No cash needed at this cafe. Students pay the tab with their personal data

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At Shiru Cafe in Providence, R.I., students “pay” for coffee, but not with money.

Shiru Cafe looks like a regular coffee shop. Inside, machines whir, baristas dispense caffeine and customers hammer away on laptops. But all of the customers are students, and there’s a reason for that. At Shiru Cafe, no college ID means no caffeine.

“We definitely have some people that walk in off the street that are a little confused and a little taken aback when we can’t sell them any coffee,” said Sarah Ferris, assistant manager at the Shiru Cafe branch in Providence, R.I., located near Brown University.

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Carbon Nanotube Patch Could Help Heal the Heart

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A tiny patch made out of carbon nanotubes may help regenerate heart cells.

According to research from Brown University, a conductive patch of carbon nanotubes can regenerate heart tissue growing in a dish.  The patch, made of tiny chains of carbon atoms that fold in on themselves, forming a tube, conducts electricity and mimics the rough surface of natural tissue. The more nanotubes the Brown researchers added to the patch, the more cells around it were able to regenerate.

 

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An Up-Close View of Seizures

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A tiny array of microelectrodes, shown here, was implanted into the brains of epilepsy patients,
allowing scientists to gather data about seizures at the level of single cells.

For the first time, scientists have recorded activity from hundreds of single cells in the human brain during a seizure. The research, published this week in Nature Neuroscience, is part of a growing movement to employ new technologies to study brain processes at the single-cell level, which until recently has been impossible to do in living humans.

In an epileptic seizure, the normally orderly activity of neurons goes haywire. The abnormal amounts of electricity that get discharged can be temporarily disabling. Scientists typically monitor human seizures using electroencephalogram (EEG), which measures electrical activity across millions of neurons at a time, an approach that has revealed much about the overall patterns of activity in seizures. But researchers hope that by studying single cells, they’ll learn how seizures spread…

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