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Japan team reports quantum computing breakthrough

October 31, 2003

A research team in Japan says it has successfully demonstrated for the first time in the world in a solid-state device one of the two basic building blocks that will be needed to construct a viable quantum computer.

The team has built a controlled NOT (CNOT) gate, a fundamental building block for quantum computing. The CNOT gate is one of two gates used with quantum bits (qubits). The other,… read more

Nine eyes help robots to navigate

October 31, 2003

Researchers at the University of Maryland say a robot’s navigation skills could be vastly improved by giving it omnidirectional vision, using cameras in the back of their heads as well the front.

They have developd software that processes images from a set of cameras arranged on the surface of a sphere to give such omnidirectional vision.

Big Bang sounded like a deep hum

October 31, 2003

The Big Bang sounded more like a deep hum than a bang, according to an analysis of the radiation left over from the cataclysm.

Giant sound waves propagated through the blazing hot matter that filled the Universe shortly after the Big Bang. These squeezed and stretched matter.

Even though the Universe has been expanding and cooling ever since, the sound waves have left their imprint as temperature variations… read more

Processing at the Speed of Light

October 30, 2003

Lenslet, an Israeli startup, has developed a processor that uses optics instead of silicon.

It performs 8 trillion operations per second, equivalent to a supercomputer and 1,000 times faster than standard processors, with 256 lasers performing computations at light speed.

Target applications include high-resolution radar, electronic warfare, luggage screening at airports, video compression, weather forecasting and cellular base stations.

US develops lethal new viruses

October 30, 2003

A scientist funded by the US government has deliberately created an extremely deadly form of mousepox, a relative of the smallpox virus, through genetic engineering.

The new virus kills all mice even if they have been given antiviral drugs as well as vaccinated. The research brings closer the prospect of pox viruses that cause only mild infections in humans being turned into diseases lethal even to people who have… read more

Print yourself a roll of semiconductors?

October 29, 2003

Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center has developed a way to use inkjet printing techniques to create cheap, flexible sheets of transistors–a process that could radically change the way flat-panel screens are created.

The problem with abundance

October 28, 2003

What do traffic jams, obesity and spam have in common?

They are all problems caused by abundance in a world more attuned to scarcity. By achieving the goal of abundance, technology renders the natural checks and balances of scarcity obsolete.

Stem cells grown into tissues

October 28, 2003

MIT scientists today reported the first known success in using human embryonic stem cells to grow primitive versions of human organs and tissues. They say this represents a promising step toward the development of lab-engineered tissues that could one day eliminate some organ shortages.

The researchers, led by Robert Langer, created structures resembling young cartilage, liver, and neural tissues by growing cells on biodegradable polymer scaffolds — spongelike structures… read more

Will medical nanorobots be biocompatible?

October 28, 2003

The second volume in the Nanomedicine book series by Robert A. Freitas Jr. , Nanomedicine, Vol. IIA: Biocompatibility, has been published by Landes Bioscience.

This comprehensive technical book is timely, given the growing concerns in the environmental community about the biocompatibility of nanotechnology.

It describes the many possible responses of the human body to the in vivo introduction of future medical nanorobots. Such advanced… read more

‘Perfect solar storm’ sends massive eruption Earth’s way

October 28, 2003

The third most powerful solar flare ever recorded erupted from the Sun earlier today, and scientists say Earth could feel the effects with communications disruptions and loss of power.

A major geomagnetic storm is expected to happen when it reaches us on October 29th or 30th.

“It was slightly more powerful that the famous March 6, 1989 flare which was related to the disruption of the power grids… read more

Man who lost bionic arm waits to be rebuilt

October 28, 2003

Advances in technology are making the fiction of the Bionic Man a reality.

One prototype developed by Edinburgh-based Touch EMAS is able to sense electrical currents from a person’s shoulder muscles. Microchips can then translate them into specific movements of its joints.

Scientists at Duke University said this month that brain implants allowing severely disabled people to control prosthetic limbs with their minds could be ready for use… read more

Smart Dust Collecting in the Enterprise

October 28, 2003

Smart Dust — cubic millimeter-sized sensors, or “motes” — is making its way from the research labs and into the enterprise, courtesy of companies like Intel.

It combines radio frequency communication technology and MEMS to monitor situations where humans may not be able to go.

Wish You Were Here, See You There

October 28, 2003

There, Inc. has launched its vast virtual online 3-D world, “There.”

Zillions of Universes? Or Did Ours Get Lucky?

October 28, 2003

Cosmologists debated the controversial anthropic principle* at a recent conference, “The Future of Cosmology,” at Case Western Reserve University.

* An attempt to explain why the fundamental constants of physics and chemistry are fine-tuned to allow the universe and life at we know it to exist.

Sound-detecting hair cells grown in lab

October 28, 2003

Sound-detecting hair cells of the inner ear can be grown in the lab from embryonic stem cells, scientists have shown, creating a possible alternative to cochlear implants for treating deafness.

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