Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 10:36 am
Imagine a couple of million years ago, a curious young alien from the planet Zantar — let's call him a grad student — lands on Earth, looks around and asks, "Who's the brainiest critter on this planet? Relative to body size, who's got the biggest brain?"
On Monday, Google announced it had purchased Nest Labs for $3.2 billion. Nest is focused on the "automated home" concept, making smoke detectors and thermostats that connect to the Internet. Google's purchase signals a strong interest in this arena.
The chemical that was found last week to be contaminating the drinking water of hundreds of thousands of West Virginians is used to clean coal. But very little is known about how toxic it is to people or to the environment when it spills.
Dr. James Lechleiter, professor of cellular and structural biology at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio, has received a patent for a discovery that could be good news for injured soldiers, athletes and other trauma victims.
Lechleiter discovered that a class of compounds actually protects neurons in the brain after a traumatic brain injury.
The research on cell and animal models has shown that two compounds stimulate the brain’s caretaker cells, called astrocytes, to do their job.
Among the big companies spending the money to make a splash at CES was Sony. In its keynote address, Sony announced that its PlayStation 4 videogame console was beating Microsoft's Xbox One in sales. Sony claims it sold more than four million by year's end. In its own announcement, Microsoft claimed to have sold three million.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
Sony also amped-up its years-old talk about transforming the living room by unveiling plans for two new Cloud-based services. One is for gaming - it's called PlayStation Now.
Microsoft did not make an appearance at the Consumer Electronics Show in 2014, nearly absent from the trade show for the first time in many years. Audie Cornish talks with David Linthicum, a blogger at InfoWorld, about where things stand with Microsoft.