Extracting Video from the Brain

June 23rd, 2005 | Filed under: Biotech, Future, Mapping, Scary, Science, Technology, Video | 50 Comments »

Garret B. Stanley’s article, published in 1999 in the Journal of Neuroscience, outlines how activity of neurons can be decoded into a reconstructed image. Stanley claims the decoding algorithm is simple since each point in space can be reconstructed at high resolutions from 6 to 8 pairs of cells. The more neurons are tracked, the higher the quality of the reconstruction. The following still frames from a video (top) are actual reconstructions (bottom) from the activity of 177 cells in a cat’s brain.

via pasta and vinegar

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The Scent of Trust

June 2nd, 2005 | Filed under: Biology, Biotech, Health, News | 4 Comments »

A team of Swiss researchers have produced a potion that increases trust between individuals. The potion’s main ingredient, oxytocin, is a naturally produced chemical in the brain which is triggered by a range of stimuli, including sex and breastfeeding, and it is associated with the formation of social ties. The study, led by Ernst Fehr of the University of Zurich, shows that oxytocin and its associated effects can be artificially stimulate though a nasal spray. Forget Axe, this is the real thing. [pdf]

via Nature

Bionic Woman for Real

May 18th, 2005 | Filed under: Biotech, Design, Future, Mechanical Tech, Technology | No Comments »

Dr Jane Burridge at Southampton University’s School of Health Professions and Rehabilitation Sciences has implanted the world’s first ‘bionic’ device that is capable of producing coordinated fine hand and arm movement into a 46-year-old woman. The system consists of 5 BION microstimulators and a control unit that act as ‘bionic neurons’ giving electrical stimulations to paralyzed muscles in her arm. [press release]

via MedGadget | New Scientist | Scotsman

Human Organ Factory

May 2nd, 2005 | Filed under: Biology, Biotech, Future, News | No Comments »

Esmail Zanjani, and his team at the University of Nevada-Reno are researching the creation of human organs by inserting stem cells into sheep. Many ethical issues surround the hybridization of humans with animals as stem cell research moves from injecting bacteria to mice and now sheep. New regulations are emerging to prevent monstrous hybrids and the possibility of trapping human brains in animals.


Synthetic Biology : Programming Living Cells

April 29th, 2005 | Filed under: Biology, Biotech, Future, Technology | No Comments »

Ron Weiss, and his colleagues at Princeton University have managed to program living cells by engineering the plasmid section of DNA which is read by the cell as a set of instructions to produce protein under certain conditions. Early experiments show E. coli bacteria programmed to emit red or green fluorescent light and self configuration into simple shapes (image 1, 2, 3).

via Yahoo! News

Molecular Media Project : Remixing with Fungus

April 27th, 2005 | Filed under: Biology, Biotech, Design, Nanotech, Technology | No Comments »

By manipulating the written bits of digital media, the Molecular Media Project remixes images, music, and video by reorganizing the digital sequence at the nano-scale. Take for example, the remixing of digital music by growing spores of fungus on CDs. The semi-controlled fungus growth refracts the laser as it reads the information, creating different audio effects. From the description you would expect the digital manipulation to sound like a scratched CD, but surprisingly the sounds can overlap and resequence into something bearable.

Eagles – Hotel California MP3 [organic pigments, titanium dioxide, carbon black, aluminum or bronze powders; butane/propane propellant]

Chemical Signals of Human Cells Caught on Film

April 22nd, 2005 | Filed under: Biology, Biotech, News, Technology, Video | No Comments »

Watch the incredible footage of a human cell reacting to a physical tug with chemical signals that ripple through the cell.

UCSD Press Release

via Biology News | Medgadget

High Speed DNA Sequencing

April 21st, 2005 | Filed under: Biology, Biotech, Computing, Mapping, Products, Technology | No Comments »

DNA sequencing of one human genome currently runs about $20 million to $30 million and takes six months. The soon to be tested Helicos machine uses a method that skips several processes bringing the cost down to $5,000 and 3 days , allowing scientists to gather wider samplings for analysis and discover the secrets to our genes.

via MedGadget | MIT Tech Review

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The Genographic Project : Family Tree of the Human Race

April 17th, 2005 | Filed under: Biotech, Internet, Mapping | 2 Comments »

The Genographic Project, headed by National Geographic and IBM will attempt to unravel the great history of genetic lineage and the migration of the human race through the largest DNA sampling in the world over the next 5 years. Join the endeavor by submitting your DNA, find out where you came from and learn about your earliest human ancestors.

via Biology News

Superatoms : Alchemy and the 3-D Periodic Table

April 14th, 2005 | Filed under: Biotech, Fabrication Tech, Materials, Technology | 1 Comment »

Shiv N. Khanna and A. Welford Castleman Jr., and their experiments with Superatoms are about to bring the periodic table into a new dimension, literally. Dmitri Mendeleev’s classic 2-dimensional periodic table elegantly places elements in families and chemical activity. But with Superatoms, a cluster of atoms which can be coaxed into maintaining dramatically different properties, a 3rd-dimension for each element and its new synthetic states would be required. Superatoms open possibilities to develop highly controllable magical materials with applications most likely beyond our imagination.

via New Scientist (full article)| Innovations Report