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Polymer implants could help heal brain injuries

By - November 27, 2012 1 Picture
Using implants made from porous biocompatible materials, scientists have recently been successful in regrowing things such as teeth, tendons and heart tissue, plus bone and cartilage. The materials act as a sort of nanoscale three-dimensional scaffolding, to which lab-cultivated cells can be added, or that the recipient’s own cells can colonize. Now, a Spanish research team has used the same principle to grow new brain tissue – the technique could ultimately be used to treat victims of brain injuries or strokes. Read More
— Science

Cambridge University team to assess the risk posed to humanity by artificial intelligence

By - November 27, 2012 1 Picture
A team of scientists, philosophers and engineers will form the new Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (CSER) at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom. The team will study key developments in technology, assessing “extinction-level” threats to humanity. Key among those threats is the possibility of the creation of an artificial general intelligence, an event that has the theoretical potential to leave humanity behind forever. Read More
— Science

Plant-Microbial Fuel Cell generates electricity from living plants

By - November 25, 2012 2 Pictures
Wetlands are estimated to account for around six percent of the earth’s surface and a new Plant-Microbial Fuel Cell technology developed at Wageningen University & Research in The Netherlands could see some of these areas become a viable source of renewable energy. More than that, the developers believe that their technology could be used to supply electricity to remote communities and in green roofs to supply electricity to households. Read More
— Science

Researchers transmit braille directly to the retina of blind test subject

By - November 23, 2012 1 Picture
Second Sight’s Argus II Retinal Prosthesis is definitely an interesting piece of technology, allowing a blind user to “see” objects, colors and movement in their environment. Ordinarily, this is done with the help of a video-camera-equipped pair of glasses worn by the user. In a recent experiment, however, researchers bypassed the camera, transmitting visual braille patterns directly to a blind test subject’s retina. Read More
— Science

Hybrid 3D printer produces implantable cartilage

By - November 23, 2012 2 Pictures
Generally speaking, injured cartilage doesn’t heal well ... if at all. In recent years, however, scientists have successfully regrown cartilage at injury sites, using things like hydrogel, microspheres and collagen-based nano-scaffolding. Now, a team of scientists led by Prof. James Yu of North Carolina's Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine have developed something else – a 3D printer that creates implantable cartilage. Read More
— Science

Puzzlebox Orbit brain-controlled helicopter is flying into production

By - November 22, 2012 6 Pictures
For the last few years, Puzzlebox has been publishing open source software and hacking guides that walk makers through the modification of RC helicopters so that they can be flown and controlled using just the power of the mind. Full systems have also been custom built to introduce youngsters to brain-computer interfaces and neuroscience. The group is about to take the project to the next stage by making a Puzzlebox Orbit brain-controlled helicopter available to the public, while encouraging user experimentation by making all the code, schematics, 3D models, build guides and other documentation freely available under an open-source license. Read More
— Science

There's CO2 in them thar hills (…the cosmic rays told me)

By - November 22, 2012 1 Picture
An international research team has been given the novel task of developing a practical means of monitoring underground stores of CO2 using none other than cosmic rays. The research hinges on the detection of the muons that occur as cosmic rays interact with the Earth's atmosphere, but which can penetrate several kilometers beneath the Earth's surface. It's thought that the approach could save significant amounts of money compared to alternative techniques. Read More
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