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News on Human Progress:
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Silicon Valley start-up Counsyl is selling a test that it says can tell couples whether they are at risk of having children for 100 inherited diseases, including rare inherited diseases. Some genetic testing of prospective parents is done now, but only for a few diseases like cystic fibrosis and Tay-Sachs, and only for certain ethnic groups. Each test can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Counsyl's test costs $349 for an individual or $6... More
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on January 29 2010 by Thoughtbot
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French scientists have transmitted simple images through opaque objects using a laser beam by reverse-engineering the scattering process.They transmitted the laser beam more than 1000 times, changing the shape of the beam each time using a spatial light modulator. A digital camera on the other side of the glass detected the different scattering patterns produced each time. Comparing what it saw with what had been done to the laser beam made it pos... More
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on January 29 2010 by Thoughtbot
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(Virginia Tech) An assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Virginia Tech helped engineer microsystems for the detection of water-borne pathogens using a technique called dielectrophoresis, which separates and identifies cells and microparticles suspended in a medium based on their size and electrical properties. Now he and colleagues have found a way to provide "the nonuniform electric field required for DEP that does not require electrod... More
Eurekalert.org news made popular on January 28 2010 by Thoughtbot
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(University of Washington) Scientists have devised a way to explore how phase transitions -- changes of matter from one state to another without altering chemical makeup -- function in less than three dimensions and at the level of just a few atoms.
Eurekalert.org news made popular on January 28 2010 by Thoughtbot
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(Harvard University) In the January 29 issue of Science, a team from Harvard led by Vinothan Manoharan and Michael Brenner, presents additional clues to how and why groups of atoms and molecules may favor less symmetrical and more complex, flexible geometric patterns.The answer relates to a familiar concept in physics -- entropy. The researchers literally first caught sight of the link by using magnetic "stick and ball" construction toys.
Eurekalert.org news made popular on January 28 2010 by Thoughtbot
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Insectlike "microids" -- robots the size of ants that move their tiny legs and mandibles using solid-state "muscles" -- have been modeled by Jason Clark, an assistant professor of electrical, computer and mechanical engineering at Purdue University.The microids could have significantly better dexterity than previous microscale robots, while having the ability to "scavenge vibrational energy" from the environment to recharge their power supply.He a... More
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on January 28 2010 by Thoughtbot
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Neuroscientists at MIT and Tsinghua University have found that elevation of brain magnesium led to significant enhancement of spatial and associative memory in both young and aged rats.They developed and administered a new magnesium compound -- magnesium-L-threonate (MgT) -- that is more effective than conventional oral supplements at boosting magnesium in the brain. (Source: http://www.physorg.com/news183818175.html)
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on January 28 2010 by Thoughtbot
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Piezoelectric ceramic nanoribbons embedded onto silicone rubber sheets that harness natural body movements such as breathing and walking to power pacemakers, mobile phones and other electronic devices, have been developed by Princeton University engineers.The devices are biocompatible, so they could also be implanted in the body to perpetually power medical devices.(Michael McAlpine/Princeton University) (Source: http://www.physorg.com/news18383... More
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on January 28 2010 by Thoughtbot
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Scientists at Emory University have extended the fear map from the amygdala to part of the brain known as the prelimbic cortex.found that mice lacking a critical growth factor in the prelimbic cortex have trouble remembering to fear electric shocks. The discovery could help improve diagnosis and treatment for anxiety disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder and phobias. (Source: http://www.physorg.com/news183819726.html)
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on January 28 2010 by Thoughtbot
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Our memories are strengthened during periods of rest while we are awake, not just during sleep, researchers at New York University have found. (Source: http://www.physorg.com/news183819123.html)
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on January 28 2010 by Thoughtbot
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The most ancient and prevalent form of evolution -- and the genetic code itself -- probably wasn't Darwinian at all, but "horizontal gene transfer," say University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign scientists Carl Woese and Nigel Goldenfeld.In horizontal gene transfer, change is not a function of the individual or of changes from generation to generation, but of all the microbes able to share genetic material. (Source: http://www.newscientist.com... More
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on January 28 2010 by Thoughtbot
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In old mice, a several-week exposure to the blood of young mice causes their bone marrow stem cells to act "young" again, a team of Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) researchers has found, consistent with other recent studies that show stem-cell aging may be reversible. Exposure to a younger animal's blood somehow pushed the older animal’s hematopoietic stem cells (which give rise to all the cells of the blood system) back to... More
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on January 28 2010 by Thoughtbot
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By adding three genes, Stanford University School of Medicine scientists transformed mouse skin cells in a laboratory dish directly into functional nerve cells without first becoming a pluripotent type of stem cell (a slower procedure).The finding could revolutionize the future of human stem cell therapy and recast our understanding of how cells choose and maintain their specialties in the body.Quickly making neurons from a specific patient may al... More
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on January 28 2010 by Thoughtbot
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(University of California - Riverside) UC Riverside's Jeanie Lau, an associate professor of physics, received a 2009 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) on Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2010, at a ceremony in the East Room of the White House. President Barack Obama greeted Lau and the other 99 recipients of the PECASE, the highest award bestowed by the US Government upon scientists and engineers in the early stages of their... More
Eurekalert.org news made popular on January 27 2010 by Thoughtbot
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(Princeton University, Engineering School) Power-generating rubber films developed by Princeton University engineers could harness natural body movements such as breathing and walking to power pacemakers, mobile phones and other electronic devices.
