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Boneless, brainy, and ancient

November 28, 2001

The Octupus arm could very well be the basis of next-generation robotic arms for undersea, space, as well as terrestrial applications.
Each arm appears to contain an independent peripheral nervous system and neural circuitry, which carries out the order independent of any further involvement on the part of the brain itself.

“How the octopus controls each arm so that tasks can be performed without chaos, and without the need… read more

Bone marrow-on-a-chip unveiled

May 6, 2014

Microscopic view of the engineered bone with an opening exposing the internal trabecular bony network, overlaid with colored images of blood cells and a supportive vascular network that fill the open spaces in the bone marrow-on-a-chip. Credit: James Weaver, Harvard’s Wyss Institute.

A new organ-on-a-chip developed by researchers from Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering reproduces the structure, functions, and cellular make-up of bone marrow, a complex tissue that until now could only be studied intact in living animals.

The device, dubbed “bone marrow-on-a-chip,” gives scientists a much-needed new tool to test the effects of new drugs and toxic agents on whole bone marrow.

Specifically, the device… read more

Bone marrow cells can become heart cells

March 14, 2003

Researchers have detected the first evidence that cells originating in the bone marrow can form new heart tissue in human adults and this suggests the technique could prove useful for mending and regenerating damaged heart tissue.

Bond gadgets: Never say they’ll never work

May 29, 2008

Several James Bond gadgets used in movies are begining to catch up, including steering his car using a touchpad, the Snooper robot, and the Micro-aqualung.

Bolt-on ‘superlens’ gives microscope nanoscale vision

March 23, 2007

A “superlens” that refracts light in unconventional ways to let an optical microscope see beyond the normal limit of its vision has achieved a resolution of 70nm, or one-seventh the wavelength of the light used. This is four times better than would be possible with light alone.

Boldly illuminating biology’s ‘dark matter’

July 16, 2013


“Microbial dark matter” is the pervasive yet practically invisible infrastructure of life on the planet, which can have profound influences on the most significant environmental processes: from plant growth and health, to nutrient cycles in terrestrial and marine environments, the global carbon cycle, and possibly even climate processes.

By employing next-generation DNA sequencing of genomes isolated from single cells, great strides are being made in… read more

Boldly Going Nowhere

April 20, 2009

NASA should re-energize its development of nuclear-powered rockets, with the intention of building a craft able to send clusters of micro-bots into deep space at velocities of, say, one-tenth light speed, says SETI astronomer Seth Shostak.

“By the middle of the following century, on-the-scene data from Epsilon Eridani, the nearest known planetary system, could be in our hands.

“These microbots would supply the information that, fed to computers,… read more

Bogus Grass-roots Politics on Twitter

November 2, 2010

This network graph shows the connections between 6,278 accounts that used the hashtag #gop in September and October 2010 (Indiana University)

Researchers have found evidence that political campaigns and special-interest groups are using scores of fake Twitter accounts to create the impression of broad grass-roots political expression. The “Truthy” project team at Indiana University used data-mining and network-analysis techniques to detect the activity.

The researchers relied largely on network-analysis techniques, in which connections between different members of a network are mapped out. Long used in mathematics and the sciences, network… read more

Boffins Get Their Circuits in a Twist

March 29, 2004

A Baltimore research team has developed a technique for building electrical circuitry that can bend and stretch like rubber. The new technology could be used to make artificial nerves, attach flexible electrodes to a beating heart, or make rubbery needles that would be safer and more reliable in the treatment of Parkinson disease, in which doctors insert probes into the sufferer’s brain.

Boffins develop ‘sociable’ robots

May 22, 2002

Irish scientists developing robots that are friendly and sociable so that people will be able to relate to them more naturally.

The first prototype, Anthropos, has cameras for eyes, a speaker as a mouth, voice recognition, and motors that control how it moves.

Boeing working on Fuel Cell Airplane

March 29, 2007

Boeing researchers and industry partners throughout Europe are planning to conduct experimental flight tests this year of a manned airplane powered only by a fuel cell and lightweight batteries.

Boeing missile zaps electronic devices in first test flight

October 29, 2012


A recent weapons flight test in the Utah desert may change future warfare after the missile successfully defeated electronic targets with little to no collateral damage.

Boeing and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Directed Energy Directorate at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., successfully tested the Counter-electronics High-powered Microwave Advanced Missile Project (CHAMP) during a flight over the Utah Test and Training Range.… read more

Boeing Aims to Fly Passengers to Space on New Capsule

September 16, 2010

Boeing's CST-100 capsule design can carry a crew of seven and is designed to support the International Space Station and the Bigelow Aerospace Orbital Space Complex. (Boeing)

Boeing has teamed up with Space Adventures, a private spaceflight marketing firm, to sell passenger seats for future flights of its new Boeing Crew Space Transportation-100 spacecraft.

The spacecraft is currently being designed to travel to the International Space Station as well as other future private space stations. The capsule is designed to launch atop an expendable rocket. The first test flights of the new CST-100 space capsule… read more

‘BodyShock The Future’ contest seeks innovative ways to improve health

July 23, 2010

The Institute for the Future (IFTF) has launched a new contest called BodyShock The Future to develop innovative ways to improve individual and collective health over the next 3-10 years by transforming our bodies and lifestyles.

IFTF is looking for visual ideas — video or graphical entries illustrating new ideas, designs, products, technologies, and concepts. Entries will be accepted from people around theread more

Body’s natural painkillers may block phobias

May 21, 2008

Researchers at Hamburg-Eppendorf have found that natural opioids in the body reduce “conditioned fear” caused by fearful stimuli.

Volunteers inside an MRI scanner watched symbols on a screen. One symbol was sometimes followed by a painful application of heat, and the other symbol was innocuous.

Half the volunteers had naloxone, which blocks the effects of opioids. Their fear response–the amygdala’s activation, visible in the MRI scan–didn’t change over… read more

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