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Cognitive software captures experts’ performance on flight simulators

May 18, 2012

Debrief Tool With Automated Event Flagging. The debrief tool used in the experiment displays a video replay of the operator console (similar to this map display), and a timeline of events suggested by AEMASE for discussion during debrief. The tool also includes visualizations of entity movement over time. (Credit: S. M. Stevens-Adams et al.)

Navy pilots and other flight specialists soon will have a new “smart machine” installed in training simulators that learns from expert instructors to more efficiently train their students.

Sandia National Laboratories’ Automated Expert Modeling & Student Evaluation (AEMASE, pronounced “amaze”) is being provided to the Navy as a component of flight simulators.

Components are now being used to train Navy personnel to fly H-60 helicopters and… read more

Next Step to the Quantum Computer

October 7, 2004

University of Bonn physicists have set up a quantum register experimentally, an important step towards processing quantum information with neutral atoms.

The physicists loaded five decelerated cesium atoms onto a laser beam. With the aid of an additional laser, they then initialized the quantum register, i.e. they “wrote” zeros on all the qubits. They then were able to store the quantum information desired in each qubit by using microwave… read more

Detecting pulse rate with a webcam

October 5, 2010

MIT Media Lab student Daniel McDuff, who collaborated on the pulse-monitoring system, demonstrates a version of the device built into a mirror that displays his pulse rate in real-time at the bottom. (Melanie Gonick)

MIT-Harvard graduate student Ming-Zher Poh has demonstrated a system that can extract accurate pulse measurements from ordinary low-resolution webcam imagery.

The system measures slight variations in brightness produced by the flow of blood through blood vessels in the face. Public-domain software is used to identify the position of the face in the image, and then the digital information from this area is broken down into the separate red, green… read more

The Year in Biomedicine

December 26, 2008

Brain trauma among soldiers, a $5,000 genome, cellular switches, and insight into the brain’s beauty.

Credit card-sized device could analyze biopsy, help diagnose pancreatic cancer in minutes

Use in diagnosis of other cancers also planned
March 6, 2014


University of Washington scientists and engineers are developing a low-cost device that could help pathologists diagnose pancreatic cancer* earlier and faster.

The prototype can perform the basic steps for processing a biopsy, relying on fluid transport instead of human hands to process the tissue.

“This new process is expected to help the pathologist make a more rapid diagnosis and be able to determine more accurately how… read more

Miniature Robots Play Nano-Soccer

July 9, 2007

RoboCup, an international contest that pits robotic creations against one another, featured Nano Cup, a competition hailed by organizers as the world’s first nanoscale soccer game.

Held by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, its organizers hope to show the potential for building tiny devices that can be used in manufacturing, biotechnology and other industries.

Plasma Beam Eyed in Space Travel

October 19, 2004

A University of Washington team is pioneering the concept of the Mag-beam, (magnetized-beam plasma propulsion), which could significantly shorten the time it takes to travel to other planets.

A space-based outpost station would generate a high-energy plasma beam aimed at a spaceship equipped with a sail, resulting in it being thrust out into space. Plasma beam stations at each end of the interplanetary flight path would speed up and… read more

Engineers develop new way to fuse cells

January 5, 2009

MIT engineers have developed a new, highly efficient way to pair up cells so they can be fused together into a hybrid cell.

The new technique should make it much easier for scientists to study what happens when two cells are combined. For example, fusing an adult cell and an embryonic stem cell allows researchers to study the genetic reprogramming that occurs in such hybrids.

MIT finds cure for fear

July 17, 2007

MIT biochemists have identified a molecular mechanism behind fear, and successfully cured it in mice by inhibiting a kinase called Cdk5, according to an article in Nature Neuroscience.

Signal Overload in Alzheimer Brains

October 26, 2004

In studies with mice that develop the equivalent of Alzheimer’s disease, Johns Hopkins researchers have shown that brain cells’ signals confuse the movement of implanted neuronal stem cells.

The observation reinforces the idea that disease can create “microenvironments” that affect the behavior of cells.

“In normal adult mice, stem cells taken from the olfactory bulb returned to the olfactory bulb — where they belong — even though they… read more

Berkeley Lab scientists open electrical link to living cells

October 22, 2010

Scientists with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have designed an electrical link to living cells engineered to shuttle electrons across a cell’s membrane to an external acceptor along a well-defined path. This direct channel could yield cells that can read and respond to electronic signals, electronics capable of self-replication and repair, or efficiently transfer sunlight into electricity.

Coaxing electrons across a cellular membrane is not trivial: attempts… read more

3-D Space as New Frontier

October 4, 2000

Steve Kash is living in his own little world, but guests are welcome to drop in for a chat. Flyby’s Hangar is the three-dimensional structure Mr. Kash calls home on the World Wide Web. Visitors can circle the music room, then scoot up a set of stairs and take an elevator to the roof garden, where a brook burbles loudly.

Mr. Kash’s walls are bare. A Guggenheim curator, Matthew Drutt, on the other hand, has nothing but art in the Guggenheim Virtual Museum, a three-dimensional gallery that is expected to open to the Webgoing public before the year ends. Mr. Drutt declined to describe the museum’s vertical surfaces as walls, though. “I think more in terms of skins,” he said, “because the art is visible from the outside as… read more

My Genome, My Self

January 12, 2009

The dawn of personal genomics promises benefits and pitfalls that no one can foresee.

It could usher in an era of personalized medicine, in which drug regimens are customized for a patient’s biochemistry rather than juggled through trial and error.

It also opens up a niche for bottom-feeding companies to terrify hypochondriacs by turning dubious probabilities into Genes of Doom.

FDA finds no proof of harm with nanotech products

July 27, 2007

The Food and Drug Administration says the rising number of cosmetics, drugs and other products made using nanoscale particles do not require special regulations or labeling.

However, the FDA says it will issue guidance documents for companies using nanotechnology, including pharmaceutical firms, medical device makers and consumer products firms.

Inkjet printing promises cheaper circuits

November 4, 2004

Epson has developed a circuit-making technology based on inkjet printing, firing droplets of conducting “ink” or insulating “ink” onto a circuit board to make a circuit that is 20 millimeters square, 200 microns thick, and consists of 20 individually printed layers.

Epson estimates inkjet-printed circuits should be about half as expensive to make as current circuitry and also less environmentally harmful. They expect in the future that it will… read more

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