Friday, October 28, 2011
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Saturday, August 27, 2011
Future Food Sources
Credit: Joanne Q Escober via Flickr
For those of you who are not big on flavor, there is always food in pill form. While a common detail in movies and books about the future, the ‘meal in a pill’ is actually already here, though probably not as you imagined it.
Researchers in the UK have developed a pill that provides the health benefits of eating a Mediterranean diet. According to the developers, each pill has the vitamins and minerals that you would get from eating six and a half pounds of tomatoes.
Memory-Erasing Drugs Worries Are Overblown, Some Ethicists Say
|Are ethicists' fears of memory manipulation drugs overblown? One researcher believes so and states his case praising memory altering research in this week's Nature commentary.|
CREDIT: Kreefax | Dreamstime
Memory-erasing drugs could do more than erase a bad memory; they could help treat mental ailments such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and one neuroethicist argues that these drugs should be developed and used, regardless of ethical concerns.
Though a magic bullet, erase-any-or-all-memory drug has yet to hit the market and is still decades away, scientists have made great strides in that direction, with one human trial under way for a drug called propranolol that can dampen post-traumatic-stress related negative memories. Other newly discovered brain pathways can be manipulated to ratchet memory up and down.
Solution for World's Water Woes
|Credit: Dassault Systemes/Georges Mougin|
"Iceberg, dead ahead!"
The cry that heralded the Titanic's doom may now signal hope for thirsty people around the world, if glaciologists and engineers can somehow harness flotillas of icebergs at the frozen corners of the Earth. Such a dream took a step forward recently when a French team simulated how to tow an iceberg from the Arctic to countries that need fresh drinking water.
Ambitions for making icebergs into the world's drinking fountains began with Saudi Prince Mohammed al Faisal in the 1970s. Al Faisal, nephew of Saudi Arabia's King Khalid, teamed up with French engineer Georges Mougin to create an ill-fated company based on tapping iceberg water. Since 2003, Mougin has resurrected the idea with the help of computer modeling from the French company Dassault Systemes.
X-Ray Microscope Enables Nanovision
|Magnetic domains appear like the repeating swirls of fingerprint ridges. As the spaces between the domains get smaller, computer engineers can store more data.|
CREDIT: UC San Diego
Forget X-ray glasses. A new X-ray microscope can see details a small as a billionth of a meter — without even using a lens.
Instead, the new microscope uses a powerful computer program to convert patterns from X-rays bouncing off materials into images of objects as small as a one nanometer across, on the scale of a few atoms.
Unlike Superman's X-ray vision, which allows him to look through walls to see the bad guys beyond, the new technology could be used to look at different elements inside a material, or to image viruses, cells and tissue in great detail, said study researcher Oleg Shpyrko, a physicist at the University of California, San Diego. But one of the most important applications is in nano-sized engineering, Shpyrko said.