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Discovering a Secret of Long Life

February 13, 2003

Scientists at the California Institute of Technology have discoverd a common mitochrondrial DNA genetic mutation in people who live longer than 100 years. The finding could help advance ways to counteract the ravages of aging.

NEC image processor runs 50.2 giga-operations per second

February 11, 2003

NEC Corp. has developed a single-chip parallel processor dedicated to image recognition that processes 50.2 giga-operations per second, about four times faster than a 3-GHz processor for PCs, but consumes about one tenth as much power.

Supercomputing Resurrected

February 11, 2003

Last year, Japan fired up an ultrafast computer that puts its closest competitors to shame. What will it take for the United States to catch up?

CONSCIOUSNESS AND THE BRAIN

February 11, 2003

Nobel laureate Francis Crick and and neuroscientist Christof Koch outline a strategy to develop a coherent scheme for determining the neural correlates of consciousness in philosophical, psychological and neural terms in the February issue of Nature Neuroscience.

Their approach centers on the visual system of primates, drawing on data from electrical recordings in awake monkeys, behavioral studies in humans and the effects of specific brain damage. Much of the… read more

Intel unveils ‘building blocks’ for 10-GHz processors

February 11, 2003

Intel Corp. plans to disclose this week several technologies that will make good on its promise to deliver 10-GHz or faster microprocessors by the end of this decade. The company is also expected to develop and ship processors that run at speeds from 10 to 20 GHz by then.

A Glimpse of a Future in a New Kind of Light

February 11, 2003

Lighting experts expect the pace of change in developing light-emitting diodes to pick up as researchers shrink the chips to microscopic size, improve their already impressive energy efficiency and increase their brightness. The chips are expected to move into the general home and office lighting market as early as 2007.

The eventual result, the experts say, will be savings of billions of dollars annually in energy and maintenance costs… read more

Saving the universe

February 11, 2003

NASA is expected to announce this week that it has proved the existence of “dark energy,” a cosmic force that counteracts gravity and will keep the universe expanding forever. The announcement will effectively demolish the theory that life will be wiped out in a “big crunch” when the universe collapses, and should end decades of academic dispute.

NASA has found a pattern of “hot spots” which proves that the… read more

How Vulnerable Is the Internet Now?

February 11, 2003

According to Gartner research director Richard Stiennon, it would not be difficult for an attacker to send spoofed routing tables to poorly configured routers and misdirect traffic across large parts of the Internet. Such an incident would be hard to fix.

The Secret of Life

February 11, 2003

Cracking the DNA code 50 years ago has changed how we live, heal, eat and imagine the future. A special issue of Time explores the revolution.

Nonbiological intelligence will dominate: Kurzweil in Time magazine

February 11, 2003

“Within a quarter-century, we will have completed the reverse engineering of the human brain and will understand its principles of operation,” says Ray Kurzweil in Time Magazine’s Feb. 9, 2003 issue on “The Secret of Life.”

The special issue explores how cracking the DNA code has changed how we live and features an invited panel of scientists and science writers who imagine the world 50 years from now.… read more

At one with the universe

February 10, 2003

Is the brain simply a computer, and is consciousness merely the feeling we get when we think? Or is consciousness a primary component of the universe, which the brain can latch on to, like a radio receiver?

Robotic Assistants Could Have Helped Columbia

February 10, 2003

If Columbia’s tiles or wing section were damaged on liftoff, that fear could have been allayed by in-flight robotic inspection.

The AERCam-SPRINT (Autonomous Extra-vehicular Robotic Camera) flew on STS-87 in 1997. It is a small, hand-deployed and captured remote controled inspection tool that carries its own avionics and nitrogen-gas propulsion. Feasibility studies have been done by NASA to fly AERCam underneath the vehicle to image tiles.

In the… read more

U.S. Plans for Cyber Warfare

February 10, 2003

President Bush has ordered the government to draw up guidelines for electronic attacks against enemy computer networks to shut down radars, disable electrical facilities and disrupt phone services.

Broadband Over Power Lines?

February 10, 2003

Coming to a home or office near you could be an electric Internet: high-speed Web access via ubiquitous power lines, making every electrical outlet an always-on Web connection.

But turning power lines into a stable, high-speed system of data transmission is tricky. Network interference and such things as transformers and surge arrestors have hindered broadband delivery.

For the Smart Dresser, Electric Threads That Cosset You

February 10, 2003

DuPont and other companies are producing yarns that can transmit electrical signals or current. Made of synthetic or metallic fibers, they are woven or knitted into cotton or polyester to produce a new type of cloth known as electrotextiles.

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