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Think Twice: How the Gut’s “Second Brain” Influences Mood and Wellbeing

February 13, 2010

Researchers in the blossoming field of neurogastroenterology are finding that our “second brain” — the enteric nervous system — does much more than handle digestion; it partly determines our mental state and plays key roles in certain diseases throughout the body.

Some surprising facts:

  • The enteric nervous system contains some 100 million neurons, more than in either the spinal cord or the peripheral nervous system.
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Thinking About Tomorrow

January 30, 2008

The Wall Street Journal looks ahead 10 years–2018–to imagine how technology will change the way we shop, learn and entertain ourselves, and how it will it change the way we get news, protect our privacy, and connect with friends.

Many of the changes will come from a couple of rapidly improving technologies: mobile devices and global positioning systems.

Thinking ahead: Bacteria anticipate coming changes in their environment

June 10, 2008

A new study by Princeton University researchers shows for the first time that bacteria don’t just react to changes in their surroundings — they anticipate and prepare for them. The findings, reported in the June 6 issue of Science, challenge the prevailing notion that only organisms with complex nervous systems have this ability.

In addition to shedding light on deep questions in biology, the findings could have many practical… read more

Thinking Big About Nanotechnology

May 21, 2002

The first commercial results of nanotech coming onto the market now are mostly coatings and materials that resist friction and wear, or shed dirt from clothing and household surfaces.

Thinking Bubbles?

February 10, 2007

Neil Gershenfeld of MIT and colleagues have designed the new technology using the presence or absence of a sequence of bubbles as a substitute for the conventional “on” or “off” binary language of computer circuits, using glass tubes and liquid that perform as microprocessors.

Although still orders of magnitude slower than conventional computers, bubble logic can operate about 100 times faster than existing microfluidic chips, the researchers say. That… read more

Thinking Cap or Dunce’s Hat?

April 19, 2002

Researchers are using Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) to temporarily shut down the left hemisphere of the brain, where speech and short-term memory are supported, to mimic temporarily the brain pattern of autistic savants and achieve very fast brain processing.

Some autism experts are skeptical.

Also see: TMS: Twilight Zone Science?

Thinking ‘drains the brain’

June 5, 2001

Concentration drains glucose from a key part of the brain, based on University of Illinois research on rats. The effect was more dramatic in older rats, whose brains also took longer to recover.

Researchers said the findings may have implications for the way schools schedule classes and meals.

Thinking Machines

November 22, 2006

Danny Hillis talks about the real-world challenges of creating artificially intelligent machines.

Thinking Makes It So: Science Extends Reach Of Prosthetic Arms

November 12, 2007

Todd A. Kuiken, of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and professor at Northwestern University, has pioneered a technique known as targeted muscle reinnervation (TMR) that allows a prosthetic arm to respond directly to the brain’s signals, making it much easier to use than traditional motorized prosthetics.

It allows wearers to open and close their artificial hands and bend and straighten their artificial elbows nearly as naturally as their own… read more

Thinking of words can guide your wheelchair

September 7, 2007

A motorized wheelchair that moves when the operator thinks of particular words has been demonstrated by Ambient.

The wheelchair works by intercepting signals sent from their brain to their voice box, even when no sound is actually produced.

The wheelchair could help people with spinal injuries, or neurological problems like cerebral palsy or motor neuron disease, operate computers and other equipment despite serious problems with muscle control.

Thinking Outside the Laptop at CES

January 10, 2011

A General Motors Electric Networked Vehicle concept that includes a feature that allows the vehicle to park itself and automatically return to the user when summoned with a smartphone app. (Sam Abuelsamid for General Motors)

Lady Gaga unveils Polaroid’s GL20 camera glasses, wireless cooking with Campbell Soup, a dancing robot and more.

Thinnest-possible nanomembrane produced

May allow for functional waterproof clothing and ultra-rapid filtration
April 18, 2014

Part of a graphene membrane with a multiplicity of pores (black) of precisely defined size (in this case with a diameter of 50 nanometres; photomicrograph (credit: Celebi K. et al. Science 2014)

ETH Zurich, Empa, LG Electronics researchers  have created the thinnest-possible nanomembrane. Made out of graphene, it is extremely light and breathable, and could lead to a new generation of functional waterproof clothing and ultra-rapid filtration.

The stable porous membrane consists of two layers of  graphene, a two-dimensional film made of carbon atoms, on which the researchers etched tiny pores of a precisely defined size to allow for… read more

Thinning brain areas and high levels of C-reactive protein indicate cognitive decline

April 14, 2011

Researchers in two studies have found two biomarkers of cognitive decline: thinner brain areas associated with Alzheimer’s and high levels of C-reactive protein.

Researchers from Rush University Medical Center and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) have found that the risk of developing Alzheimer’s was three times greater for individuals for whom areas of the cerebral cortex associated with Alzheimer’s in previous studies were thinnest,… read more

‘Thirst for knowledge’ may be opium craving

June 21, 2006

Neuroscientists have proposed a simple explanation for the pleasure of grasping a new concept: The brain is getting its fix.

The “click” of comprehension triggers a biochemical cascade that rewards the brain with a shot of natural opium-like substances, said Irving Biederman of the University of Southern California.

Thirty years with computers

May 28, 2004

“According to Moore’s Law, computer power doubles every 18 months, meaning that computers will be a million times more powerful by 2034,” estimates computer useability expert Jakob Nielsen.

“According to Nielsen’s Law of Internet bandwidth, connectivity to the home grows by 50 percent per year; by 2034, we’ll have 200,000 times more bandwidth.

“That same year, I’ll own a computer that runs at 3PHz CPU speed, has a… read more

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