science + technology news

Embryonic Stem Cells Correct Congenital Heart Defect in Mouse Embryos

October 13, 2004

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center researchers have discovered a previously unsuspected capacity of embryonic stem cells to influence neighboring defective cells and restore their capacity to function normally.

Fifteen embryonic stem cells were injected into early embryos of mice whose hearts were genetically predisposed to develop a lethal defect. The stem cells rescued the heart from developing the disorder by producing normal daughter cells that were incorporated into the defective… read more

New Method Identifies Chromosome Changes in Malignant Cells

October 13, 2004

Princeton scientists have invented a fast and reliable method for identifying alterations to chromosomes that occur when cells become malignant. It quickly analyzes an entire genome and produces a reliable list of chromosome sections that have been either deleted or added.

The technique helps to show how cells modify their own genetic makeup and may allow cancer treatments to be tailored more precisely to a patient’s disease.… read more

Five Robots Inducted into the Robot Hall of Fame

October 13, 2004

Five robots from science and science fiction, representing the highest accomplishments in robotic achievement and creativity were inducted into Carnegie Mellon University’s Robot Hall of Fame: ASIMO, ASTRO BOY, C-3PO, Shakey, and Robby, the Robot.

Representatives of each robot accepted the honors on behalf of the inductees before an appreciative audience of scientists, researchers, admirers, and friends. The Robot Hall of Fame is an educational outreach activity of the… read more

Photocrystallography Captures Big Changes in Transient Molecular Species

October 13, 2004

University at Buffalo scientists have reported the first experimental measurements of structures of high-energy states of molecules that exist for just millionths of a second.

Led by Philip Coppens, Ph.D., the UB scientists used a “photocrystallography” technique that uses intense laser light and X-ray diffraction to reveal the structure of highly reactive molecules in these transient states.

“In the time-resolved studies, we take very short snapshots to capture… read more

Jeff Thompson reviews Ghost in the Shell 2

October 13, 2004

The Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence animated thriller movie, released in September, features a police officer uploaded to data networks, trying to solve a case.

WTN X PRIZE Technology Prizes Initiative Launched

October 12, 2004

The X Prize Foundation and the World Technology Network (WTN) announced the launch of the WTN X PRIZE, which will award prizes for significant achievements towards specific science or technology challenges such as cures for major diseases, artificial intelligence, or molecular assemblers.

The prizes will use the same methods developed for the recently awarded Ansari X PRIZE (10 million dollars for the first private space flight) to choose both… read more

Harmful Bacteria Shown Up By Nanoparticles

October 12, 2004

A new nanoparticle test for dangerous bacteria such as Escherichia coli O157:H7 is so sensitive it can detect a single bacterial cell within minutes.

The new test consists of silica nanoparticles, each housing thousands of fluorescent dye molecules and each attached to an antibody for a given bacterium.

The nanoparticles are added to a solution of the test sample, such as ground beef. If the bacterium sought is… read more

Ultrawideband: Wireless Whoopee

October 11, 2004

Ultrawideband wireless technology promises downloaded data rates of up to 1 gigabit per second — roughly 18.5 times the speed of WiFi — and allows home computers and other devices to send data upstream to a network at 480 megabits per second.

The rapid transmission rate could even allow consumers to broadcast real-time, DVD-quality video over the Internet.

Visionaries outline web’s future

October 11, 2004

Brewster Kahle has suggested digitally scanning all 26 million books in the US Library of Congress, the world’s biggest library, at a cost of only $260 million.

He estimated that the scanned images would take up about a terabyte of space, cost about $60,000 to store, and fit on a single shelf.

Atomic register offers route to quantum computing

October 11, 2004

The fundamental memory component of a quantum computer, a register, has been built for the first time using a string of atoms. This could offer a more reliable way to build a working quantum computer than other techniques, suggest researchers.

Kurzweil’s Quest For Eternal Youth Sets Group Abuzz

October 8, 2004

At MIT last week, Ray Kurzweil described a future in which he’s convinced immortality — or a drastically longer life span — will be possible thanks to emerging technologies.

His new book, coauthored with Terry Grossman, M.D., “Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever,” outlines a special “longevity program” of diet, exercise and nutritional supplements .

“I really do believe it is feasible to slow down the… read more

New Theory on Enzyme Catalysis

October 8, 2004

University of Leicester scientists’ research supports a theory that enzymes use quantum-mechanical effects such as tunnelling to facilitate passage of a reaction through, rather than over, an energy barrier.

The discovery has wide-ranging implications for the use of enzymes in industry and biomedical research, since the new theory is likely to underpin the mode of action of all enzymes, the scientists believe. “For example, the new discovery questions current… read more

AI Software Enables Satellite Self-Repair

October 8, 2004

NASA scientists recently successfully radioed AI software to a satellite and tested the software’s ability to find and analyze errors in the spacecraft’s systems.

The AI software, Livingstone Version 2 (LV2), automatically detects and diagnoses simulated failures in the NASA Earth Observing One satellite’s instruments and systems. LV2 monitors the satellite’s software, which autonomously runs the satellite’s imaging systems. If the satellite does not respond properly to its software’s… read more

Device Translates Spoken Japanese and English

October 8, 2004

A handheld device that enables a user to chat in another language — without having to learn any words or phrases — has been developed by NEC.

It consists of a speech recognition engine, translation software and a voice generator. Spoken English or Japanese is recognized and converted into text by the speech-recognition engine. The text is then converted from Japanese to English (or the other way) by translation… read more

Cancer Nanotechnology Research Center Funded

October 8, 2004

The NIH has awarded two universities grants totaling nearly $10 million to establish a multidisciplinary research program in cancer nanotechnology and develop a new class of nanoparticles for molecular and cellular imaging.

One grant will establish a multidisciplinary Bioengineering Research Partnership for scientists from Emory University and the Georgia Institute of Technology. The other grant will be used to develop advanced nanoparticle quantum dot probes for molecular and cellular… read more

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