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Thinnest-possible nanomembrane produced

May allow for functional waterproof clothing and ultra-rapid filtration
April 18, 2014

Part of a graphene membrane with a multiplicity of pores (black) of precisely defined size (in this case with a diameter of 50 nanometres; photomicrograph (credit: Celebi K. et al. Science 2014)

ETH Zurich, Empa, LG Electronics researchers  have created the thinnest-possible nanomembrane. Made out of graphene, it is extremely light and breathable, and could lead to a new generation of functional waterproof clothing and ultra-rapid filtration.

The stable porous membrane consists of two layers of  graphene, a two-dimensional film made of carbon atoms, on which the researchers etched tiny pores of a precisely defined size to allow for… read more

Thinning brain areas and high levels of C-reactive protein indicate cognitive decline

April 14, 2011

Researchers in two studies have found two biomarkers of cognitive decline: thinner brain areas associated with Alzheimer’s and high levels of C-reactive protein.

Researchers from Rush University Medical Center and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) have found that the risk of developing Alzheimer’s was three times greater for individuals for whom areas of the cerebral cortex associated with Alzheimer’s in previous studies were thinnest,… read more

‘Thirst for knowledge’ may be opium craving

June 21, 2006

Neuroscientists have proposed a simple explanation for the pleasure of grasping a new concept: The brain is getting its fix.

The “click” of comprehension triggers a biochemical cascade that rewards the brain with a shot of natural opium-like substances, said Irving Biederman of the University of Southern California.

Thirty years with computers

May 28, 2004

“According to Moore’s Law, computer power doubles every 18 months, meaning that computers will be a million times more powerful by 2034,” estimates computer useability expert Jakob Nielsen.

“According to Nielsen’s Law of Internet bandwidth, connectivity to the home grows by 50 percent per year; by 2034, we’ll have 200,000 times more bandwidth.

“That same year, I’ll own a computer that runs at 3PHz CPU speed, has a… read more

This Ain’t Woody Allen’s Orb

April 19, 2004

Proponents of ubiquitous computing hope to build computers into objects that fit naturally into daily life. One application is Ambient Devices’ Orb, a large glowing egg that tracks trends in a variety of subjects (such as stock-market performance) and transmits the information visually.

The idea behind Orb came out of MIT’s Media Lab, where “Tangible Bits” research led by professor Hiroshi Ishii aims to replace computers’ graphical user interface… read more

This Beer Knows Where You’ve Been

July 2, 2010

Chemical traces in your hair can be used to track your visits to different locations, because water molecules differ slightly in their isotope ratios depending on the minerals at their source.

Such information could help prosecutors place a suspect at the scene of a crime, or prove the innocence of the accused.

Another Gattaca moment? – Ed.

This box sends your health data straight to the cloud

December 12, 2011


A new platform from Qualcomm called 2net uses a simple box in the home that detect signals from medical monitoring devices of dozens of makers, and dispatches them by cellular connection to a cloud database that can be accessed by medical staff as well as patients.


This Computer May Be Too Smart

July 17, 2006

University of Cambridge scientist Professor Peter Robinson has developed a “mind-reading” computer that can interpret reactions and feelings by analyzing a person’s facial movements.

This crop revolution may succeed where GM failed

October 30, 2006

New agricultural technology called marker-assisted selection (MAS) offers a sophisticated method to greatly accelerate classical breeding.

A growing number of scientists believe MAS will eventually replace GM food.

Rapidly accumulating information about crop genomes is allowing scientists to identify genes associated with traits such as yield, and then scan crop relatives for the presence of those genes.

‘This house wants to defeat aging entirely’: de Grey vs. Blakemore

April 24, 2012

Aubrey de Grey

Oxford University Scientific Society is hosting a debate on Wednesday, April, 25, 2012, addressing whether aging should be a target of decisive medical intervention — raising the possibility of substantial extension of human lifespan.

Dr. Aubrey de Grey will propose the motion, “This house wants to defeat aging entirely“ and Professor Colin Blakemore will be opposing. The debate will be chaired and moderated by Professor Sir Richard… read more

This Is a Computer on Your Brain

July 13, 2006

Researchers at Columbia University are combining the processing power of the human brain with computer vision to develop a novel device that will allow people to search through images ten times faster than they can on their own.

The “cortically coupled computer vision system,” known as C3 Vision, harnesses the brain’s well-known ability to recognize an image much faster than the person can identify it.

This Is how Dennis Tito plans to send people to Mars

February 28, 2013


If Dennis Tito has his way, two people will leave our planet in January 2018 and make a trip to Mars and back, with a quick flyby, SpaceRef reports.

The project is being spearheaded by a non-profit organization, the Inspiration Mars Foundation.

Tito’s mission will be facilitated by donors, not investors.

Tito and a group of coauthors from NASA and several aerospace companies… read more

This is the gyro-stabilized, two-wheeled future of transportation

May 30, 2012

C1 (credit: Jon Synder/Wired/creative commons)

Motors’ C1 fully electric, fully enclosed, two-wheeled two-seater, due out in 2014, features  two gyroscopes that keep the C1 roll-stabilized, with a range of 220 miles between charges, reports Wired AUTOPIA. Estimated initial price: $24K.


This is what Wall Street’s terrifying robot invasion looks like

August 8, 2012


This animated GIF chronicles the rise of the HFT Algo Machines from January 2007 through January 2012 (credit: Nanex Research, hosted by

Given the the endless mind-whirling acronyms, derivatives and structures of the financial markets, we’re rarely served with a visualization that so elegantly illustrates the arrival of Wall Street’s latest innovation.

This is what high frequency trading looks like, when specially… read more

This Is Your Brain on Drugs

June 1, 2004

Scientists are developing technology to peer into the brains of people taking antidepressants, hoping to cut down on the arduous process of evaluating the drugs.

Aspect Medical Systems has developed a system to do that based on the EEG, which records the firing of brain cells in the frontal lobe, blood flow and other activity. It uses a disposable strip of electrodes that affixes to the forehead and feeds… read more

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