cortex writes: In the latest effort to build an artificial laboratory model of the brain, Australian researchers have developed a novel method for constructing layered biological structures that looks just like cerebral cortex tissue using a handheld 3D printer.
cortex writes: A 44-year-old man presented with a 2-week history of mild left leg weakness. At the age of 6 months, he had undergone a ventriculoatrial shunt, because of postnatal hydrocephalus of unknown cause. When he was 14 years old, he developed ataxia and paresis of the left leg, which resolved entirely after shunt revision. His neurological development and medical history were otherwise normal. He was a married father of two children, and worked as a civil servant. On neuropsychological testing, he proved to have an intelligence quotient (IQ) of 75: his verbal IQ was 84, and his performance IQ 70. CT and; MRI revealed massive enlargement of the lateral, third, and fourth ventricles, a very thin cortical mantle.
cortex writes: A Washington Post story covers a provocative new study that suggests that poverty affects brain structure in children and teenagers, with children growing up in the poorest households having smaller brains than those who live in affluence. An interesting follow on to an earlier study discussed on Slashdot.
cortex writes: If downloading movies may have been extremely difficult by Dec. 11, 2014, it may be because Swedish police have shut down the site, which uses peer-to-peer file sharing via BitTorrent protocol to host free media downloads of copyrighted material. Servers, computers and equipment were seized, making accessing the site ineffectual.
cortex writes: "XDA developers is reporting on a the release of a new smart phone, which runs a forked version of Google's Android operating system.
"Dell and Baidu, the Chinese search giant with over 80% marketshare in its home-country, unveiled the Streak Pro on Tuesday (via Computerworld). The device has a 4.3 AMOLED screen with 960×540 resolution and packs a 1.5 GHz dualcore Qualcomm processor. Most notably, however, is the operating system it runs: a forked Android version dubbed Baidu Yi, which replaces Google’s services with those of Baidu."
How will this impact Google's support for Android and open source in general?"
cortex writes: Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN), the world’s largest online retailer, unveiled its Kindle Fire tablet computer, taking aim at Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s bestselling iPad with a device that’s smaller and less than half the price.
The Kindle Fire will have a 7-inch display and sell for $199, compared with $499 for Apple’s cheapest iPad, Amazon executives said in interviews with Bloomberg Businessweek. The device, a souped-up version of the Kindle electronic- book reader, will run on Google Inc.’s Android software, the Seattle-based company said.
cortex writes: "We have some exciting news to share with you about Civilization for Facebook! As you can see from the new look of this page, the official title for our game is Civilization World (Civ World). Why a name change you say? The name better reflects the main theme of the game; in Civ World you will be joining your friends to form nations, which will compete with other player-nations to rule the world. Civ World’s shaping up to be a really fun Facebook game, as well as another addictive Civilization experience."
cortex writes: "In a first step toward helping severely paralyzed people communicate more easily, Utah researchers have shown that it is possible to translate recorded brain waves into words, using a grid of electrodes placed directly on the brain. The device could benefit people who have been paralyzed by stroke, Lou Gehrig's disease or trauma and are "locked in" — aware but unable to communicate except, perhaps, by blinking an eyelid or arduously moving a cursor to pick out letters or words from a list.
Researchers have made tremendous strides in developing ways for patients to move a computer cursor or even an artificial arm using electrodes implanted in the brain. But researchers have been reluctant to implant electrodes in the speech centers for fear of causing irreversible damage.
Some researchers have been attempting to "read" speech centers in the brain using electrodes placed on the scalp. But such electrodes "are so far away from the electrical activity that it gets blurred out," Greger said.
He and his colleagues instead use arrays of tiny microelectrodes that are placed in contact with the brain, but not implanted. In the current study, they used two arrays, each with 16 microelectrodes."