science + technology news

Cheap material makes speedy memory

March 24, 2005

A low-cost, high-speed nonvolatile memory made from polystyrene and gold nanoparticles is being developed by researchers from the University of California at Los Angeles and the Rohm and Haas Electronic Materials Company.

The memory can be easily manufactured from inexpensive materials, making it potentially much cheaper than today’s flash memory chips; it can be read to and written electronically, making it potentially much faster than today’s CDs and DVDs.… read more

A New Company to Focus on Artificial Intelligence

March 24, 2005

Palm Computing co-founders Jeff Hawkins and Donna Dubinsky will announce today the creation of Numenta, a technology development firm that will conduct research in an effort to extend Mr. Hawkins’s AI theories, described in his book “On Intelligence: How a New Understanding of the Brain Will Lead to the Creation of Truly Intelligent Machines.”

Hawkins is demonstrating a pattern-recognition application using a version of his software. It allows a… read more

New look for nanomotors

March 23, 2005

Physicists in the US have built the first nanoelectromechanical device that exploits the effects of surface tension.

The “relaxation oscillator” consists of two droplets of liquid metal on a substrate made of carbon nanotubes and can be controlled with a small applied electric field. Alex Zettl and colleagues at the University of California at Berkeley and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory say the device could find use in various… read more

In Search of the Sixth Sense

March 23, 2005

n this interview, Ray Kurzweil discusses birth, death, and the potential offered by non-biological thinking processes.

“I believe we’ll demonstrate a mouse that doesn’t age within approximately a decade,” he says. “And within a decade of that we’ll translate that into human therapies.”

“The killer app for nanotechnology is nanobots. Some will be in the environment, cleaning up, providing energy. Some will be involved in automated manufacturing. Some… read more

Alien Planets Show Themselves for First Time

March 23, 2005

Astronomers have seen light from extrasolar planets for the first time.

The planets, in the constellations constellation Pegasus and Lyra, were discovered by comparing measurements of infrared light made while the planet and star were both visible and while the planet was hidden behind the star.

Biological computer can run 1 billion programs

March 23, 2005

Technion Israel Institute of Technology scientists have developed a biological computer, composed entirely of DNA molecules and enzymes constructed on a gold-coated chip, that can run 1 billion programs.

This increase represents a dramatic advance in terms of the potential mathematical operations and complexity of problems that may be solved using a biological computer, according to a Technion statement.

“The chip allows for automatic, real-time readout of the… read more

Nano-Probes Allow an Inside Look at Cell Nuclei

March 23, 2005

Scientists have developed a way to sneak nano-sized probes inside cell nuclei where they can track life’s fundamental processes, such as DNA repair, genomic alterations, and cell cycle control.

This may allow researchers to track the effectiveness of disease-fighting drugs that target these processes.

The researchers, at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, transported the fluorescent quantum- dot probes inside cell nuclei by attaching a… read more

Bacteria act as glue in nanomachines

March 22, 2005

Electric currents are being used to move bacteria around silicon chips and trap them at specific locations. The technique could help to assemble nanomachines from miniature parts, and to create a new generation of biological sensors.

Mini Big Bang Created, Puzzling Results Too Explosive

March 22, 2005

Physicists claim that at a trillion degrees, nuclear material melts into an exotic form of matter called a quark-gluon plasma — thought to have been the state of the universe a microsecond after the Big Bang.

Recreating this primordial soup is the primary purpose of the Relativistic Heavy-Ion Collider (RHIC) at Brookhaven National Laboratory. After five years of data, it appears as if RHIC may have succeeded.

But… read more

Automated web-crawler harvests resume info

March 22, 2005

ZoomInfo, a new search engine focused on people, can automatically identify online information on individuals and weave it into detailed summaries.

The real reason for Atkins diet weight loss

March 22, 2005

The high-protein Atkins diet works not for the reasons its inventor claimed, but simply because people eat less, according to studies by Guenther Boden at Temple University School of Medicine.

“They dropped 1000 calories because they didn’t want to eat more,” Boden says. “They loved the diet. They loved to eat bacon and eggs, and sausages and that sort of thing.”

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Computers gain power, but it’s not what you think

March 21, 2005

Performing complex tasks at lightning speed is the machine’s greatest strength; thinking and intelligence are still in our heads.

After decades of trying to create machines that can think, researchers now just want to take advantage of computers’ speed and make them less stupid.

Intellext’s Watson, which uses pattern recognition to find relevant documents, is one example of software that takes advantage of more powerful computers. Another is… read more

MRI visualizes gene expression in real time

March 21, 2005

Carnegie Mellon University scientists have “programmed” cells to make their own MRI contrast agents, enabling unprecedented high-resolution, deep-tissue imaging of gene expression.

The results, appearing in the April issue of Nature Medicine, hold promise for conducting preclinical studies in the emerging field of molecular therapeutics and for monitoring the delivery of therapeutic genes in patients.

To trigger living cells into producing their own contrast agent, the researchers gave… read more

Prefrontal cortex brain waves predict body movement

March 21, 2005

California Institute of Technology scientists have confirmed that the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (vPF) area of the brain is involved in the planning stages of movement.

They were able to predict where a target the patient was looking at was located, and also where the patient was going to move his hand. The work currently appears in the online version of Nature Neuroscience.

The work has implications for the… read more

Nanotechnology’s progress and challenges addressed during ACS meeting

March 18, 2005

More than 60 presentations, in symposia ranging from medicine to the environment to business, highlight nanotechnology’s progress and challenges during the 229th national meeting of the American Chemical Society in San Diego, March 13-17.

American Chemical Society news release

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