Denizens of oceans, lakes and even wet soil, diatoms are unicellular algae that encase themselves in intricately patterned, glass-like shells. Curiously, these tiny phytoplankton could be harboring the next big breakthrough in computer chips. Diatoms build their hard cell walls by laying down submicron-sized lines of silica, a compound related to the key material of the semiconductor industry—silicon. “If we can genetically control that process, we would have a whole new way of performing the nanofabrication used to make computer chips,” says Michael Sussman, a University of Wisconsin-Madison biochemistry professor and director of the UW-Madison’s Biotechnology Center.
Researchers in the Department of Medicine and Department of Neurosciences at Mount Sinai School of Medicine have discovered that chronic pain can be successfully treated with novel targeted gene therapy. In an effort to find a more effective treatment for chronic pain, researchers at Mount Sinai developed a gene therapy technique that simulates the pain-killing effect of opiate drugs. In the new study researchers suggest that gene therapy for pain might in the future become a treatment alternative for patients with severe chronic pain
A team of 17 researchers at the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) has created the largest man-made DNA structure by synthesizing and assembling the 582,970 base pair genome of a bacterium, Mycoplasma genitalium JCVI-1.0. This work, published online today in the journal Science by Dan Gibson, Ph.D., et al, is the second of three key steps toward the team’s goal of creating a fully synthetic organism. In the next step, which is ongoing at the JCVI, the team will attempt to create a living bacterial cell based entirely on the synthetically made genome.
Tues., Jan.22, 2008 — An international research consortium today announced the 1000 Genomes Project, an ambitious effort that will involve sequencing the genomes of at least a thousand people from around the world to create the most detailed and medically useful picture to date of human genetic variation
The history of anti-recession efforts is that they are almost always initiated too late to do any good. This chart, based on recession timelines from the National Bureau of Economic Research, shows the enactment of stimulus plans is a fairly accurate indicator that we have hit the bottom of the business cycle, meaning the economy will improve even if the government does nothing
Movie characters from the Terminator to the Bionic Woman use bionic eyes to zoom in on far-off scenes, have useful facts pop into their field of view, or create virtual crosshairs. Off the screen, virtual displays have been proposed for more practical purposes — visual aids to help vision-impaired people, holographic driving control panels and even as a way to surf the Web on the go. The device to make this happen may be familiar. Engineers at the University of Washington have for the first time used manufacturing techniques at microscopic scales to combine a flexible, biologically safe contact lens with an imprinted electronic circuit and lights.
Apparel manufacturer Sanyo Shokai has released the first in a series of men’s coats which are pollen-resistant. They’re made from a fabric developed by Toray that’s produced in a nanotechnology process that repels water and pollen.
A study carried out by Dr Adrian Williams at Cranfield University, Bedfordshire, UK, has investigated the consumption of primary resources such as minerals and fossil fuels on 10 differing farming systems.
It was a life cycle assessment (LCA) to determine the intensity of the environmental “footprint” that each one generates.
Dr Williams found conclusively that poultry and eggs are the leaders in energy performance for livestock, with the lowest levels of Global Warming Potential (GWP) when compared with the performance levels of beef, pork, lamb and wool production
COMPETITION in the mobile broadband space continues to heat up with Hutchison Australia moving to double the amount of data downloads - without hiking prices - on its 3 mobile network for new and existing customers.
Virtual Cable™ is a unique display for a car navigation system. The driver sees the Virtual Cable™ image through the windshield. It appears as if suspended over the road, similar to a trolley cable. The image is in true 3D and appears to be a natural part of the landscape. The driver uses only peripheral vision to follow the Virtual Cable™.
AN ultra-resolution broadband link has been unveiled, paving the way for people on opposite sides of the earth to direct brain surgery, conduct climate change experiments or interpret human genome data in real time with high-definition precision
This is the world’s first recyclable Travelodge, made of 86 high strength steelmodules resembling shipping containers, stacked on top of each other and securely bolted together. When finished, the giant Lego style structure will look and feel no different to the budget chain’s other 330 hotels in the UK, Ireland and Spain.
The Verbus modules are then shipped from China with the bathrooms, plasterboard walls and the ‘first fix’ of electrical points already in place. Once installed at the site, windows are fitted, the modules are decorated and furnished, and then the exterior of the building is cladded.
Scientists at the University of Minnesota have taken a big step toward making replacement organs with the recipients’ cells. In experiments performed on rats and pigs, the researchers stripped donor hearts of their cells to create scaffolds on which the recipients’ cells were grown.
A French-designed car that’s propelled by compressed air and claims speeds of more than 60 miles per hour is expected to go into commercial production as early as this summer, although skeptics of the technology aren’t holding their breath.
Walking at the Brixton market among the parrotfish, doctorfish and butterfish, Effa Edusie is surrounded by pieces of her childhood in Ghana. Caught the day before far off the coast of West Africa, they have been airfreighted to London for dinner.
n a sign of growing concern about the impact of supposedly “green” policies, European Union officials will propose a ban on imports of certain biofuels, according to a draft law to be unveiled next week.
Researchers in Chile have succeeded in keeping the drinking habits of alcoholic rats in check using gene therapy. The treatment mimics a natural mutation common in East Asian people, which lowers their tolerance to alcohol, making them less likely to become alcoholics.
They can plumb the Internet for the latest movie times, news headlines, stock figures and gas prices. They’ll even help you skirt traffic, find a parking spot or make a phone call. Oh, and they’ll navigate for you, too.
