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Intel powers more TOP500 supercomputers

June 24, 2003

The number of Intel systems in the on the just-published 2003 Top500 supercomputer list more than doubled in the last six months from 56 to 119.

NEC’s Earth Simulator supercomputer is still number 1, with 35.86 Tflop/s, followed by HP’s ASCI Q system at Los Alamos National Laboratory, with 13.88 Tflop/s. But the Intel Xeon-based MCR cluster at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory moved up to number 3.… read more

Virtual instruments can be played with haptic controllers

June 24, 2003
Cymatic

A virtual musical instrument capable of creating sounds not possible in the physical world has been developed Professor David Howard, Head of the Music Technology Group at York University, according to BBC News.

Cymatic is both a physical modelling sound synthesis environment and a musical instrument. It has a 3D user interface for the construction of virtual instruments that can be played with the aid… read more

The Hulk vs. nanobots

June 23, 2003

The just-released movie “The Hulk” features scientists “studying the effects of gamma radiation on nanomeds,” a.k.a. “nanobots,” according to the Official site.

Predictably, à la the novel Prey, the experiment gets out of control and a scientist is exposed to gamma radiation from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Gamma Sphere that activates a “dormant genetic mutation” and gives a whole new meaning to “Green Goo.” (The actual… read more

Antioxidants reverse age-related learning deficits in mice

June 23, 2003

UCLA neuroscientists have reversed a “dramatic loss of learning and memory function” in aging mice using antioxidants, as reported in Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. June 18.

“Chronic systemic administration of two synthetic catalytic scavengers of reactive oxygen species, Eukarion experimental compounds EUK-189 and EUK-207, from 8 to 11 months almost completely reversed cognitive deficits and increase in oxidative stress taking place during this time period in brain.”

How to build your own super-computer

June 23, 2003

Grandmaster John Nunn has constructed his own chess computer based on two 2.8 GHz Xeon processors.

“One of the problems with currently available processors is that they are not particularly well suited to the integer calculations used for chess,” he said. “A Pentium 4 will be slower at chess than a Pentium 3 of an equivalent clock speed.” So although he switched from a dual-processor 1.2 GHz Pentium 3… read more

Senate Committee Approves Nanotech R&D Bill

June 23, 2003

The U.S. Senate Commerce Committee has approved a bill authorizing more than $2 billion over the next three years for nanotech research and development.

The 21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act (S. 189) would “authorize a coordinated inter-agency program that will support long-term nanoscale research and development.”

The bill is also intended to assure “continued United States global leadership in nanotechnology” and the country’s productivity… read more

$100 Million Donation Helps to Establish a Genome Institute

June 23, 2003

Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology will establish an institute intended to apply knowledge of the human genome to the practice of medicine.

The institute will try to determine the molecular causes of disease by systematically examining genes and proteins. That could lead to new ways to prevent and diagnose illnesses and to treat their causes rather than just their symptoms, as many medicines now do.

Savant for a Day

June 23, 2003

Cognitive scientist Allan Snyder has found that 40 percent of test subjects undergoing transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) exhibited extraordinary, and newfound, mental skills.

Creating the ‘world’s leading nanotechnology cluster’

June 20, 2003
Nano investors and developers meet to<br />
strategize the future of Silicon Valley

The convergence of biotech, infotech and nanotech in Northern California is the next big thing, according to speakers at a June 18 meeting organized by the Northern California Nanotechnology Initiative (NCnano).

This was the first in a series of Nanotechnology Leadership Conferences designed to bring together investors, entrepreneurs, and execs from companies and research labs to “create the world’s leading nanotechnology cluster.”

The event showcased nanotech-related… read more

Foresight urges you to contact your senator today

June 19, 2003

The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee will complete writing S. 189, a major nanotechnology bill today.

“This is your opportunity to provide input on whether molecular manufacturing — the advanced molecular nanotechnology expected to bring the most important results — is specifically mentioned in this bill,” says Christine Peterson, presdient of Foresight Institute.

“The House of Representatives has already passed its own nanotech bill, H.R. 766, which… read more

Signal Jammer

June 18, 2003

An academic experiment has lead to a new class of drug for attacking heart disease.

Researchers found that oxidants are involved in activating the genes that initiate the inflammatory process that causes atherosclerosis and that a modified form of an antioxidant, Probucol (an anticholesterol medication) blocks this process.

Nanotube chip could hold 10 gigabits

June 18, 2003

A nanoscale random access memory (NRAM) memory chip based on carbon nanotubes under development by Nantero would have a theoretical capacity of 10 gigabits of data and would be non-volatile.

To simplify fabrication, Nantero applies the nanotubes randomly across the entire surface of a silicon wafer. It then uses existing lithographic equipment to etch away the nanotubes that are not in the correct alignment.

Technology Elite Are Focusing Next on Human Body

June 17, 2003

The recent TEDMED conference focused on the premise that technology’s next big wave will arise from its intersection with medicine.

Examples of new products and services:

  • Key chains that store a person’s health records and plug into the USB port of any computer to display the information.
  • A computer-based armband that measures how many calories its wearer burns.
  • Genetic profile tests
  • read more

    Brain Experts Now Follow the Money

    June 17, 2003

    Neuroscientists are developing a new field of study, called neuroeconomics, to provide a theory of how people decide in economic and strategic situations.

    To explore economic decision making, researchers are scanning the brains of people as they engage in a variety of games designed by experimental economists.
    Some findings:

  • In making short-term predictions, neural systems tap into gut feelings and emotions.
  • The brain relies on
  • read more

    ‘Nano’ Suddenly a Gigantic Label

    June 17, 2003

    Nanotechnology has become one of the hottest areas in scientific research, pulling in billions of dollars in government, corporate and foundation cash.

    But Eric Drexler, the scientist who coined the term “nanotechnology,” says a lot of what passes for nano is just plain ol’ science, gussied up with a fancy name to rake in the bucks.

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