science + technology news

The Bionic Running Shoe

May 7, 2004

Adidas is developing the runnning shoe that adjusts in real time to changing conditions and the runner’s particular style while in use.

Each second, a sensor in the heel can take up to 20,000 readings and the embedded electronic brain can make 10,000 calculations, directing a tiny electric motor to optimize the shoe’s cushioning compression to minimize impacts on the knee.

DNA robot takes its first steps

May 6, 2004

A microscopic biped with legs just 10 nanometers long and fashioned from fragments of DNA has taken its first steps.

The nanowalker is being hailed as a major breakthrough by nanotechnologists, since for nanoscale manufacturing to become a realistic prospect, mobile microscopic robots will be needed to assemble other nanomachines and move useful molecules and atoms around.

For the Viewer, No Escape Hatch in a Digital 3-D Film

May 6, 2004

Threshold Digital Research Labs has created a 3-D movie that not only gives the illusion of a world in front of you, but all around.

The technique is being used in a short film about Borgs trying to capture a space station that is part of “Star Trek: Borg Invasion 4D,” an attraction at the Las Vegas Hilton.

The film combines 10 actors with 130 computer-generated figures. To… read more

How Much Does Information Technology Matter?

May 6, 2004

In May 2003, The Harvard Business Review published a conversial article by a former editor, Nicholas G. Carr, titled “IT Doesn’t Matter.” Industry chief executives voiced rebuttals.

Mr. Carr has replied to his critics with a new book, “Does IT Matter?” His basic point: At one time, information technology was so expensive and so difficult to manage that companies could make large amounts of money simply by being able… read more

Limits on Stem-Cell Research Re-emerge as a Political Issue

May 6, 2004

The debate over embryonic stem-cell research is re-emerging as an election issue as advocates for patients, including Nancy Reagan and 206 members of the House, press the president to loosen the limits on federal financing for the science.

Robot Sex

May 6, 2004

The more robots interact with us humans, the more important their apparent gender becomes because it will make robots more compatible with their human masters.

Such thinking is behind a growing movement in robotics by Cynthia Breazeal and others to build machines that portray emotions.

NextFest: The Shape of Things to Come: Dream Machines

May 6, 2004

Five design giants build the imaginary supergadgets of 2014:

  • The Charm Bracelet is a flexible, foldable gizmo that includes a screen, a microphone, a multipurpose camera, a biometric thumbprint scanner, and a tactile control panel, letting you access data from any convenient device.
  • [EYE]D is a workout tool that analyzes everything from vital signs to body movement and makes adjustment suggestions in real time. This information
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    Hormones converge for couples in love

    May 6, 2004

    Men in love have lower levels of the male sex hormone, whereas testosterone rises in love-struck women, Italian researchers have found.

    Five ‘designer babies’ created for stem cells

    May 6, 2004

    Five healthy babies have been born to provide stem cells for transplantation to siblings with serious non-heritable conditions.

    This is the first time “savior siblings” have been created to treat children whose condition is not genetic, says the medical team, using a controversial technique called preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) to test embryos for a tissue type match to the ailing siblings to improve the chance of a match.

    Expert fights horse cloning ban

    May 6, 2004

    A UK scientific expert in horse breeding has accused the government of giving in to animal rights activists after it rejected his bid on cloning.

    Global Warming

    May 6, 2004

    New information strengthens the case for global warming, according to a study published in the journal

    Global warming refers to an average increase in the Earth’s temperature of about 1 degree Fahrenheit over the past century, with accelerated warming during the past two decades.

    But there’s a scientific riddle: temperatures are indeed rising near the earth’s surface, but, up in the lower atmosphere (troposphere), where the most… read more

    Micromanipulators for cells and DNA molecules possible

    May 5, 2004

    Boston College researchers have demonstrated the fabrication of microscopic polymeric structures on top of a human hair, using a technique called multiphoton-absorption photopolymerization (MAP), in which a polymer can be deposited at the focal point of a laser beam.

    Scanning of the laser beam in a desired pattern then allows for the formation of intricate, three-dimensional patterns. This technique makes it possible to create features that are 1000 times… read more

    U.S. Is Losing Its Dominance in the Sciences

    May 5, 2004

    The United States has started to lose its worldwide dominance in critical areas of science and innovation, according to federal and private experts who point to strong evidence like prizes awarded to Americans, the number of papers in major professional journals, and patents.

    Images Get Their Own Search Engine

    May 5, 2004

    Backed by CIA funding, Pixlogic software can be “visually programmed” to monitor video feeds in real time to search for certain events or elements.

    The software sees objects in a picture or video frame and makes a mathematical formulation to describe them. The formulations are stored in a searchable database and compared to the formulations for objects that are already filed.

    A commercial version, Pixserve, will allow users… read more

    City-Sized Asteroid to Pass Earth This Fall

    May 5, 2004

    On Sept. 29, 2004 an asteroid the size of a small city will make the closest known pass of such a very large space rock anytime this century — within a million miles. That’s close by cosmic standards for an object that could cause global devastation.

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