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Booze to Fuel Gadget Batteries

April 18, 2003

A new breed of biofuel cell, fueled by ethyl alcohol (ethanol), may become the power source of choice for portable electronics.

Prior experiments have used methanol as fuel. Ethanol is not toxic like methanol, easier to deal with, easier to get hold off (straight out of the bottle), and more active than methanol in the presence of enzymes, which are used as catalysts.

A working prototype is expected… read more

Cloned Pigs Differ From Originals In Looks And Behavior

April 17, 2003

Another cloning myth shattered. New research at North Carolina State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine indicates that cloned animals do not retain the physical and behavioral attributes of the animal from which they were cloned, “so you cannot expect your cloned pet to behave like your original pet,” said Dr. Jorge Piedrahita, professor of molecular biomedical sciences at NC State.

Final human genome sequence released

April 17, 2003

The complete sequence of human DNA is complete and the Human Genome Project is over, according to Francis Collins, director of the US National Human Genome Research Institute and head of the consortium of 16 international institutions that collaborated to sequence the code.

“The raw sequence is freely available on the web. But researchers will have to wait up to a year for the first analysis of it.”

Maths gets into shape

April 17, 2003

One simple equation can generate a vast diversity of natural shapes, from simple triangles and pentagons, to stars, spirals and petals.

“Using one formula to produce shapes will make graphics programs much more efficient, he says. It might also be useful in pattern recognition.”

Zyvex announces nanomanipulator

April 17, 2003

Zyvex Corporation has announced the sales release of the S100 Nanomanipulator System, a positioning and testing tool for nanotechnology R&D applications.

The S100 accommodates up to four quadrants of three-dimensional stages, which grasp, move, test, and optimally position molecular-level samples for scanning electron microscopes (SEMs).

The system is an integral part of Zyvex’s plan to provide flexible, automated manufacturing at ever-decreasing sizes.

Will Genetic Engineering Kill Us?

April 16, 2003

“Bioethicists and scientists contemplating the future fear that genetic engineering and other technologies are going to divide human beings into classes that may one day try to destroy one another.”

Beyond Wi-Fi: The 5 next big things

April 16, 2003

Ultrawideband, mesh networks, software-defined radio, wireless personal area networks, and adaptive radio are the next big things beyond WiFi networks, bringing broader geographical coverage and better use of spectrum.

NASA Improves Computers With Tiny Carbon Tubes On Silicon Chips

April 16, 2003
Vertically aligned carbon nanotubes about 100 nanometers in diameter. Photo credit: NASA Ames Research Center.

NASA has developed a chip manufacturing method that uses carbon nanotubes instead of copper interconnects for integrated circuits. This will allow manufacturers to add more layers of components to silicon chips to increase performance and maintain Moore’s law longer for silicon-based computer chips.

Artificial intelligence scopes out spam

April 15, 2003

New email-filtering software uses natural-language processing to scan e- mail messages and identify possible spam messages.

Saving the universe by restricting research

April 15, 2003

History’s worst technological catastrophes could kill millions or billions of people in this century, and to prevent them, society may need to consider restricting specific types of scientific research, says Sir Martin Rees, Britain’s astronomer royal, in the book, “Our Final Hour.”

His concerns include gray goo (nanobots out of control) and experiments that could create a black hole. “I think the odds are no better than 50-50 that… read more

A Voice Recognition Tool Frees Hands for Other Tasks

April 13, 2003

Voice-recognition developers have made enough progress in recent years to produce several low-priced options. The latest is the QPointer, which enables users to operate a PC without touching the mouse or even, in some models, the keyboard.

Intel, Nokia, Proxim, Others Launch WiMax

April 13, 2003

Intel, Nokia, Proxim, and a host of other companies have launched WiMax, a non-profit group formed to certify and promote the developing wireless broadband standard 802.16.

This technology will connect 802.11 hot-spots to the Internet and provide a wireless extension to cable and DSL for last-mile broadband access. 802.16 provides up to 31 miles of linear service area range without direct line of sight to a base station. The… read more

Metal muscles could power artificial limbs

April 11, 2003

Muscles made of platinum crystals could outperform their motor-and-gear-based counterparts for use in everything from replacement artificial limbs to robots operating in war and space exploration.

Pushing the Speed Limit: For Researchers, the Internet Just Got Faster

April 10, 2003

Caltech researchers have developed a new data communications protocol capable of 8.6 gigabits per second data transfer across 2,845 miles.

Unlike the single-path TCP protocol, the Fast Active queue management Scalable Transmission Control Protocol, or FAST, uses 10 parallel routes.

In 24-Hour News Times, Real-Time Translation

April 10, 2003

Virage Inc. has recently supplied several unnamed United States intelligence agencies with a system that will provide real-time voice recognition and English translation of foreign-language news broadcasts.

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