science + technology news

Stay cool and live longer?

Scientists have known for nearly a century that cold-blooded animals, such as worms, flies and fish all live longer in cold environments, but have not known exactly why
February 20, 2013

C. elegans nematode worm (credit: The Goldstein Lab)

Researchers at the University of Michigan Life Sciences Institute have identified a genetic program that promotes longevity of roundworms (nematodes) in cold environments — and this genetic program also exists in warm-blooded animals, including humans.

“This raises the intriguing possibility that exposure to cold air — or pharmacological stimulation of the cold-sensitive genetic program — may promote longevity in mammals,” said… read more

Staying Out in Front

April 25, 2005

A published road map for the semiconductor industry has the smallest distances between wires on a memory chip shrinking from 90 nanometers today to 65nm in 2007, to 45nm in 2010, to 32nm in 2013 and on down from there.

HP hopes to apply some of its research ideas toward the 32nm milestone. The idea isn’t to replace silicon transistors but to build certain devices, such as ultradense memories,… read more

Stealth DNA-based carbon nanotubes tunnel into cells to deliver targeted drugs

October 31, 2014

An artist’s view of a carbon nanotube inserted in a plasma membrane of a cell. The nanotube forms a nanoscale tunnel in the membrane and the image shows a single long strand of DNA passing through that tunnel. (Credit: LLNL)

A team led by the Lawrence Livermore scientists has created a new way to selectively deliver drugs to a specific area in the body using carbon nanotubes (CNTs).

(KurzweilAI reported on October 17 a similar attempt to sneak drugs into cells using a DNA-based drug-delivery system: nanoscale “cocoons” made of DNA target cancer cells, tricking the cells into absorbing the cocoon, which then unleashes anticancer drugs.)

“Many… read more

Stealth Semantic Startup Raises $8.5 Million, Won’t Tell Us Anything

October 14, 2008

Siri, a spinoff of SRI International, plans to commercialize the DARPA-funded CALO (Cognitive Assistant that Learns and Organizes) system, the “largest Artificial Intelligence project in U.S. history.”

It will use AI to automate many of the tasks that people currently conduct manually online. The founders describe themselves as out to change the fundamental ways that people use the Internet, apparently by leveraging artificial intelligence that will learn… read more

Stealth sharks to patrol the high seas

March 2, 2006

Engineers funded by the US military have created a neural implant designed to enable a shark’s brain signals to be manipulated remotely, controlling the animal’s movements, and perhaps even decoding what it is feeling.

The Pentagon hopes to exploit sharks’ natural ability to glide quietly through the water, sense delicate electrical gradients and follow chemical trails. By remotely guiding the sharks’ movements, they hope to transform the animals into… read more

‘Stealth’: A.I. out of control

July 25, 2005

An AI-based unmanned stealth fighter jet, after being hit by lightning, decides to execute a top-secret mission that could result in global thermonuclear war. That’s the theme of the movie “Stealth,” opening this week.

Steering stem cells with magnets

Magnets could be a tool for directing stem cells’ healing powers to treat conditions such as heart disease or vascular disease
July 18, 2013


By feeding stem cells tiny particles made of superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles, scientists at Emory and Georgia Tech can then use magnets to attract the cells to a particular location in a mouse’s body after intravenous injection.

The type of cells used in the study, mesenchymal stem cells, are not embryonic stem cells. Mesenchymal stem cells can be readily obtained from adult tissues such as… read more

Steering the epigenome to turn specific genes on

Could provide a new avenue for gene therapies and guiding stem cell differentiation
April 16, 2015

(credit: Human Epigenome Project)

Duke University researchers have developed a new method to precisely control when genes are turned on and active: by manipulating the epigenome — the web of proteins that supports and controls gene activity and a current hot topic in cancer research.

The researchers say having the ability to steer the epigenome will help them explore the roles that particular promoters and enhancers play in cell fate or the… read more

Steering toxic drug-filled nanoparticles to zap cancer, not healthy cells

November 26, 2013

Multifunctionalized drug-loaded nanoparticle

North­eastern researchers are developing sim­u­la­tion soft­ware called Mag­nasim to more accu­rately steer simulated drug-filled mag­netic nanopar­ti­cles to tumor masses where they can safely dis­charge their con­tents.

The drugs used to kill cancer cells are just as toxic to neigh­boring healthy cells, so researchers have long sought a drug delivery method that tar­gets only cancer cells, bypassing the healthy ones.

Func­tional Mag­netic Res­o­nance Imaging (fMRI) is being… read more

Stelarc: Pushing the body’s boundaries

July 26, 2011

Stelarc is a performance artist who explores the capabilities of the human body.

“All of my projects explore alternate anatomical architectures — a body with a third hand, or an extra ear, or an artwork inside a bodily space instead of a public space,” he says. “We are biological bodies, but we are often accelerated, augmented, and enhanced by technology. There may be a time soon when… read more

Stellar Countdown Yields Skymap

July 27, 2003

The SETI@home screensaver has produced a list of candidate radio sources that deserve a second look. After an equivalent to a million years of computation aided by more than 4 million computers worldwide, the researchers have created a skymap that highlights where to find some of the most promising choices (strong signals or ones that have been observed in the same spot more than once, some five or six times).… read more

Stem cell breakthrough for producing pancreatic tissue

April 4, 2008

University of Manchester and University of Sheffield researchers have discovered a new technique to turn embryonic stem cells (ESCs) into insulin-producing pancreatic tissue through genetic manipulation.

By making the ESC produce transcription factor PAX4, 20% became pancreatic beta cells.

Scientists have had difficulty turning stem cells into the specific cell required for any particular condition. Unprompted, the majority of stem cells turn into neurons.

Universityread more

Stem cell breakthrough leaves embryos unharmed

January 11, 2008

Advanced Cell Technology researchers have demonstrated that a technique to extract and culture a single embryonic cell from an embryo without destroying the remaining embryo does work, showing that the embryos survive and could develop to full term.

They produced four new lines of human embryonic stem cells using the technique.

Stem cell breakthrough may reduce cancer risk

February 28, 2008

PrimeGen says the main obstacle to using “reprogrammed” human stem cells–the danger that they might turn cancerous– has been solved.

It claims to have converted specialized adult human cells to induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells) by using methods that are more efficient–making a thousand times more colonies of reprogrammed cells–and less likely to trigger cancer than methods deployed previously.

Rather than using retroviruses to ferry the genes… read more

Stem cell breakthrough: Monitoring the on switch that turns stem cells into muscle

March 31, 2009

A genetic engineering breakthrough could lead to a genetic switch, or drug, that allows people to grow new muscle cells to replace those that are damaged, worn out, or not working for other reasons, and provides a new tool for the study of difficult-to-treat muscle cancers

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