science + technology news

Revolutionary nanotechnology illuminates brain cells at work

May 31, 2005

Scientists at the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Plant Biology and Stanford University are using molecular sensors to view changes in brain chemical levels.

The sensors alter their 3-dimensional form upon binding with the neurotransmitter glutamate, which is then visible via a process known as fluorescence resonance energy transfer, or FRET.

Toyota Aims To Sell Service Robots By 2010

May 31, 2005

Toyota Motor Corp. aims to start selling robots that can help look after elderly people or serve tea to guests by 2010.

Without Apology, Leaping Ahead in Cloning

May 31, 2005

Dr. Woo Suk Hwang of South Korea hopes to use animal stem cells to treat spinal cord injuries in rats, dogs and, possibly, monkeys.

If the animal trials go well, he hopes to apply for permission in South Korea and the United States to start conducting human trials in two to three years.

Robot combined with swallowable camera could give docs a better look inside the small intestine

May 31, 2005

A Carnegie Mellon University engineer is developing a set of legs that could be incorporated into the swallowable camera-in-a-pill that has become available in the past four years for diagnosing gastrointestinal disorders in the small intestine.

The legs will form a tripod that could stop the capsule’s movement through the intestine, giving doctors a chance to take a closer look, or crawl as if it were an inchworm to… read more

Proving the Pollock

May 30, 2005

The claim that 32 of Jackson Pollock’s paintings – mostly from his spectacularly inventive “drip” period – have been discovered is a major event. The trouble is that Pollock experts cannot yet agree whether they are genuine.

Perhaps a test equivalent to the Turing Test should apply to paintings. This could matter, in the unlikely event that some of the canvasses turn out to have been produced by animals.… read more

Why China is poised to streak ahead of the West

May 30, 2005

China’s doing things the rest of us don’t even know about, and unless we change quickly they will streak past us, futurist Frank Ogden, aka Dr. Tomorrow, says.

“They are speeding ahead in so many areas because they have the ability to get big things done very quickly. They’re very smart, they think differently from us, and they have no restrictions on anything.

We also have to learn… read more

Bioscientists: Gods or Monsters?

May 30, 2005

In his new book, The Geneticist Who Played Hoops With My DNA … and Other Masterminds From the Frontiers of Biotech, journalist and author David Ewing Duncan chats with some of the most prominent and powerful life scientists in the United States about the human motivations behind their God-like endeavors.

Physicists control the flip of electron spin

May 30, 2005

Physicists have found a way to change the direction of the spin of an electron with an applied voltage.

They were able to manipulate how long it would take for the electron to flip its spin and emit a photon – from one to 20 nanoseconds.

The ability to control the spin of the electron help determine the properties of the photon, which in turn could have implications… read more

Hello Kitty, Hello Clone

May 30, 2005

Genetic Savings and Clone will create a clone cat for $32,000 and plans to produce its first cloned dog later this year.

Printing press spells out bugs’ behaviour

May 30, 2005

The world’s first bacterial printing press will print live bacteria onto solid surfaces in precise patterns, a technique that may help explain how bacteria influence each other spatially.

Understanding these relationships will help find ways of thwarting their attacks and using them to clean up pollutants.

Intel May Combine Silicon with Carbon Nanotubes

May 30, 2005

The Intel Research Strategic Research Project is evaluating the use of nanotubes and nanowires in future transistors.

Rise of the Plagiosphere

May 27, 2005

Emerging technologies are causing a shift in our mental ecology, one that will turn our culture into the plagiosphere: we look at our ideas with less wonder, and with a greater sense that others have already noted what we’re seeing for the first time.

The plagiosphere is arising from three movements: Web indexing, text matching, and paraphrase detection.

Nanoscale light tricks promise huge DVD storage

May 27, 2005

A patent issued to Iomega describes a disc that could store almost a terabyte of data — 40 to 100 times more information than a conventional DVD.

Iomega’s proposed Articulated Optical Digital Versatile Disc (AO-DVD) technology would use sub-wavelength surface bumps that slope at slightly different angles. This could be used to encode up to 100 times more information. The angles would be detected by analyzing light after it… read more

Attaching amino acids to electronic device materials

May 26, 2005

Researchers at Lucent Technologies’ Bell Laboratories has tested the adhesion of amino acids to semiconductors, metals and insulators used in electronic devices. The team used their results to design an inorganic nanostructure that selectively bound to a particular primary peptide sequence.

Their results could have applications ranging from biomolecular detection to biomolecular manipulation and basic biological molecule studies, such as X-ray analysis of proteins or intracellular peptide assays.

Scientists coax gold particles to emit light strong enough to view single nanoparticles

May 25, 2005

Researchers have demonstrated that gold particles comparable in size to a molecule can be induced to emit light so strongly that it is readily possible to observe a single nanoparticle, using a technique called multiphoton absorption induced luminescence.

This could allow for tracking a single molecule of a drug in a cell or other biological sample.

Other advantages of the technique are that the gold particles can be… read more

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