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How to print stronger, bigger, conductive 3-D graphene structures for tissue engineering

Allows for graphene-printed scaffolds for regenerative medicine and other medical and electronic applications
May 20, 2015

3DG inks produced through elastomer solution-ft

Northwestern University researchers have developed a way to print large, robust 3-D structures with graphene-based ink.

The new method could allow for using graphene-printed scaffolds for regenerative medicine and other medical and electronic  applications.

“People have tried to print graphene before,” said Ramille Shah, assistant professor of materials science and engineering at the McCormick Schoolread more

Tunable liquid-metal antennas

May extend frequency ranges for mobile devices
May 21, 2015

This image shows the antenna, feed, and reservoir (credit: Jacob Adams)

Using electrochemistry, North Carolina State University (NCSU) researchers have created a reconfigurable, voltage-controlled liquid metal antenna that may play a role in future mobile devices and the coming Internet of Things.

By placing a positive or negative electrical voltage across the interface between the liquid metal and an electrolyte, they found that they could cause the liquid metal to spread (flow into a capillary) or contract, changing… read more

How to make continuous rolls of graphene for volume production

May 21, 2015

graphene process ft

A new graphene roll-to-roll continuous manufacturing process developed by MIT and University of Michigan researchers could finally take wonder-material graphene out of the lab and into practical commercial products.

The new process is an adaptation of a chemical vapor deposition method widely used to make graphene, using a small vacuum chamber into which a vapor containing carbon reacts on a horizontal substrate, such as a copper foil.… read more

New technology could fundamentally improve future wireless communications

Could increase data rates and network capacity, reduce power consumption, create cheaper devices, and enable global roaming
May 21, 2015

Novel full-duplex transceiver in the anechoic chamber (Credit: Sam Duckerin)

A new electronics technique that could allow a radio device to transmit and receive on the same channel at the same time (“full duplex,” or simultaneous, two-way transmission) has been developed by researchers at the University of Bristol’s Communication Systems and Networks research group. The technique can estimate and cancel out the interference from a device’s own transmission.

Today’s cell phones and other communication devices use twice as much of the radio… read more

NASA new CubeSat concept for planetary exploration

Tiny satellites to venture out beyond the low-earth-orbit limit
May 20, 2015

Technologist Jaime Esper and his team are planning to test the stability of a prototype entry vehicle —the Micro-Reentry Capsule (MIRCA) — this summer during a high-altitude balloon mission from Ft. Sumner, New Mexico. (Credits: NASA/Goddard)

Jaime Esper, a technologist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center has developed a CubeSat concept that would allow scientists to use less-expensive cubesat (tiny-satellite) technology to observe physical phenomena beyond the current low-Earth-orbit limit.

The CubeSat Application for Planetary Entry Missions (CAPE) concept involves a service module that would propel the spacecraft to its  target and a separate planetary entry probe… read more

Will robot pets replace the real thing?

May 20, 2015

Sony - A2

University of Melbourne animal welfare researcher Jean-Loup Rault, PhD says pets will soon become a luxury in an overpopulated, high-density world and the future may lie in robot pets that mimic the real thing.

“It might sound surreal for us to have robotic or virtual pets, but it could be totally normal for the next generation,” Rault said. “If 10 billion human beings live on the… read more

Nature inspires first artificial molecular pump

Simple design mimics pumping mechanism of life-sustaining proteins found in living cells
May 20, 2015

Stoddart-molecular-pump-ft

Northwestern University scientists have developed the first entirely artificial molecular pump, in which molecules pump other molecules. The pump might one day be used to power other molecular machines, such as artificial muscles.

