Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Memory

Schematic of the ionic liquid-gated SmNiO3 synaptic transistor (Photo: Harvard Univ.)

In a development that may enable a wholly new approach to artificial intelligence, researchers at Harvard University's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences have invented a type of transistor that can learn in ways similar to a neural synapse. Called a synaptic transistor, the new device self-optimizes its properties for the functions it has carried out in the past.  Read More

New research has provided 'strong hope' of finding a drug to combat Alzheimer’s (Image: Sh...

A team of researchers at Yale University has completed a molecular model for Alzheimer's disease by identifying a protein that plays a key role in its onset. Promisingly, the study showed that when the activity of this protein is blocked by an existing drug, mice engineered as models for human AD recover their memories.  Read More

Samsung's 3D Vertical NAND flash memory reads and writes twice as fast as conventional NAN...

Samsung has announced production of the first solid state drives (SSD) based on its new 3D V-NAND flash memory. V-NAND flash memories read and write twice as fast as conventional NAND memories, and last 10 times longer while consuming 50 percent less power. At present, the 3D chips offer about the same physical bit density as do more conventional NAND flash memory chips, but while 2D geometries are reaching the end state of their scaling potential, the 3D chips offer as much as two orders of magnitude of additional elbow room for denser devices.  Read More

The love hormone has a dark side (Photo: Shutterstock)

Often called the love hormone, oxytocin has shown the ability to enhance social bonding, decrease anxiety and encourage an overall feeling of satisfaction with life. A new study out of Northwestern University, however, finds that this ancient hormone has a dark side, and is capable of strengthening unpleasant memories, fear, and anxiety. This Jeckyll and Hyde behavior results from the fact that oxytocin has a general strengthening effect on social memories, without regard to their polarity.  Read More

MIT neuroscientists identified the cells (highlighted in red) where memory traces are stor...

An ongoing collaboration between the Japanese Riken Brain Science Institute and MIT’s Picower Institute for Learning and Memory has resulted in the discovery of how to plant specific false memories into the brains of mice. The breakthrough significantly extends our understanding of memory and expands the experimental reach of the new field of optogenetics.  Read More

Researchers at the University of Southampton have created an extremely durable computer me...

Recently, there have been advances in the area of digital data storage promising outstanding data density and super-long-term data storage. A new data storage technology developed at the University of Southampton can do both. Due to its similarities to the “memory crystals” used in the Superman films, it has been dubbed the "Superman memory crystal."  Read More

Researchers at Canada’s Western University have found a way to effectively block certain t...

We’re all carrying around some cringe-inducing memories that we’d rather forget. But for those suffering Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), recalling certain memories can provoke fearful, emotional experiences. By the same token, some memories can remind those battling drug addiction of the rewarding effects of the drug and trigger a relapse. Researchers at Canada’s Western University have found a way to effectively block these types of memories that could lead to better treatments for both conditions.  Read More

Fear, even irrational fear, can be a paralyzing influence on our life (Photo: Shutterstock...

An old saying tells us not to dwell on an unpleasant event. A new clinical study suggests the saying has both psychological and neurological support for its validity. Along with his advisors, Thomas Ågren – a doctoral candidate in psychology at Uppsala University in Sweden – has shown that it is possible to erase newly formed emotional memories from the human brain.  Read More

Ghost is a prototype vibrating armband, designed to help athletes with muscle memory

“Muscle memory” is the process in which a certain motor task is repeated to such an extent that it can eventually be performed without conscious effort. It comes in handy for all sorts of activities, but is particularly important to athletes – a tennis player can hardly concentrate on the game, for instance, if they’re constantly thinking about how to move their arm every time they return the ball. Now, engineers from Imperial College London have created an armband device known as Ghost, designed to assist athletes in forming optimum muscle memories.  Read More

Rapamycin, a bacterial product first discovered in a soil sample from Easter Island, has b...

Rapamycin, a bacterial product first discovered in a soil sample from Easter Island – also known as Rapa Nui, hence the name – is an immunosuppressant drug used to prevent rejection in organ transplants that has now been found to enhance learning and memory in young and old mice alike. Researchers at the School of Medicine at The University of Texas (UT) Health Science Center San Antonio made the discovery while looking for a way to prevent the decline in cognitive skills that comes with age.  Read More

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