Technology

Acute rejection after kidney transplantation occurs in about 15% of patients despite immunosuppressive therapy and this rejection is usually heralded by an increase in the patient's serum creatinine, a marker of kidney function. A kidney biopsy is then performed to confirm whether rejection is taking place.

Yet elevated creatinine is not sufficiently sensitive to identify all early rejection or specific enough to prevent some unnecessary kidney biopsies, so a noninvasive means of identifying acute rejection is needed.


A team of researchers have developed a gene regulation method that enables thought-specific brainwaves to control the conversion of genes into proteins - gene expression.



Bras have come a long way in 100 years. Credit: EPA/HO

By Deirdre McGhee, University of Wollongong

This year marks the 100-year anniversary of the first bra patent.

Amazingly for the time – 1914 – it was made by a woman in her twenties, Mary (Polly) Phelps Jacob (nee Crosby).

Polly made her bra initially from two handkerchiefs and some ribbon with the intent to show off her substantial cleavage in a sheer evening gown that had a plunging neckline. The handkerchiefs formed the bra cups and the ribbons formed the straps.

Tiny biobots - cyborg cockroaches - can trace the source of a sound and home in on it. But don't fear, an invisible fence keeps them in their assigned area, which would be disaster areas to find victims.

The biobots are equipped with electronic backpacks that control the cockroach's movements. Bozkurt's research team has created two types of customized backpacks using microphones: One type of biobot has a single microphone that can capture relatively high-resolution sound from any direction to be wirelessly transmitted to first responders. 


Words are so 20th century. The 21st century could belong to brains communicating directly with each other.

Researchers have successfully replicated a direct brain-to-brain connection between pairs of people. In the newly published paper, which involved six people, researchers were able to transmit the signals from one person's brain over the Internet and use these signals to control the hand motions of another person within a split second of sending that signal.



No need to say goodbye to the print book. Amy Johansson/Shutterstock

By Andrew Prescott, King's College London

“Analog” and “digital” are the two polar opposites of our modern world.

The word “analog” has become our catch-all term for what we see as slow, one-way and limited in functional possibilities; while “digital” is our synonym for the dynamic, interactive and fluid.

Analog is old; digital new. Paper has always been the epitome of the analogue: a physical medium which can receive, present and preserve information but otherwise remains static and fixed.

Like coffee but your liberal guilt won't let you enjoy it if the energy to heat the water might have come from natural gas or nuclear energy?

There may be hope for the future. Researchers at Lancaster University have used a Raspberry Pi to determine the optimum time for a cup of tea in terms of impact on the environment - it only allows a kettle to boil when the University’s wind turbine is producing electricity. Windy Brew is the brainchild of Dr. Will Simm, Dr. Peter Newman, Dr. Maria Angela Ferrario and Dr. Stephen Forshaw.

It envisions a future where man does not reshape nature, but where we are hostage to it. 



via: The Telegraph

By Jane Palmer, Genetic Literacy Project

Sometimes I think I’ve outsourced my consciousness to Google. Can’t remember something? Google it. Want to remember something? Google Doc it. Want to get noticed? Get on Google News. If Google ever does pull the plug it will take my career, my social life and my memories leaving me a mere shell of an intelligence thinking human being, such is my sad dependent state.

Imagine a site where the lead developer supported the Discovery Institute, the Tea Party, the Mitt Romney campaign, Greenpeace, Joe Mercola, Just Label It, and various other political activist and anti-science groups.

Would you believe it was really neutral about science?

Perhaps. It depends on how many other people are involved in the project, but it would certainly bring a higher level of scrutiny.

Modern biology has a problem - how to find meaning in the rising oceans of genomic data, such as the reams of cancer mutations that genome-wide studies are publishing every week. The challenge is finding efficient ways to parse the signals from the noise.

There are efforts to fuse statistical mechanics and a learning algorithm into a mathematical toolkit that can turn cancer-mutation data into multidimensional models that show how specific mutations alter the social networks of proteins in cells. From this, biologists can deduce which mutations among the myriad mutations present in cancer cells might actually play a role in driving disease.

Statistical mechanics describes large phenomena by predicting the macroscopic properties of  microscopic components.