Technology

Reprogramming bacteria to detect cancer

Share This article The fight against cancer has risen to a fever pitch in the last decade, with new research avenues increasing almost by the day. If we are to believe Ray Kurzweil and the singularity folk, the specter of cancer may soon be a thing of the past. Lending credence to such optimism, new research by a team at MIT and UC San Diego employs genetically engineered bacteria to detect

Stunning discovery links the brain and the immune system

Share This article Most of us don’t give our lymphatic systems much thought. In fact many folks have their lymphatic headquarters, the spleen, removed altogether with little immediate ill effects. Yet without our lymphatic system, our circulatory system isn’t complete. Although most of our blood cells stay within the confines of our vasculature, around 20 liters per day of liquid plasma pass out of our capillaries and into the surrounding

Forget big data — it’s already obsolete

Share This article It’s tough to pick up a publication today without seeing something about big data. Everyone is talking about it, and there are some very good reasons for that. In fact, the equation is pretty simple, and goes like this: Data when processed becomes information, information when analyzed becomes knowledge, and knowledge when applied becomes intelligence. From a business perspective, as more and more data is collected and works

Earth-like alien worlds may have circular orbits just like our own planet

Share This article The eight planets in our solar system (yes, it’s still weird for me to write “eight,” too) orbit the sun in roughly circular paths, although they’re ever-so-slightly ellipses instead of circles. A new paper in Astrophysical Journal from MIT and Aarhus University researchers shows how this may be common for smaller extrasolar planets as well. The researchers studied 74 Earth-sized exoplanets at distances up to hundreds of light-years away,

21st-century medicine: Gauss guns, magic bullets, and magnetic millibot surgeons

Share This article Sometime around the turn into the 20th century, medical extraordinaire Paul Ehrlich coined the word zauberkugel or “magic bullet” to describe new drugs he was working on to cure syphilis and cancer. In theory, such drugs would leave healthy tissue intact while targeting only the diseased. Psychologists later appropriated this term to describe the phenomenally widespread panic that ensued when H. G. Well’s epic 1938 thriller The

Intel’s Thunderbolt 3 offers USB compatibility — at full Thunderbolt speed

Share This article Ever since Intel launched its high-performance Thunderbolt interface, it’s been fighting to win market share away from USB devices. There’s never been any question of which standard was faster — first-generation Thunderbolt blew USB 3.0 out of the water — but higher device costs, expensive cables, and limited OEM uptake have limited Thunderbolt’s market penetration. Today, with the announcement of Intel’s Alpine Ridge, that schism is effectively

Terapio autonomous medical robot can assist nurses

Share This article Japan has a rapidly aging population, along with the longest life expectancy in the world. These two factors combine to create one of the biggest problems the country’s healthcare system faces. In the coming years, it will become more difficult to provide quality care to an increasingly elderly demographic. And while a worldwide shortage of nurses means Japan isn’t the only country facing this problem, the country is nonetheless

Ford Sync 3 launches first on Ford Escape, Fiesta this summer

Share This article Faced with nothing specific to announce yet about Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility or availability, Ford made its own news today and announced where Sync 3 launches first: on the high-volume 2016 Ford Escape compact SUV and Ford Fiesta subcompact, Ford’s cheapest car. The cars are out this summer. The entire Ford fleet gets Sync 3 within a year, Ford says. Sync is Ford’s pioneering smartphone-to-car connection for audio

Solar sail spacecraft salvaged, deployment set for Wednesday

Share This article Sometimes the universe does you a solid. Several days after announcing that its solar sail spacecraft, LightSail-A, had gone silent due to a flaw in its Linux software stack, the Planetary Society and its CEO, Bill Nye, have announced they’ve regained contact with the little CubeSat. As predicted, cosmic ray activity above the Earth eventually forced the little ship to reboot and gave the team the opportunity to

Automated design process creates smallest, most efficient photonic switch ever

Share This article By using an automated design algorithm, researchers at Stanford University have built the world’s smallest and most efficient silicon based photonic wavelength splitter, or demultiplexer. If you haven’t come across that term before, for computers to communicate with each other, multiplexing and demultiplexing is essential. Multiple information streams are combined (multiplexed), transmitted over some distance, and then decomposed into their original forms (demultiplexed). Thanks to this concept, we can