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Power from blood could lead to ‘human batteries’

August 5, 2003

Researchers in Japan are developing a method of drawing power from blood glucose, mimicking the way the body generates energy from food. Theoretically, it could allow a person to pump out 100 watts, ignoring body needs. The “bio-nano” generator could be used to run devices embedded in the body or sugar-fed robots.

A rationale for humans as power sources in The Matrix?

Researchers develop anti-cancer ‘nano cocktail’

January 5, 2010

A team of researchers in California and Massachusetts has developed a “cocktail” of different nanometer-sized particles that work in concert within the bloodstream to locate, adhere to and kill cancerous tumors.

The researchers designed one type of responder particle with strings of iron oxide, which they called “nanoworms,” that show up brightly in an MRI system, to identify the size and shape of a tumor before surgery. The second… read more

Nanowire Transistors Faster than Silicon

June 21, 2006

Researchers at Harvard University have shown that nanowire transistors can be at least four times speedier than conventional silicon devices.

The principal researcher, chemistry professor Charles Lieber, says this could lead to inexpensive, high-performance, flexible electronic circuitry for cell phones and displays. It could also save space and further increase speed, he says, by allowing memory, logic, and sensing layers to be assembled on the same chip.

Nanoparticles of a Different Stripe

May 30, 2008

Gold nanoparticles coated with alternating stripes of hydrophobic and hydrophilic molecules can penetrate cells without killing them, MIT researchers have found.

Such materials could offer a more effective way to deliver drugs or imaging agents to the interior of a cell.

Virtual reality helps stroke patients regain movement

November 19, 2010

New Jersey Institute of Techonology researchers used a robotic glove, together with various video games, to train four volunteers who had suffered stroke and lost near-total movement of their upper limbs.

All four participants showed improvements in movement after the task.

Total recall

August 15, 2003

“Tremendous promise exists for the development of hybrid technologies … in which self-assembling materials are integrated into existing manufacturing processes to deliver nanoscale control and meet exacting fabrication constraints,” says University of Wisconsin-Madison Prof. Paul Nealey.

Biologists merge methods, results from different disciplines to find new meaning in old data

January 12, 2010

New “synthetic science” methods combine concepts, tools, and data from multiple disciplines to extract new meaning from old data and produce new insights and discoveries.

For example, a database of more than 37,000 entries tracking the first and last appearance of different organisms in the fossil record led to previously undetermined knowledge of five separate mass extinctions through time, understanding of how major geologic events can increase or reduce… read more

Why We Must Flee the Planet: The Geometry of Earth is All Wrong

July 1, 2006

Our planetary home is the wrong shape, says SETI Institute’s Seth Shostak. A sphere has less surface area than any other form of the same volume.

Gerald O’Neill’s proposed mammoth, rotating aluminum cylinders in orbit have a very low tonnage-to-terran ratio. Rather than crowding a few billion people onto the moon, for example, where residents will have to contend with such domestic inconveniences as no air, no water, and… read more

Synthetic yeast to brew up vital malaria drug

June 5, 2008

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, and colleagues have added synthetic genes to yeast to make a key malaria drug.

The genes encode enzymes that enable sugar to be converted into a precursor to artemisinin, used to treat multi-drug resistant malaria. This synthetic organism could be producing enough artemisinin precursor to fulfill worldwide needs for the drug within three years.

Unlike traditional genetic engineering methods, the inserted… read more

Skulls gain virtual faces

August 25, 2003

Max Planck Institute for Computer Science researchers have computerized the process of reconstructing a face from the skull.

The method reverses the process used in facial modeling and animation of shaping anatomical structures to fit a given 3D skin model. It takes less than a day for a computer reconstruction compared to weeks for a traditional clay model.

S. Korean scientists develop walking robot maid

January 19, 2010


South Korean scientists have developed a walking robot called Mahru-Z that has a human-like body including a rotating head, arms, legs and six fingers plus three-dimensional vision and can clean a home, dump clothes in a washing machine and even heat food in a microwave.

Computers learn common sense

July 12, 2006

BBN Technologies has been awarded $5.5 million in funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) for the first phase of “Integrated Learner,” which will learn plans or processes after being shown a single example.

The goal is to combine specialised domain knowledge with common sense knowledge to create a reasoning system that learns as well as a person and can be applied to a variety of complex… read more

Star Trek HoloDeck 1.0 — HoloVizio 3D Makes Its Debut

June 10, 2008

Researchers with the EU-funded COHERENT project have developed the HoloVizio, a 3-D screen that can present realistic, animated 3-D images simultaneously to an unlimited number of freely moving viewers.

Viewers can walk around the screen in a wide field of view, seeing the objects and shadows moving continuously as in the normal perspective. It is even possible to look behind the objects; hidden details appear, while others disappear.… read more

Company is first to return spacecraft from orbit

December 10, 2010

NASA took a giant leap away from the spaceflight business Wednesday as a private company, SpaceX, launched a spacecraft into orbit and for the first time guided it safely back to Earth, a feat previously achieved only by large national governments.

Fuel-Cell Tech May Be Coming Soon

September 3, 2003

Japanese companies are pushing ahead with prototypes of miniaturized fuel cells they say will dramatically improve the battery life of laptop computers. Yet, some experts insist fuel-cell technology is still several years away.

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