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How to build your own super-computer

June 23, 2003

Grandmaster John Nunn has constructed his own chess computer based on two 2.8 GHz Xeon processors.

“One of the problems with currently available processors is that they are not particularly well suited to the integer calculations used for chess,” he said. “A Pentium 4 will be slower at chess than a Pentium 3 of an equivalent clock speed.” So although he switched from a dual-processor 1.2 GHz Pentium 3… read more

Senate Committee Approves Nanotech R&D Bill

June 23, 2003

The U.S. Senate Commerce Committee has approved a bill authorizing more than $2 billion over the next three years for nanotech research and development.

The 21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act (S. 189) would “authorize a coordinated inter-agency program that will support long-term nanoscale research and development.”

The bill is also intended to assure “continued United States global leadership in nanotechnology” and the country’s productivity… read more

$100 Million Donation Helps to Establish a Genome Institute

June 23, 2003

Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology will establish an institute intended to apply knowledge of the human genome to the practice of medicine.

The institute will try to determine the molecular causes of disease by systematically examining genes and proteins. That could lead to new ways to prevent and diagnose illnesses and to treat their causes rather than just their symptoms, as many medicines now do.

Savant for a Day

June 23, 2003

Cognitive scientist Allan Snyder has found that 40 percent of test subjects undergoing transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) exhibited extraordinary, and newfound, mental skills.

Creating the ‘world’s leading nanotechnology cluster’

June 20, 2003
Nano investors and developers meet to<br />
strategize the future of Silicon Valley

The convergence of biotech, infotech and nanotech in Northern California is the next big thing, according to speakers at a June 18 meeting organized by the Northern California Nanotechnology Initiative (NCnano).

This was the first in a series of Nanotechnology Leadership Conferences designed to bring together investors, entrepreneurs, and execs from companies and research labs to “create the world’s leading nanotechnology cluster.”

The event showcased nanotech-related… read more

Foresight urges you to contact your senator today

June 19, 2003

The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee will complete writing S. 189, a major nanotechnology bill today.

“This is your opportunity to provide input on whether molecular manufacturing — the advanced molecular nanotechnology expected to bring the most important results — is specifically mentioned in this bill,” says Christine Peterson, presdient of Foresight Institute.

“The House of Representatives has already passed its own nanotech bill, H.R. 766, which… read more

Signal Jammer

June 18, 2003

An academic experiment has lead to a new class of drug for attacking heart disease.

Researchers found that oxidants are involved in activating the genes that initiate the inflammatory process that causes atherosclerosis and that a modified form of an antioxidant, Probucol (an anticholesterol medication) blocks this process.

Nanotube chip could hold 10 gigabits

June 18, 2003

A nanoscale random access memory (NRAM) memory chip based on carbon nanotubes under development by Nantero would have a theoretical capacity of 10 gigabits of data and would be non-volatile.

To simplify fabrication, Nantero applies the nanotubes randomly across the entire surface of a silicon wafer. It then uses existing lithographic equipment to etch away the nanotubes that are not in the correct alignment.

Technology Elite Are Focusing Next on Human Body

June 17, 2003

The recent TEDMED conference focused on the premise that technology’s next big wave will arise from its intersection with medicine.

Examples of new products and services:

  • Key chains that store a person’s health records and plug into the USB port of any computer to display the information.
  • A computer-based armband that measures how many calories its wearer burns.
  • Genetic profile tests
  • read more

    Brain Experts Now Follow the Money

    June 17, 2003

    Neuroscientists are developing a new field of study, called neuroeconomics, to provide a theory of how people decide in economic and strategic situations.

    To explore economic decision making, researchers are scanning the brains of people as they engage in a variety of games designed by experimental economists.
    Some findings:

  • In making short-term predictions, neural systems tap into gut feelings and emotions.
  • The brain relies on
  • read more

    ‘Nano’ Suddenly a Gigantic Label

    June 17, 2003

    Nanotechnology has become one of the hottest areas in scientific research, pulling in billions of dollars in government, corporate and foundation cash.

    But Eric Drexler, the scientist who coined the term “nanotechnology,” says a lot of what passes for nano is just plain ol’ science, gussied up with a fancy name to rake in the bucks.

    Battelle Convenes Experts to Name Top Ten Innovations In National Security and Defense by 2012

    June 16, 2003

    According to a panel of experts convened by Battelle at the close of the recent war in Iraq, the top ten innovations in technology by the year 2012 will make military action faster and safer — with far less bloodshed and damage — resulting in greater American security at home and around the world.

    Computing’s Big Shift: Flexibility in the Chips

    June 16, 2003

    An emerging type of chip architecture known as adaptive, or reconfigurable, computing, could transform technology, combining the programmability of the microprocessor with the speed of dedicated hardware.

    With this new approach, software is able to effectively redraw a chip’s physical circuitry on the fly. Adaptive computing enables a single chip to perform tasks normally requiring several; it can add speed while saving cost and energy, compared to today’s conventional… read more

    New noninvasive scanning technique allows for optical biopsies

    June 16, 2003

    A new noninvasive microscopy technique that could lead to optical biopsies without removal of tissue is being reported by biophysical scientists at Cornell and Harvard universities.

    The researchers have demonstrated the new imaging technique by making live-tissue intrinsic fluorescence scans of autopsy samples from the brains of patients with Alzheimer’s disease and by imaging mammary gland tumors in mice that serve as models of human cancer.

    Scans can… read more

    Imaging nerve-cell growth and repair in vivo

    June 16, 2003

    Biophysics researchers at Cornell and Harvard researchers have proposed a new method of imaging the cytoskeletal infrastructure of nerve cells to map the nervous system as it develops and struggles to repair itself.

    The technique allows for in vivo images of the growth of microtubules by detecting the second harmonic generated from microtubules when hit by laser light.

    The technique could answer the puzzle about which errant pathways… read more

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