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Molecular "light switches" can reveal exactly which neurons are involved in creating a memory, allowing scientists to trigger that memory using only light. This an example of how a novel technology called optogenetics being used by hundreds of labs is allowing scientists to tackle major unanswered questions about the brain, including the role of specific brain regions in the formation of memory, the process of addiction, and the transition from sl... More
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on October 20 2009 by Thoughtbot
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A team of scientists from Italy and Sweden has developed what is believed to be the first artificial hand that has feeling. It works by connecting nerve endings in the arm with 40 tiny electronic sensors, and four motors allow for manipulating objects. An implantable version is planned. Video (Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8313037.stm)
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on October 20 2009 by Thoughtbot
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Over-expressing the NR2B gene lets brain cells communicate just a fraction of a second longer and makes a smarter rat, report researchers from the Medical College of Georgia and East China Normal University.The finding further validates NR2B as a drug target for improving memory in healthy individuals as those with Alzheimer's or mild dementia, the scientists say.NR2B is a subunit of NMBA receptors, which are like small pores on brain cells that l... More
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on October 20 2009 by Thoughtbot
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Computer scientists from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore are developing a facial expression recognition system to help autistic children understand people's emotions. (Source: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091019122639.htm)
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on October 20 2009 by Thoughtbot
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Scientists at the California Institute of Technology have created a remote-controlled robot that is able to simulate the "visual" experience of a blind person who has been implanted with a visual prosthesis, such as an artificial retina using a silicon chip with electrodes that directly stimulate retinal nerve cells. The system allows for testing new prosthetic technologies. (Caltech/Wolfgang Fink, Mark Tarbell) (Source: http://www.sciencedaily... More
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on October 20 2009 by Thoughtbot
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(Air Force Office of Scientific Research) Air Force-funded researcher, Dr. Oscar Custance from the National Institute for Materials Science in Japan has been chosen for the 2009 Feynman Prize for Experimental Work in Nanotechnology for his research in atomic-scale precision.
Eurekalert.org news made popular on October 19 2009 by Thoughtbot
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(Northwestern University) Northwestern University researchers, using an extremely sensitive tool based on nanotechnology, have detected previously undetectable levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in patients who have undergone radical prostatectomy. With technology 300 times more sensitive than commercially available PSA tests, the researchers found measureable PSA levels in each post-operative patient in its study. After the removal of the ... More
Eurekalert.org news made popular on October 19 2009 by Thoughtbot
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(University of California - Los Angeles) The California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA has announced a collaboration with Photron USA Inc., a manufacturer of high-speed imaging systems and image analysis software, to develop specialized instrumentation for the CNSI's core laboratory facilities.
Eurekalert.org news made popular on October 19 2009 by Thoughtbot
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(Air Force Office of Scientific Research) A University of Michigan professor is developing an electric rocket thruster, NanoFET, that uses nanoparticle electric propulsion and enables spacecraft to travel faster and with less propellant than previous technology allowed.
Eurekalert.org news made popular on October 19 2009 by Thoughtbot
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Using fMRI scanning of a section of the spinal cord, researchers at University Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf have found that pain-related activity in the spinal cord is strongly reduced under placebo. They speculate that higher brain areas affected by the placebo belief trigger the release of endogenous opioids that may reduce spinal cord activity. (Source: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn17993-placebo-effect-caught-in-the-act-in-spinal... More
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on October 19 2009 by Thoughtbot
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By directly manipulating the activity of individual neurons, University of Oxford and University of Virginia scientists have given flies false memories of a bad experience, enabling scientists to now obtain a level of evidence about brain function that was impossible before.To pinpoint the exact 12 neurons responsible for this memory among thousands in the fly brain, the researchers used a technique they developed called optogenetics, in which a s... More
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on October 19 2009 by Thoughtbot
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University of Rome researchers have attached self-propelling bacteria to a nanoscale cog, causing it to spin. Applications could include self-propelling micro-machines, micropumps, mixers for microfluidics, and scaled up macrmachines. (Source: http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/arxiv/24261/)
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on October 19 2009 by Thoughtbot
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A camera people can wear as a pendant to create "lifelogs" that archive their entire lives will be available on the market next year from Vicon in Oxford. It was originally developed as the SenseCam by Microsoft Research Cambridge to help jog the memories of people with Alzheimer's disease. (Vicon) (Source: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn17992-new-camera-promises-to-capture-your-whole-life.html)
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on October 19 2009 by Thoughtbot