The new machine mimics the pumping mechanism of proteins that move small molecules around living cells to metabolize and store energy from food. The artificial pump draws power from chemical reactions, driving molecules step-by-step… read more

‘Natural’ sounds improve mood and productivity, study finds

May 19, 2015

(credit: iStock)

Playing natural sounds such as flowing water in offices could boost worker moods and improve cognitive abilities in addition to providing speech privacy, according to a new study from researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

An increasing number of modern open-plan offices employ sound masking systems such as “white noise” that raise the background sound of a room so that speech is rendered unintelligible beyond a certain distance and distractions… read more

Wearables and electric vehicles may get boost from boron-infused graphene

May 19, 2015

Rice University scientists made this supercapacitor with interlocked "fingers" using a laser and writing the pattern into a boron-infused sheet of polyimide. The device may be suitable for flexible, wearable electronics. (Credit: Tour Group/Rice University)

Infusing the polymer in a laser-induced graphene supercapacitor (used to rapidly store and discharge electricity) with boric acid quadrupled the supercapacitor’s ability to store an electrical charge while greatly boosting its energy density (energy per unit volume), Rice University researchers have found.

The Rice lab of chemist James Tour uses commercial lasers to create thin, flexible supercapacitors by burning patterns into common polymers. The laser burns… read more

The geometry of immune system cloaking

MIT scientists find the optimal size and shape to cloak implantable devices and avoid immune rejection
May 19, 2015

The sugar polymers that make up the spheres in this image are designed to package and protect specially engineered cells that work to produce drugs and fight disease. While on-site, they must remain undetected by the body’s natural defense system. However, the reddish markers on the spheres’ surfaces indicate that immune cells (blue/green) have discovered these invaders and begun to block them off from the rest of the body. Further experiments with the spheres’ geometry and chemistry will lead to better invisibility cloaking and longer lasting protection for these cell-based factories. (Credit: Courtesy of the researchers)

A team of MIT researchers has come up with a way to reduce immune-system rejection of implantable devices used for for drug delivery, tissue engineering, or sensing.

Previous research found that smooth surfaces, especially spheres, are better — but counterintuively, larger spheres actually work better at reducing scar tissue, the researchers discovered.

“We were surprised by how much the size and shape of an implant can… read more

New graphene-like two-dimensional material could improve energy storage

May 18, 2015

Top view , illustrating the porous and layered structure of a highly conductive powder (Ni3(HITP)2), precursor to a new, tunable graphene analog. (Credit: Image courtesy of Mircea Dinc?, Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

MIT and Harvard University researchers have created a graphene-like electrically conductive. porous, layered material as possible new tool for storing energy and investigating the physics of unusual materials.

They synthesized the material using an organic molecule called HITP and nickel ions, forming a new compound: Ni3(HITP)2.

The new porous material is a crystalline, structurally tunable electrical conductor with a high surface area — features… read more

Unraveling the mysteries of spider-web strength and damage-resistant design

May 18, 2015

Scientists at MIT have developed a systematic approach to research the structure of spider silk, blending computational modeling and mechanical analysis to 3D-print synthetic spider webs. (Credit: Courtesy of the researchers)

MIT scientists have developed a systematic approach to research the structure of spider “silk” (which ounce for ounce, is stronger than steel) and how spiders optimize their own webs. The researchers are  blending computational modeling and mechanical analysis to 3D-print synthetic spider webs, with the goal of fabricating and testing synthetic spider-web structures.

“This is the first methodical exploration of its kind,” says Professor Markusread more

NASA challenges ‘makers’ to design 3-D printed habitats for deep-space exploration

May 18, 2015

Credit: NASA

NASA and the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute (America Makes) are holding a new $2.25 million competition, the 3-D Printed Habitat Challenge, to design and build a 3-D printed habitat for deep space exploration, including the agency’s journey to Mars.

The program is designed to advance the additive construction technology needed to create sustainable housing solutions for Earth and beyond. The idea is to… read more

3D-printed aerogels enable new energy-storage and nanoelectronic devices

May 15, 2015

Lawrence Livermore researchers have made graphene aerogel microlattices with an engineered architecture via a 3D printing technique known as direct ink writing (credit: Ryan Chen/LLNL)

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory researchers have made novel graphene aerogel microlattices with an engineered architecture, using a 3D printing technique known as “direct ink writing.” The research, which could lead to better energy storage, sensors, nanoelectronics, catalysis, and separations, is described in an open-access paper in the April 22 edition of the journal Nature Communications.

