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The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2013

October 9, 2013

Martin Karplus

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2013 was awarded jointly to Martin Karplus, Michael Levitt and Arieh Warshel for the development of multiscale models for complex chemical systems.”

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The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2014: beyond the diffraction limit in microscopy

October 10, 2014

The principle of single-molecule microscopy (credit: Johan Jarnestad /The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences)

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 2014 to three scientists for the development of super-resolved fluorescence microscopy: Eric Betzig, Janelia Research Campus, Howard Hughes Medical Institute; Stefan W. Hell, Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry and German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg;  and William E. Moerner, Stanford University.

The Prize amount: SEK 8 million (US$1.1 million or… read more

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2012 awarded to Gurdon, Yamanaka

October 9, 2012

Gurdon - Yamanaka

The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet has awarded The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2012 jointly to John B. Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka for the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent.

The Nobel Prize recognizes two scientists who discovered that mature, specialized cells can be reprogrammed to become immature cells capable of developing into all tissues of the body. Their findings have revolutionized our… read more

The nonhuman touch

January 11, 2007

In experiments across the country, robots are providing the human caring touch to patients who need more help than there are therapists and nurses: stroke victims, autistic children, and the elderly.

The NSA is building the country’s biggest spy center (watch what you say)

March 19, 2012

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The Utah Data Center, being built for the National Security Agency, is intended to intercept, decipher, analyze, and store vast swaths of the world’s communications. The heavily fortified $2 billion center should be operational in September 2013.

It has established warrantless listening posts throughout the nation to collect and sift through billions of email messages and phone calls, whether they originate within the country or overseas in a program codenamed… read more

The Octopus as Eyewitness

September 29, 2003

A silicon chip that mimics the structure and functionality of an octopus retina has been created by Albert Titus, an assistant professor of electrical engineering at the University at Buffalo.

The “o-retina” chip can process images just like an octopus eye does. It could give sight to rescue or research robots, allowing them to see more clearly than human eyes.

His ultimate goal: build a complete artificial vision… read more

The Odds It Will Kill You? See New Charts

September 2, 2008

New risk charts in a paper published in The Journal of the National Cancer Institute provide a broader perspective than most of the risk calculators on the Internet, because they cover the risks for 10 different causes of death, and for all causes combined, while differentiating by age and between smokers, nonsmokers and former smokers.

The Opposite of Doping

February 17, 2006

By measuring hormone and other chemical levels before, during and after tough workouts, trainers can precisely tailor an athlete’s regimen.

Scientists at HortResearch in New Zealand are developing a non-invasive and painless method of doing that. Some trainers are already using Hort’s technology by measuring testosterone, cortisol and creatin kinase.

The ultimate goal is to create a portable, non-invasive, ultrasound testing device that can test athletes in real… read more

The Origin of Religions, From a Distinctly Darwinian View

December 24, 2002

Dr. David Sloan Wilson of Binghamton University, a renowned evolutionary biologist, argues that the religious impulse evolved early in hominid history because it helped make groups of humans comparatively more cohesive, more cooperative and more fraternal, and thus able to present a formidable front against bands of less organized or unified adversaries.

The Other Exponentials

October 26, 2004

There are other significant exponentials in IT besides Moore’s law and they suggest opportunities for new research and new business models, says Rodney Brooks.

For example, today’s iPod could store 20,000 books. But just 10 years from now, an iPod might be able to hold 20 million books. By 2017, you’ll be able to carry around the complete text for all the volumes in the Library of Congress.… read more

The Pentagon as Silicon Valley’s incubator

August 29, 2013

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In the last year, former Department of Defense and intelligence agency operatives have headed to Silicon Valley to create technology start-ups specializing in tools aimed at thwarting online threats, The New York Times reports.

In 2012, more than $1 billion in venture financing poured into security start-ups.

Two of the start-ups are Synack and Morta Security, both founded by persons formerly connected… read more

The Pentagon wants your advice on tech for the year 2030 time frame

December 4, 2014

(Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) is asking for ideas from the private sector on breakthrough technologies to guide military investment for the next decade and beyond, according to an article by futurist Patrick Tucker Wednesday in Defense One newsletter.

“On Wednesday, Defense Department officials issued a request for information calling on interested parties ‘to identify current and emerging technologies … that could provide significant military advantage to the United… read more

The People vs. Pixel

June 13, 2005

Can actors be replaced with digital replicas?

“We’ve never been able to teach a computer to act,” George Lucas says. “It’s a talent, it’s a skill, it’s something you learn, it’s something you’re born with, and I don’t see in the foreseeable future that computers can become human enough in their artificial intelligence to have the same crazed psychology you need in order to relate to other people, so… read more

The Perfect Human

December 27, 2006

Dean Karnazes ran 50 marathons in 50 days. He does 200 miles just for fun. He’ll race in 120-degree heat. 12 secrets to his success.

The Personal Genome Project Has a Growth Spurt

May 19, 2009

13,000 people are in the process of enrolling in Harvard University genomics pioneer George Church’s personal genome project (PGP), which involves having the coding region of your genome sequenced, and then sharing it, along with medical records and other information, in an open-access database for analysis by geneticists and others around the world.

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