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In Sync to Pierce the Cloud

July 17, 2008

Apple’s new MobileMe cloud-computing service is meant to keep the e-mail, calendars, address books and Web bookmarks on all of your computers –Macs, Windows PCs, iPhones and iPod Touches — synchronized in real time.

A Step Closer to Nanotube Computers

November 14, 2006

Stanford University researchers have developed a method of separating out purely semiconducting nanotubes with a consistent range of diameters stretching across the source and drain.

The method is scalable to a bulk manufacturing process.

‘Get me rewrite!’ Now, computers can play along

December 29, 2003

MIT and Cornell researchers have created a program that can automatically generate paraphrases of English sentences.

The program gathers text from online news services on specific subjects, learns the characteristic patterns of sentences in these groupings, and then uses those patterns to create new sentences that give equivalent information in different words.

Evogrid: simulating the chemical origins of life on Earth

March 15, 2010

Digital Space CEO Bruce Damer presented on BBC World Service program “The Forum” Sunday his vision of the EvoGrid — a worldwide, cross-disciplinary effort to create a digital simulation of the chemical origins of life on Earth from complex combinations of atoms.

The concept is to model the most primitive cell by “converting a corner of the Internet into a digital primordial soup… read more

Spinal cord stem cells could be basis of new treatment

July 22, 2008

A researcher at MIT’s Picower Institute for Learning and Memory has pinpointed stem cells within the spinal cord that, if persuaded to differentiate into more healing cells and fewer scarring cells following an injury, may lead to a new, non-surgical treatment for debilitating spinal-cord injuries.

MIT news

Whales boast the brain cells that ‘make us human’

November 28, 2006

Whales have spindle neurons — specialised brain cells that are involved in processing emotions and helping us interact socially.

The cells occur in parts of the human brain that are thought to be responsible for our social organization, empathy, speech, intuition about the feelings of others, and rapid “gut” reactions.

What is more, whales appear to have had these cells for at least twice as long as humans,… read more

Stem Cells Used to Create Fertile Sperm in Mice

January 13, 2004

Scientists have coaxed stem cells from mice to change into immature sperm that can fertilize eggs to develop into embryos, an achievement that could pave the way for new ways of treating male infertility. The embryonic germ cells may also help scientists understand how erasure occurs and how stem cells are programmed to specialize and create different tissue and body parts.

Printable sensors

March 23, 2010

Printable Sensor

The EU-based 3Plast research consortium is developing special pressure and temperature sensors that can be printed onto plastic film and affixed to objects to recognize a finger’s heat signal without being touched.

The sensor consists of pyroelectrical and piezoelectrical polymers that can be processed in high volumes, by screen printing, for example. The sensor is combined with an organic transistor.

The companies and institutes involved from industry and… read more

Obesity gene ‘affects appetite’

July 29, 2008

University College London and King’s College London researchers have found that children carrying a high-risk version of FTO, the first gene linked to obesity in Caucasian populations, find it harder than others to tell when they are full.

The effect of the gene on appetite was the same regardless of age, sex, socioeconomic background and body mass index.

In 2007, Peninsula Medical School and Oxford Universityread more

Natural protein stops deadly human brain cancer in mice

December 8, 2006

Scientists from Johns Hopkins and the University of Milan have proven that they can inhibit lethal human brain cancers in mice using a protein that selectively induces positive changes in the activity of cells that behave like cancer stem cells.

The bone morphogenic proteins cause neural stem-cell-like clusters to lose their stem-cell properties, which in turn stops their ability to divide.

No Foolproof Way Is Seen to Contain Altered Genes

January 21, 2004

It will be difficult to completely prevent genetically engineered plants and animals from having unintended environmental and public health effects, says a report by the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences.

One solution may be biological methods of containment (“bioconfinement”). These include measures like inducing sterility by giving fish an extra set of chromosomes or exposing insects to radiation. Bacteria might be given “suicide genes” that… read more

Mobile Phone Mind Control

April 1, 2010

The NeuroPhone, developed by Dartmouth College researchers, uses signals detected by a wireless EEG headset from Emotiv to select and dial an iPhone contact just by thinking of the person.

(Not to be confused with the Neurophone, developed by Patrick Flanagan.)

New nanomaterial that makes plastic stiffer, lighter and stronger

August 1, 2008

Michigan State University researchers have developed a graphene-based nanomaterial, xGnP Exfoliated Graphite NanoPlatelets, that makes plastic stiffer, lighter and stronger and could result in more fuel-efficient airplanes and cars as well as more durable medical and sports equipment.

In Memory-Bank ‘Dialogue,’ the Brain Is Talking to Itself

December 19, 2006

New recordings of electrical activity in the brain may explain a major part of its function, including how it consolidates daily memories, why it needs to dream and how it constructs models of the world to guide behavior.

The finding by MIT researchers showed that during nondreaming sleep, the neurons of both the hippocampus and the neocortex replayed memories — in repeated simultaneous bursts of electrical activity — of… read more

Ethical supercomputing

January 16, 2012

Charity Engine

Wikipedia lists 20 current non-profit volunteer computing grids that use donated PC cycles to tackle grand challenge-type science problems,and 40 others in development. The latest, Charity Engine, embraces the ethically correct culture of volunteer computing and takes it to a new level: their computational power is sold to clients with a need for extra compute cycles (as in renting cloud-computing cycles).

Half of their proceeds are donated… read more

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