Lawrence Livermore National

read more

New evidence that electrical stimulation accelerates wound healing

May 15, 2015

After 10 days, the control would on the left and the ES treated on the right. (Credit: The University of Manchester)

The most detailed study to date of skin wound healing, conducted by University of Manchester scientists with 40 volunteers, has provided new evidence that electrical stimulation accelerates wound healing.

In the new research, half-centimeter harmless wounds were created on each upper arm of the volunteers.  One wound was left to heal normally, while the other was treated with electrical pulses* over a period of two weeks.  The… read more

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Latest blog posts

Ask Ray | Health technologies to support snoring

May 8, 2015

snoring - A2

Dear Ray,

I just read in Der Spiegel about all the technology going on in Silicon Valley, and the brains of thinkers there.

Now I lay in bed beside a snoring beloved person, my husband, and I think about the possibility to invent a cushion or some technology that can interrupt snoring — but in a comfortable way.

Snoring is a serious health problem. Normally I give… read more

Ask Ray | Future artificial intelligence acceptance or fear

May 5, 2015

The future of the human experience connects people and data. -- credit | iStock

Dear Ray,

Take a look at this article in Russia Today. In our film The Singularity Is Near — that we produced and wrote together — the “Jerry Garcia” character is wailing about cyberconscious citizenship.

I’m not sure what part of “we are merging together” these people don’t get! To me it is as obvious as the nose on my face. Funny how well we predicted and depicted… read more

Internet radio without the internet

High quality music service on Kickstarter to offer 40 million songs, using caching instead of streaming
March 23, 2015 by Amara D. Angelica

AIVVY headset (credit: AIVVY)

I got this post today from Martine Rothblatt, PhD, CEO of United Therapeutics:

” I am very excited. March 24, 2015 is Kickstarter launch for AIVVY — CEO in pictures showing me smartphone control interface.  I’m in! It is best audio streaming interface I’ve ever experienced, and compatible with Sirius XM.

“Lets you run/bike and listen to great audio without getting RF power across your skin from cellular… read more

Transhumanist position on human germline genetic modification

March 22, 2015 by James Hughes

(credit: pixabay)

Recently a group of scientists and an industry group have issued statements calling for a moratorium on human heritable or germline genetic modifications (see herehere and here), now that we have the powerful CRISPR technique to pursue such modifications.

These statements have been greeted rapturously by bioconservatives, who want to see a global ban on germline and enhancement genetic therapies.

Of… read more

Ask Ray | Futurist Martine Rothblatt, PhD discusses cyber consciousness

March 19, 2015

brain - A1

Dear readers,

I want to recommend this article in USA Today profiling Martine Rothblatt, PhD’s keynote at South by Southwest.

USA Today | Sirius founder envisions world of cyber clones, tech med

Her talk featured a roundup of concepts about the future of the human brain and the potential for people to interact through virtual avatars and recreations of an individual.

USA Todayread more

Ray Kurzweil music technology breakthroughs – inside story

Background on Kurzweil's Technical Grammy Award
February 8, 2015 by Amara D. Angelica

Kurzweil 250 prototype boards (credit: Kurzweil Music Systems/Young Chang)

In Fall 1983, visitors crammed into a packed demo on the fifth floor of the New York Hilton Hotel during the New York AES convention and marveled at the Kurzweil K250, noted Electronic Musician magazine in its March 2015 issue.

“The first ROM-based sampling keyboard to successfully reproduce the full complexity of acoustic instruments, the 250 offered natural-sounding pianos, thick drums, lush strings, and more, and its… read more

Ray Kurzweil receives 2015 Technical Grammy Award for outstanding achievements in music technology

February 7, 2015

Grammy Awards - 57th - logo

Ray Kurzweil received the 2015 Technical Grammy Award on February 7, 2015 for his outstanding achievements in the field of music technology.

One of his primary inventions paved the way for re-creating acoustic instruments with electronic equivalents.

