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Simulating Surgery

March 11, 2003

An experimental software system lets surgeons “sketch” several possibilities for bypass operations (based on nuclear magnetic resonance data) and preview the likely results before making a single incision.

Universe as Doughnut: New Data, New Debate

March 11, 2003

Rather than being infinite in all directions, the universe could be radically smaller in one direction; it may be even be shaped like a doughnut. The idea is based on new data produced by NASA’s Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe satellite.

Foresight Vision conference announced

March 11, 2003

The Foresight Vision Conference, the annual Senior Associates Gathering, “Molecular Myth, Manufacturing, Money and Mania: will the real nanotechnology please self-assemble,” is being held May 2-4, 2003 in Palo Alto.

Making Faces

March 10, 2003

A London surgeon’s plan to transplant a human face has caused some alarm about the nature of identity.

Iraq to Assist with Robot Testing

March 10, 2003

Iraq seems to be on the verge of becoming one of the biggest testing grounds for military robotics in history.

Tomorrow’s 5g cell phone

March 9, 2003

“Cognitive radio” will give wireless devices machine-learning capabilities, redefining cell-phone technology.

Harnessing Atoms to Create Superfast Computers

March 7, 2003

A new book, “Shortcut Through Time,” aims to make quantum computing understandable.

Sony, others to create 3D standards

March 7, 2003

Several high-tech companies including Sony and Sanyo have officially unveiled a consortium to create technical and safety standards for bringing three-dimensional displays to desktops, laptops and cell phones. To see images or run programs in 3D on these screens, users won’t need special glasses or additional software.

DNA molecules form nanodevice scaffolding

March 6, 2003

A research team at the University of Minnesota is proposing a molecular-circuit assembly technique that they believe will be compatible with silicon-based electronics. A patterned silicon substrate, complete with interconnection pads, carries DNA-coded “tiles” that serve as breadboards for nanocomponents.

To goal is a memory structure with a density of 10 trillion bits/cm2 — 100 times denser than the 64-Gbit DRAMs the electronics industry projects for 2010.

The Future That Wasn’t

March 6, 2003

A new collection of images from the ’50s evokes a technologic optimism that makes the dotcom craze look conservative.

Toshiba boffins prep laptop fuel cell

March 6, 2003

Toshiba has figured out how to power a portable computer using fuel cell technology without the need for a power unit larger than the PC itself.

Making Robots More Like Us

March 6, 2003

The solution to developing machines that can move and work like humans may lie in getting robots and humans to interact better.

The Liver Chip

March 5, 2003

Researchers are building a miniature human liver on a silicon chip as a realistic model of the natural organ. Mass produced, such a chip could be a boon to companies developing drugs for hepatitis and other diseases, and for scientists investigating liver cancer and gene therapy and chemical firms testing the toxicity of new materials.

Robot finger has feeling

March 5, 2003

Scientists in Spain have developed a robotic finger with a sense of touch. It is made of a polymer that can feel the weight of what it’s pushing and adjust the energy it uses accordingly.

I Spy With My Eagle Eye

March 5, 2003

There are three ways to achieve supervision:

  • Adaptive optics to correct vision to 20/10, the limit of normal human sight, possibly leading to surgical and contact-lens breakthroughs.
  • Electrodes implanted in the brain’s visual center or the optic nerve.
  • Genetically engineered cones that could allow for seeing new colors and extending the visual spectrum.
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