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DNA’s Disciples

March 5, 2003

At TIME’s Future of Life conference, Ray Kurzweil predicted that advancements in genomics, coupled with nanotechnology and the combination of human and computer intelligence, could extend our life span to 1,000 years.

Kurzweil defined intelligence as “the ability to solve problems using limited resources. And the most limited resource is time.”

The implication is that the smartest thing for us to do would be to eliminate the ravages… read more

Low-k dielectric materials business plan wins Japanese contest

March 5, 2003

A business plan based on nano-structured low-k dielectrics has won the one-million yen grand prize in a contest in Japan intended to establish a business model for nanotechnology ventures.

“Low-k dielectric materials are one of the key enablers to continue Moore’s Law,” said Nathen Fox, President and CEO of Atomic-Scale Design Incorporated, which won the award. “These materials are needed for the interlayer dielectrics (insulators) required in future computer… read more

Microsoft researchers display their tinkering at TechFest

March 5, 2003

Microsoft researchers are developing computers controlled by waving a hand, tracking software that can find a person on an office campus, and an identification system that embeds a digitized image of the photo in the bar code, so forgers cannot simply paste on a picture to create a new ID.

Robot finger has feeling

March 4, 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.”

Beaming Video at Speed of Light

March 4, 2003

A New Zealand company’s twist on free-space optics — which broadcasts data over visible light spectrum — promises to make wireless data transfer faster and cheaper. It can even beam high-quality video.

IDC Finds that Broadband Adoption Will Drive Internet Traffic Growth

March 2, 2003

IDC predicts that the volume of Internet traffic generated by end users worldwide will nearly double annually over the next five years, increasing from 180 petabits per day in 2002 to 5,175 petabits per day by the end of 2007.

“To put these figures into perspective, the entire printed collection of the Library of Congress amounts to only 10 terabytes of information. By 2007, IDC expects Internet users will… read more

It Will Be a Smaller World After All

February 28, 2003

The United Nations has finally changed its demographic predictions. Instead of foreseeing population growth or even explosion, the new estimates acknowledge that world population is on course to shrink—with significant social, economic, and strategic implications.

House passes ban on human cloning

February 28, 2003

After a lengthy debate on science and human life, the House on Thursday passed a bill endorsed by President Bush that would ban human cloning and sentence violators to prison and fines as high as $1 million.

Exclusive Intel Product Roadmap Details

February 28, 2003

Intel’s entire roadmap for the next few years will be revealed on Ziff Davis’ ExtremeTech site.

Optical trap provides new insights into motor molecules

February 27, 2003

The remarkably fuel-efficient motor of the protein kinesin serves as the ideal model for a variety of futuristic nanotechnologies — from nanofactories that would fit inside a computer chip to nanoimplants that could be placed under the skin and deliver minute doses of medication to targeted cells.

News tip: Walter Purvis

Anti-aging drugs may change society

February 27, 2003

Aging experts cautioned that if scientists succeed in developing therapies to extend human lifespan by decades the event could have profound implications for society.

Ethical issues would arise if anti-aging interventions were not universally available and there could be problems of overpopulation.

Artificial stupidity

February 27, 2003 takes on the controversial annual competition for the Loebner Prize in artificial intelligence.

New Molecular Self-Assembly Technique May Mimic How Cells Assemble Themselves

February 26, 2003

Researchers have created tree-like molecules that assemble themselves into precisely structured building blocks of a quarter-million atoms. Such building blocks may be precursors to designing nanostructures for molecular electronics or photonics materials, which “steer” light in the same way computer chips steer electrons.

News tip: Walter Purvis

Swarm Intelligence: An Interview with Eric Bonabeau

February 26, 2003

Dr. Eric Bonabeau takes us from his childhood nightmares of carnivorous wasps to applying the theories of swarm intelligence to solving real problems in the business world.

“It’s no longer possible to use traditional, centralized, hierarchical command and control techniques to deal with systems that have thousands or even millions of dynamically changing, communicating, heterogeneous entities,” he says. “I think that the type of solution swarm intelligence offers is… read more

University Of Michigan Launches Ambitious Exploration Of Inner Space

February 26, 2003

University of Michigan researchers will attempt to capture never-before-seen views of the chemical activity inside living cells in real time and 3-D.

The team will be using synthetic nanoprobes small enough to fit inside a cell without interrupting its normal functions to measure the activity of crucial metal ions like zinc and copper as the cell works. Sophisticated statistical modeling programs will be used to interpret the data.… read more

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