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An experimental wireless power system could reduce infections in patients with implanted h...

While implantable heart pumps may buy some time for people waiting to undergo heart transplants, such implants have at least one serious drawback – because they receive their power from an external source, a power cord must protrude through the skin of the patient’s belly. About 40 percent of patients experience infections of that opening, which often require rehospitalization, and in extreme cases can even cause death. The presence of that cord also makes it impossible for patients to swim or take baths. Researchers from the University of Washington and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center are attempting to put an end to the troublesome cords, however, by developing a system that wirelessly transmits power to heart pumps.  Read More

EnerJ is a power-saving system that allocates less voltage to regions of computer chips th...

As computers, data centers and mobile devices become more powerful, their energy requirements are likewise generally increasing. Possible solutions to the problem include power-saving sleep modes, devices that keep computers from drawing a current when supposedly turned off, and water-cooled processors. EnerJ, a new solution created at the University of Washington, takes a different approach – it supplies less power to regions of the chip that are performing processes that don’t require absolute precision. In lab simulations, it has already cut power consumption by up to 50 percent, although that amount could potentially reach as high as 90 percent.  Read More

The Angle Mose tracks the cursor's angle of movement to know when the cursor is nearing th...

For many people with motor disabilities, the task of precisely moving a mouse cursor around a screen can be incredibly frustrating. While controlling a mouse cursor with the power of thought looks likely to be possible in the not too distant future, researchers at the University of Washington's (UW) AIM Research Group have created two mouse cursors designed to make homing in on onscreen targets much easier. Neither requires additional computer hardware and all the researchers are hoping for in return for the freely downloadable software is some user feedback.  Read More

Lamborghini's new Aventador on stage at the Geneva Motor Show

It only takes a glance at Lamborghini's Aventador to know it's a Lambo. In fact, it inherits from the long-toothed Murcielago the mantle of top-bull in Italian marque's lineup. And with it, beneath the latest interpretation of Lambo's hallmark body origami – yes, the scissor doors remain – comes the technical shiz it needs to fill such a spot. Engine, transmission, suspension, bodywork – it's completely clean-sheet new. All up, they conspire to put the Aventador at the pointy end of the performance spectrum – the first anything-like-mainstream car to kiss 100 km/h in less than three seconds (we're not counting its step-sibling, the Bugatti Veyron, in its class).  Read More

NASA's Stardust NExT mission image of the comet Tempel 1 at 8.39pm PST on February 14th 20...

On Valentine's day, while we were all cooing over your loved ones or lamenting the obvious negligence of the postman, scientists at Denver's NASA station were cooing over something rather larger. On February 14th this year, NASA's Stardust probe made its second visit to the comet Tempel 1 at 8.40pm PST, shaving the comet at a distance of 111 miles (178 km) and traveling at a relative speed of 24,300 mph (10.9 km per second). This is the first time scientists have been able to get a second look at a comet, which allows them to compare data from the first visit in order to learn more about these icy inhabitants of our solar system.  Read More

Dr. June Medford, with some of her pollutant- and explosive-sniffing plants

There may come a day when certain plants in your workplace suddenly turn white, at which point everyone will run screaming from the building – those co-workers will have been right to do so, as the white plants indicated that a toxic gas was present. Before that scenario can take place, a little more work still needs to be done, and Colorado State University (CSU) biologist Dr. June Medford is doing it. Using a computer-designed detection trait, she is creating plants that stop producing chlorophyll when they detect pollutants or explosives in the air.  Read More

The vertigo-alleviating cochlear implant

Meniere's disease is an inner ear disorder that affects about one percent of the U.S. population, and it’s a disabling condition – attacks of vertigo can occur without warning, requiring people to lay still for several hours at a time. This ever-present possibility causes sufferers to avoid certain activities, situations and even careers. Medication and lifestyle changes often alleviate it, but if they don’t then surgery is the next step, which typically depletes the hearing and/or balance functions of the affected ear. Now, a team of scientists from the University of Washington Medical Center are about to try out a new cochlear implant on their first human test subject. Their hope is that it will get rid of his symptoms, while allowing him to retain full use of both ears.  Read More

Sensors sprinkled throughout the home beam information at a set frequency. Wiring wrapped ...

Smart homes of the future will automatically adapt to their surroundings using an array of sensors to record everything from the building’s temperature and humidity to the light level and air quality. One hurdle impeding the development of such intelligent homes is the fact that existing technology is still power hungry and today’s wireless devices either transmit a signal only several feet, or consume so much energy they need frequent battery replacements. Researchers have now developed sensors that run on extremely low power thanks to using a home’s electrical wiring as a giant antenna to transmit information.  Read More

Illustration depicting a single strand of DNA moving through a nanopore that is being used...

One of the long held hopes for DNA sequencing is that it will usher in an era of personalized, predictive medicine by providing individualized blueprints of genetic predispositions for specific conditions and diseases, such as cancer, diabetes and addiction. Researchers have now devised a method that works at a very small scale to sequence DNA quickly and relatively inexpensively that could open the door to more effective individualized medicine.  Read More

Josiah Cheslik, a UW junior and volunteer in the MobileASL field study, demonstrates using...

For obvious reasons, texting and email is a preferred method of communication for many deaf and hard of hearing mobile phone users. But as convenient as texting can be, it isn’t always the most reliable form of communication – messages can take a while to arrive and short messages can easily be misinterpreted. To address this problem University of Washington (UW) engineers are developing the first device able to transmit American Sign Language (ASL) over U.S. cellular networks.  Read More

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