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Cancer data in the 'cloud' could lead to more effective treatment

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TechAndComputer (Nov. 6, 2012) — Storing music and photos on distant computers via "cloud" technology is nothing new. But Johns Hopkins researchers are now using this tactic to collect detailed information from thousands of cancer cell samples. The goal is to help doctors make better predictions about how a patient's illness will progress and what type of treatment will be most effective.

The project, supported by a new $3.75 million National Cancer Institute grant, was launched because researchers now realize that cancer cells affecting the same type of tissue can behave differently in different patients. Prostate cancers may grow rapidly in one patient, but expand at a glacial pace in another. A drug that kills a tumor in...

Dance Dance Revolution makes a difference in kids' physical activity levels

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TechAndComputer (Oct. 1, 2012) — A study published in Pediatrics October 1 by researchers at the University of Montreal offers positive news for Wii-loving teenagers and their parents: games such as Wii Sports and Dance Dance Revolution can bring them closer to recommended physical activity levels. The study is the first of its kind. "Teenage exergamers -- people who play video games that require physical activity -- are most likely females who are stressed about their weight. On...

Bioengineers introduce 'Bi-Fi' -- The biological 'Internet'

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Bioengineers have created a biological mechanism to send genetic messages from cell to cell -- something they've nicknamed the biological Internet, or "Bi-Fi." (Credit: iStockphoto/VOLODYMYR GRINKO)

TechAndComputer (Sep. 27, 2012) — If you were a bacterium, the virus M13 might seem innocuous enough. It insinuates more than it invades, setting up shop like a freeloading houseguest, not a killer. Once inside it makes itself at home, eating your food, texting...

In search of the key word: Bursts of certain words within a text are what make them keywords

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TechAndComputer (July 17, 2012) — Human beings have the ability to convert complex phenomena into a one-dimensional sequence of letters and put it down in writing. In this process, keywords serve to convey the content of the text. How letters and words correlate with the subject of a text is something Eduardo Altmann and his colleagues from the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems have studied with the help of statistical methods.

They discovered that what...

More people staying connected on vacation

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TechAndComputer (June 8, 2012) — Scanning smartphones, tablets and laptops is as much a part of vacations as slathering on sunscreen, according to a Michigan State University study.

The results, which will appear in the forthcoming issue of Annals of Tourism Research, show that easy online access and ubiquitous personal devices have made the digital divide disappear, even for folks on holiday.

"Not that long ago, travelers would need to find a payphone or send postcards to...