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Latest Washington University Stories

2011-02-28 08:41:34

(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- It sounds like science-fiction, but one researcher has used new technology that may someday allow patients with a prosthetic arm to move their limb by thought alone. Daniel Moran, Ph.D., associate professor of biomedical engineering and neurobiology in the School of Engineering & Applied Science at Washington University in St. Louis, and colleagues just completed a set of experiments that employed the use of brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) called EECoGs. These are...

2011-02-18 17:07:32

Mind over matter Daniel Moran has dedicated his career to developing the best brain-computer interface, or BCI, he possibly can. His motivation is simple but compelling. "My sophomore year in high school," Moran says, "a good friend and I were on the varsity baseball team. I broke my arm and was out for the season. I was feeling sorry for myself when he slide into home plate head first and broke his neck. "So I knew what I wanted to do when I was 15 years old, and all my career is just based...

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2011-02-13 08:40:20

By Diana Lutz, Washington University in St. Louis An ultrasound guide star and time-reversal mirror can focus light deep under the skin, a game-changing improvement in biomedical imaging technology Astronomers have a neat trick they sometimes use to compensate for the turbulence of the atmosphere that blurs images made by ground-based telescopes. They create an artificial star called a guide star and use its twinkling to compensate for the atmospheric turbulence. Lihong Wang, PhD, the Gene...

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2011-01-26 10:27:43

By Caroline Arbanas, Washington University in St. Louis Widespread vascular tumors, massive hemorrhage and death reported in mice A study by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has raised safety concerns about an investigational approach to treating cancer. The strategy takes aim at a key signaling pathway, called Notch, involved in forming new blood vessels that feed tumor growth. When researchers targeted the Notch1 signaling pathway in mice, the animals...

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2011-01-18 11:31:25

By Tony Fitzpatrick, Washington University in St. Louis Careful analysis shows seismometer noise includes signals from storms in the South Atlantic and 'footquakes' from soccer matches. If you wander up to a seismograph in a museum, unless you are lucky enough to be there right during an earthquake, all you will see is a small wiggly signal being recorded. What's inside the wiggles is called noise by seismologists, because the signal is always there and originates from the normal activity of...

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2011-01-11 12:00:51

A study published this week says that dying young was not the reason Neanderthals went extinct, adding that that early modern humans had about the same life expectancy as their hairier kin. Scientists have been puzzled over why the Neanderthals disappeared just as modern humans were making huge gains and moving into new parts of Africa and Europe, and some have speculated that a difference in longevity may have been the reason. The study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of...

2011-01-10 15:21:15

Scientists have invented a way to "Ëœwatch' proteins fold "” in less than thousandths of a second -- into the elaborate twisted shapes that determine their function. People have only 20,000 to 30,000 genes (the number is hotly contested), but they use those genes to make more than 2 million proteins. It's the protein molecules that domost of the work in the human cell. After all, the word protein comes from the Greek prota, meaning "of primary importance." Proteins are...

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2011-01-06 13:28:25

2 acceleration methods make scanning more than 7 times faster An international team of physicists and neuroscientists has reported a breakthrough in magnetic resonance imaging that allows brain scans more than seven times faster than currently possible. In a paper that appeared Dec. 20 in the journal PLoS ONE, a University of California, Berkeley, physicist and colleagues from the University of Minnesota and Oxford University in the United Kingdom describe two improvements that allow full...

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2010-12-22 10:09:04

By Diana Lutz, Washington University in St. Louis Experiments show that drilling mud that behaved more like quicksand and less like ketchup might have prevented the top-kill blowout On May 25th, 2010, the online arm of Upstream, a newspaper for the international oil and gas industry, reported that British Petroleum had started top-kill procedures on the Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico. "The company said that the operation, which will pump heavy mud down the wellbore in an attempt to gain...

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2010-12-13 07:35:00

Scientists have an ingenious explanation for the strange ridge belting Saturn's outermost moon, Iapetus For centuries, people wondered how the leopard got its spots. The consensus is pretty solid that evolution played a major role. But it's only been five years since the arrival of high-resolution Cassini Mission images of Saturn's bizarre moon Iapetus that the international planetary community has pondered the unique walnut shape of the large (735 kilometer radius) body, considered by many...


Word of the Day
attercop
  • A spider.
  • Figuratively, a peevish, testy, ill-natured person.
'Attercop' comes from the Old English 'atorcoppe,' where 'atter' means 'poison, venom' and‎ 'cop' means 'spider.' 'Coppa' is a derivative of 'cop,' top, summit, round head, or 'copp,' cup, vessel, which refers to 'the supposed venomous properties of spiders,' says the OED. 'Copp' is still found in the word 'cobweb.'
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