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Scientists watch bioengineered self-healing muscle tissue grow within a mouse

By - April 2, 2014 3 Pictures
The living skeletal muscle tissue grown by Duke University researchers is 10 times stronger than any previously bioengineered muscles. Not only does it contract as strongly and as rapidly as the real thing but it is also capable of self-healing, both in the lab and after implantation into an animal. This has been proven beyond any doubt through a novel approach that involves peeking at the growing muscle tissue through a glass window in the back of a living mouse. Read More
— Science

Computer simulation casts new light on the ancient Roman Campus Martius mystery

By - April 1, 2014 2 Pictures
Campus Martius, also known as the Campus of Mars, was built by the Roman Senate just outside the ancient Rome city walls back in 9 BCE. It was built to celebrate the peace brought upon the Roman people as a result of Emperor Agustus’s military conquests. Thanks to a complex computer simulation created by the Institute for Digital Intermedia Arts (IDIA) for Indiana University's School of Informatics and Computing, it is now possible to verify if and how solar alignments influenced the positioning of the different objects on site. Read More
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Bacteria brews biofuel with potential to replace high-energy rocket fuel

By - April 1, 2014 2 Pictures
Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology and the US Department of Energy’s Joint BioEnergy Institute have engineered a bacterium that could yield a new source of high-energy hydrocarbon fuel for rocketry and other aerospace uses. High-energy, specific-use hydrocarbon fuels such as JP-10 can be extracted from oil, along with more commonly used petroleum fuels, but supplies are limited and prices are high – approaching US$7 per liter. That’s where the new bacterium, engineered by Georgia Tech scientists Stephen Sarria and Pamela Peralta-Yahya, could come in. Read More

Bacteria combined with gold to produce "living material"

Scientists at MIT are developing hybrid materials that are a cross between living bacterial cells and non-living components such as gold nanoparticles or quantum dots. The resulting "living materials" are able to respond to their environment like regular living cells, while also doing things like conducting electricity or emitting light. Read More
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Electric "thinking cap" helps people learn from their mistakes

By - March 27, 2014 7 Pictures
Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) has become a widely used technique for reaching into a person's brain and altering the way in which it functions. Vanderbilt psychology Professor Geoffrey Woodman and graduate student Robert Reinhart have just published the results of a new study in the Journal of Neuroscience in which they found that tDCS stimulation of the mediofrontal cortex for a period of minutes can change one's ability to recognize and learn from error for a period of several hours. Read More
— Science

Computer better than a human at telling if you're faking it

By - March 26, 2014 1 Picture
A computer-vision system able to detect false expressions of pain 30 percent more accurately than humans has been developed. Authors of the study, titled Automatic Decoding of Deceptive Pain Expressions, believe the technology has the potential for detecting other misleading behaviors and could be applied in areas including homeland security, recruitment, medicine and law. Read More
— Science

Solar cell material that can absorb light during the day and emit light at night

By - March 25, 2014 3 Pictures
When looking for the best materials with which to construct a solar cell, the obvious preference is for one that absorbs light, not emits it. But researchers from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore have discovered a material that does both. Amongst a variety of potential applications, the researchers say the material, Perovskite, opens up the possibility of mobile devices with displays that double as solar cells. Read More
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