science + technology news

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.

The Doctor Will Freeze You Now

May 5, 2004

BioTime has developed a process that cools living bodies down to the brink of freezing — a state in which the brain takes hours, not minutes, to wither.

Given the need to preserve donor organs for as long as possible, brain-dead accident victims may lead the way in whole-body cryobiological research. The day may not be far off when we freeze these cadavers for transport, then thaw them and… read more

Probe to detect cancer in intestines

May 5, 2004

A UC Irvine research team has received a $2.9 million National Institutes of Health grant to develop a microscopic probe for detecting and treating pre-cancerous and malignant tumors in humans.

The probe would guided through the esophagus, stomach and colon to determine if tumors are growing on the wall of the intestine. It would be remotely controlled by a surgeon operating an endoscope. The probe uses optical coherence tomography… read more

New Gas Plasma Antenna Technology Could Help Wi-Fi Security

May 5, 2004

Markland Technologies, Inc. has announced that its gas plasma technology can be used to create secure WiFi data transmission capability for business and military applications.

Gas plasma antenna technology would allow for highly directive and electronically steerable digital data transmission using low cost solid-state semiconductor-based plasma generators.

Because the gas plasma can be rapidly enabled and disabled in less then 1 microsecond, it can be repositioned to point… read more

Sasser computer worm wriggles worldwide

May 5, 2004

More than a million computers around the world have been infected by the “Sasser” computer worm or one of its variants.

Sasser does not rely on email to spread and requires no action by users to infect a machine. Each variant of the worm infects computers across a network by exploiting a bug in a part of Microsoft’s Windows XP and Windows 2000 operating systems called the Local Security… read more

Could vitamins raise levels of bad cholesterol?

May 4, 2004

A new study suggests that antioxidant vitamins, such as E, C, and beta carotene, could raise the production by the liver of the so-called bad form of cholesterol, which transports cholesterol into artery walls.

The New York University School of Medicine study found that antioxidant vitamins increase the secretion of VLDL in liver cells and VLDL is converted in the bloodstream to low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the bad form of… read more

Brain-watching helps suppress pain

May 4, 2004

People can learn to suppress pain when they are shown the fMRI activity of a pain-control region of their brain, a new study suggests.

The technique might prove useful not only for training patients to control pain, but perhaps also for treating other illnesses where brain activity is altered, such as depression or dementia. It might even help boost normal brain function.

Facing facts in computer recognition

May 4, 2004

The elements of a face can be hard for computers — and for some people — to recognize.

Henry Schneiderman, a computer vision researcher at Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute, has developed the most accurate program in existence for detecting faces in still images and video.

Schneiderman’s face detector uses low-resolution black and white images measuring 24 by 32 pixels. Part of the development process involves showing the… read more

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