science + technology news

Real-time webcam images painted onto Google Earth

February 1, 2010

A new project to keep the virtual world of Google Earth more up to date has been developed by Austin Abrams, a PhD candidate at Washington University.

His “Live3D” browser-based application replaces the static “skin” of virtual buildings and other features with images from the Archive of Many Outdoor Scenes (AMOS), a collection of live feeds from nearly 1000 webcams streaming from various sites around the world.

Electric Muscle Stimulation Allows Breathing Without a Ventilator

June 19, 2008

Researchers at Synapse Biomedical have developed an implanted “Diaphragm Pacing Stimulation” system that can replace mechanical ventilation for patients with spinal cord injuries.

The device uses electrodes attached directly to the diaphragm to stimulate its movement, letting patients breathe normally.

Patients using mechanical ventilators require extensive medical supervision (in a ventilator ward) and have a high risk of catching pneumonia.

What if Bionics Were Better?

September 26, 2006

A tiny population of early adopters eager to test bionics by choice rather than out of need is emerging.

Ultrafast, nanoscale, energy-efficient data transmission

November 29, 2011

Stanford low-power LEDs

A new ultrafast, nanoscale light-emitting diode (LED) device developed at Stanford’s School of Engineering transmits data at ultrafast rates while using 2,000 times less energy than laser-based systems in use today,” The nanophotonic device is a major step forward for on-chip data transmission, the researchers say.

The device can transmit data at 10 gigabits per second. The researchers say it is a major step forward in providing… read more

Science Times 25th Anniversary

November 11, 2003

To celebrate its 25th anniversary, the New York Times Science News section poses 25 of the most provocative questions facing science.

By tracking water molecules, physicists hope to unlock secrets of life

February 8, 2010

Rockefeller University researchers have discovered how interaction between water molecules paves the way for understanding how water can be manipulated to facilitate or prevent substances from dissolving in it, an advance that could impact every corner of society, from reforming agricultural practices to improving chemotherapy drugs whose side effects arise from their solubility or insolubility in water.

Dual-display e-book reader lets you flip pages naturally

June 26, 2008

Researchers at the University of Maryland and UC Berkeley have developed a dual-display prototype e-reader that allows two pages to be opened and closed, simulating turning the page and other book-like behavior.

Time capsule to be beamed from Mexican pyramid

October 11, 2006

Mexico’s Teotihuacan, once the center of a sprawling pre-Hispanic empire, is set to become the launch pad for an attempt to communicate with extraterrestrial life.

Starting on Tuesday, enthusiasts from around the world will have a chance to submit text, images, video and sounds that reflect human nature to be included in the message.

Those contributions–part of media company Yahoo’s “Time Capsule” project–will be digitized and beamed with… read more

Next Big Thing in Biotech: RNAi

November 21, 2003

A new tool that blocks disease-causing genes, RNA interference (RNAi), could lead the way for the next wave of blockbuster drugs in biotechnology.

Brain-controlled cursor doubles as a neural workout

February 17, 2010

Researchers at the University of Washington looked at signals on the brain’s surface while using imagined movements to control a cursor, finding that watching a cursor respond to one’s thoughts prompts brain signals to become stronger than those generated in day-to-day life.

The finding holds promise for rehabilitating patients after stroke or other neurological damage. It also suggests that a human brain could quickly become adept at manipulating an… read more

DNA Technology Posts Dramatic Speed Increases

July 2, 2008

The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute recently sequenced its trillionth base pair of DNA, highlighting just how fast genome sequencing technology has improved this century.

That speed is thanks to the technology underlying genomics research, which has been improving exponentially every couple of years, similar to the way computer tech improves under Moore’s Law.

On the road to intelligence

October 18, 2006

A nine-member consortium including Volvo and DaimlerChrysler has received 22.9 million euros from the European Commission to develop an “intelligent car.”

The Dynamically Self-Configuring Automotive Systems (DySCAS) project aims to design a car that can self-diagnose and ultimately self-heal its own faults, download and update its own computer devices, and interface with a drivers’ mobile phone, personal organizer and satellite navigation systems.

Highly sensitive detector reveals target chemicals by glowing

December 15, 2011

Fluorescencete traphenylethylene

MIT researchers have developed a new way of revealing the presence of target chemicals — whether toxins, disease markers, pathogens or explosives — by emitting a fluorescent glow.

The approach combines fluorescent molecules with an open scaffolding called a metal-organic framework (MOF). This structure provides lots of open space for target molecules to occupy, bringing them into close proximity with fluorescent molecules that react to their presence.… read more

Exploding black holes rain down on Earth

December 4, 2003

High-energy cosmic-ray particles from space may create black holes when they collide with molecules in the Earth’s atmosphere, say physicists.

These black holes would be invisibly small (only 10 micrograms or so) and would be so unstable that they would explode in a burst of particles within around a billion-billion-billionth of a second.

If such tiny black holes exist, it would unveil hidden dimensions in our universe and… read more

A Global Social Network Without The Language Barrier – Mojofiti

February 23, 2010

The Mojofiti social networking website uses real-time machine translation to allow users to transparently collaborate with others in 27 languages.

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