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Cave in moon: Base station for astronauts?

March 7, 2011

Scientists at the Indian Space Research Organization have discovered a 1.7-km long and 120-meter-wide dust-free underground chamber on the moon, which they feel could be used as a base by astronauts on future manned missions to the Moon.

First permanent wireless retinal prothesis implanted

April 30, 2002

Ophthalmologists at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California have implanted the first permanent wireless microelectronic retinal prothesis.
Visual signals from a video camera will be sent to the 16-electrode intraocular electrode array attached to the retina via a receiver implanted behind the patient’s ear.

Researchers hope the retinal prosthesis, intended to stand in for the damaged retinal cells in people suffering from such blinding… read more

Most distant object in the universe spotted

May 2, 2009

Astronomers have spotted the most distant object yet confirmed in the universe: a self-destructing star that exploded in a gamma-ray burst 13.1 billion light years from Earth, just 640 million years after the big bang, when the first stars and galaxies were lighting up space.

Laser scanner gives 3D view inside tumors

December 17, 2007

An ultrasound scanner that provides more detailed 3D images of the deformed blood vessels within a tumor could help doctors determine the boundary between cancerous and healthy tissue during surgery.

The scanner uses a novel form of non-invasive imaging called photoacoustic tomography. This uses laser light to “twang” cells so they emit an ultrasound wave, which is then detected and used to form a 3D image.

Fertilizer from the stars

June 1, 2005

Gamma-ray bursts from nearby supernovas of giant stars or a collision between neutron stars could have showered our planet with nitrate, an essential nutrient for plants, helping plants colonize the land about 440 million years ago.

Predicting future appearance

March 14, 2011

A computer program that ages photographic images of people’s faces has been developed by Concordia University’s Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering.

Most face-aged images are currently rendered by forensic artists. Although these artists are trained in the anatomy and geometry of faces, they rely on art rather than science.

“We pioneered a novel technique that combines two previous approaches, known as active appearance models (AAMs) and… read more

Bell, Torvalds usher next wave of supercomputing

May 23, 2002

A compact supercomputer based on a Beowolf cluster called Green Destiny was unveiled at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
Using compact, stripped-down server blades, Los Alamos scientists were able to build a system that is much smaller, consumes less power and is more cost-effective than typical supercomputers. It uses Crusoe processors from Transmeta, which require no active cooling.

Quantum arguments for God veer into mumbo-jumbo

May 7, 2009

Not only does God exist, but he intervenes in our lives in subtle quantum ways that are unrecognizable to scientific observation, says Francis Collins, the former head of the human genome project.

Microchip-based device can detect rare tumor cells in bloodstream

December 20, 2007

Massachusetts General Hospital investigators have developed a microchip-based device that can isolate, enumerate and analyze circulating tumor cells (CTCs, which are one in a billion cells) from a blood sample.

Because of their rarity and fragility, it has not been possible to get information from CTCs that could help clinical decision-making, but the new device–called the “CTC-chip”–has the potential to be an invaluable tool for monitoring and guiding cancer… read more

New Skin Lets Robots Get Sensitive

June 16, 2005

A new type of skin with more than 1,000 infrared sensors embedded all over its surface allows a robot to “feel” changes in its surroundings and move accordingly.

FDA approves eyesight-enhancing technology

March 21, 2011

Eye Sight

The FDA has approved the use of a refractive surgery technology called the Rochester Nomogram, says Scott MacRae, M.D., who helped develop the formula at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

With the aid of the Nomogram, 99.3 percent of the eyes that MacRae operates on using LASIK surgery┬áhave vision of 20/20 or better. The Nomogram was first created and tested about five years ago… read more

Chips’ future cast

June 20, 2002
Image A shows a quartz template used to press ultrasmall patterns into silicon. Image B shows the pattern as it appears in silicon.

A new laser-stamping technique could produce computer chips with 100 times more transistors on a chip, according to Stephen Chou of Princeton University.

The research could lead to patterns imprinted with features only 10 nanometers wide onto a silicon wafer, compared to the lower limit of about 130 nanometers wide with photolithography.

The technique is derived from a similar method used to print compact discs.… read more

Wolfram Alpha to Launch Friday Evening

May 14, 2009

Wolfram Alpha will launch on Friday evening May 15 some time after 7 pm CDT (UTC -5) and it will be webcast.

The Wolfram|Alpha Blog will have details.

2007: The year in technology

December 28, 2007

Leech-like robots that crawl along the heart to deliver drugs, robots with a fish-like electrical sensing system, and boredom-detecting software are among the key new technologies featured in New Scientist magazine in 2007.

Entering a dark age of innovation

June 30, 2005

We are fast approaching a new dark age, says Jonathan Huebner, a physicist working at the Pentagon’s Naval Air Warfare Center.

He says the rate of technological innovation reached a peak a century ago and has been declining ever since.

He plotted major innovations and scientific advances over time compared to world population, using the 7200 key innovations listed in a recently published book, The History of Science… read more

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