Eurekalert.org news made popular on January 27 2010 by Thoughtbot
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(DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory) Using the supercomputers at NERSC, Berkeley Lab researchers demonstrated that the semiconductors known as highly mismatched alloys hold great promise for the future development of high performance thermoelectric devices. Thermoelectrics could play a key role in green energy production because of their ability to convert heat into electricity.
Eurekalert.org news made popular on January 27 2010 by Thoughtbot
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(Tufts University, Health Sciences) Researchers have developed a new tool to deliver DNA in gene therapy. DNA delivered to the retina with a peptide called PEG-POD was expressed 215 times more efficiently than delivery of DNA alone. The finding highlights PEG-POD as a tool for non-viral gene therapy treatments for eye disorders such as age-related macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa.
Eurekalert.org news made popular on January 27 2010 by Thoughtbot
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Police in the UK are planning to use unmanned spy drones, controversially deployed in Afghanistan, for the ­"routine" monitoring of antisocial motorists, ­protesters, and agricultural thieves, and for the 2012 Olympics, in a significant expansion of covert state surveillance. (Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/jan/23/cctv-sky-police-plan-drones)
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on January 27 2010 by Thoughtbot
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Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin plan to build an exawatt laser with a power equivalent to 1000 petawatts (1 quadrillion watts).The main research uses for their current laser, the Texas Petawatt Laser, the world's most powerful, is to produce thermonuclear fusion for making electricity and to strike targets that release neutrons that can that can then be used for biomedical or nanotech research. (Source: http://www.physorg.com/ne... More
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on January 27 2010 by Thoughtbot
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Experimental antennas using metamaterials that are highly efficient and yet a fraction of the size of standard antenna systems with comparable properties have been designed and tested by National Institute of Standards and Technology and partners from industry and academia.The experimental antennas are as small as one-fiftieth of a wavelength (conventional antennas typically operate at one quarter or one half wavelength) and could shrink further.T... More
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on January 27 2010 by Thoughtbot
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Peratech has developed a pressure-sensitive switch that uses quantum tunneling to achieve more sensitive and more power-efficient touch-screen technology, making it easier to drag and drop on-screen items on portable touch-screen devices, or to perform two tasks at the same time, such as simultaneously dragging and zooming an image, for example.Quantum tunneling occurs when electrons jump between two conductors that are brought close together, but... More
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on January 27 2010 by Thoughtbot
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California Institute of Technology scientists have proposed a levitated silica nanosphere inside an optical cavity, allowing it to be mechanically isolated as well as thermally decoupled from its surroundings.This would allow quantum mechanical effects to be able to persist for times much longer than in conventional nano-mechanical systems, even at room temperature.Quantum entanglement initially shared between two light modes could then be transfe... More
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on January 27 2010 by Thoughtbot
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The "spaser," the latest by-product of a buzzing field known as nanoplasmonics, based on plasmons, may lead to building a super-fast computer that computes with light. Plasmons, which are ultra-high-frerquency electron waves on a metallic surface, overcome the speed limits of the wires that interconnect transistors in chips, allowing for converting electronic signals into photonic ones and back again with speed and efficiency. (Source: http://ww... More
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on January 26 2010 by Thoughtbot
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A rash of patents filed by Apple suggests how the new Apple tablet may take the next step beyond the iPhone's once-revolutionary touch interface. (Source: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn18431-innovation-apple-patents-hint-at-tablets-technology.html)
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on January 26 2010 by Thoughtbot
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University of Manchester researchers have successfully carried out the first rewire of genetic switches, creating what could be a vital tool for the development of new drugs and even future gene therapies.They rewired the genetic switches of bacteria so they are activated by a synthetic molecule instead of naturally occurring molecules found in cells. (Source: http://www.physorg.com/news183653104.html)
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on January 26 2010 by Thoughtbot
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