Transcript by Newsy.com
BY STEVEN SPARKMAN
You're watching multisource tech news analysis from Newsy
Somehow Stephen Colbert manages to get all kinds of things named after him. Hockey mascots, treadmills in space, and now a remote control for worms.
Researchers at Harvard have developed a way to switch motor neurons on and off in a tiny wriggling roundworm. The system is called “Controlling Locomotion and Behavior in Real-Time,” or CoLBeRT, and it’s a breakthrough in a new field called optogenetics.
Optogenetics involves genetically engineering organisms, like roundworms or mice, to have light-sensitive proteins in particular cells. Researchers can then turn those cells on or off by exposing the organism to light, either by shining it on the whole organism or by directing it with fiber optic cables. (Video from: CoLBeRT)
But the roundworm C. elegans provides an opportunity to perform precise tests on a moving organism. Scientific American explains why this worm is so special.
“Because the worm's body is transparent, sharply focused lasers, pointed with an accuracy of 30 microns, could turn on or suppress individual neurons with no need for electrodes or other invasive methods.”
Shooting a laser at one particular cell in a moving animal is a tough chore, and that’s where the CoLBeRT program comes into play. Science News explains how it works.
“[A] computer program that the team developed figures out where in the microscope’s field of view a target cell is. Once the cell is pinpointed, the program directs lasers so that a tiny beam of light hits the cell. … As the worm’s position changes, that information is fed back into the computer program, and the laser is adjusted.”
This technique is helping scientists understand how cells work together to create complex behaviors and movements, like the wriggling of a worm.
For instance, here they activate two neurons which tell the worm it’s time to back up. By manipulating individual cells while a system is in motion, researchers can figure out exactly what each cell contributes to the whole. (Video from: CoLBeRT)
Naming a machine that turns cells on and off by remote after a TV personality makes sense when you think about it. After all, audiences can turn Stephen Colbert on and off with their remotes every night.
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the subliminal messages in the Colbert report and the Daily show
BY MARC STEIDLER
Comedy fans panic across the Internet, as Colbert Report reruns Wednesday and Thursday had fans asking, “Where’s Stephen?” KXAN has the story.
“Comedy Central has suspended production of the Colbert Report for at least two days. Sources say it’s due to an emergency in Stephen Colbert’s family, but that has not stopped widespread speculation on Twitter and Facebook.”
That speculation ranged from corporate cancellation to even rumors of his death(!). Colbert hasn’t let a fever stop him before...
“No matter how sick I am, I will not leave America hanging.”
…so LA’s KTTV explains why some might come up with such an extreme theory.
“In his seven year run the Colbert Report has never suspended a show, except as a joke while making fun of John McCain’s campaign suspension.”
Colbert’s normally active Twitter has been silent since Valentine’s Day. Culture blog Uproxx points out — his fans are practically having withdrawals.
“I hope Colbert is comforted knowing that he’s so loved by the internet that his absence caused a mass freak-out.”
And Fox News notes — suspended production comes at a bad time for Comedy Central, with primary season in full swing — saying the show...
“...achieves its highest ratings during election seasons.”
There’s no official word on when production will resume, although The Wall Street Journal reports it could begin again as early as next week.
Transcript by Newsy.
Actor Stephen Colbert sends a message to NASA.
in the GeniusRocket.com Primary.
GeniusRocket, the leading website for user-generated advertising, is giving away $18,000 to creators of political advertisements for the 2008 Presidential Candidates. Visit www.geniusrocket.com to vote by 12/12/07
* VIACOM adds shows to HULU.
* VERIZON, TIME WARNER CABLE, SPRINT NEXTEL to censor child porn.
* DISNEY to stream full length features online.
* NY TIMES and ADREADY team for self-serve advertising.
* FCC head continues push for free web.
Read more at http://www.ShellyPalmer.com
Why haven't you taken the challenge, Kepler? Do you think that just because you lived in sixteenth-century Germany that you're exempt? Not in MY America!
The (second) McCain green screen challenge on colbertnation.com: Make him seem "more young and vital by comparison" (with the background).
I think I failed when it comes to "more young by comparison", but he sure looks a lot better than the hideous background! ;-)
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(2-27-07) What's the word on Barr (BRL)? Lindsay finds out how to lock it down without wrapping it up. We miss you on YouTube, Colbert!
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