Sunday, July 31, 2005

Gene silencing technique for curing disease

Gene silencing technique offers new strategy for treating, curing disease

DALLAS - July 31, 2005 - A new technique aimed at directly controlling the expression of genes by turning them on or off at the DNA level could lead to drugs for the treatment or cure of many diseases, say researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

"Virtually every disease starts at the level of malfunctioning gene expression, or viral or bacterial gene expression," said Dr. David Corey, professor of pharmacology and biochemistry. "This is an approach that could theoretically produce a drug for the treatment or cure of almost any disease."

In two papers appearing in the online edition of the journal Nature Chemical Biology, Dr. Corey and his colleagues describe how they efficiently shut down gene expression in cultured cells by blocking the ability of chromosomal DNA to be copied into RNA and made into proteins. The studies, which Dr. Corey said represent the most significant findings thus far in his career, are the most definitive to date showing that chromosomal DNA is accessible to and can be controlled by synthetic and natural molecules.

"The experiments worked beautifully," he said. "It's hard to believe that this strategy would work so well if nature wasn't doing it already."

Gene silencing technique offers new strategy for treating, curing disease

Friday, July 29, 2005

Look! Up In the sky! It's a Honda!

NASA Research Helps Develop New Light Jet Aircraft
NASA has contributed to the development of a new class of aircraft called Very Light Jets (VLJs). Some of the new jets are making debut public flights at AirVenture 2005, the Experimental Aircraft Association's fly-in at Oshkosh, Wisc.

Honda R&D Americas, Inc., Greensboro, N.C., tested new designs at the National Transonic Facility (NTF) at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va. The tests provided data for engineers designing the experimental HondaJet. It's an experimental VLJ that made its debut at the air show today.

VLJs and thousands of air travelers may benefit from NASA research into a Small Aircraft Transportation System (SATS). Last month, the SATS public-private partnership, which includes NASA, the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Consortium for Aviation Mobility, demonstrated technologies and operating capabilities that will allow advanced small planes to fly safely and reliably into small community airports.

NASA - NASA Research Helps Develop New Light Jet Aircraft

Calling all Colour Lovers

Another harmless place to waste time.

//// COLOURlovers:: a place to view, rate and review some lovely colours & palettes. the idea is to create a place of color inspiration where a designer of any sort can see new and lovely colours... find out what colors are hot, what work well in other uses... and simply make some love with colour.

//// COLOURlovers :: loving colours since 1981

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Feel the music

Nick Constantinou's Tremor tactile music sleeve is a piece of clubwear that allows the user to "feel" the music that is being played in the club.
The sleeve works by listening to the music through a tiny microphone and filtering the frequencies into bass, middle and treble. 5 miniature vibration motors housed within the sleeve react to these frequencies. The vibrations can be customised using the 3 buttons on the palm of the hand. They are ergonomically positioned to allow them to be pressed by the same fingers on that hand.

The overall feeling of the sleeve is a tingling sensation that runs up and down the arm. The experience is enhanced if a sleeve is worn on both arms. According to the industrial design engineer, this technology could be applied to other pieces of clothing and there is also the potential that it can enhance the musical experience for those with hearing difficulties.

we make money not art: Tremor - Feel the music

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Flash of Light Reads Health of Crops

Field of beams
Novel system uses polarized light pulses to reveal crop health
By firing rapid pulses of polarized light at corn, spinach and other crops, researchers have uncovered a picture of plant health that is invisible to the naked eye. Using a portable light source and detector technology, the researchers can differentiate minute differences in leaf colors - indicators of over- or under-fertilization, crop-nutrient levels and perhaps even disease.

The researchers hope their tractor-mountable N-Checker (for "nitrogen-checker") apparatus will help farmers determine in real time how much fertilizer to apply. By preventing waste, the system could decrease the cost of crop production and dramatically cut the nitrogen-laden runoff responsible for algal blooms and other damage to wetlands and waterways.

Steve Finkelman, Paul Nordine and their colleagues at Containerless Research, Inc. of Evanston, Ill., Louise Egerton-Warburton and partners at the Chicago Botanic Garden, and graduate student Tim Smith of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, will present their new technology July 19 at the InfoAg 2005 Conference in Springfield, Ill.

Field of beams

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Advertisements Projected onto Palms

Soon in Japan, it'll be raining ads

NTT Cyber Solution Laboratories division of Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) has announced the development of a new form of sidewalk advertising.
They project images of rain onto the sidewalk so that passersby put out their hand. A camera senses when their hand is open and projects an advertisement onto it.
Says an NTT rep, "Advertisements are usually something that's given to you, but it would be different if they showed up on your palms. You would feel more familiar with the message that appears in your personal area,"

I for one would feel very different about advertisements showing up in my personal areas.

I wonder if they have thought of using this in other areas. maybe an advertisement could be projected onto your plate while you are dining. Or ads show up on the mirror in the bathroom.

Soon in Japan, it'll be raining ads

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Cellphone Jamming Crime

A guy in Lynn, Mass. was arrested for the robbery of a CVS pharmacy. Later, a cellphone jamming device was found nearby. The police believe that the guy set up the jammer so no one could call the police on their cell phone while he was robbing the store.
The online article in the Essex County Daily news says that it has been illegal for years for someone to jam cell phones. They ask why it is not an additional charge to jam cell phones for purposes of commiting a crime. So far, they say, there is no law for that.

