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Theme-park dummy trick becomes teleconference tool

November 3, 2009

University of North Carolina researchers have developed a system to make teleconferencing more realistic by projecting video images of remote participants onto a 3D dummy model of their head.

The system could also be useful by doctors and patients for remote doctor visits, and as a “prosthetic presence” for patients unable to leave their home.


Theoretical breakthrough: Generating matter and antimatter from the vacuum

December 9, 2010

Under just the right conditions—which involve an ultra-high-intensity laser beam and a two-mile-long particle accelerator—it could be possible to create something out of nothing, according to University of Michigan researchers.

The scientists and engineers have developed new equations that show how a high-energy electron beam combined with an intense laser pulse could rip apart a vacuum into its fundamental matter and antimatter components, and set off a cascade of… read more

Theorists explain how single-molecule diode works

April 4, 2006

Theorists from the University of South Florida and the Russian Academy of Sciences have explained how a single-molecule diode developed by a University of Chicago research team works.

The researchers showed electron energy levels in a molecule are efficient channels for transferring electrons from one electrode to another. Because the molecule in the diode is asymmetrical, the electronic response is also asymmetrical when voltage is applied. The asymmetry contributes… read more

Theory about long and short-term memory questioned

November 10, 2009

The long-held theory that our brains use different mechanisms for forming long-term and short-term memories has been challenged by new research from University College London.

Their findings identify two distinct short-term memory networks in the brain: one that functions independently of the hippocampus and remains intact in patients with long-term memory deficits, and one that is dependent on the hippocampus and is impaired along with long-term memory.

Theory Challenges Darwin Doctrine Of Common Descent

June 21, 2002

Cellular evolution began in a communal environment in which the loosely organized cells took shape through extensive horizontal gene transfer, according to Carl Woese, a microbiologist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

His theory challenges the longstanding Darwinian assumption known as the Doctrine of Common Descent — that all life on Earth has descended from one original primordial form.
On the evolution of cells, Carl R.… read more

‘Theory of mind’ explains belief in God

March 10, 2009

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke researchers found from fMRI brain scans that religious beliefs “light up” the areas that have evolved most recently, such as those involved in imagination, memory and “theory of mind” — the recognition that other people and living things can have their own thoughts and intentions.

Therapeutic cloning used to treat brain disease in mice

March 23, 2008

An international team has restored mice with a Parkinson’s-like disease back to health, using neurons made from their own cloned skin cells.

Sloan-Kettering Institute and RIKEN Center (Japan) researchers created embryonic stem (ES) cell lines from the cells, coaxed them to develop into neurons, and transplanted them back into the mice, which got significantly better, without suppressing their immune systems to allow the grafts to survive.

See Also… read more

Therapies using induced pluripotent stem cells could encounter immune rejection problems

May 16, 2011

T Cells

The first clear evidence of immune system rejection of cells derived from autologous pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) has been discovered by researchers at the University of California, San Diego.

The researchers tested the immune response of an inbred strain of mice to embryonic stem cells and several types of iPSCs derived from the same strain of inbred mice.

They found that the immune system of… read more

Therapy works like drugs on brain

January 9, 2004

Training patients to tune out the signals that cause major depression alters the chemicals in the brain as much as drugs do, a new study has found.

It found that as patients in therapy learn to turn off the thinking that leads them to dwell on negative thoughts and attitudes, the chemical activity in certain parts of the brain decreases as well.

Brain scans may one day become… read more

There’s a Sucker Born in Every Medial Prefrontal Cortex

October 27, 2003

A growing breed of “neuromarketer”
researchers are applying the methods of the neurology lab to the questions of the advertising world.

There’s Electricity in the Air

January 13, 2004

The world’s first hydrogen-powered aircraft, the Electric Airplane (Eplane) will be powered by an advanced electric motor. In its final form, it will fly solely on the power of a fuel cell and have a 500-mile range, with emergency assist from reserve batteries.

Thermoelectric generator converts light and heat to electrical current

November 13, 2012


University of Texas at Arlington associate physics professor Wei Chen has helped create a hybrid nanomaterial that can be used to convert light and thermal energy into electrical current, surpassing earlier methods that used either light or thermal energy, but not both.

The team synthesized a combination of copper sulfide nanoparticles and single-walled carbon nanotubes to build a prototype thermoelectric generator that they hope can… read more

Thermometer Created for Nanotubes

March 2, 2009

Researchers have developed a way to accurately measure how heat flows within carbon nanotubes, and the results show that nanotube heating is more complicated than previously thought–a fact that could be crucial in enabling engineers to build carbon-nanotube electronics.

These bots were made for walking: cells power biological machines

November 19, 2012

Fabricating bio-bots (credit: Vincent Chan et al./Scientific Reports)

They’re soft, biocompatible, about 7 millimeters long — and, incredibly, able to walk by themselves. Miniature “bio-bots” developed at the University of Illinois are making tracks in synthetic biology.

Designing non-electronic biological machines has been a riddle that scientists at the interface of biology and engineering have struggled to solve. The walking bio-bots demonstrate the Illinois team’s ability to forward-engineer functional machines using only hydrogel,… read more

These robots install solar panels

Reducing labor costs could help make solar power more affordable
July 25, 2012


Companies such as PV Kraftwerker and Gehrlicher in Germany are developing mobile robots that can automatically install ground-mounted solar panels day and night, in all sorts of weather, Technology Review reports.

The main idea is to save money on labor, which accounts for a growing fraction of the cost of solar power as panels get cheaper.

According to PV Kraftwerker, a construction… read more

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