Most Recently Added Most commentedBy Title | A-Z

Georgia Tech researchers use lab cultures to control robotic device

April 30, 2003

The Hybrot (hybrid of living and robotic components), a small robot that moves about using the brain signals of a rat, is the first robotic device whose movements are controlled by a network of cultured neuron cells.

Researchers hope the research will lead to advanced computer systems that could some day assist in situations where humans have lost motor control, memory or information processing abilities. The neural interfacing techniques… read more

DNA re-write could allay cloning fears

April 30, 2003

An extra step could eliminate many objections to the controversial reproductive cloning technique.

Cloned human embryos would be used to derive healthy sperm and eggs that could subsequently be used for in vitro fertilization rather than implanting the embryo directly into the mother’s uterus.

Embryonic stem cells would be removed and nurtured in the lab. Researchers would then treat the cells with molecules that encourage them to develop… read more

Halting nanotech research ‘illogical,’ says pioneer

April 30, 2003

The call for a moratorium on nanoparticle research is more of an attention-grabbing mechanism than a serious proposal, says Eric Drexler, who coined the phrase nanotechnology.

The real threats to nanotechnology are the emergence of the technology in the hands of secretive or irresponsible parties and an attempt to over-control the technology, he adds.

Cognitive Systems

April 30, 2003

The April 2003 issue of ERCIM News is dedicated to cognitive systems, with 21 articles. Some of the more interesting articles are featured in A Gallery of Cognitive Systems, a weblog.

Intel’s sights on lip-reading software

April 29, 2003

Intel has released software that lets computers read lips, a step forward that could lead to better voice recognition applications.

The Audio Visual Speech Recognition (AVSR) software tracks a speaker’s face and mouth movements. By matching these movements with speech, the application can provide a computer with enough data to respond to voice recognition commands, even when these are given in noisy environments.

‘Virgin birth’ method promises ethical stem cells

April 29, 2003

Researchers are on the brink of obtaining human stem cells by parthenogenesis and animal experiments suggest such cells are indistinguishable from normal stem cells.

Nanocontainers Deliver Drugs Directly to Cells

April 28, 2003

Tiny nanocontainers composed of polymers may one day distribute drugs to specific spots within individual cells.

Genetically enhanced humans to come, say DNA pioneers

April 28, 2003

Humans will begin to genetically enhance themselves — and their unborn children — in the next 50 years, said DNA pioneers at the 50th anniversary of the discovery of DNA’s structure.

Military robots to get swarm intelligence

April 28, 2003

DARPA has funded a project to equip a battalion of 120 military robots with swarm intelligence software to enable them to mimic organized insect behavior.

“Swarm intelligence describes the way that complex behaviours can arise from large numbers of individual agents each following very simple rules. For example, ants use the approach to find the most efficient route to a food source.”

Proteins produce nano-magnetic computer memory

April 28, 2003

Computer hard drive capacity could be increased a hundredfold by using the protein apoferritin (the main molecule in which iron is stored in the body) to fabricate nanoscale magnetic particles, claims UK company Nanomagnetics.

Each particle can store a bit of information; they can be packed onto a disk drive at much greater density than with existing hard disk manufacturing methods.

Unusually long and aligned ‘buckytubes’ grown at Duke

April 25, 2003

Duke University chemists have developed a method of growing nanotubes 100 times longer than usual (4 mm.), while maintaining straightness with controllable orientation and cross-connecting nanotube grids. The achievement solves a major barrier to nanotubes’ use in ultra-small nanoelectronic devices.

Engineers aim to make average singers sound like virtuoso

April 25, 2003

Researchers are creating computer models for voice analysis and synthesis that break the human singing voice into components (such as pitch, duration, and vibrato) that can then be modified to produce a more professional-sounding rendition of the original voice.

Microsoft to Use Radio Waves on Devices

April 25, 2003

Microsoft Corp. is using FM radio waves to deliver instant messages, headlines and traffic updates to a new generation of gadgets that will fit on your wrist or keychain.

Nanotech is ready for its closeup

April 25, 2003

Molecular movies are helping IBM understand how molecules can be directed to assemble into useful structures. Using a stream of electrons, the system can resolve structures as small as 5 nanometers.

The End of Human Nature

April 24, 2003

“We’re headed toward an era when human beings will be as casually “enhanced” as chickens or marigolds, with higher IQs, better looks, longer lives.”

In his book, Enough: Staying Human in an Engineered Age, Bill McKibben “indicts germline technology, the so-called designer baby science that aims to let parents improve their offspring by pasting desirable genes into their kid’s DNA.”

close and return to Home