science + technology news

High-Tech Hearing Bypasses Ears

September 17, 2004

Bone-conduction hearing technology, first used for hearing aids and for military headsets, is now heading to the mass market.

Several companies are using the technology for improved sound from cell phones and music players, including an underwater MP3 player. The technology can also be used to reduce background noise when a cell phone’s user is speaking.

Chip architecture uses nanowires

September 17, 2004

Hewlett-Packard Laboratories researchers are simulating chips that would use nanowire crossbar arrays.

These simulations show that nanowire crossbar arrays can contain as many as 100 times more devices in a given area than today’s chip technologies, even with the redundancy required by high defect rates in nanowire crossbar arrays.

Multiwalled carbon nanotubes grown on dendrimer-based catalyst at lowest temperature

September 17, 2004

Bradley Fahlman of the Central Michigan University chemistry department has grown multiwalled carbon nanotubes on a dendrimer-based catalyst at 175 degrees Celsius, the lowest-reported temperature to date. Traditional methods involve temperatures between 600 and 1000 degrees.

This is the first instance of growing nanotubes from a dendrimer at temperatures low enough to retain individual links between nanotubes and dendrimers. The discovery could lead to many industrial applications.… read more

A Milestone In Human DNA Sequencing

September 17, 2004

Researchers in the Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute and Stanford Human Genome Center have reached a halfway point in decoding the human genome by finishing chromosome 5, the 12th chromosome finished, with 12 more to go.

The fifth chromosome contains key disease genes and a wealth of information about how humans evolved. This large chromosome contains 923 genes, including 66 genes known to be involved in human disease.… read more

Predictions for IP Television Highlight Increased High Speed Bandwidth for the Home

September 17, 2004

All major phone companies have initiatives related to broadband-delivered IP television, according to FCC Chairman Michael Powell.

Verizon is rolling out high-capacity fiber-optic lines with the goal of signing up one million homes by the end of this year and another two million homes in 2005. Qwest Communications already operates a small IP television service in Arizona, and the other three Baby Bells are also ramping up their efforts.

Nanotube Oscillator Could Weigh Individual Atoms

September 16, 2004

Using a carbon nanotube, Cornell University researchers have produced a tiny electromechanical oscillator that might be capable of weighing a single atom.

The device, perhaps the smallest of its kind ever produced, can be tuned across a wide range of radio frequencies, and one day might replace bulky power-hungry elements in electronic circuits.

The device also has applications in mass sensing and basic research.

Cornellread more

Foresight Institute Announces Feynman Prize Finalists

September 15, 2004

Foresight Institute has announced the finalists for the 2004 Foresight Feynman Prize. The $10,000 prize, awarded in two categories, theory and experimental, recognizes researchers whose recent work has most advanced the field toward the achievement of Feynman’s vision for nanotechnology: molecular manufacturing.

The 2004 finalists for the Experimental prize are: Angela Belcher from MIT Department of Materials; Homme Hellinga, Duke University Medical Center; William Shih, Dana Farber Research Laboratory,… read more

Speech Code From I.B.M. to Become Open Source

September 15, 2004

IBM announced it will contribute some of its speech-recognition software to two open-source software groups.

After decades of research and development, speech recognition is moving toward mainstream use. Advances in statistical modeling, pattern-matching algorithms and processing power have enabled speech recognition to interpret a far broader vocabulary of words and phrases than in the past, though glitches remain.

The software for speech-recognition applications once had to be custom… read more

Game sequel takes leaps in AI technology

September 15, 2004

Electronic Arts has published The Sims 2, which it believes is a leap forward in artificial intelligence for games.

What’s remarkable about this computer game, released worldwide Tuesday, is that the domestic drama is not scripted. The characters act the way they do because that is what naturally unfolds. It’s a quality dubbed “emergence,” based on the history of the characters’ relationships and their own artificial, or preprogrammed, intelligence.

Amazon to Take Searches on Web to a New Depth

September 15, 2004, a start-up owned by, plans an advanced technology that the company says will take searches beyond mere retrieval of Web pages to let users more fully manage the information they find.

The new service, launched Tuesday night, offers users the ability to store and edit bookmarks on an central server computer, keep track of each link clicked on previous visits to a Web… read more

Hydrocarbons in the deep Earth?

September 14, 2004

Experiments point to the possibility of an inorganic source of hydrocarbons at great depth in the Earth’s upper mantle, which underlies the crust at depths of about 12 to 37 miles beneath the continents.

These would be “hydrocarbons that come from simple reactions between water and rock and not just from the decomposition of living organisms,” stated Dr. Russell Hemley of the Carnegie Institution’s Geophysical Laboratory and co-author of… read more

Have we seen an exoplanet?

September 14, 2004
2M1207 (center) and companion

Astronomers may have taken the first ever photograph of a planetary system outside our own solar system. The image appears to be a planet orbiting a young brown dwarf star (2M1207) about 230 light years away.

“Our discovery represents a first step towards opening a new field in astrophysics: the imaging and spectroscopic study of planetary systems,” says team member Anne-Marie Lagrange from the Grenoble Observatory in… read more

Speech recognition in silicon

September 14, 2004

Carnegie Mellon University and University of California and Berkeley researchers have received a $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation to move automatic speech recognition from software into hardware.

The goal is to create a radically new silicon chip architecture that does speech recognition up to 1,000 times more efficiently than a conventional computer and that can be incorporated in portable devices like cell phones and PDAs.… read more

Pinpointing cancer fight

September 13, 2004

The National Cancer Institute has launched a five-year, $144 million project to investigate using nanotechnology to fight cancer.

Step Toward Universal Computing

September 13, 2004

Transitive Corp. of Los Gatos, California claims to have cracked one of most elusive goals of the software industry: a near-universal emulator (called QuickTransit) that allows software developed for one platform to run on any other, with almost no performance hit.

close and return to Home