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The bioweapon is in the post

November 9, 2005

It would not be difficult for a terrorist to obtain complete genes for deadly biological weapon from several biotech firms online, and receive them by mail within weeks without customer screening or investigation, according to a New Scientist investigation.

It raises the frightening prospect of terrorists mail-ordering genes for key bioweapon agents such as smallpox, and using them to engineer new and deadly pathogens.

MIT bioengineer Drew Endy… read more

The ‘birdman’ is FAKE: Filmmaker behind wing suit flight video admits footage was a hoax and says it was ‘online storytelling’

March 22, 2012

flyinglikeabird

The Dutch “bird man” who posted a video showing a successful “test flight” of a wing suit contraption has admitted that the amazing feat was a hoax all along.

Viewers became sceptical after it emerged that no scientists actually knew “Jarno Smeets,” who claimed to have created the technology.

Now Smeets has confessed that he is actually a “filmmaker and animator” named Floris Kaayk, and… read more

The BlackBerry Brain Trust

January 5, 2005

The futuristic new Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics is a think tank where some of the smartest people in the world are contemplating the foundations of quantum physics.

Participants include Lee Smolin, who propounds a “fecund universe” theory holding that every black hole leads to another universe; Raymond Laflamme, the information theorist who changed Stephen Hawking’s mind on the direction of time in a contracting universe; and Fotini Markopoulou… read more

The Bleeding Edge of Computing

March 7, 2005

Tomorrow’s computing landscape may include trinary rather than binary coding, DNA computers, and wearable computers that act as a virtual assistant who helps us on a second-by-second basis.

The blurry lines of animated ‘news’

February 3, 2010

Taiwan-based Next Media has garnered millions of Web hits for its controversial animated news, using animators and actors in motion-capture suits to dramatize the day’s news events to supplement actual news footage.

The Body in Depth

April 22, 2008

The classic 25-volume “Stereoscopic Atlas of Human Anatomy” will soon be made available online by Stanford University’s school of medicine and eHuman, a company in Silicon Valley.

Eventually, it will be possible to see the images online in stereo.

The book beyond the book

December 28, 2011

Bartleby the Scrivener

Melville House has introduced a new series, HybridBooks, to meld the e-reading and traditional book cultures, New York Times Bits reports.

The Hybrids are “enhanced print books” with nothing inside but a short classic text. The last page directs readers to a Web site, where they will find, for example, an 1852 map of lower Manhattan, a recipe, excepts from Emerson and Thoreau, and similar material.

The bootless PC and terabytes on a dime

September 20, 2006

Imagine a PC with instantaneous boot up or storing 10TB of data on a device the size of a dime with data-transfer rates unhampered by any latency.

The Boss Is Robotic, and Rolling Up Behind You

September 7, 2010

(InTouch Health)

Mobile robots are now being used in hundreds of hospitals nationwide as the eyes, ears and voices of doctors who cannot be there in person.

They are being rolled out in workplaces, allowing employees in disparate locales to communicate more easily and letting managers supervise employees from afar. And they are being tested as caregivers in assisted-living centers.

The brain can process images seen for just 13 milliseconds

January 17, 2014

An illustration of a sequence of pictures (credit: Potter,M.C.,and Levy,E.I./J. Exp.Psychol)

MIT neuroscientists have found that the human brain can process entire images that the eye sees for as little as 13 milliseconds — the first evidence of such rapid processing speed.

That speed is far faster than the 100 milliseconds suggested by previous studies. In the new study, which appears in the journal Attention, Perception, and Psychophysics, researchers asked subjects to look for a particular type of… read more

The Brain in Winter

January 2, 2002

Although some neural functioning is lost from aging, the biggest recent surprise in neuroscience is the discovery of neurogenesis: as the brain ages it creates new neurons.

The BRAIN Initiative: BAM or BUST?

April 9, 2013

President Barack Obama is introduced by Dr. Francis Collins, Director, National Institutes of Health, at the BRAIN Initiative event in the East Room of the White House, April 2, 2013 (credit: Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

What is the BRAIN* Project about? What are its goals?

“Well, nobody knows, actually. I certainly don’t know. But it appears that no one else knows either.” So says Scicurious, a PhD in Physiology and currently a postdoc in biomedical research, on her The Scicurious Brain blog on Scientific American.

“Basically, BRAIN is a very fancy initiative, with a fancy name … and so far,… read more

The brain is wired in a 3D grid structure, landmark study finds

March 30, 2012

brainpathways2

The brain appears to be wired in a rectangular 3D grid structure, suggests a new brain imaging study funded by the National Institutes of Health.

“Far from being just a tangle of wires, the brain’s white-matter connections turn out to be more like ribbon cables — folding 2D sheets of parallel neuronal fibers that cross paths at right angles, like the warp and weft of a… read more

The brain may be able to repair itself from within, Duke researchers discover

June 3, 2014

In this artist's representation of the adult subependymal neurogenic niche (viewed from underneath the ependyma), electrical signals generated by the ChAT+ neuron give rise to newborn migrating neuroblasts, seen moving over the underside of ependymal cells ( credit: O’Reilly Science Art)

Duke researchers have found a new type of neuron in the adult brain that is capable of telling stem cells to make more new neurons.

Neuroscientists have suspected for some time that the brain has some capacity to direct the manufacturing of new neurons, but it was difficult to determine where these instructions are coming from, explains Chay Kuo, M.D. Ph.D., an assistant professor of… read more

The Brain May Use Only 20 Percent of Its Memory-Forming Neurons

April 20, 2007

Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles and The Hospital for Sick Children have found that the pace at which a brain cell activates a key protein, CREB (a transcription factor that typically increases the production of other proteins in cells) may influence its role in memory formation — a finding that could lead to new Alzheimer therapies

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