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2012 Prophecies Sparking Real Fears, Suicide Warnings

November 10, 2009

Scenes from the motion picture "2012" (Columbia Pictures)

Amid the hype — including a viral marketing campaign for 2012, the disaster movie opening Friday, with bogus scientific organizations, press releases, and 2012 whistle-blowers –some people are developing “end times” anxiety that has experts seriously concerned.

NASA’s Nibiru and Doomsday 2012: Questions and Answers and 2012: Beginning of the End or Why the World Won’t End? web pages seek to debunk stories about the… read more

The New Pet Craze: Robovacs

July 1, 2003

The two leading robovac manufacturers — iRobot and Electrolux –- report that owners treat their robovacs (robot vacuum cleaners) somewhat like pets. Scientists believe that robot pets trigger a hard-wired nurturing response in humans.

Safer Prenatal Testing

April 25, 2008
Fetal cell with three copies of chromosome 21, found in the mother

Sequenom and Biocept researchers have built noninvasive prenatal genetic tests that can detect defects with a simple blood-draw from the mother, rather than invasively sampling amniotic fluid.

They have adapted methods from Chinese University of Hong Kong scientists in finding free-floating nucleic acids to diagnose Down syndrome and Rh-encoding genes to diagnose HR incompatibility syndrome.

Biocept uses microfluidics and sticky antibodies to capture fetal cells that… read more

Japanese researcher shows robot legs that could replace wheelchairs

April 26, 2006

A Japanese researcher demonstrated in Tokyo Wednesday a pair of robotic legs that can negotiate stairs and could eventually find use as a wheelchair substitute.

Google Submits Second Proposal for Library of the Future

November 17, 2009

Google and a coalition of authors and publishers are hoping a second draft of a legal settlement will clear the way through a thicket of copyright laws to let Google build the library of the future.

Intel keeping options open at 32-nm node

July 14, 2003

Despite its decision to pass on 157-nm lithography at the 45-nm node, Intel Corp. is “keeping all of its options open” for the 32-nm node, which moves into volume production toward the end of this decade.

Intel Strikes New Accord with Cray

April 29, 2008

Intel has struck a new agreement with Cray that the companies hope will lead to technological breakthroughs in the field of supercomputers and high-performance computing.

Kirk Skaugen, vice president of Intel’s Digital Enterprise Group, said their combined technology could lead to supercomputers that should easily pass a petaflop in performance (1015 or 1 quadrillion calculations per second) to deliver an exaflop, which is 1018 calculations per second–1,000 times greater… read more

Diabetes gene therapy carried by ‘bubbles’ in the blood

May 16, 2006

Tiny “bubbles” may deliver genes to help fight diabetes, researchers say.

Researchers directed an ultrasonic pulse at the pancreas of the rats to burst the tiny bubbles, releasing the genetic contents. When they later dissected the rats and examined their organs, they found there were higher levels of fluorescence in pancreatic tissue than in other tissues.

In the second part of the experiment, the bubbles contained plasmids with… read more

Feeling the way: Robotic device can help visually impaired people

November 24, 2009

The BlindAid system, developed in MIT’s Touch Lab, allows blind people to “feel” their way around a virtual model of a room or building, familiarizing themselves with it before going there.

The BlindAid stylus functions much like a blind person’s cane, allowing the user to feel virtual floors, walls, doors and other objects. The stylus is connected to a computer programmed with a three-dimensional map of the room. Whenever… read more

Amazon Plan Would Allow Searching Texts of Many Books

July 21, 2003

Executives at are reportedly negotiating with several of the largest book publishers about an ambitious and expensive plan to assemble a searchable online archive with the texts of tens of thousands of books of nonfiction.

Researchers Develop Quick Way to Create Human Antibodies

May 1, 2008

Emory University School of Medicine and Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation researchers have devised a rapid and efficient method for generating protein sentinels of the immune system, called monoclonal antibodies, which mark and neutralize foreign invaders.

The development could potentially accelerate the traditionally challenging task of generating human antibodies, which can be used both to develop faster disease diagnostics–for instance, to test for a new flu strain shortly after it… read more

Welcome to the biobank

March 30, 2012


Anyone interested in combing through 20 terabytes of data on more than half a million aging Brits will have their chance beginning today, when the UK Biobank throws open its databanks to researchers, Nature News Blog reports.

The bank should help scientists to identify the genetic and environmental causes of diabetes, obesity, cancer, depression and many other diseases, based on testing of more than 500,000 participants aged… read more

The next big bang: Man meets machine

May 30, 2006

Research on multiple fronts in digital technology, biotechnology and nanotechnology may, over the next half century, alter the way we think about computers and information, and our relationship to them. With these changes, bionic body parts won’t seem so far-fetched as we increasingly develop ways to integrate high-tech materials into our mortal flesh.

And the reverse is true as well. Researchers are now looking to biological materials such as… read more

Cray studies exascale computing in Europe

December 3, 2009

Cray Inc. has announced three European partners for a new program aimed at delivering by the end of the decade a supercomputer capable of performing an exaflop, one quintillion calculations per second.

New Directions In Music Tech At Siggraph

July 29, 2003

The 2003 Siggraph conference is under way in San Diego, and the Emerging Technologies booth is showcasing several noteworthy projects in the field of human-computer interaction in music production.

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