Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Neurons and Computer Chips

Edinburgh University researchers have developed a technique whereby they can grow neurons in a specific pattern determined by a silicon chip. This is yet another small advance in this area of research - the interface between biology and computers.

The researchers were able to etch a pattern in silicon and then bath that chip in a bath of specific proteins. The proteins - likely including some growth factors and other hormones - coaxed the neurons to grow along the pre-determined pathways.

This represents an incremental technological step, but an important one. There are several research programs working on aspects of this technology - getting cells, whether neurons or stem cells, to grow how they want them to. Others are working on the interface of neurons and computer chips - getting them to talk to each other.

Physics Gets No Respect

Kind of a belated gripe, but something I was reminded of today that I forgot to blog when I first noticed it. I griped last year about the fomulaic nature of the "Best Science Writing" anthology, but I had no idea that the 2008 version would be worse.

OK, I haven't read it, but I leafed through it in the store, and there's not a chance that I would squander beer money on it: there isn't a single piece about physics in it. Not one of the 19 articles highlighted by special guest editor Sylvia Nasar is about physics. Or astronomy. Or geology. Or, really, anything that wasn't essentially biomedical.

This, in a year when there were approximately six million articles written about the turn-on of the LHC. I find it hard to believe that there was nothing of note written about the physical sciences.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

April's Partial Solar Eclipse

Solar Eclipse Posted by Hello

This picture was taken after the sun appeared from under a cloud just for second contact, using a Kodak Pro14n with a Nikon 80-400 VR at 300mm and low f-stop. Click to enlarge.

Solar Eclipse Posted by Hello

The image was taken through clouds with a Canon 10D digital SLR using a 280mm lens and a red filter. Click to enlarge.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Electromangnetic Spectrum Posted by Hello

Technical Diagram of a Space Craft  Posted by Hello

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Planet B Posted by Hello

The first image of a planet orbiting a Sun-like star has been captured by German scientists.
Nearly 150 planets have been found beyond the solar system but all except one of these have been discovered indirectly, either by observing the dimming of a star as the planet passes in front of it or by the star's wobble caused by the gravitational tug of an orbiting planet.
Imaging a planet directly is extremely hard because the glare of the star is many times brighter than light reflected by the planet. However, in the case of the star GQ Lupi, the planet is far from the star and is also young and warm, meaning it shows up quite brightly in infrared.
Ralph Neuhauser, at the Astrophysical Institute and University Observatory in Jena, Germany, and colleagues confirmed that the star’s companion really was a planet - and not just a faint star in the background – using two methods.
First, they discovered that the object, while warm, was colder than a star. Secondly, an array of images of the star taken from 1999 to 2004 by the Very Large Telescope in Chile, the Hubble space telescope and Japan's Subaru Telescope found that the distance between the objects had not changed, meaning they must be moving together.
“It appears to pass the observational tests for being a very low mass companion to its parent star," says Ray Jayawardhana, an expert in planet formation at the University of Toronto, Canada, who was not involved in the study.
"Now that we have a direct image, it's possible to start looking at what this planet’s atmosphere is made of and measure its temperature," he says. "It opens up a whole new arena for planetary science."

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Seti Posted by Hello
As a founder of SETI Bangladesh, I have been collecting and analyzing radio signals for the last five years, still didn't found anything, lolz, but I hope our quest will never end to find the truth about the importance of our existance in this universe, For more information please visit and dont forget to sign up under SETI Bangladesh, the number of members are increasing everyday.....