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Ultrasound Gets More Portable

November 29, 2010

An image of a fetus at 23 weeks is displayed on Mobisante’s phone-based ultrasound device. (Mobisante)

Computer engineers at Washington University created a prototype that took ultrasound imaging to a new level of mobility and connectivity — they connected an ultrasound probe to a smart phone.

Now Mobisante, a startup awaiting clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration,  hopes to begin selling the device next year.

Such a device would be useful for emergency responders, who could scan an injured person to… read more

Microphone array aids deaf in discerning speech

June 8, 2001
Widrow with D-HEAR device

Dramatic improvements in speech discernment using signal processing have been developed by Stanford University professor of electrical engineering Bernard Widrow and his students.

Dr. Widrow reported the breakhrough in a keynote speech at the recent annual meeting of the Acoustical Society of America.

The Directional Hearing ARray (D-HEAR) uses six tiny microphones and signal-processing electronics (worn as a necklace) to enable people with profound… read more

Japanese Robot/Humanoid Innovations Update: Mankind’s Best New Friend is Getting Better (Videos)

February 9, 2009

Japanese researchers have moved one step closer to creating a robot capable of performing fine motor skills, balancing on one foot and lifting — skills required for a robot to serve as a housekeeper/caregiver for the disabled and an aging population.

“Personalized” Embryonic Stem Cells for Sale

August 30, 2007
Credit: David Scharf

StemLifeLine has announced that it will offer a service to generate stem cells from excess frozen embryos stored after in vitro fertilization (IVF).

The company promises a huge potential payoff: the cells could one day be used to treat disease in the buyers or in their families.

You, Robot

December 30, 2004

Roboticist Hans Moravec has founded Seegrid Corporation to develop vision-enabled robotic carts that can be loaded and then walked through various routes to teach them how to navigate on their own and move supplies around warehouses without human direction.

Japan team says stem cells made paralysed monkey jump again

December 9, 2010

Japanese researchers said Wednesday they had used induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells to restore partial mobility in a small monkey that had been paralyzed from the neck down by a spinal injury.

The team planted four types of genes into human skin cells to create the iPS cells. After six weeks, the animal had recovered to the level where it was jumping around.

Quantum dots to barcode DNA

July 3, 2001

A system for bar-coding DNA using brilliant crystals called quantum dots could revolutionize our ability to identify genes in the human genome.

A group at Indiana University in Bloomington has developed a way to embed quantum dots in tiny Styrofoam-like beads attached to DNA to create unique labels. The paper
appears in Nature Biotechnology.

The dots are semiconductor crystals of cadmium selenide wrapped in shells of… read more

Trapped rainbows could make optical computing a reality

February 16, 2009

Lehigh University researchers have briefly (a few picoseconds) trapped different frequencies of light at different spots along a grating, long enough to carry out the necessary computations or operations.

The method may possibly allow for devices that use optical signals to be much faster and more efficient.

3D-bioprinting improved artificial blood vessels

The future: transplantable tissues customized to each patient's needs or be used outside the body to develop safe, effective drugs
June 11, 2014

Artificial blood vessels are created using hydrogel constructs that combine advances in 3-D bioprinting technology and biomaterials (credit: Khademhosseini Lab)

A Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) team has created artificial blood vessels using a three-dimensional (3D) bioprinting technique.

The study is published online this month in Lab on a Chip.

“Engineers have made incredible strides in making complex artificial tissues such as those of the heart, liver and lungs,” said senior study author, Ali Khademhosseini, PhD, biomedical engineer, and director of the BWH Biomaterialsread more

Will Super Smart Artificial Intelligences Keep Humans Around As Pets?

September 12, 2007

By 2030, or by 2050 at the latest, will a super-smart artificial intelligence decide to keep humans around as pets? Will it instead choose to turn the entire Earth, including the messy organic bits like us, into computronium? Or is there a third alternative?

These were some of the questions pondered by the 600 or so technosavants meeting in the Palace of Fine Arts at the second annual Singularity… read more

Voicemail software recognises callers’ emotions

January 11, 2005

A voicemail system that labels messages according to the caller’s tone of voice could soon be helping people identify which messages are the most urgent.

The software, called Emotive Alert, works by extracting the distribution of volume, pitch and speech rate – the ratio of words to pauses – in the first 10 seconds of each message, and then comparing them with eight stored “acoustical fingerprints” that roughly represent… read more

‘Wearable robot’ arm improves performance of brain-controlled device

December 15, 2010

Aided by a robotic exoskeleton, a monkey can hit the target faster and more directly (Hatsopoulos, et al. The Journal of Neuroscience)

The performance of a brain-machine interface designed to help paralyzed subjects move objects with their thoughts is improved with the addition of a robotic arm that provides sensory feedback, a new study from the University of Chicago finds.

Devices that translate brain activity into the movement of a computer cursor or an external robotic arm have already proven successful in humans. But in these early systems, vision was the… read more

Total protein scan approaches reality

July 30, 2001

For the first time, nearly all the proteins from a single organism have been produced, purified and biochemically tested in an area the size of a postage stamp. Experts say such “proteome chips” will revolutionize medicine and biology.
The US researchers who created the chip have already used it to study the biochemistry of 93 per cent of the proteins of brewer’s yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a total of 5800 molecules.… read more

FDA Allows Brain Implants for Obsessions

February 24, 2009

The Food and Drug Administration has approved deep brain stimulation for the treatment of intractable obsessive-compulsive disorder — the first time that the technique, which involves surgically implanting electrodes deep within the brain to trigger electrical activity, has been approved for use in a psychiatric condition.

Lung-Cancer Blood Test

September 20, 2007

Researchers at Panacea Pharmaceuticals have found that 99 percent of patients with all stages of lung cancer have detectable levels of a particular protein, HAAH, in their blood that healthy individuals do not.

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