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Busy brains may stave off Alzheimer’s signs

March 11, 2005

Mice who keep their brains and bodies busy in an “enriched” environment of chew toys, running wheels, and tunnels have lower levels of the peptides and brain plaques associated with Alzheimer’s disease compared to mice raised in more sparse conditions, according to a new study in the 11 March issue of the journal Cell.

Cell Press news release

‘Cultured’ robots make sweet music together

November 4, 2008

Two robots that evolve a repertoire of melodies they can both sing could compose music beyond that of humans, says Eduardo Miranda, a composer and computer scientist at the University of Plymouth in the UK.

Immortal signals promise perfect web video

September 7, 2010

Optical engineers at the University of Central Florida have developed a system that improves the bandwidth of transmission via optical fibers, such as those used in transmitting cable TV and Internet data, to compensate for attenuation (signal losses) in the fiber.

Their device makes a copy of the attenuated incoming signal, and “mixes” it with a laser beam in a length of specially designed optical fiber. This generates two… read more

Making the Music Sway to Your Beat

November 29, 2001

Digital instruments are creating imaginative new forms of musical expression.

Some current research projects:

  • A wearable system of sensors that allows users to create and play music while doing routine tasks and share performances with one another over a wireless network. Tapping any of the sensors produces a digital signal corresponding to a note or a musical sequence. This signal is transmitted to a computer, where it
  • read more

    Mini Big Bang Created, Puzzling Results Too Explosive

    March 22, 2005

    Physicists claim that at a trillion degrees, nuclear material melts into an exotic form of matter called a quark-gluon plasma — thought to have been the state of the universe a microsecond after the Big Bang.

    Recreating this primordial soup is the primary purpose of the Relativistic Heavy-Ion Collider (RHIC) at Brookhaven National Laboratory. After five years of data, it appears as if RHIC may have succeeded.

    But… read more

    World’s Largest Truck Goes Robotic

    November 10, 2008

    The largest truck in the world is about to become the largest robotic vehicle in the world. Computer scientists from Carnegie Mellon University have teamed up with engineers from Caterpillar to automate the 700-ton trucks, which are made to haul loads up to 240 tons from mines.

    Arthur C. Clarke teleports to L.A.

    January 2, 2002

    Sir Arthur C. Clarke, author of “2001, a Space Odyssey,” was teleported from his home in Sri Lanka to the Arthur C. Clarke 2001 Gala on November 15 in Los Angeles, sponsored by The Space Frontier Foundation.

    Travel restrictions prevented Clarke from actually attending but Teleportec’s technology allowed him to join the party and interact with the audience as if he were actually there.… read more

    ‘Gene-editing’ technique cuts out diseased DNA

    April 5, 2005

    A gene-editing process that corrects mutations without weaving foreign genetic material into the chromosome has been demonstrated in diseased human cells for the first time.

    It could provide a less risky and more efficient alternative to gene therapy, which has resulted in leukemia in some patients.

    New Drug Bypasses Gene Mutations

    November 14, 2008

    A novel drug developed by PTC Therapeutics that enables the production of normal proteins from mutated DNA might one day help people with a variety of genetic diseases.

    The drug has shown promise as a treatment for cystic fibrosis and muscular dystrophy,

    Ultrasensitive biosensor can detect proteins, aid in cancer diagnosis

    September 21, 2010

    Researchers at Boston College discovered that a cluster of carbon nanotubes coated with a thin layer of protein-recognizing polymer forms a biosensor capable of using electrochemical signals to detect minute amounts of proteins. This new biosensor could provide a crucial new diagnostic tool for the detection of cancer and other illnesses.

    ‘Functional’ kidneys grown from stem cells

    January 30, 2002

    US scientists claim to have grown functional kidneys using stem cells taken from cloned cow embryos.Robert Lanza of biotech company Advanced Cell Technology told New Scientist that his team, working in collaboration with a group at Harvard University, coaxed the stem cells into becoming kidney cells, and then “grew” them on a kidney-shaped scaffold.

    The two-inch-long mini-kidneys were then transplanted back into genetically identical cows, where they started making… read more

    New microscopy method visualizes microtubules in cells of living fish

    May 17, 2012

    Under green fluorescent light, cell structures, here microtubuli, can be observed in living fish embryos (credit: NIH, KIT)

    A new hybrid method to visualize cell structures in living fish larvae has been developed by researchers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research, Mainz, and the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH).

    “The zebrafish is perfectly suited for genetic studies of cells, as its larvae are completely transparent,” explains Marina Mione of KIT.

    Microtubules, a key… read more

    ‘Minority Report’ interface created for US military

    April 18, 2005

    A computer interface inspired by the futuristic system portrayed in the movie Minority Report could soon help real military personnel deal with information overload.

    The system under development at Raytheon lets users don a pair of reflective gloves and manipulate images projected on a panoramic screen. A mounted camera keeps track of hand movements and a computer interprets gestures.

    Raytheon plans to offer the technology as a way… read more

    Massive EU online library looks to compete with Google

    November 20, 2008

    The EU launches Thursday its Europeana digital library, an online digest of Europe’s cultural heritage, with millions of digital objects, ranging from film, photographs, paintings, sound files, maps, manuscripts, newspapers, documents and, books.

    By 2010, when Europeana is due to be fully operational, the aim is to have 10 million works available. Google claims to have seven million books available for its “Google Book Search” project.

    First Potentially Habitable Exoplanet found

    September 30, 2010

    485056main_GJ581g_FNLa_946-710 (1)

    A team of planet hunters from the University of California (UC) Santa Cruz and the Carnegie Institution has announced the discovery of a planet, Gliese 581g, with three times the mass of Earth orbiting a nearby star at a distance that places it squarely in the middle of the star’s “habitable zone.”

    The research, sponsored by NASA and the National Science Foundation, placed… read more

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