Tech

Ann Arbor, MI--Patients with a rare, blinding eye disease saw their vision improve after treatment with drugs to suppress their immune systems, according to researchers at the University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center. Because autoimmune retinopathy (AIR) is difficult to diagnose, the biggest challenge now is to find biologic markers that identify patients who can benefit from treatment.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Researchers have developed a technology that detects damage to critical suspension components in military vehicles simply by driving over a speed bumplike "diagnostic cleat" containing sensors.

"Our aim is to save time and maintenance costs, but more importantly to reduce downtime by catching damage before it leads to failure in the field," said Douglas Adams, an associate professor of mechanical engineering and director of Purdue University's Center for Systems Integrity.

NASA satellite data and a new modeling approach could improve weather forecasting and save more lives when future cyclones develop.

About 15 percent of the world's tropical cyclones occur in the northern Indian Ocean, but because of high population densities along low-lying coastlines, the storms have caused nearly 80 percent of cyclone-related deaths around the world. Incomplete atmospheric data for the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea make it difficult for regional forecasters to provide enough warning for mass evacuations.

Institute of Quantum Electronics, School of Electronics Engineering and Computer Science, Peking University, has proposed the concept, principles and techniques of active optical clock. The study is reported in Issue 54 (February, 2009) of Chinese Science Bulletin because of its significant research value.

Cambridge, Mass. – April 13, 2009 – Applied scientists at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) in collaboration with researchers from Hamamatsu Photonics in Hamamatsu City, Japan, have demonstrated, for the first time, lasers in which the direction of oscillation of the emitted radiation, known as polarization, can be designed and controlled at will. The innovation opens the door to a wide range of applications in photonics and communications. Harvard University has filed a broad patent on the invention.

STANFORD, Calif. — A drop of blood or a chunk of tissue smaller than the period at the end of this sentence may one day be all that is necessary to diagnose cancers and assess their response to treatment, say researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

About 80 percent of adults suffer from some form of periodontal, or gum disease, which can result in not just tooth loss, but has also been linked to heart disease, diabetes, blood infection, low birth-weight babies, cancer and most recently, obesity.

Screening for the disease is often costly, time-consuming and sometimes painful for the patient. But researchers at Temple University have found that a simple color-changing oral strip can help detect gum disease in a patient more quickly and easily than traditional screening methods.

Researchers at the Medical College of Wisconsin Biotechnology and Bioengineering Center in Milwaukee have just made the very expensive and promising area of protein research more accessible to scientists worldwide.

They have developed a set of free tools called ViPDAC (virtual proteomics data analysis cluster), to be used in combination with Amazon's inexpensive "cloud computing" service, which provides the option to rent processing time on its powerful servers; and free open-source software from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the University of Manitoba.

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- The ability to create tiny patterns is essential to the fabrication of computer chips and many other current and potential applications of nanotechnology. Yet, creating ever smaller features, through a widely-used process called photolithography, has required the use of ultraviolet light, which is difficult and expensive to work with.

PASADENA, Calif.--Scientists at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have trained computers to automatically analyze aggression and courtship in fruit flies, opening the way for researchers to perform large-scale, high-throughput screens for genes that control these innate behaviors. The program allows computers to examine half an hour of video footage of pairs of interacting flies in what is almost real time; characterizing the behavior of a new line of flies "by hand" might take a biologist more than 100 hours.

Physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have demonstrated a new ion trap that enables ions to go through an intersection while keeping their cool. Ten million times cooler than in prior similar trips, in fact.

Highlighting another challenge to the development of quantum computers, theorists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have shown* that a type of software operation, proposed as a solution to fundamental problems with the computers’ hardware, will not function as some designers had hoped.

By combining the results of a number of powerful techniques for studying material structure at the nanoscale, a team of researchers from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), working with colleagues in other federal labs and abroad, believe they have settled a long-standing debate over the source of the unique electronic properties of a material with potentially great importance for wireless communications.

The prairies offer opportunities for capitalizing on environmentally friendly farming practices and potentially useful agricultural waste to produce jobs, economic growth, commercial opportunities, and renewable energy sources, according to a perspective article published in the current issue of the International Journal of Private Law.

Ronald Griffin, Professor of Law at Washburn University, Topeka, Kansas, asks what can leaders do for a desperate and aging population in an environment faced with global warming to re-engage a region that blankets eight states.

ANN ARBOR, Mich.---A new, simpler programming language for wireless sensor networks is designed for easy use by geologists who might use them to monitor volcanoes and biologists who rely on them to understand birds' nesting behaviors, for example. Researchers at the University of Michigan and Northwestern University have written the language with the novice programmer in mind.