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Light pollution from cities and the presence of CFCs and other artificial compounds in the atmosphere (indicated by absorption at characteristic wavelengths) could be signs of intelligent life on alien planets. (Source: http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20427304.100-to-spot-an-alien-follow-the-pollution-trail.html)
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on October 19 2009 by Thoughtbot
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Arizona State University's Biodesign Institute researchers and collaborators have found a way to make single-molecule diodes, which could surpass silicon limits. (Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University) (Source: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091013110042.htm)
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on October 19 2009 by Thoughtbot
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Aram Harrow of the University of Bristol along with Avinatan Hassidim and Seth Lloyd, both of MIT, propose that large datasets of linear equations could be encoded in quantum forms, such as the spins of nuclei, individual atoms or photons. Such a system would allow quantum computers to solve problems made up of billions or even trillions of variables in just a few hundred steps. (Source: http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/48478/title/Qua... More
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on October 19 2009 by Thoughtbot
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A method that is 200 times more efficient and twice as fast as conventional methods for creating stem cells from human adult tissue without the use of embryonic cells has been developed by a team led by scientists from The Scripps Research Institute. The researchers found two chemicals -- ALK5 inhibitor SB43142 and MEK inhibitor PD0325901 -- used in combination were highly effective in promoting the transformation of fibroblasts into stem cells, a... More
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on October 19 2009 by Thoughtbot
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Pandorabots, Inc., an experimental software robot hosting service, has announced the Pandorabots SpellBinder service, which can create believable chat bot characters quickly and efficiently by learning from transcripts from TV and radio shows, movies, instant message logs, interviews, commercials, support and help desk scripts, and other structured conversational sources, according to Dr. Richard Wallace, Chief Science Officer. "This is a signifi... More
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on October 19 2009 by Thoughtbot
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Five technologies that, if successful, could radically change the world energy picture are space-based solar power, lithium-air batteries, battery packs located close to customers to supply power when the sun isn't shining or the wind isn't blowing, carbon capture and storage, and next-generation biofuels. (Source: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703746604574461342682276898.html?mod=googlenews_wsj)
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on October 19 2009 by Thoughtbot
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(University of Calgary) University of Calgary chemists Jeff Hurd and George Shimizu have taken the science behind a specific type of fuel cell towards a higher level of design. They have discovered a new material that allows a PEM fuel cell, known as a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell, to work at a higher temperature. This discovery is extremely important in terms of increasing the efficiency and decreasing the cost of PEM fuel cells.
Eurekalert.org news made popular on October 18 2009 by Thoughtbot
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Baker & Taylor, Inc., the world's leading distributor of physical and digital books, has announced a partnership to provide digital media content for K-NFB Reading Technology, Inc.'s forthcoming e-reader."For every technology, there comes a tipping point when adoption starts to spread like wildfire," said Ray Kurzweil, CEO of K-NFB Reading Technology. "For digital books, that time is now. With Baker & Taylor's market leadership along with our cutt... More
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on October 16 2009 by Thoughtbot
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Electrovestibulography (EVestG), a new diagnostic technique, could lead to a simple, quick and inexpensive screening process for CNS diseases, according to its inventor, Monash University biomedical engineer Brian Lithgow. The patient sits in a specially designed tilt chair that triggers electrical responses in their balance system. Patterns of electrical activity in the brain's vestibular (balance) system are measured against distinct response p... More
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on October 16 2009 by Thoughtbot
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In a discovery that took astronomers by surprise, the first full-sky map of the solar system's edge -- more than 9 billion miles (15 billion kilometers) away -- has revealed a bright "ribbon" of atoms called ENAs (energetic neutral atoms, which are atoms that have been stripped of their electric charges). (Source: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/10/091015-edge-solar-system-ribbon-ibex.html)
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on October 16 2009 by Thoughtbot
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Broca's area, a small piece of the brain, can compute three different things at different times and within a quarter of a second (not just one thing when processing language, as previously thought), researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine report. Brain scan and x-ray showing electrodes that surgeons use to find and remove the source of seizures (to cure epilepsy), while sparing the source of mental functions like ... More
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on October 16 2009 by Thoughtbot
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The number of universes in the multiverse* is at least 10^10^10^7, based on quantum fluctuations in the state of the early universe being "frozen" during inflation, say Andrei Linde and Vitaly Vanchurin at Stanford University.But the total amount of information that can be absorbed by one individual during a lifetime is about 10^16 bits, so a typical human brain can have 10^10^16 configurations and could never distinguish more than that number of ... More
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on October 16 2009 by Thoughtbot
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