Scientists have developed a ew device which can listen to and stimulate electric current in the brain at the same time.

 

A new neurostimulator developed by engineers at the University of California, Berkeley, can listen to and stimulate electric current in the brain at the same time, potentially delivering fine-tuned treatments to patients with diseases like epilepsy and Parkinson’s. The new device, named the WAND, works like a "pacemaker for the brain," monitoring the brain’s electrical activity and delivering electrical stimulation if it detects something amiss.

 

 

Sourced through Scoop.it from: news.berkeley.edu

Researchers have found that neighboring cells can take over functions of damaged or missing insulin-producing cells. The discovery may lead to new treatments for diabetes.

 

Diabetes is caused by damaged or non-existing insulin cells inability to produce insulin, a hormone that is necessary in regulating blood sugar levels. Many diabetes patients take insulin supplements to regulate these levels. 

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.uib.no

Humans are not the only animals to build elaborate housing and grow crops—or to add carbon dioxide (CO2) to the atmosphere through their industry. A new study shows that the leaf-cutter ant Atta cephalotes is also a master builder and cultivator and a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions.

 

Found in ecosystems throughout the New World, Atta species excavate massive, several-meter-deep underground nests that include complex tunnels and chambers, exits, and entrances. The ants drag vast quantities of vegetation into the nests to feed their main food source: a fungus called Leucoagaricus gongylophorus. To maintain the proper concentrations of CO2 and oxygen belowground, the nests also feature air vents and chimney-like turrets that enhance ventilation.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: eos.org

Scientists in China have reported a major breakthrough in the quest for nuclear fusion technology, which would harness power through the same processes that occur within stars. At the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor in Hefei, China, researchers managed to heat hydrogen within the ‘artificial sun’ to a temperature of more than 100 million degrees Celsius, or 212 million degrees Fahrenheit, at which point it becomes plasma. The temperatures inside EAST are actually about seven times hotter than the center of the sun, where the added pressure from gravity allows for fusion to occur.

 

On Earth, extreme temperatures are necessary to produce nuclear fusion, which occurs when two nuclei come together to form a heavier nucleus. The fusion process releases vast amounts of heat and energy, the results of which we can see when we look up at the Sun, or any star in the night sky. The opposite of fusion is nuclear fission, which occurs when the nuclei of atoms split in a chain reaction. This process also releases extraordinary amounts of energy, and it’s currently used in nuclear weapons and power plants worldwide. However, nuclear fission leaves behind dangerous radioactive waste. Nuclear fusion is relatively clean.

 

That’s partly why scientists worldwide have been racing for years to develop a safe and reliable way to produce the conditions necessary for nuclear fusion, which in theory could someday give the world a virtually limitless supply of clean energy. The recent success at EAST represents an important step toward that goal.

 

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Sourced through Scoop.it from: bigthink.com

A new theory tries to explain the mysterious phenomena that exists at the center of black holes.

 

Black holes are among the most mysterious places in the universe; locations where the very fabric of space and time are warped so badly that not even light can escape from them. According to Einstein’s theory of general relativity, at their center lies a singularity, a place where the mass of many stars is crushed into a volume with exactly zero size. However, two recent physics papers, published on Dec.10 in the journals Physical Review Letters and Physical Review D, respectively, may make scientists reconsider what we think we know about black holes. Black holes might not last forever, and it’s possible that we’ve completely misunderstood their nature and what they look like at the center, according to the papers. [read: Stephen Hawking’s Most Far-Out Ideas About Black Holes]

 

 

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.livescience.com

Just like a lock can be picked, any biometric scanner can be fooled. Researchers have shown for years that the popular fingerprint sensors used to guard smartphones can be tricked sometimes, using a lifted print or a person’s digitized fingerprint data. But new findings from computer scientists at New York University’s Tandon School of Engineering could raise the stakes significantly.

 

 

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.wired.com