derGoldstein writes: From MIT's Technology Review: "New research from Yale University uncovers cellular changes that seem to underlie this type of memory loss in monkeys, and shows that it can be reversed with drugs. By delivering a certain chemical to the brain, researchers could make neurons in old monkeys behave like those in young monkeys. Clinical trials of a generic drug that mimics this effect are already underway. The findings support the idea that some of the brain changes that occur with aging are very specific—rather than being caused by a general decay throughout the brain—and can potentially be prevented."
derGoldstein writes: PhysOrg has an article detailing the latest discoveries relating to the super-flat substance with great potential: "...They use extremely high-quality graphene devices which are prepared by suspending sheets of graphene in a vacuum. This way most of the unwanted scattering mechanisms for electrons in graphene could be eliminated, thus enhancing the effect of electron-on-electron interaction. This is the first effect of its kind where the interactions between electrons in graphene could be clearly seen. The reason for such unique electronic properties is that electrons in this material are very different from those in any other metals. They mimic massless relativistic particles – such as photons."
derGoldstein writes: From Technology Review: "A new type of micro-endoscope lets scientists watch nerve cells and blood vessels deep inside the brain of a living animal over days, weeks, or even months. A team led by Mark Schnitzer, associate professor of biology and applied physics at Stanford University, developed the endoscope—an optical instrument used to peer into the body—along with a system to insert it into the same spot time after time. This feature allowed scientists to track changes in minute features, such as the connections between cells in the brain."
derGoldstein writes: La Subterranea is a project that uses lasers to map out underground structures: "La Subterranea, an ongoing research project which takes its name from a tunnel and viaduct system running underneath and through the city of Guanajuato, Mexico". They have a video of the area they've mapped so far. I imagine that one could take this geometry, along with photographic data, to create a virtual representation of the tunnel system. This could be a way to extend current 3D mapping projects like the ones in Google Earth and Bing Maps to incorporate underground and indoor environments. (via Make)
derGoldstein writes: Volcanic lightning has been observed before, but a new, miniature variant has been discovered: "It's unknown how the smaller sparks form, though one possibility is that electrically charged silica—an ingredient of magma—interacts with the atmosphere when it bursts out of Earth's crust".