Traumatic brain injuries affect as many as 20 percent of warfighters returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Now the Pentagon's whiz kids at DARPA have turned to optogenetic brain implants that use light pulses to control brain cells, and hopefully reroute brain activity, Wired's Danger Room reports.
The ability to quickly detect and identify viruses and bacteria is key in fields ranging from antiterrorism to medical diagnosis to pharmaceutical safety. A novel three-inch device created at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory should make doing so a lot easier. The new detector can identify any of 3,000 different viruses or bacteria in just 24 hours.
When we tickle our artistic sides, playing with the varying fields of focus in our camera lenses can be a form of aesthetic expression. But for more practical uses -- say, filming a multi-layered scene like a concert where various subjects are at various depths -- it would be advantageous to capture the entire scene in perfect focus. A researcher in Toronto claims he's created an omni-focus camera that does exactly that.
When it comes to burns and other exterior flesh wounds, bacteria often show no quarter, getting in deep and causing serious complications for patients unlucky enough to be stricken with infections. But a new technique takes a page from the book of guerrilla warfare, lacing wound dressings with antibacterial land mines that coax malicious microbes into spelling their own dooms.
Staying alive on the organ transplant waiting list could get a bit easier with organs that last longer outside the body. That's the hope of Harvard startup Hibergenica, which looks to commercialize a liquid solution that preserves the metabolism of hearts and livers for about 10 days, Technology Review reports.
India's Defense Research Development Organization thinks it may have found a new secret weapon: an 82-year-old holy man named Prahlad Jani. His tactical advantage: longevity. Jani claims via the UK's Telegraph that he has not consumed food or drink for 70 years, and military authorities are conducting a rigorous study to see if he's onto something they could use.
It's one thing to tell someone how you feel, but seeing is believing. So their inability to see the face and body language of other people can potentially leave visually impaired people working with a communication deficit. A novel thesis project at Umeå University in Sweden has created a sort of Braille codification for emotions using a tactile display and a Web cam to allow blind people to "see" emotion as they are displayed on a subject's face.
RNA interference (RNAi) has steadily advanced the promise of using gene silencing to block the spread of viruses or even cancer. Now the technique has proven effective in humans for the first time as a nasal spray which shuts down a common respiratory virus, New Scientist reports.
One of the major downsides of radiation therapy, which is commonly used to shrink cancerous tumors, is its harmful effect on normal cells. Now, thanks to research done by scientists at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, doctors may someday use melanin-covered nanoparticles to administer higher doses of radiation to cancerous cells without compromising the healthy ones.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a crucial diagnostic tool and an all-around cool technology that creates three-dimensional views of living tissues without being invasive or harming living tissues. But MRI is also limited; while telescopes see further and further into the cosmos and microscopes see smaller and smaller bodies, MRI can only go so small. But now, by blending atomic force microscopy with MRI's 3-D capabilities, MIT researchers are making a 3-D microscope 100 times more powerful than hospital MRI machines.