FiReaNGeL writes: "Researchers have produced the first whole genome sequence of the 3 billion letters in the Neanderthal genome, and the initial analysis suggests that up to 2 percent of the DNA in the genome of present-day humans outside of Africa originated in Neanderthals or in Neanderthals' ancestors. The researchers compared DNA samples from the bones of three female Neanderthals who lived some 40,000 years ago in Europe to samples from five present-day humans from China, France, Papua New Guinea, southern Africa and western Africa. This provided the first genome-wide look at the similarities and differences of the closest evolutionary relative to humans, and maybe even identifying, for the first time, genetic variations that gave rise to modern humans."
FiReaNGeL writes: "Stuttering may be the result of a glitch in the day-to-day process by which cellular components in key regions of the brain are broken down and recycled. The study, led by researchers at the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders has identified three genes as a source of stuttering in volunteers in Pakistan, the United States, and England. Mutations in two of the genes have already been implicated in other rare metabolic disorders also involved in cell recycling, while mutations in a third, closely related, gene have now been shown to be associated for the first time with a disorder in humans. "This is the first study to pinpoint specific gene mutations as the potential cause of stuttering, a disorder that affects 3 million Americans, and by doing so, might lead to a dramatic expansion in our options for treatment."" Link to Original Source
FiReaNGeL writes: "Could humans one day walk on walls, like Spider-Man? A palm-sized device invented at Cornell that uses water surface tension as an adhesive bond just might make it possible. The device consists of a flat plate patterned with holes, each on the order of microns (one-millionth of a meter). A bottom plate holds a liquid reservoir, and in the middle is another porous layer. An electric field applied by a common 9-volt battery pumps water through the device and causes droplets to squeeze through the top layer. The surface tension of the exposed droplets makes the device grip another surface – much the way two wet glass slides stick together. To turn the adhesion off, the electric field is simply reversed, and the water is pulled back through the pores, breaking the tiny "bridges" created between the device and the other surface by the individual droplets." Link to Original Source
Barence writes: Intel has launched a new display technology called Wi-Di at CES. Intel Wireless Display (Wi-Di for short) uses Wi-Fi to wirelessly transmit video from PCs running Intel's latest generation of Core processors to HD television sets. Televisions will require a special adapter made by companies such as Netgear — which will cost around $100 — to receive the wireless video signals. Intel also revealed its optical interconnect technology, Light Peak, will be in PCs "in about a year".
FiReaNGeL writes: "String theory has come under fire in recent years. Promises have been made that have not been lived up to. Leiden theoretical physicists have now for the first time used string theory to describe a physical phenomenon. Their discovery has been reported in Science Express. 'This is superb. I have never experienced such euphoria.' Jan Zaanen makes no attempt to hide his enthusiasm. Together with Mihailo Cubrovic and Koenraad Schalm, he has successfully managed to shed light on a previously unexplained natural phenomeon using the mathematics of string theory: the quantum-critical state of electrons. This special state occurs in a material just before it becomes super-conductive at high temperature. Zaanen describes the quantum-critical state as a 'quantum soup', whereby the electrons form a collective independent of distances, where the electrons exhibit the same behaviour at small quantum mechanical scale or at macroscopic human scale." Link to Original Source
FiReaNGeL writes: "Inspired by the behavior of the human eye, computer scientists have developed a technique that lets computers see objects as fleeting as a butterfly or tropical fish with nearly double the accuracy and 10 times the speed of earlier methods. The linear solution to one of the most vexing challenges to advancing computer vision has direct applications in the fields of action and object recognition, surveillance, wide-base stereo microscopy and three-dimensional shape reconstruction. Previously, computer visualization relied on software that captured the live image then hunted through millions of possible object configurations to find a match. "When the human eye searches for an object it looks globally for the rough location, size and orientation of the object. Then it zeros in on the details," said Jiang, an assistant professor of computer science. "Our method behaves in a similar fashion, using a linear approximation to explore the search space globally and quickly; then it works to identify the moving object by frequently updating trust search regions."" Link to Original Source
FiReaNGeL writes: "Researchers have reconstructed atmospheric carbon dioxide levels over the past 2.1 million years in the sharpest detail yet, shedding new light on its role in the earth's cycles of cooling and warming. The study, in the June 19 issue of the journal Science, is the latest to rule out a drop in CO2 as the cause for earth's ice ages growing longer and more intense some 850,000 years ago. But it also confirms many researchers' suspicion that higher carbon dioxide levels coincided with warmer intervals during the study period. The authors show that peak CO2 levels over the last 2.1 million years averaged only 280 parts per million; but today, CO2 is at 385 parts per million, or 38% higher. This finding means that researchers will need to look back further in time for an analog to modern day climate change." Link to Original Source
FiReaNGeL writes: "Headphones for MP3 players placed within an inch of pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) may interfere with these devices, according to research presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2008. Researchers tested eight different models of MP3 player headphones (including both the clip-on and earbud variety) with iPods® on 60 defibrillator and pacemaker patients. They found a detectable interference with the device by the headphones in 14 patients, (23 percent). Specifically, they observed that 15 percent of the pacemaker patients and 30 percent of the defibrillator patients had a magnet response. Researchers suggest that patients should not place headphones in their pocket or drape them over their chest. For family members or friends of patients with implantable defibrillators, they should avoid wearing headphones and resting their head right on top of someone's device." Link to Original Source