The latest global positioning system devices on display at this week’s International Consumer Electronics Show are roving information portals — well beyond the first turn-by-turn GPS guides with maps and directions.
Sony BMG will start selling music downloads in the copy-protection-free MP3 format later this month in North America, as even the last holdout among the major record labels crumbled to the growing trend.
Sony BMG Music Entertainment said in a statement that some digital albums will be available through a new download service called Platinum MusicPass starting Jan. 15 in the U.S. and late January in Canada.
I would’ve gotten to this eventually, but Fred’s post about it this morning, coupled with his post about what he’s learned about media from watching his kids pushed me to get there sooner. And I’m glad. Such great insights about not just the music business, but any business. Seriously, if you just follow one link from this blog today, make it this one and read it.
Japanese manufacturer Matsushita (Panasonic) has signed a deal with Google that will see the company launch flat panel television sets that allow users to access YouTube and other Google services such as Picasa Web Albums. — soxiam
Album sales in the United States plunged 9.5 percent last year from 2006, as the recording industry had another weak year despite a 45 percent surge in the sale of digital tracks, according to figures released Thursday.
A total of 500.5 million albums in the form of CDs, cassettes, LPs and other formats were purchased last year, down 15 percent from the unit total for 2006, said Nielsen SoundScan, which tracks point-of-purchase sales.
The decline in album sales drops to 9.5 percent when sales of digital singles are counted as 10-track equivalent albums.
HACKERS, welcome! Here are detailed circuit diagrams of our products — modify them as you wish.”
That’s not an announcement you’ll find on the Web sites of most consumer electronics manufacturers, who tend to keep information on the innards of their machines as private as possible.
But Neuros Technology International, creator of a new video recorder, has decided to go in a different direction. The company, based in Chicago, is providing full documentation of the hardware platform for its recorder, the Neuros OSD (for open source device), so that skilled users can customize or “hack” the device — and then pass along the improvements to others.
I was reading a Goldman Sachs research report on the radio business on the plane back from Australia. I came across this chart of EBITDA multiples versus EBITA growth rates for various media categories.
There’s not a ton of insight in that chart, but it got me thinking if I could learn anything about the various media categories from watching my teenage children. Here’s what I’ve observed over the past year.
1) When they walk into a DVD store, they rarely walk out with a…
Bengt Björkstén has a gold mine of feces in his freezer. Over the past 11 years, the Swedish pediatrician and immunologist has been carefully collecting fecal samples from a cohort of children living in Sweden and neighboring Estonia. The samples harbor a wealth of information on the children’s microbial inhabitants, which have been shown to play a vital role in immune function. Björkstén hopes that new technologies that allow scientists to analyze microbes more precisely than ever before will reveal why allergy rates in Sweden and other wealthy nations, including the United States, have risen dramatically over the past 50 years, while rates in historically poorer nations, such as Estonia, have not. His findings could provide a new twist on the hygiene hypothesis, which suggests that rising allergy rates are linked to our more antiseptic, modern lifestyle
It has been 50 years since scientists first created DNA in a test tube, stitching ordinary chemical ingredients together to make life’s most extraordinary molecule. Until recently, however, even the most sophisticated laboratories could make only small snippets of DNA — an extra gene or two to be inserted into corn plants, for example, to help the plants ward off insects or tolerate drought.
Now researchers are poised to cross a dramatic barrier: the creation of life forms driven by completely artificial DNA
FOR as long as most people can remember, food has been getting cheaper and farming has been in decline. In 1974-2005 food prices on world markets fell by three-quarters in real terms. Food today is so cheap that the West is battling gluttony even as it scrapes piles of half-eaten leftovers into the bin. That is why this year’s price rise has been so extraordinary. Since the spring, wheat prices have doubled and almost every crop under the sun—maize, milk, oilseeds, you name it—is at or near a peak in nominal terms
A team of UD faculty has created a system that enables vehicles to not only run on electricity alone, but also to generate revenue by storing and providing electricity for utilities. The technology—known as V2G, for vehicle-to-grid—lets electricity flow from the car’s battery to power lines and back.When the car is in the V2G setting, the battery’s charge goes up or down depending on the needs of the grid operator, which sometimes must store surplus power and other times requires extra power to respond to surges in usage. The ability of the V2G car’s battery to act like a sponge provides a solution for utilities, which pay millions to generating stations that help balance the grid. Kempton estimates the value for utilities could be up to $4,000 a year for the service, part of which could be paid to drivers.
Whether we should be exploring technologies that make electricity cheaper is another question. However if it accelerates adoption of electric cars it may be a plus
Those of you that read our article in The Age (Melbourne, Australia – see our download page) this month will know that we have the view that handheld devices are going to mainly replace the personal computer and the laptop – here is more evidence from Intel about what developments are occurring
The Energy Watch Group has released its oil report. We do not warrant the veracity of the report but they present a very different view than the International Energy Agency and if they are right we are heading to a very different world.
A multidisciplinary team of UCLA scientists were able to differentiate metastatic cancer cells from normal cells in patient samples using leading-edge nanotechnology that measures the softness of the cells.
University of Tokyo researchers have developed a plastic pad that allows electronic devices placed on it to communicate with each other. This communications sheet could provide a more secure and lower-energy alternative to short-range wireless communications, such as Bluetooth