Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Why veins could replace fingerprints and retinas as most secure form of ID

Forget fingerprinting. Companies in Europe have begun to roll out an advanced biometric system from Japan that identifies people from the unique patterns of veins inside their fingers.

Finger vein authentication, introduced widely by Japanese banks in the last two years, is claimed to be the fastest and most secure biometric method. Developed by Hitachi, it verifies a person's identity based on the lattice work of minute blood vessels under the skin.

TimesOnline


Monday, November 10, 2008

Honda shows wearable device that helps you walk


TOKYO —

Imagine a bicycle seat connected by mechanical frames to a pair of shoes for an idea of how the new wearable assisted-walking gadget from Honda works.

The experimental device, unveiled Friday, is designed to support bodyweight, reduce stress on the knees and help people get up steps and stay in crouching positions.

Honda envisions the device being used by workers at auto or other factories. It showed a video of Honda employees wearing the device and bending to peer underneath vehicles on an assembly line.

Engineer Jun Ashihara also said the machine is useful for people standing in long lines and for people who run around to make deliveries.

“This should be as easy to use as a bicycle,” Ashihara said at Honda’s Tokyo headquarters. “It reduces stress, and you should feel less tired.”

Read on at Japan Today.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Japanese researchers make brain tissues from stem cells

The cerebral cortex created with embryonic stem cells is pictured under a fluorescent microscope at 40 times magnification, in this photograph provided by Riken.

Japanese researchers have succeeded in creating a cerebral cortex, the part of the brain involved in thinking and motion, from embryonic stem cells, providing hope for future treatment of brain-related diseases.

The process using embryonic stem cells, which can change into various other types of cells, was successfully carried out by Yoshiki Sasai and Mototsugu Eiraku, of the Riken Center for Developmental Biology in Kobe.

The cortex remained undeveloped, equivalent to that of a fetus, but it's the first time that researchers have ever created brain tissue involving different cell types, rather than single brain cells.

Researchers hope that the process will shed light on the how illnesses like Alzheimer's disease work and how they can be cured, as well as leading to treatments to lessen the aftereffects of strokes.


continue reading at mainichi.jp