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University of Rochester

— Space

Alzheimer’s added to dangers faced by deep space astronauts

By - January 3, 2013 1 Picture
Psychiatrists involved with the early days of NASA’s space program were concerned astronauts might succumb to “space madness” as a result of experiencing prolonged periods of microgravity and claustrophobic isolation. While their fears turned out to be unfounded, a new study has found cause for concern for the mental faculties of astronauts on planned future deep space missions. The study shows that the levels of radiation an astronaut would be exposed to on a mission to Mars could cause cognitive problems and accelerate the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Read More

Giving smartphones emotional intelligence

It would be great if smartphones could sense moods – especially when they've dropped a call three times in five minutes. Engineers at the University of Rochester in Rochester, New York have developed a prototype app that provides phones with a form of emotional intelligence that could have wide applications in phones and beyond. Read More
— Science

Researchers send neutrino-message through 260 yards of rock

By - March 16, 2012 2 Pictures
Neutrinos have been in the news recently, and although it appears that they probably do not travel faster than light, they still hold court as three of the strangest of the known subatomic particles. Undeterred by these arcane particles, Fermilab scientists have succeeded in communicating with neutrino pulses through 240 meters (262 yards) of rock at a rate of 0.1 bits per second. Read More
— Games

Sorry, parents – video games are good for the mind

By - September 16, 2010 2 Pictures
For some time now, it’s been one of those “well-known facts” that playing video games increases one’s hand-eye coordination... much to the consternation of parents and spouses trying to convince family members that their obsessive gaming has no redeeming value. Now, research conducted at the University of Rochester indicates that playing action video games also increases peoples’ ability to make right decisions faster. Ironically, an activity that involves sitting on the couch helps people to think on their feet. Read More
— Science

Light-activated membrane acts like a traffic signal for gas

By - August 3, 2010 1 Picture
Colored lights have been controlling the flow of motorists since the first traffic light was installed in 1868 in London. Now scientists have developed a membrane that uses colored light to control the flow of gas. The membrane blocks gas from flowing through it when one color of light is shined on its surface, and permits gas to flow through when another color of light is used. The technology could be useful in research applications and controlled drug delivery as well as industrial processing tanks that require the ability to turn the flow of gas on and off safely. Read More
— Medical

‘Black metal’ discovery could advance the use of T-rays for medical scanning

By - December 9, 2009 2 Pictures
Scientist Chunlei Guo discovered a way to change the surface of a variety of metals so they absorbed virtually all light by using intense laser light in late 2006. He followed up his “black metal” discovery in 2008 by discovering how to use the same basic process to alter surface properties to turn metals a variety of colors. Now Guo and his University of Rochester colleagues have discovered that the altered black metals can detect electromagnetic radiation with frequencies in the terahertz range, also known as T-rays, which have potential in medical and scientific scanning applications, as well as security scanners. Read More
— Medical

Blue M&M food dye reduces paralysis from spinal injuries - but turns you blue

By - August 11, 2009 1 Picture
Spinal injuries are both common and devastating, leaving many victims paralyzed and relegated to wheelchairs for the rest of their lives. But in most cases, the worst spinal cord damage doesn't happen at the scene of the injury - it's the swelling around the spinal cord and the crazy firing and burning out of otherwise healthy neurons in the hours and days following the incident that turns a bad situation permanently worse. Now, scientists in Rochester, New York, have discovered a simple way to stop a lot of this secondary damage in its tracks - using the same, familiar blue food dye that gives M&Ms and blue icy poles their color. Patients with spinal injuries could escape with vastly reduced loss of function - but they'll turn bright blue in the process. Read More
— Medical

Scientists defy gravity with metal that pumps liquid uphill

By - June 4, 2009 1 Picture
Gravity can make it difficult to move liquid uphill but scientists at the University of Rochester have created a simple slab of metal that does exactly that using the same wicking process that trees employ to pull vast amounts of water from their roots up to their leaves. The metal could be used to pump microscopic amounts of liquid around a medical diagnostic chip, cool a computer's processor or turn almost any simple metal into an anti-bacterial surface. Read More

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