By Lynne Friedmann
U.S. wireless use is growing rapidly and if present trends continue, will outstrip capacity, causing congestion. This is the conclusion of a new report from the Global Information Industry Center at UCSD that examined the projected disconnect between U.S. wireless infrastructure capacity and consumer demand.
According to the report, “Point of View: Wireless Point of Disconnect,” even with advanced wireless technology, the capacity available to all network users in a given cell can be less than 1/000th the capacity of a wired connection.
The report highlights several strategies to address the disconnect between wireless demand and capacity such as increasing and optimizing available spectrum (could take decades to achieve), managing traffic and developing triage and prioritization protocols (price-based mechanisms could come into play), and increasing industry investment in more infrastructure, including cell towers and “backhaul” cables (would require community support).
“Point of View: Wireless Point of Disconnect” is available as a PDF download at
Nanoparticles seek, destroy
Glioblastoma is an aggressive form of brain cancer that often infiltrates surrounding brain tissue, making it extremely difficult to treat surgically or with chemotherapy or radiation.
To overcome this hurdle, Sanford-Burnham scientists and their collaborators at the Salk Institute have developed a method to combine a cell-killing peptide and a nanoparticle that both enhances tumor cell death and allows researchers to image the tumors. The linkage made it possible to specifically target tumors, virtually eliminating the killer peptide’s toxicity to normal tissues. When used to treat mice with glioblastoma, this new nanosystem eradicates most tumors in one model and significantly delays tumor development in another.
The findings appear in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. News release at
Mysterious, deep-sea life forms
A research expedition organized by Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UCSD has led to the sighting of gigantic amoebas at one of the deepest locations on Earth. During a July voyage to the Pacific Ocean’s Mariana Trench, the deepest region on the planet, Scripps researchers and National Geographic engineers deployed “Dropcams” — versatile, autonomous underwater cameras containing a high-definition camera and lighting inside of a thick-wall glass bubble sphere capable of withstanding more than eight tons per-square-inch pressure at extreme depth.
The device documented the deepest known existence of xenophyophores, the largest single-celled animals known to science — often exceeding 10 centimeters (4 inches) in size — at depths up to 10,641 meters (6.6 miles). Well suited to a life of darkness, low temperature, and high pressure in the deep sea, xenophyophores play host to diverse multicellular organisms. Finding these gigantic cells, in one of the deepest marine environments on the planet, opens up a new habitat for the study of biodiversity and extreme-environment adaptation. Visit
Lynne Friedmann is a science writer based in Solana Beach.