Tech

Researchers have developed a new technology that helps Parkinson's patients overcome a tendancy to speak too quietly by playing a recording of ambient sound, which resembles the noisy chatter of a restaurant full of patrons.

"People with Parkinson's disease commonly have voice and speech problems," said Jessica Huber, an associate professor in Purdue's Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences. "At some point in their disease they will have some form of voice or speech disorder that generally occurs a little later in the disease."

Researchers at INSERM (France) have engineered a chimeric protein that increases cell survival, migration and proliferation to improve stem cell engraftment. The results, which appear in the Experimental Biology and Medicine, show that TAT-Tpr-Met, a cell permeable form of the hepatocyte growth factor receptor can increase the number of hepatic stem cells integrated into the liver of the mouse.

AUSTIN, Texas –Solar cells could soon be produced more cheaply using nanoparticle "inks" that allow them to be printed like newspaper or painted onto the sides of buildings or rooftops to absorb electricity-producing sunlight.

Brian Korgel, a University of Texas at Austin chemical engineer, is hoping to cut costs to one-tenth of their current price by replacing the standard manufacturing process for solar cells – gas-phase deposition in a vacuum chamber, which requires high temperatures and is relatively expensive.

UCSF researchers have identified the two key circuits that control a cell's ability to adapt to changes in its environment, a finding that could have applications ranging from diabetes and autoimmune research to targeted drug development for complex diseases.

The new findings are featured in the journal "Cell" and are available at http://www.cell.com.

NASA and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, or AFOSR, have successfully launched a small rocket using an environmentally-friendly, safe propellant comprised of aluminum powder and water ice, called ALICE.

AMES, Iowa – Srinivas Aluru recently stepped between the two rows of six tall metal racks, opened up the silver doors and showed off the 3,200 computer processor cores that power Cystorm, Iowa State University's second supercomputer.

And there's a lot of raw power in those racks.

Cystorm, a Sun Microsystems machine, boasts a peak performance of 28.16 trillion calculations per second. That's five times the peak of CyBlue, an IBM Blue Gene/L supercomputer that's been on campus since early 2006 and uses 2,048 processors to do 5.7 trillion calculations per second.

Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore and Washington DC (August 21, 2009) – New, delicate surgery techniques to hunt for tumours could benefit from a lighter touch – but from a robot, rather than from a human hand. Canadian researchers have created a touchy-feely robot that detects tougher tumour tissue in half the time, and with 40% more accuracy than a human. The technique also minimises tissue damage.

Researchers are developing a Wearable Artificial Kidney for dialysis patients, reports an upcoming paper in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN). "Our vision of a technological breakthrough has materialized in the form of a Wearable Artificial Kidney, which provides continuous dialysis 24 hours a day, seven days a week," comments Victor Gura, MD (David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA).

Scientists are working to coax semiconductors to be more than conveyors of cell phone data. The goal is to have them actually perform some functions like magnets, such as data recording and electronic control. So far most of those effects could only be achieved at very cold temperatures: minus 260 degrees Celsius or more than 400 below zero Fahrenheit, likely too cold for most computer users.

Computer scientists have developed an inexpensive solution for diagnosing networking delays in data center networks as short as tens of millionths of seconds—delays that can lead to multi-million dollar losses for investment banks running automatic stock trading systems. Similar delays can delay parallel processing in high performance cluster computing applications run by Fortune 500 companies and universities.

University of California, San Diego and Purdue University computer scientists presented this work on August 20, 2009 at SIGCOMM, the premier networking conference.