I am curious if it is against the law to cut telephone land wires?
Probably: vandalism and destruction of property. However, cutting the phone lines is the first step in any Hollywood movie before breaking into a building or murdering someone alone in their home at night.
Is there a special law that makes it a worse crime to cut phone lines for the commision of a crime? I don't know.

Cellphone jammers create a new category of crime

Monday, July 18, 2005

If That Mockingbird Don't Ring...

A German ornitholigist is reporting that urban birds are imitating cell phone ring-tones.
The birds were simply adapting to their environment in imitating human sounds in what he termed an "evolutionary playground".

This has also been reported in Arizona where the birds also do car alarms.

Now, birds mimic ring tones :
(via mikeslist)

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Two-way TV for Game Show Fun at Home

The ability of viewers to influence the outcome of TV shows will lead to greater fun and entertainment when watching television.

Surpass Home Entertainment allows any television to be linked to the Internet, thus enabling clear video telephony as well as transmission of text and multimedia messages on the TV screen.

Siemens and Grundy Light Entertainment have thus created a completely new possibility for actively participating in TV shows.

The partnership with the FremantleMedia subsidiary Grundy, which produces the German version of "American Idol" and other shows, is expected to lead to new broadcasting formats on German TV in the near future. A new type of game show has in fact already been offered to German commercial television broadcasters.

Videophoning: Live on Television from Your Living Room

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Skyscraper Farms of the Future

From the website...

The Vertical Farm Project @

By the year 2050, nearly 80% of the earth's population will reside in urban centers. Applying the most conservative estimates to current demographic trends, the human population will increase by about 3 billion people during the interim. An estimated 109 hectares of new and (about 20% more land than is represented by the country of Brazil) will be needed to grow enough food to feed them, if traditional farming practices continue as they are practiced today.

What can be done to avoid this impending disaster?

Vertical farm

The concept of indoor farming is not new, since hothouse production of tomatoes, a wide variety of herbs, and other produce has been in vogue for some time.

vertical ecosystem

Vertical farms, many stories high, will be situated in the heart of the world's urban centers. If successfully implemented, they offer the promise of urban renewal, sustainable production of a safe and varied food supply (year-round crop production), and the eventual repair of ecosystems that have been sacrificed for horizontal farming.

The Vertical Farm Project @

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Edible Meat Grown in a Factory

I thought mcd's already did this...

Experiments for NASA space missions have shown that small amounts of edible meat can be created in a lab. But the technology that could grow chicken nuggets without the chicken, on a large scale, may not be just a science fiction fantasy.

In a paper in the June 29 issue of Tissue Engineering, a team of scientists, including University of Maryland doctoral student Jason Matheny, propose two new techniques of tissue engineering that may one day lead to affordable production of in vitro - lab grown -- meat for human consumption. It is the first peer-reviewed discussion of the prospects for industrial production of cultured meat.

The idea of culturing meat is to create an edible product that tastes like cuts of beef, poultry, pork, lamb or fish and has the nutrients and texture of meat.

Matheny's team developed ideas for two techniques that have potential for large scale meat production. One is to grow the cells in large flat sheets on thin membranes. The sheets of meat would be grown and stretched, then removed from the membranes and stacked on top of one another to increase thickness.

The other method would be to grow the muscle cells on small three-dimensional beads that stretch with small changes in temperature. The mature cells could then be harvested and turned into a processed meat, like nuggets or hamburgers.

"With a single cell, you could theoretically produce the world's annual meat supply. And you could do it in a way that's better for the environment and human health. In the long term, this is a very feasible idea."

Matheny saw so many advantages in the idea that he joined several other scientists in starting a nonprofit, New Harvest, to advance the technology.

Good opportunity to customize meat as functional food.

Paper Says Edible Meat Can be Grown in a Lab on Industrial Scale :: University Communications Newsdesk, University of Maryland

via technolvelgy

The Home is Alive

Home Smart Home
By Duncan Graham-Rowe

Next month, a host of new wireless gadgets designed to help make buildings and homes "smart" will debut at the ZigBee Open House and Exposition in Chicago. Among them will be a so-called domestic awareness system that warns you if the stove is left on or if the basement starts flooding. Another lets you network your home entertainment system with environmental controls such as light dimmers or a thermostat.

Underlying these systems is a new wireless-networking standard called ZigBee.

Developed by the ZigBee Alliance--which includes Honeywell, Samsung, Mitsubishi Electric, Motorola, and some 160 other companies--the standard allows household appliances, sensors, and other devices to talk to each other without the need for connecting cables.

ZigBee technology could cut installation costs dramatically by letting you install a light switch, say, or a heat or moisture sensor wherever you want in a building just by sticking it on a wall...

Whereas many earlier smart systems used proprietary technology, ZigBee is built on an Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) global standard, 802.15.4...

ZigBee allows devices to form mesh networks, where each unit can relay information to its neighbors. Mesh networks are far more robust than their hub-and-spoke counterparts...

Home Smart Home

Saturday, July 02, 2005

35 New Sri Lanka Frogs Discovered

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - Researchers confirmed the discovery of 35 new frog species in Sri Lanka's dwindling rain forest over the past decade, but also found that 17 frog species have disappeared and 11 others face imminent extinction unless their habitat is protected.

35 New Sri Lanka Frogs Discovered - Yahoo! News