July 31, 2002
SIGGRAPH’s Emerging Technologies Exhibition features advances in seamless human-machine integration, robots, machines that enhance the five senses, and explorations of virtual reality.
ETC Group (“dedicated to the conservation and sustainable advancement of cultural and ecological diversity and human rights”) calls for “an immediate moratorium on commercial production of new nanomaterials [and for launching] a transparent global process for evaluating the socio-economic, health and environmental implications of the technology.” ETC Group cites an EPA meeting where it was claimed that “nanoparticles are showing up in the livers of research animals, can seep into… read more
A white paper says nanotechnology will affect a wide range of industries and there are promising investments to be made, but warns about the hype.
University of Alberta researchers have developed a poker-playing computer program that successfully guesses whether an opponent is bluffing, wavering or playing his hands straight.
It records a player’s habits or biases as the game progresses and uses algorithms to mix that information with baseline probabilities, creating the effect of both reason and intuition. The program now defeats 90% of opponents.
The Hyper-Sonic Sound System (HSS) can convert any audio signal to an ultrasonic frequency that can be precisely directed toward a listener up to 100 yards away.
Uses include promotion from stores and vending machines (as in Minority Report), home theater systems, entertainment, and military weapons and psychological operations.
Researchers have used neural network program and fuzzy logic to achieve nearly 90 per cent accuracy in predicting the extent of spread of breast cancer and whether patients would survive for five years. This significantly outperformed conventional statistical analysis techniques.
A pill that mimics the life-prolonging effects of caloric restriction by inhibiting glucose metabolism could enable people to stay healthy longer, postponing age-related disorders — without requiring people to go hungry.
A two-kilometers-wide asteroid — large enough to cause continent-wide devastation on Earth — could strike the planet on February 1, 2019, based on astronomers’ preliminary orbit calculations, BBC News reports. The uncertainty of the forecast is large, however — several tens of millions of kilometers, according to Dr. Donald Yeomans of NASA JPL.
Invisible comets made of an exotic material called “mirror matter” could also be on a collision… read more
Five clone calves in Wisconsin have been born with 0.1 percent human DNA. They are expected to produce a human protein, C-1 Esterase Inhibitor, in their milk to treat humans suffering from angioedema.
Infigen, a biotech company in DeForest, Wisconsin, is cloning cows with human DNA to produce products such as human collagen, human fibrinogen (used to treat wounds), and human factor VIII, used for blood clotting.
The… read more
Interest is picking up in nitinol shape-memory devices for use in toys (dolls with nitinol facial muscles and mobile action figures), medical devices (stents in blood vessels and arteries to keep them from clogging), and other uses. The benefits: shrink components to reduce weight, cut materials costs and improve design flexibility.
Traditional desktop anti-virus software, based on the signature-based reactive approach, is no longer an adequate defense, say analysts. The new direction is “digital watchtowers”: scanning engines with artificial intelligence that look at patterns and unusual characteristics within e-mails before they come into a customer’s network.
Scientists have succeeded in making mice cerebral cortex grow dramatically more convoluted. They developed a line of transgenic mice that carried a variant of a gene that makes a protein, beta-catenin, thought to play a role in regulating cell growth in the developing brain.
The second law of thermodynamics has for the first time been shown not to hold for microscopic systems, which could place a fundamental limit on miniaturization.
“Their results are also in good agreement with predictions of the ‘fluctuation theorem,’ developed … to reconcile the second law with the behaviour of particles at microscopic scales.
“The results imply that the fluctuation theorem has important ramifications for nanotechnology and indeed… read more