Mitchell Guttman, first author of the study and a graduate student at MIT and the Broad Institute, says that when the Broad team discovered more than 3,500 unique lincRNAs in the human and mouse genomes in 2009, "the potential was enormous, and we wanted to know what they could be doing."
To answer that question, the researchers focused on understanding lincRNAs' role in embryonic stem cells. Using a technique called RNA interference, they systematically shut down the function of each of more than 200 lincRNAs previously identified as playing a role in embryonic stem cells. They then profiled the genes expressed in the cells and studied their functions. They found that most lincRNAs have widespread effects on cells, and that they help control the fate of stem cells. The team identified about two dozen lincRNAs that help maintain the cell's pluripotency—its ability to beget all other kinds of cells—and a similar number of lincRNAs that repress genes involved in differentiating into other cell types.
It's wrist mounted and senses objects from about 1 inch (2 cm) to 10 feet (3.5m). It has generally fast response time (fractions of a second) to quickly navigate complex environments. It's designed to help a vision impaired person to navigate complex environments. Mounted to the back of the hand, the force feedback means it doesn't interfere with other assistance devices that mount elsewhere and use audio feedback cues. The learning curve is measured in seconds, everyone who has worn it has figured it out immediately.
Parallax has a really neat 8 core 32 bit CPU called the ‘Propeller’. It’s been out for a few years but it is gaining popularity. There is no security with the device as it boots insecurely via a UART or I2C EEPROM. None the less, we thought it was interesting to see an 8 core CPU decapsulated!
Arthur Sacek has created a 3D CNC router that with the exception of the actual milling bit, is built entirely from Lego Mindstorm robotics components. After the jump see a video of his machine in action milling a 3D mesh face created in Autodesk Softimage.
Checking blood glucose levels used to mean a finger prick and a test-strip, but researchers at the University of Tokyo are offering a different approach: a glowing skin implant. After being injected with the 1 mm wide filament, it monitors your blood sugar by glowing when your level changes. Based on existing glowing glucose sensor technology, this hydrogel fiber is considered more accurate and stable than its predecessors, plus it requires no oxygen to function. So far, it's worked in mice for up to 140 days. Note to future human patients: don't eat a candy bar before you go to bed unless you want your arm looking like a nightlight.
Inside the brain, information is processed in parallel, and computation and memory are entwined. Each neuron is connected to many others, and the strength of these connections changes constantly as the brain learns. These dynamics are thought to be crucial to learning and memory, and they are what the researchers sought to mimic in silicon. Conventional chips, by contrast, process one bit after another and shunt information between a discrete processor and memory components. The bigger a problem is, the larger the number of bits that must be shuffled around.
The IBM researchers have built and tested two demonstration chips that store and process information in a way that mimics a natural nervous system. The company says these early chips could be the building blocks for something much more ambitious: a computer the size of a shoebox that has about half the complexity of a human brain and consumes just one kilowatt of power. This is being developed with $21 million in funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, in collaboration with several universities.
While most 13-year-olds spend their free time playing video games or cruising Facebook, one 7th grader was trekking through the woods uncovering a mystery of science. After studying how trees branch in a very specific way, Aidan Dwyer created a solar cell tree that produces 20-50% more power than a uniform array of photovoltaic panels. His impressive results show that using a specific formula for distributing solar cells can drastically improve energy generation. The study earned Aidan a provisional U.S patent – it’s a rare find in the field of technology and a fantastic example of how biomimicry can drastically improve design.
Researchers at the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) have developed j5, a technology that automates and optimizes the design of the molecular biological process of cloning/constructing DNA. j5 enables users to benefit from multi-part scar-less SLIC, Gibson, CPEC, (combinatorial) Golden-gate assembly, or variants thereof, where automation software does not exist, without the current level of intense labor associated with the process. The j5 manual provides a step-by-step user’s guide and describes the software’s feature set in greater detail.
•Operating Systems: Win 98, ME, 2000, XP, Vista, Linux 2.4 or higher, Mac OS 8.6 or higher
•20 test strips included
While most home tests can detect a level of 15-50 mIU/mL of hCG, the enhanced methodology of the USB Pregnancy Test Kit can detect 5-50 mIU/mL, and will show you the exact concentration via its friendly onscreen interface. In addition, the LCD display on the device itself will light up and show you the symbol of a baby, no baby, or multiples and your Estimated Delivery Date based on the concentration of hCG, hCG-H, and LH in your urine. So you can clear your calendar in advance.
The Carzor (card + razor, get it?) features a small, lightweight razor with detachable blades and a tiny mirror on the reverse side of the blade storage space. When you find yourself stubbly before a big meeting, you only have to rotate the head of the razor, attach a blade and scrape those pesky chin hairs into oblivion.
What is OpenMP? Basically a standard compiler extension allowing one to easily distribute calculations over multiple processors in a shared-memory manner (this is especially important when dealing with large data — simple separate-process approach usually requires as many copies of the working data as there are threads, and this may easily be an overkill even in overall size, not to mention the time wasted for copying).
The magic of OpenMP is that once you have a C or Fortran code, in most cases you need nothing more than a few additional compiler flags — thus the code remains as portable and as readable as before the modification. And is usually just nice and simple, not counting few common parallelism traps and some quirks related to the fact we want it to work with R.
Good news DIYers, XBee now comes in WiFi flavors. The favorite wireless module of Arduino tinkerers everywhere is growing up and adding 802.11n to its normal compliment of RF and ZigBee options. Development kits are available now starting at $149 per board, with add-on modules like embedded or wire antennas and RF connectors clocking in at $49. It might not seem like a big deal to some of you out there, but anyone who's contemplated building a Tweet-a-Watt or a Yarn Monster will appreciate being able skip adding a ZigBee adapter to their PC. Check out the PR after the break.
The awesome science of microfluidics has the potential to revolutionize diagnostics, particularly in developing countries where well-equipped labs are hard to come by. Small, inexpensive and accurate diagnostic tools like this one from Columbia University researchers could save countless lives by detecting deadly diseases like HIV without the need for complicated equipment.
To date, research into the genetic cause of disease has been overwhelmingly white.
Of the participants in the most common type of genetic disease study, 96 percent are of European descent. Growing evidence suggests that the results of these studies, which encompass hundreds of thousands of people, may be less relevant or even irrelevant to those in other ethnic groups.
23andMe, a direct-to-consumer genetic testing company, aims to shift the balance. It will offer free testing to 10,000 African-Americans as part of a research initiative to expand the diversity of its genetic database. The company hopes the project, announced last week at the National Urban League conference in Boston, will shed light on the genetic basis of disease in this population. More than 1,000 people have signed up on the website in the week since the project was announced.