science + technology news

Spain unveils supercomputer plans

March 2, 2004

Spain has unveiled plans to build the world’s second most powerful computer, able to process 40 teraflops.

Spanish doctor performs first surgery transmitted live via Google Glass

September 2, 2013

Spanish surgeon with Glass

Dr. Pedro Guillén, Head of Traumatology Service at Clínica CEMTRO in Madrid, is the first surgeon in the world to perform surgery transmitted live via Google Glass.

The surgery, performed on June 21, 2013, pre-dated surgery performed at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center on August 21, 2013, which was the first such surgery performed in the U.S., as previously reported on… read more

Spare CPU cycles to be used to further radio astronomy

September 13, 2011


TheSkyNet project will use the idle time of thousands of PCs to create grid computing power to process massive radio astronomy data sets.

PC users around the world will be asked to contribute spare CPU cycles as part of theSkyNet project to further the science of radio astronomy. Donor PCs will form a distributed computing engine to scan data from telescopes and… read more

Spasers set to sum: A new dawn for optical computing

January 26, 2010

The “spaser,” the latest by-product of a buzzing field known as nanoplasmonics, based on plasmons, may lead to building a super-fast computer that computes with light.

Plasmons, which are ultra-high-frerquency electron waves on a metallic surface, overcome the speed limits of the wires that interconnect transistors in chips, allowing for converting electronic signals into photonic ones and back again with speed and efficiency.

Speak Commands with Google’s Voice Actions for Android App

August 13, 2010

Google on Thursday introduced the next generation of interaction, running on its Android operating system: voice-driven actions.

Google’s “Voice Search” app includes 12 new “Voice Actions for Android,” including phone calls, reminder e-mails, direction search, and music search. A second improvement, “Chrome to Phone,” allows users to click on a new “mobile phone” icon to send links, YouTube videos, even directions, to the phone. read more

Speaking of Voice Recognition

October 17, 2001

Intel, Microsoft, Comverse, Philips and SpeechWorks — the Speech Application Language Tags (SALT) Forum are working together to develop speech-enabled software that will let users call up any website on any device without having to click a button.

Special Nanotubes May Be Used as a Vehicle for Treating Neurodegenerative Disorders

January 14, 2009

Electrical engineering researchers at the University of Arkansas have demonstrated that magnetic nanotubes combined with nerve growth factor can enable specific cells to differentiate into neurons, and may be exploited to treat neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

Special polymer gel allows adult-stem-cell differentiation without immune rejection

May 25, 2012


University of Michigan researchers have proven that a special surface, free of biological contaminants, allows adult-derived stem cells to thrive and transform into multiple cell types.

Their success brings stem cell therapies another step closer. To prove the cells’ regenerative powers, bone cells grown on this surface were then transplanted into holes in the skulls of mice, producing four times as much new bone growth… read more

Special RNAs guide epigenetic factors to activate genes

Blocking the action of piRNAs could lead to new way to treat cancers
February 26, 2013


If a genome is the blueprint for life, then the chief architects are tiny slices of genetic material that orchestrate how we are assembled and function, Yale School of Medicine researchers report.

The study pinpoints the molecular regulators of epigenetics — the process by which unchanging genes along our DNA are switched on and off at precisely right time and place.… read more

Specialized Brain Cells Predict Intentions as Well as Define Actions

February 23, 2005

A study by UCLA neuroscientists featuring functional magnetic resonance imaging suggests for the first time that mirror neurons help people understand the intentions of others — a key component to social interaction.

The team found that Pre motor mirror neuron areas of the brain — areas active during the execution and the observation of an action — ascribe intentions to actions when presented within a context. Previously, these neurons… read more

Specially Bred Mice May Hold Keys to Personalized Medicine

June 5, 2007

Scientists at the Jackson Laboratory have developed a genetically diverse panel of mice bred to match the genetic makeup of most human genetic profiles to help predict how people with specific genotypes will respond to experimental drugs.

Species explorers propose steps to map uncharted biosphere

April 9, 2012


An ambitious goal to describe 10 million species in less than 50 years is achievable and necessary to sustain Earth’s biodiversity, according to an international group of 39 scientists, scholars and engineers who provided a detailed plan, including measures to build public support.

“Earth’s biosphere has proven to be a vast frontier that, even after centuries of exploration, remains largely uncharted,” wrote the authors, who include biodiversity crusaders Edward… read more

Species loss ‘bad for our health’

April 24, 2008

Conservation scientists are warning that a new generation of medical treatments could be lost because species go extinct before researchers have had the chance to examine and understand their potential health benefits.

They give the example of the southern gastric brooding frog, which raised its young in the females’ stomachs. It went extinct in the 1980′s, and could have held clues to preventing and treating stomach ulcers in humans.

Spectrum clash builds around bionic implants

November 25, 2011

Next week, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission will consider whether four sets of frequencies between 413MHz and 457MHz can be used by networks of sensors implanted in patients who suffer from various forms of paralysis.

One intended purpose of these MMNS (medical micropower network systems) is to transmit movement commands from a sensor on a patient’s spinal cord, through a wearable MCU (master control unit), to implants that electrically… read more

‘Spectrum of empathy’ found in the brain

September 19, 2006

Our ability to empathise with others seems to depend on the action of “mirror neurons” in the brain, according to a new study of neurons in humans that fire when sounds are heard.

In other words, if you hear the noise of someone eating an apple, some of the same neurons fire as when you eat the apple yourself.

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