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Support cells found in human brain make mice smarter

March 8, 2013


Glial cells — a family of cells found in the human central nervous system and, until recently, considered mere “housekeepers” — now appear to be essential to the unique complexity of the human brain.

Scientists reached this conclusion after demonstrating that when transplanted into mice, these human cells could influence communication within the brain, allowing the animals to learn more rapidly.

The study suggests that the… read more

Support for top-down theory of how ‘buckyballs’ form

Discovery could have a bearing on medical imaging, cancer treatment
September 24, 2013


Researchers at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute have reported the first experimental evidence that supports the theory that a soccer ball-shaped nanoparticle commonly called a buckyball is the result of a breakdown of larger structures rather than being built atom-by-atom from the ground up.

Technically known as fullerenes, these spherical carbon molecules have shown great promise for uses in medicine, solar energy, and optoelectronics.… read more

Supreme Court ruling on Affordable Care Act

June 28, 2012

supreme court

The health care act is held as constitutional as a tax, according to SCOTUSBlog.

Surface plasmons enhance nanostructure possibilities

September 19, 2007

Scientists from University College London and at the Queen’s University of Belfast have demonstrated a method of achieving ultrahigh light dispersion that makes use of surface plasmon polaritons on nanostructures.

Uses would be in such areas as quantum information processing, lab-on-chip applications for spectral analysis, chemistry and electronic engineering, and optical communications as signal processing devices.

Surface plasmons squeeze light

March 24, 2006

Physicists in Denmark and France have developed a new class of waveguide that could get round one of the biggest obstacles to photonic circuits. The devices allow light at telecommunications wavelengths to be “squeezed” to below the diffraction limit, allowing it to pass though small regions such as channels on a chip without being significantly lost.

These photonic circuits could manipulate light pulses directly and therefore increase data rates.

Surfaces have built-in ‘fingerprints’

July 29, 2005

The surfaces of most paper documents, plastic cards and cardboard packages contain unique “fingerprints” that could be used to combat fraud, according to physicists.

The fingerprint is contained in microscopic imperfections on the surface and can be read by a portable laser scanner. The results could eventually eliminate the need for expensive security measures — such as holograms, chips and special inks — on passports, identity cards and pharmaceutical… read more

Surfing the light fantastic

Researchers observe and control light wakes for the first time; could lead to new optical discoveries such as plasmonic holograms
July 6, 2015

Artistic rendition of the superluminal running wave of charge that excites the surface plasmon wakes  (credit: Daniel Wintz, Patrice Genevet, and Antonio Ambrosio)

Harvard researchers have created surface plasmons (wakes of light-like waves moving on a metallic surface) and demonstrated that they can be controlled and steered. Their demonstration was based on the Cherenkov effect, in which a charged particle moving with a velocity faster than the phase velocity of light in the medium radiates light that forms a cone with a half angle determined by the ratio of… read more

Surfing the Web Stimulates Older Brains

October 15, 2008

In an experiment, adults 55 to 78 years old who have regularly searched the Internet showed twice the increase in brain activity in MRI scans when performing a new Internet search than their counterparts without Internet search experience, especially in the areas of the brain that control decision making and complex reasoning, UCLA researchers have found.

Surfing the Web with nothing but brainwaves

July 27, 2006

“Network-enabled telepathy” — instant thought transfer between brains via tiny computers in headbands and networks — is one extension of current research in neurodevices, says Stu Wolf, a top scientist at DARPA.

Surgeons may get Minority Report-style display

June 17, 2008

Ben Gurion University engineers have developed a sterile browsing system for doctors, using a screen and gesture-recognition system that allows surgeons to flip back and forth through radiology images, such as MRI and CT scans, by simply groping in mid-air.

Surgeons See into Their Patients

May 25, 2001

A new imaging and navigation system helps physicians see internal organs, bones, and vessels.

The Cbyon Suite from Cbyon Inc. creates a virtual 3-D model of a patient using data from magnetic resonance images, X-rays, ultrasounds and other types of scans. Doctors can peel through the data layer by layer and pinpoint the location of their surgical tools within 6 mm.

Surgeons use woman’s own tissue to rebuild ear lost to cancer

Cartilage model placed under forearm skin to grow new covering
October 1, 2012


Surgeons at Johns Hopkins Medicine have successfully created a new ear for a woman who lost one of her ears to an aggressive form of skin cancer.

The reconstruction required six operations over a period of 20 months, beginning in January 2011. It is one of the most complicated ear reconstructions ever performed at Johns Hopkins, according to surgeons involved in the case.… read more

Surgical chip shows patient info

November 30, 2004

A surgeon has invented a chip for patients designed to help prevent hospital errors.

SurgiChip is a one-inch-square RFID chip with embedded information that can be read by computers and hand-held devices so that hospital workers know that they have the right patient and the right procedure.

The information on the operation is placed in the computer. The patient sees it on a monitor and verifies that it’s… read more

Surgical drill feels its way through tissue

April 2, 2007

A medical drill being tested in the UK simplifies delicate surgical procedures by sensing the properties of surrounding tissue. It has already been used to give profoundly deaf patients cochlear implants — a process that requires extreme caution to avoid damaging delicate tissues inside the ear.

Surgical robots

January 19, 2012


Blake Hannaford and his colleagues at the University of Washington are about to release a flock of medical robots with wing-like arms, called Ravens, in the hope of stimulating innovation in the nascent field of robotic surgery.

The Raven — originally developed for the American army by Dr Hannaford and Jacob Rosen of the University of California, Santa Cruz as a prototype for robotic surgery on the battlefield —… read more

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