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It Will Be a Smaller World After All

February 28, 2003

The United Nations has finally changed its demographic predictions. Instead of foreseeing population growth or even explosion, the new estimates acknowledge that world population is on course to shrink—with significant social, economic, and strategic implications.

House passes ban on human cloning

February 28, 2003

After a lengthy debate on science and human life, the House on Thursday passed a bill endorsed by President Bush that would ban human cloning and sentence violators to prison and fines as high as $1 million.

Exclusive Intel Product Roadmap Details

February 28, 2003

Intel’s entire roadmap for the next few years will be revealed on Ziff Davis’ ExtremeTech site.

Optical trap provides new insights into motor molecules

February 27, 2003

The remarkably fuel-efficient motor of the protein kinesin serves as the ideal model for a variety of futuristic nanotechnologies — from nanofactories that would fit inside a computer chip to nanoimplants that could be placed under the skin and deliver minute doses of medication to targeted cells.

News tip: Walter Purvis

Anti-aging drugs may change society

February 27, 2003

Aging experts cautioned that if scientists succeed in developing therapies to extend human lifespan by decades the event could have profound implications for society.

Ethical issues would arise if anti-aging interventions were not universally available and there could be problems of overpopulation.

Artificial stupidity

February 27, 2003

Salon.com takes on the controversial annual competition for the Loebner Prize in artificial intelligence.

New Molecular Self-Assembly Technique May Mimic How Cells Assemble Themselves

February 26, 2003

Researchers have created tree-like molecules that assemble themselves into precisely structured building blocks of a quarter-million atoms. Such building blocks may be precursors to designing nanostructures for molecular electronics or photonics materials, which “steer” light in the same way computer chips steer electrons.

News tip: Walter Purvis

Swarm Intelligence: An Interview with Eric Bonabeau

February 26, 2003

Dr. Eric Bonabeau takes us from his childhood nightmares of carnivorous wasps to applying the theories of swarm intelligence to solving real problems in the business world.

“It’s no longer possible to use traditional, centralized, hierarchical command and control techniques to deal with systems that have thousands or even millions of dynamically changing, communicating, heterogeneous entities,” he says. “I think that the type of solution swarm intelligence offers is… read more

University Of Michigan Launches Ambitious Exploration Of Inner Space

February 26, 2003

University of Michigan researchers will attempt to capture never-before-seen views of the chemical activity inside living cells in real time and 3-D.

The team will be using synthetic nanoprobes small enough to fit inside a cell without interrupting its normal functions to measure the activity of crucial metal ions like zinc and copper as the cell works. Sophisticated statistical modeling programs will be used to interpret the data.… read more

Nanotech to pave way for micro-machines

February 25, 2003

Disposable satellite transmitters, inexpensive medical testing equipment and sensors for automatically tracking inventory or traffic patterns will become possible over the next 10 years through developments in nanotechnology, speakers at the Nanotech 2003 conference said Monday.

News tip: Walter Purvis

Scientists identify blood stem cell

February 25, 2003

Scientists at the Biochip Technology Center at Argonne National Laboratory have discovered monocyte adult stem cells originating in the blood, a finding that could lead to an easily accessible source of cells to treat diseases.

The advantage of the monocyte stem cells over bone marrow adult stem cells is they are easily available and accessible.

DNA computer sets Guinness record

February 25, 2003

Weizmann Institute of Science researchers have developed DNA molecular computers using enzymes, with ATP as fuel.

“Our experiments demonstrate for the first time that we may use a DNA molecule as an input for computation, and at the same time fuel this computation by the energy stored in the very same molecule,” according to researcher Ehud Shapiro. “Such combination, although theoretically conceivable, is practically impossible with conventional electronic computers.”… read more

Asteroids and Secrecy: If End is Nigh, Do You Want to Know?

February 25, 2003

The governments of Earth need to get together and come up with a mitigation strategy — what to do if an asteroid is on a collision course with earth. Hiding information might be an option under certain circumstances to avoid social panic and the tremendous associated costs, say some.

Sci-Fi War Uniforms?

February 25, 2003

MIT’s new Army-funded Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies is designing the perfect uniform protection for soldiers, using nanotech.

Designs will include “smart surfaces” that can change from being water-repellent to water-absorbent, fibers that can be woven into a soldier’s uniform to make it identifiable even in the dark, and the ability to adapt to biological and chemical threats.

Promise of intelligent networks

February 25, 2003

Intel researchers are working on ways to make wireless networks organize themselves and manage data traffic levels without any human intervention.

They are working with mesh network systems that can determine the best way to link all the devices they are in contact with, and find the ideal route for the data the devices are swapping.

“There are going to be tens of millions of computers out there… read more

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