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Implantable sensor tracks cancer in the body

March 16, 2011


Researchers led by Michael Cima at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a tumor-tracking capsule small enough to fit inside a needle to implant in the body during a biopsy.

Magnetic nanoparticles fill the capsule’s hollow interior, each sporting a few monoclonal antibodies. These are proteins engineered to bind to molecules of interest, such as human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG), a hormone that tumor cells overproduce in testicular and ovarian… read more

Broken Limits to Life Expectancy

June 2, 2002

Is human life expectancy approaching its limit? Many–including individuals planning their retirement and officials responsible for health and social policy–believe it is, but the evidence presented in the Policy Forum suggests otherwise.

For 160 years, best-performance life expectancy has steadily increased by a quarter of a year per year, an extraordinary constancy of human achievement. Mortality experts have repeatedly asserted that life expectancy is close to an ultimate ceiling;… read more

Infrared Proteins Give Deep View Inside Living Animals

May 8, 2009

A fluorescent protein found in Deinococcus radiodurans, an extremophile microbe, could give scientists an unprecedented view inside living animals.

The proteins, which glow with tissue-penetrating infrared light, could be used to tag cells in living animals, allowing researchers to watch real-time biological processes that have until now been hidden.

Scientists Weigh Stem Cells’ Role as Cancer Cause

December 21, 2007

Within the next few months, researchers at three medical centers expect to start the first test in patients of one of the most promising–and contentious–ideas about the cause and treatment of cancer: that cancerous stem cells maintain and propagate malignant tumors.

Why your brain has a ‘Jennifer Aniston cell’

June 23, 2005

New research on the activity patterns of single neurons in memory-linked areas of the brain supports a decades-old and dismissed theory tying single neurons to individual concepts.

Lens provides sub-100 nanometer resolution with visible light

March 23, 2011

Frosted Lens

Researchers at the University of Twente in The Netherlands have developed a frosted lens that provides sub-100 nanometer resolution at visible wavelengths, says Allard Mosk.

Using a 561 nanometer laser with a flat slab of gallium phosphide, acid-etched on one side, the researchers were able to image gold nanoparticles 97 nanometers wide.  With visible light, the limit is about 200 nanometers, about the size of a measles virus.… read more


June 25, 2002

Boron crystalline nanowires (“nanowhiskers”) may replace carbon nanotubes as nanoscale semiconductors.

Site Lets Writers Sell Digital Copies

May 18, 2009

Scribd will introduce on Monday a way for anyone to upload a document to the Web (encrypted or not), charge for it, and keep 80 percent of the revenue.

The Sex Singularity: When Machines Surpass Human Hotness

January 2, 2008

A Paul Spinrad short story explores the future of sexbots.

Carbon nanotubes help heal broken bones

July 8, 2005

Carbon nanotubes make an ideal scaffold for the growth of bone tissue, chemist Robert Haddon of the University of California, Riverside, has found.

The new technique could change the way doctors treat broken bones, allowing them to simply inject a solution of nanotubes into a fracture to promote healing.

Bone tissue is a natural composite of collagen fibers and hydroxyapatite crystals. Haddon and his coworkers have demonstrated for… read more

New laser technology could revolutionize communications

March 29, 2011

Engineers at Stevens Institute of Technology have developed a technique to optically modulate the frequency of a laser beam and create a signal that is disrupted significantly less by environmental factors, says Dr. Rainer Martini.

The research provides for enhanced optical communications, allowing mobile units not tied to fiber optic cable to communicate in the range of 100 GHz and beyond, the equivalent of 100 gigabytes… read more

Genetic algorithm tunes up public speakers

July 18, 2002

A new voice processing system could help you “evolve” your voice so it sounds the way you want it to. An algorithm analyses the voice signal to determine which aspects of it need to be enhanced or suppressed, modifying pitch, volume and speed to produce the required effect.

Scientists work to plug microorganisms into the energy grid

May 22, 2009

Department of Energy Bioenergy Research Centers have been charged to develop the next generation of biofuels to supply sources of energy to the grid from non-food, cellulosic, parts of plants.

Researchers are especially looking at lignocellulosic biomass (such as wood), and also at microbes to make energy-rich fatty acids for the synthesis of cell membranes and energy storage compounds for use in producing appropriate biomass.

Source:… read more

Preventing tissue damage from oxygen deprivation

January 7, 2008

Flanders Institute for Biotechnology researchers prevented cell death in muscle cells undergoing severe oxygen deprivation by blocking PHD1, a cellular oxygen sensor, in two types of mice–mice unable to produce PHD1 and healthy mice treated briefly with a PHD1-blocker–and found that blocking PHD1 protected muscles against hypoxia-induced damage.

The reduced-metabolism state made by blocking PHD1 is similar to hibernation and could have multiple medical applications such as reducing damage… read more

It Gasps, It Yawns, It Even Listens: Furby Is Back, Kilobytes to Spare

July 25, 2005

A new version of Furby, the best-selling electronic toy of 1998, has 500 KB of memory (six times more), 14-megahertz processor, wider range of expressions, and ability to respond to vocal commands.

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