science + technology news

Embryonic stem cells ‘should be dead’

July 7, 2004

Tests of embryonic stem cells for the presence of enzymes called caspases (which normally indicate programmed suicide, or apoptosis) showed that few of the cells were actually dying, despite high levels of caspases.

The researcher, Thomas Zwaka of the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center in Madison, speculates that the process of self-renewal may have evolved alongside cell death, and some of the processes may be the same.

Elderly crucial to evolutionary success of humans

July 7, 2004

Senior citizens played an important role in the dramatic spread of human civilisation some 30,000 years ago, a study of the human fossil record has shown.

It found a five-fold increase the number of individuals surviving into old age in the Early Upper Palaeolithic period — around 30,000 years ago. This coincides with an explosive population growth of modern humans and the spread of archaeological artefacts that suggest the… read more

Carbon nanotubes rewrite memory rulebook

July 6, 2004

Carbon nanotube memory could be a panacea to all existing memory issues, start-up Nantero said, because it was cheap and did not lose its contents if turned off.

It’s faster than SRAM, it should be cheap and it doesn’t lose its contents when switched off. It should have an almost unlimited life, it should eventually be denser than DRAM, needs less power than DRAM and is resistant to radiation.… read more

Nanotechnology-based applications are accelerating the development of nanomedicine

July 6, 2004

With the potential for targeted therapy, and therefore reduced side effects, nanomedicine holds the promise of significantly improving quality of life parameters.

Key to nanomedicine’s rapid evolution has been the embrace of nanotechnology-based applications by pharmaceuticals, biopharmaceuticals and drug delivery companies. Prominent instances include the use of Elan Corporation’s NanoCrystal technology by Wyeth and Merck and the deployment of Quantum Dot Corporation’s Qdot(r) particles by Pfizer, GSK, Astra Zeneca… read more

Let software catch the game for you

July 6, 2004

Software that can identify the significant events in live TV sports broadcasts will soon be able to compile programs of highlights without any help from people.

The technology will save broadcasters millions in editing costs and should eventually lead to new generations of video recorders that will let people customize their own sports highlights packages.

Robotic wheels that just keep rolling

July 6, 2004

Robots made from elastic polymer and shape memory alloys propel themselves along by continuously altering their shape.

The researchers’ main aim was to show that you do not need rigid bodied crawler robots or wheeled vehicles to move over rough ground.

Evolution could speed net downloads

July 6, 2004

Internet download speeds could be improved dramatically by mimicking Darwin’s evolution to “breed” the best networking strategies, say computer scientists.

They used “genetic algorithms,” which mimic Darwinian evolution, to develop strategies for Internet servers to use when caching data.

The algorithms take known variables, such as the number of times a piece of data is requested, the number of points it has to pass through and its overall… read more

Universe Collapses: Well, TV’s, Anyway

July 6, 2004

The number of channels receivable by the average U.S. household declined last year, and appears to have stalled out at about 100.

If the decline is a genuine development, it seems to defy the TV industry’s claims of ultimately delivering a virtually unlimited channel universe via digital cable and satellite TV, and other new technologies such as video-on-demand.

The next big thing is actually ultrawide

July 2, 2004

The Freescale Semiconductor division of Motorola has developed ultrawideband (UWB) technology for sending data wirelessly at 110Mbps and plans for 1Gbps transmission in 2005.

UWB technology is currently hobbled by regulatory challenges and a long-running clash between two incompatible systems.

Ultrawideband works by broadcasting over a much larger chunk of the radio spectrum, so even a low-powered ultrawideband radio signal can carry huge amounts of data.

The… read more

Camero develops radar system to see thru walls

July 2, 2004

Israeli company Camero has developed a revolutionary technology that allows the user to see through walls and can be effectively used for both military and rescue services.

The UWB (ultra wideband) technology can produce real-time, three-dimensional pictures of what lies behind a wall, from a distance of up to 20 meters.

Chip protects single atoms

July 2, 2004

Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Physics and Ludwig Maximilians University have found a way to closely control the quantum states of single atoms trapped in a microchip.

The method is a step toward building devices that depend on traits of single atoms, like miniature atomic clocks that are an order of magnitude more accurate than those that exist today, and quantum computers.

The researchers’ chip… read more

Holograms enable pocket projectors

July 2, 2004

Researchers from the University of Cambridge and Light Blue Optics Ltd. have used holographic technology to produce a small laser-driven video projector.

The method could lead to pocket-sized, battery-powered video projectors that produce images whose quality matches that of today’s full-sized projectors,

The (Nano) Arms Race Has Begun

July 2, 2004

India’s new President A. P. J. Abdul Kalam called today for India to develop nanotechnology — including nanobots — because it will revolutionize warfare.

He called for scientists to develop “super strong, smart and intelligent structures in the field of material science and this in turn could lead new production of nano robots with new types of explosives and sensors for air, land and space systems.”

“This is… read more

Nanotech Arms Races

July 1, 2004

An advanced, general-purpose molecular manufacturing technology could have a significant destabilizing effect and lead to an international arms race; even a nuclear power might not be able to deter a nano power, concludes a preliminary study by the Center for Responsible Nanotechnology.

Net Attack Aimed at Banking Data

July 1, 2004

Computer security experts warned yesterday of another new Internet threat that can steal the passwords and account information of people who bank online — the second such discovery in a week.

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