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 PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2007 7:20 pm Reply with quote  
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  Ghostface
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Quote:

Scientists develop molecular implantable biocomputers

KurzweilAI.net, May 22, 2007


Researchers at Harvard and Princeton universities have taken a crucial step toward building biological computers, tiny implantable devices that can monitor the activities and characteristics of human cells.

the information provided by these "molecular doctors," constructed entirely of DNA, RNA, and proteins, could eventually revolutionize medicine by directing therapies only to diseased cells or tissues.



Evaluating Boolean logic equations inside cells, these molecular automata will detect anything from the presence of a mutated gene to the activity of genes within the cell. the biocomputers' "input" is RNA; the "output" molecules, indicating the presence of the telltale signals, are easily discernable with basic laboratory equipment.

"Currently, we have no tools for reading cellular signals," says Harvard's Yaakov 'Kobi' Benenson, a Bauer Fellow in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences' Center for Systems Biology. "These biocomputers can translate complex cellular signatures, such as activities of multiple genes, into a readily observed output. They can even be programmed to automatically translate that output into a concrete action, meaning they could either be used to label a cell for a clinician to treat or they could trigger therapeutic action themselves."

Molecular automata could allow doctors to specifically target only cancerous or diseased cells via a sophisticated integration of intracellular disease signals, leaving healthy cells completely unaffected.




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 PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2007 8:02 pm Reply with quote  
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  Gash jackel
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*insert orgasmic response*


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 PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2007 8:35 pm Reply with quote  
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  Ak!mbo
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At a loss for words here..
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 PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2007 1:57 am Reply with quote  
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  Ghostface
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NekOtaku wrote:
At a loss for words here..


Be sure to check this little animation out if you like what you just read Wink


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 PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2007 8:27 am Reply with quote  
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  Ak!mbo
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Animation? Where?
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 PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2007 2:12 pm Reply with quote  
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  Cadet SF
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Haha, jazzy stuff, medical nanobots FTW! (I know these aren't nanobots.)
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 PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2007 2:47 pm Reply with quote  
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  Ghostface
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NekOtaku wrote:
Animation? Where?


Oh dman, forgot to post it

here you go lol

http://www.news.harvard.edu/gazette/2007/05.24/photos/Benenson_animation.swf

There using biology to make AND and OR gates


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 PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2007 3:31 pm Reply with quote  
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  Stormtrooper of Death
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Ghostface, i think the video i saw of your link is just explaining a process that is already known by another word:
'chemical reaction'

Using certain chemicals does the same trick.
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 PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 10:51 pm Reply with quote  
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  Ghostface
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Quote:
New implant may 'bring music to the deaf'
14:54 12 June 2007
NewScientist.com news service
Tom Simonite

A simple change to the design of 'bionic ear' implants dramatically improves the quality of sound they provide, say researchers in the US who have tested a prototype on cats.

Around 100,000 people around the world have been fitted with conventional cochlear implants. These are built into the skull and tune into the signal produced by a wireless external microphone. the implant sits below the skin behind the ear and sends electrical signals to a set of electrodes coiled into the cochlear – the spiral organ in the ear that senses sound.

This process is far from perfect, however. These implants have a limited range of tones because it is difficult to insert the electrode array beyond the outer turns of the cochlea. the outer turns pick up the high frequencies, so people using today's implants are sensitive only to the highest tones.

In addition, the signals must travel through liquid in the cochlear and then through the organ’s bony wall to the nerves outside. "It is like talking to someone through a closed door – the signal gets muffled," says John Middlebrooks of the University of Michigan, US, who developed the new implant with Russell Snyder of the University of California, San Francisco, also US.

Increased range
the new device bypasses the cochlear and instead connects directly to the nerves that carry information to the brain.

Experiments in cats that compared the brain's response to the established designs with its response to the prototype show the new device dramatically improves the range of tones that can be heard.

"Current implant users do very well with speech in a quiet environment but struggle with background noise," Middlebrooks explains, "they also have very poor pitch perception and cannot appreciate music – in an environment like a crowded room, you use pitch to tune into a person's voice."

Experiments on 10 cats involved first recording the response of the brain to a range of tones. the cats were then deafened and the same tones were played with a conventional, and then experimental, implant installed.

Fully implantable?
Conventional implants only allow detection of tones as low as around 7 kHz, but the new implant allowed frequencies as low as 0.6kHz to be detected.
"We saw that the brain could detect a much greater range of frequencies," says Middlebrooks.

the new design also produced a cleaner/more specific response in the brain to a particular frequency, and used much less power to get results. "If we develop this for humans it would have much lower power demands, so it could be much smaller and perhaps fully implanted," says Middlebrooks.

Tests in which animals are fitted with the implants for periods of months are now planned.