The Technical Grammy Award is a Special Merit Award presented by vote of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences Trustees, for contributions of outstanding technical significance to the recording… read more

Machine Cognition and AI Ethics at AAAI 2015

February 4, 2015 by Melanie Swan

robot brain chip

The AAAI’s Twenty-Ninth Conference on Artificial Intelligence was held January 25–30, 2015 in Austin, Texas. Machine cognition was an important focal area covered in two workshops on AI and Ethics, and Beyond the Turing Test, and in a special track on Cognitive Systems.

Some of the most interesting emergent themes are discussed in this article.

Computational Ethicsread more

Ask Ray | Immortality via the singularity

February 3, 2015

(credit: iStock)

Dear Dr. Kurzweil,

Thank you so much for all your help, time, and encouragement throughout my paper and presentation. It was really exciting that you could be in my 7th grade presentation.

I realize as a Director of Engineering at Google you are very busy. I would love to visit Google. I really appreciate everything you have done and all the resources that you sent.

— Lucyread more

The future of the newsletter and e-mail

December 31, 2014 by Amara D. Angelica

Oculus Rift: millions sold in 2015? (credit: Samsung)

In “The return of the newsletter,” Wired notes today that with better spam filters and other tools, non-stop overload from Facebook and Twitter, and the death of RSS, newsletters are “making something of a comeback.”

The article mentions KurzweilAI News and nine other newsletters, including mini-AIR, the newsletter of the hilarious Annals of Improbable Research magazine, noted for its annual Ig Nobel Prizes (such as one earlier this… read more

Don’t fear artificial intelligence | by Ray Kurzweil

December 30, 2014 by Ray Kurzweil

Ray Kurzweil responds to concerns from Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking, Phd, on the future possibility of dangers from developments in artificial intelligence. This was also published in Time magazine’s Ideas section.

related reading:
Time | “Don’t fear artificial intelligence” by Ray Kurzweil

Don’t fear artificial intelligence
by Ray Kurzweil

Stephen Hawking, the pre-eminent physicist, recently warned that artificial intelligence… read more

We could get to the singularity in ten years

December 26, 2014 by Ben Goertzel

10 to Singuarlity

It would require a different way of thinking about the timing of the Singularity, says AGI pioneer Ben Goertzel, PhD. Rather than a predictive exercise, it would require thinking about it the way an athlete thinks about a game when going into it, or the way the Manhattan Project scientists thought at the start of the project.

This article, written in 2010, is excerpted with permission from Goertzel’s newread more

Explainer: what is 4D printing?

December 19, 2014 by Dan Raviv

Shapeshifting: 3D printed materials that change shape over time. (Credit: Dan Raviv/Scientific Reports)

Additive manufacturing — or 3D printing — is 30 years old this year. Today, it’s found not just in industry but in households, as the price of 3D printers has fallen below US$1,000. Knowing you can print almost anything, not just marks on paper, opens up unlimited opportunities for us to manufacture toys, household appliances and tools in our living rooms.

But there’s more that can be done with… read more

Ray Kurzweil receives IEEE Eta Kappa Nu honor society’s top honor

November 30, 2014

Saurabh Sinha, PhD, Chair of the IEEE Educational Activities Board; Ray Kurzweil, IEEE Eta Kappa Nu “Eminent Member” honoree; Karen Panetta, PhD, Chair of the IEEE Education Activities Board and Recognition Committee; John Orr, PhD, President of Eta Kappa Nu, the IEEE Honor Society. (credit: IEEE)

Ray Kurzweil was presented with the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Eta Kappa Nu honor society top honor, Eminent Member, at the 2014 IEEE Educational Activities Board Awards Ceremony. He received the honor for technical attainments and contributions to society through outstanding leadership in the profession of electrical and computer engineering.

The Induction and Awards presentation took place during the week of IEEE’s Meeting Series. Members of the… read more

Ask Ray | Living in virtual worlds as an avatar

November 19, 2014

Second Life - 1

Dear Mr. Kurzweil,

I’m in seventh grade, taking a research class called Da Vinci. I have to produce a 10 page annotated paper. I will produce a multimedia presentation on my topic.

My topic is immortality through genetics, nanotechnology and robotics with a special emphasis on artificial intelligence, such as living in a virtual world as an avatar.

Our teacher encouraged us to reach out to experts.… read more

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