals and software, it can become a network server, security camera to the Internet, video stream storage device, and serve other functions. Price is $99; it may be available… read more

Stable, self-renewing neural stem cells created

April 26, 2011

Stained Neuron

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, the Gladstone Institutes in San Francisco and colleagues have reported the creation of long-term, self-renewing, primitive neural precursor cells from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) that can be directed to become many types of neurons without increased risk of tumor formation.

To produce the neural stem cells, the researchers added small molecules… read more

Bio-sensor puts slime mould at its heart

May 18, 2007

A sensor chip controlled not by wires and transistors, but by a living slime mould marks an important step towards more widespread use of biologically-driven components and devices.

Lack Of Vitamin D May Increase Heart Disease Risk

January 7, 2008

Vitamin D deficiency increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, especially in people with high blood pressure.

Framingham Heart Study researchers found that participants with low vitamin D levels (under 15 nanograms per milliliter) had twice the risk of a cardiovascular event such as a heart attack, heart failure or stroke compared to those with higher levels of vitamin D.

Computers with multiple personalities

August 16, 2004

“Virtualization software” allows computers to run multiple operating systems and save money by using one computer to do the work of several.

4 Apps That Turn Your iPhone Into a Canvas

May 29, 2009

New iPhone apps let anyone use an existing photo as the basis for an artistic illustration, with tools like virtual bushes and pencils to apply to your photos, and various paper and canvas textures.

The week’s much-discussed New Yorker cover used the advanced Brushes app:

Removable ‘cloak’ for nanoparticles helps them target tumors

May 4, 2011

Acid Particle

A new type of drug-delivery nanoparticle that could target nearly any type of tumor and carry virtually any type of drug has been developed by chemists at MIT.

The new nanoparticles are cloaked in a polymer layer that protects them from being degraded by the bloodstream and can survive in the bloodstream for up to 24 hours.

This outer layer falls off after entering… read more

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