"Cochlear implants themselves have provided a revolution," says Brian Lamb, director of the Royal National Institute for the Deaf. "These implants – if successfully transferred to people – could offer further, major benefits."


http://www.newscientisttech.com/article/dn...o-the-deaf.html


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 PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 11:22 pm Reply with quote  
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  Ak!mbo
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That's pretty cool.
Won't be long before we'll be able to improve our hearing beyond ranges previously allowed for man.
That'll be awesome, listening to sounds no human have heard before..
We probably won't be able to fathom what the Hell the noises are, as we've grown up getting used to a limited spectrum, so we might just feel irritated for no reason or we'll hear a lot of noise as our brains don't know how to interpret the signals.
It might even register them as pain..
But I rant.
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 PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2007 2:32 am Reply with quote  
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  Ghostface
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Quote:

Moulded connections could improve brain implants
17:18 13 June 2007
NewScientist.com news service
Tom Simonite

A liquid that sets into a conducting web around brain cells might solve the problem of wiring up medical implants to nerves or the brain, US researchers say.

Connecting electrodes to the nervous system is difficult because the tissue becomes inflamed when in contact with metal. This creates a layer of electrically insulating scar tissue that makes it harder to send or receive signals.

the problems typically get worse over time – solving them is important for medical treatments like deep-brain stimulation for conditions such as Parkinson's and for future prosthetic devices, like bionic eyes.

To get round the problem, researchers have tried making electrodes out of soft materials, or coating metals in drugs that reduce inflammation or promote neuron growth. But no solution is a clear winner.

In the course of experimenting with soft, rubbery electrodes, neuroscientists at the University of Michigan, US, had a new idea. Instead of connecting previously formed polymer to the neurons, why not build the rubbery electrode around them?

Flexible network

"We add the liquid precursor of the polymer to the tissue, and then have it assemble in place," says Sarah Richardson-Burns, who worked with colleagues Jeffrey Hendricks and David Martin on the new approach.

the polymer, PEDOT, assembles from a solution of monomers that assemble into polymer chains in response to electric current.

After testing that the monomer solution was not toxic to cells, the team allowed it to soak into cultures of mouse neurons, and living slices of brain tissue containing wires around which scar tissue had already formed.

Running a small current through the wires caused the monomers to form rubbery conductive polymer in a close-fitting web around the cells.

"It forms a network in the tiny gaps between cells," Richardson-Burns explains, "we think that will allow a better long-term connection."

Cell-friendly material
the results show that the PEDOT network can extend beyond the scarring around the wire electrode, providing a direct connection into the healthy tissue.

Tests so far indicate that the cells continue to live healthily for several days inside it, and that the polymer web allows a low-resistance electrical connection that should make communication easier.

Longer-term tests, eventually on animals, are planned. PEDOT has a rough surface not unlike biological tissue that should help its biocompatibility for long periods, Richardson-Burns says. "It is also possible to incorporate proteins or other components that could make it easier on cells," she adds.

Major step forwards
Electron microscope images suggest that even plain PEDOT interacts in some way with the framework known as the extracellular matrix that naturally surrounds cells.

Leslie Smith works on connecting neurons and electronics at Stirling University, Scotland, UK. "There are real problems with metal implanted electrodes," he told New Scientist. "This looks like a possible way of improving the connection between the tissue and the electrode."

But he adds that an even bigger challenge for the field is making implants capable of two-way communication with the brain or other parts of the nervous system – receiving signals, as well as sending them to the neural tissue.

"If this technology would allow low-impedance connections to real neurons, that would be a major step forward," Smith says.

Journal reference: Journal of Neural Engineering (Vol 4 pL6, doi:10.1088/1741-2560/4/2/L02)




source: http://www.newscientisttech.com/article/dn12056-moulded-connections-could-improve-brain-implants.html


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 PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 8:22 pm Reply with quote  
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  Ghostface
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Quote:

Jesse Sullivan tests a new bionic arm that provides the sensation of grip, allowing for more precise actions, such as placing a coin in a slot.

It's an ambitious deadline: By 2009, DARPA hopes to have a mechanical arm whose functionality is on par with a flesh-and-blood limb. A new arm developed by researchers at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) is just as ambitious, allowing its user to actually feel an object in his grasp.

Proto 1, the first prototype to come out of DARPA's prosthetic initiative, was tested by Jesse Sullivan, a lineman who lost both of his arms in an accident six years ago. Proto 1 was attached to nerves in Sullivan's chest and shoulder, much like prosthetics he's tested in the past. But instead of simply watching his fingers close on a plastic cup, Sullivan received direct sensory feedback, triggering the sensation of grip in the nerve receptors that map to his missing hand. Proto 1 also allows for more natural walking, since it can swing freely.

APL expects to complete Proto 2 by the end of the summer. That arm should be stronger, faster and more flexible, and will provide even more sensory feedback, including limb position and temperature. the catch: To accommodate more advanced prosthetics, users will need to become even more bionic, replacing surface electrodes with tiny sensors that will be implanted or injected into the body.


source: http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/health_medicine/4218218.html


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 PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2007 5:30 pm Reply with quote  
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  Gash jackel
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Sexy. Thats all I have to say


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 PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 4:48 pm Reply with quote  
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  Ghostface
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yeah

hot stuff


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 PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 10:15 am Reply with quote  
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  Vesper
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the number of sensors and cables in that picture worries me.
the features it has, makes me smile.
Good stuff, definitely worth following!
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