Technology

Researchers have used an electrical current to orchestrate the flow of a group of cells, an achievement that could establish the basis for more controlled forms of tissue engineering and for potential applications such as "smart bandages" that use electrical stimulation to help heal wounds.

In the experiments, the researchers used single layers of epithelial cells, the type of cells that bind together to form robust sheathes in skin, kidneys, cornea and other organs. They found that by applying an electric current of about five volts per centimeter, they could encourage cells to migrate along the direct current field. 
A research team led by Paolo Macchiarini, MD, PhD at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden has successfully transplanted a regenerated esophagus into a rat using a bioreactor developed by Harvard Apparatus Regenerative Technology (HART), a spin-off of Harvard Bioscience. Macchiarini has previously done several successful regenerated trachea transplants in human patients using a HART bioreactor.

 A review of a dozen popular websites found that information on colorectal cancer is too difficult for most lay people to read and doesn't address the appropriate risks to and concerns of patients.


Live electronic music is an oxymoron. Clearly if you have hired Paris Hilton as a deejay, you are not hiring her because she is any sort of keen ear. If she never showed up, the music would go on.

University of British Columbia music professor Bob Pritchard has seen enough uninspiring laptop music sets to know what is wrong with the genre - backing tracks can only take you so far - and has an idea how to fix it.

Pritchard and UBC’s Laptop Orchestra believe digital cameras and other gadgets might just save live electronic music from itself - so they did a concert without actually touching their laptops. 

“That’s one of our rules,” says Pritchard, “Avoid touching the laptop!”
In 2017, the British will introduce a new coin that should be difficult to counterfeit. 

The last time a Queen Elizabeth sat on the throne they tried the same thing, to deter “divers evil persons” from damaging the reputation of English coinage and, with it, the good name of the nation. And they tried it plenty of times since. And before.

As long as there has been money, there has been counterfeiting. Today, the Royal Mint estimates retailers lose about $25 million a year due to counterfeits and up to 3% of their £1 coins are fake.
A new tabletop display has a personal screen made from a curtain of mist. It allows users to move images around and push through the fog-screens and onto the display.

MisTable, led by Professor Sriram Subramanian and Dr Diego Martinez Plasencia from the University of Bristol’s Department of Computer Science, is a tabletop system that combines a conventional interactive table with personal screens, built using fog, between the user and the tabletop surface.

On the less glamorous side of space exploration, there's the more practical problem of waste — in particular, what to do with astronaut pee. But rather than ejecting it into space, scientists are developing a new technique that can turn this waste burden into a boon by converting it into fuel and much-needed drinking water. 


Four young men who have been paralyzed for years achieved groundbreaking progress — moving their legs.

Writing in the journal Brain, the researchers from the University of Louisville, UCLA and the Pavlov Institute of Physiology say the breakthrough is a result of epidural electrical stimulation of the spinal cord. All four participants were classified as suffering from chronic, motor complete spinal cord injuries and were unable to move their lower extremities prior to the implantation of an epidural stimulator. The stimulator delivers a continuous electrical current to the participants' lower spinal cords, mimicking signals the brain normally transmits to initiate movement.


Researchers have developed a system allowing neurophysiologists to share raw data with each other, something they hope will generate new discoveries in the field.

The first type of data they collected and standardized are recordings of so called ‘retinal waves’. During early development, retinal neurons generate signals that rapidly spread across from one cell to another, much like a Mexican wave in a football stadium. These patterns of activity are thought to help forge the neural connections from the eye to the brain.
The 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks, where a group of gunmen killed 165 and injured 304 people, the May 2012 shooting of five people by a gunman in Seattle and the recall of four million cars by Toyota in 2009 and 2010 because of a faulty accelerator pedal show the power of social media - and the problems.

When the online community is creating and exchanging the news rather than official news channels, credibility is unknown and it can not only exaggerate the unfolding situation, but also turn it into misinformation, diverting attention from the real problems.