Watch a virus-like particle try to enter a cell -- in 3D

It's one thing when a nature videographer captures a fast-moving creature in the wild and has to put up with the background images being blurry while the focus stays fixed on the object of interest. It's quite another when scientists are trying to sneak a peek at a virus as it interacts with the surface of a cell and want to focus on the virus and the cell simultaneously.

Now researchers at Princeton University say they've captured unprecedented 3D footage of a virus-like particle as it appears to try to enter a cell. To keep everything in … Read more

Smart syringe turns bright red to warn of prior use

First, the bad news: As much as 40 percent of the world's 40 billion injections administered every year are with unsterile, reused syringes, according to the World Health Organization.

Fortunately, people are working on better, tamper-proof syringes, and one of those -- the ABC Syringe -- holds such promise it is a finalist at this year's Index Awards in Denmark.

The syringe, designed by Dr. David Swann of Huddersfield University in England, comes in a nitrogen-filled pack, which ensures that the syringe is clear. But when exposed to air, the special ink in the syringe's barrel absorbs the carbon dioxide and, after 60 seconds of exposure, turns the barrel of the syringe a bright red to warn that it is now "used."… Read more

New tech can detect even viruses yet to be discovered

Sometimes a concept is simple but the tech behind it is not. This is the case with a new approach to identifying new viruses, which could ultimately lead to screening patients for viruses that haven't even been identified. (Think of the one currently rearing its deadly head in the Middle East.)

Researchers at Saint Louis University are using the next-gen sequencing approach transcriptome subtraction, and it really does employ basic arithmetic -- with very fancy tools. They take a human blood sample. Then they subtract the entire human genetic sequence from the genetic material in the sample. Then they … Read more

Infected Screen Saver is a cool old-school variation on the Matrix look

Matrix-style screensavers have been around almost as long as the "Matrix" movies, and in many variations of the original falling-code theme. It's an iconic look that says "computers" the way Greek columns say "buildings," and is just as easily renewed. Vastimil Burian's Infected Screen Saver is a good example. It's based on the original Matrix code look, but it "infects" your screen with code when it's activated. The effect is cool, of course, like the many "original" variations, but Infected Screen Saver is different. For starters, … Read more

Microsoft gives $75,000 to team building cloud-based stethoscope

Pneumonia, which claims the lives of more than 1.2 million children under the age of 5 every year, is the leading cause of death in children worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. And in certain regions, such as South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, pneumonia alone accounts for 85 percent of pediatric deaths.

So it comes as little surprise that Microsoft, through its Imagine Cup Grants program, has awarded its second-place prize of $75,000 to a team out of Australia that is developing a tool to diagnose the infection quickly and affordably. (The first-place prize went to a … Read more

Researchers unveil ultra-thin electronics that dissolve in body

The same researchers who last year developed "electronic tattoos" that bend and stretch on skin are now unveiling similar ultra-thin electronics, only these dissolve when their job is done.

Made of silicon, magnesium, and magnesium oxide and surrounded by a protective layer of silk, these "transient" electronics aren't built to last but rather to melt away and, in the process, reduce the need to pass or surgically remove tiny medical implants, researchers from Tufts and the University of Illinois write in the current issue of Science.

The researchers -- who have begun using their devices … Read more

Clean your machine with HitmanPro 3

Even if you run reliable antivirus software -- and you do, don't you? -- it's never a bad idea to have a supplemental program that can pick up malware that your regular antivirus application might miss. HitmanPro 3 (32-bit) is an easy-to-use program that can quickly scan for and remove a variety of nasty things that might be lurking on your computer.

HitmanPro 3 has an intuitive interface that makes it easy to get started. If you're ready to plow ahead with the default scan, just click Next. If you'd like to do some customizing, the … Read more

Facebook warns users of the end of the Internet via DNSChanger

Don't be alarmed if you open up your Facebook account and get a large warning message that says, "Your computer or network might be infected."

Facebook announced today that its security team has joined a consortium of computer security experts working to clean up malicious malware called DNSChanger. As a result, the social network can now notify victims, who may have infected computers, and help them figure out how to rid their networks of the botnet. (See full warning below).

"Facebook's Product Security Team is working constantly to protect users from malicious content and malware … Read more

Flashback malware infections drop to 30,000 Macs

UPDATE: New developments suggest the malware threat may not be as contained as previously thought.

The Flashback threat for OS X has been one of the biggest malware attacks on the platform to date, with an estimated 1 percent, or around 600,000 Mac systems, being affected at the peak of the malware's activity on April 9, 2012. Further analysis of the threat by security firm Kindsight has suggested that up to 1 in every 15 households with Macs in the U.S. may have been affected by this malware.

Since the initial reports of the Flashback findings, a … Read more

Operation Ghost Click DNS servers to remain online until July

Last year's DNSChanger malware scam was an effort by a small crime ring of Estonian nationals to steal personal information. The scam worked by distributing malware that when installed would change the user's DNS settings to point to the crime ring's rogue DNS network. Since the DNS system is essentially the Internet's phone book, this allowed the crime ring to route seemingly valid Web site URLs to malicious servers.

Using this malware, the crime ring was able to get personal information and use it to steal millions of dollars before the FBI's Operation Ghost Click stingRead more