science + technology news

Stretchable Silicon May Inspire a New Wave of Electronics

June 14, 2007

Scientists have created a form of nanoscale silicon that is stretchable. The new material may help pave the way for a class of stretchable electronic devices, such as “smart” surgical gloves and personal health monitors, that are not possible to create using current technology and materials.

Alice Chatbot Wins for Third Time

September 20, 2004

Richard Wallace’s Alice chatbot program beat three other finalists to take the 2004 bronze metal for the Loebner Prize competition.

The bronze metal goes to the program best able to maintain a life-like conversation. No program has won gold or silver metals, which will go to programs able to convince half the judges that the program is a human, either via video (gold) or text (silver).… read more

Skylon spaceplane gathers momentum

September 21, 2010

(Reaction Engines)

U.K.-based Reaction Engines’ Skylon plane is designed to take a 12-ton payload  of cargo and passengers into space from a conventional airport and return them back down to the same runway.

The concept for the Skylon is based on a synergistic air-breathing rocket engine (SABRE) that uses jet propulsion to reach the edge of the Earth’s atmosphere before switching to rocket power to get into orbit.… read more

Dreams may no longer be secret with Japan computer screen

December 11, 2008

Researchers at the ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories have succeeded in processing and displaying simple images directly from the human brain.

In their experiment, the researchers showed people the six letters in the word “neuron” and then reconstructed the letters on a computer screen by measuring their brain activity.

The team said that it first figured out people’s individual brain patterns by showing them some 400 different still images.

Brain Device Moves Objects by Thought

June 24, 2007

A new technology developed by Hitachi Inc. could let you control electronic devices simply by reading brain activity.

The “brain-machine interface” uses optical topography, which sends a small amount of infrared light through the brain’s surface to map out changes in blood flow.

New microscopy method visualizes microtubules in cells of living fish

May 17, 2012

Under green fluorescent light, cell structures, here microtubuli, can be observed in living fish embryos (credit: NIH, KIT)

A new hybrid method to visualize cell structures in living fish larvae has been developed by researchers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research, Mainz, and the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH).

“The zebrafish is perfectly suited for genetic studies of cells, as its larvae are completely transparent,” explains Marina Mione of KIT.

Microtubules, a key… read more

Motion Detector 1,000 Times More Sensitive

October 1, 2004

Sandia National Laboratories researchers have developed a motion detector that allows for viewing a motion of 10 nm with the naked eye.

The device depends upon a formerly unrecognized property of optics: light diffracted from very small gratings that move very small lateral distances undergoes a relatively big, and thus easily measurable, change in reflection.

Sandia National Laboratories news release

Invention: Vision amplifier

December 23, 2008

Jeffrey Olsen at the University of Colorado Hospital has invented a better solution for people with impaired vision due to damaged retinas, by using quantum dots to amplify the light that reaches the retina, using the eye’s still functioning light-sensitive cells.

Quantum dots (nanoscale semiconductor material) fluoresce when hit by photons and would have the effect of making any received retinal image brighter, with the advantages that they require… read more

What’s next for the Internet

July 5, 2007

If you think of the World Wide Web as a cloud of largely undifferentiated information, the mission of Radar Networks is to take that cloud and impose order on it via the semantic Web — moving from Web 2.0 to Web 3.0.

Water Filters Rely on Nanotech

October 15, 2004

A slow, methodical transformation of the $400-billion-a-year water-management industry is currently in progress, and nanotechnology appears to be leading the way.

The promise of nanofiltration devices that “clean” polluted water, sifting out bacteria, viruses, heavy metals and organic material, is driving companies like Argonide and KX Industries, which developed technology used in Brita filters, to make nanotechnology-based filters for consumers. Two products incorporating nanotechnology are going to hit the… read more

Cyborg cockroaches could power own electric ‘brains’

December 31, 2008

“Cyborg insects” (using remote-controlled or chip-based neural stimulators to control movements) could be powered by piezoelectric strips attached to their backs (generating 10 millivolts per fiber in in a proof-of-concept experiment), Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology researchers have found.

United Therapeutics to develop cancer therapies based on research in novel stem-cell-like cells, via exclusive license from MIT

July 13, 2007

Could these stem-cell-like "metakaryotic" cells go haywire and cause some forms of cancer? Dr. Elena V. Gostjeva originally discovered this strange object in fetal gut samples and later, in colon tumor and cancer tissue. This photomicrograph shows an example of asymmetrical amitotic nuclear fission (cell replication without chromosomes) of a bell-shaped nucleus (left) within a metakaryotic cell forming a much larger cigar-shaped nucleus (right). The new nuclei derived from the bell-shaped nuclei populate fetal and tumor tissue by successive mitotic divisions. Gostjeva, Thilly and associates have found these bell-shaped nuclei in fetal organs, in precancerous tissues such as colonic polyps, and in markedly large numbers in solid tumors such as colon cancer. They are rarely spotted in normal adult tissues. (Credit: William Thilly)

United Therapeutics Corporation has signed an agreement with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to exclusively license breakthrough research that may lead to new ways to diagnose and treat cancer, has learned.

A research program, funded by United Therapeutics and led by MIT Professor William Thilly and MIT Research Scientist Dr. Elena V. Gostjeva, will further explore “metakaryotic” cells that may play a role in the development of… read more

TI Puts Digital TV on Cell Phones

October 22, 2004

Texas Instruments Inc. today announced development of the wireless industry’s first digital TV on a single chip for cell phones.

The chip will receive live digital TV broadcasts at 24 to 30 frames per second. Manufacturers are expected to launch products in conjunction with a new mobile digital TV infrastructure, with mass deployments in 2007.

Treating skin cancer with light

October 19, 2010

Scientists at the University of California, Irvine (UC Irvine) are exploring new ways to image cancerous lesions using LEDs that might advance a technique for treating cancer called photodynamic therapy (PDT).

They will describe their work at the Optical Society’s (OSA) 94th annual meeting, Frontiers in Optics (FiO) 2010 at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center in Rochester, N.Y., from Oct. 24-28.

In PDT, photosensitizing chemicals that… read more

Carbon nanotube ‘ink’ may lead to thinner, lighter transistors and solar cells

January 9, 2009

sientists at Cornell and DuPont have invented a method of preparing carbon nanotubes for suspension in a semiconducting “ink,” which can then be printed into such thin, flexible electronics as transistors and photovoltaic materials.

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