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Famed Nanotech Researcher Axed

September 25, 2002

Bell Labs has fired Jan Hendrik Schon for falsifying experimental data in the areas of superconductivity, molecular electronics and molecular crystals.

Fifth Alcor Conference on Extreme Life Extension to profile cryonic breakthroughs

September 25, 2002

Cryonic breakthroughs in preventing tissue damage from freezing, human therapeutic cloning to replace damaged or missing tissue, and radical new techniques for life extension will be among the topics addressed at the Fifth Alcor Conference on Extreme Life Extension in Newport Beach, CA, November 15-17.Michael D. West, President & CEO of Advanced Cell Technology; Ray Kurzweil, CEO, Kurzweil Technologies; and Gregory Benford, science fiction writer and Professor of… read more

Google enters news arena

September 25, 2002

Google has launched a news service that uses search algorithms rather than human editors to select news reports.

It offers news reports from 4,000 different websites. Stories are ranked on how recently they have been published, the number of articles devoted to a given topic and the popularity of the particular news source.

Slaves to Our Machines

September 23, 2002

Instead of machines augmenting human ability, humans are increasingly being called on to augment machine abilities.

Missing Limb? Salamander May Have Answer

September 23, 2002

Salamanders are the superstars of regeneration. They can grow back not only limbs but also tails, parts of their hearts and the retinas and lenses in their eyes. Humans cannot do any of that. So scientists hope that the salamander’s tricks may one day be applied to people. Natural regeneration, which might be accomplished with drugs or genes, would be easier than transplanting, researchers say. And the tissue would be… read more

‘Ballistic’ gives nano a bad name

September 23, 2002

The new Ballistic: Ecks Vs. Sever movie features a killer nanorobot injected into a victim’s bloodstream to cause a heart attack or stroke, presenting a “dangerously misguided view of nanotechnology.”

Earth’s magnetic field ‘boosts gravity’

September 23, 2002

Hidden extra dimensions are causing measurements of the strength of gravity at different locations on Earth to be affected by the planet’s magnetic field, French researchers say.

Check This: Questions for Garry Kasparov

September 23, 2002

This fall, Garry Kasparov will begin his first match against a computer since he lost to I.B.M.’s Deep Blue in 1997. Unlike Deep Blue, the new chess computer, Deep Junior, has “accumulated immense knowledge of the game of chess,” says Kasparov, but he holds out hope that human creativity will trump computational brute force.

Stamp-Size Plastic Chip Provides New Approach to Cryptography

September 22, 2002

Modern encryption techniques are tested every time someone makes a purchase over the Internet or spends electronic cash stored in smart cards. These strategies rely on so-called one-way functions, which are easy to execute in one direction (for instance, multiplying two prime numbers) but difficult to reverse (factoring a large number into two primes). With ever-increasing computer power and advances in quantum computing, however, such methods may soon become breakable.… read more

Intel unfurls experimental 3D transistors

September 20, 2002

Intel unveiled more technical details on its Tri-Gate transistor, an experimental circuit that could become a crucial element in the company’s efforts to continue to heed Moore’s Law by making smaller and faster chips.

The transistors have three gates rather than one, so they behave more like 3-D objects. Increasing the number of transistor gates increases the amount of current that can be handled and reduces leakage, boosting performance.

Out-of-body experience clues may hide in mind

September 20, 2002

Swiss neurology researchers have tied “out the body experience” to stimulation the brain’s angular gyrus in the right cortex. This part of the brain is responsible for things like body and space awareness, and logical sequencing.

Maid to Order

September 19, 2002

Roomba, a new housecleaning robot spawned by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Artificial Intelligence Lab and built by iRobot, will vacuum your living room. It’s the first robot designed to live in your home, serve a useful purpose, and be priced for the mass market — at $199 — on sale this week.

Controlling Robots with the Mind

September 19, 2002

People with nerve or limb injuries may one day be able to command wheelchairs, prosthetics and even paralyzed arms and legs by “thinking them through” the motions.

Scientists have developed implantable microchips that will embed the neuronal pattern recognition now done with software, thereby eventually freeing the brain-machine interface devices from a computer. These microchips will send wireless control data to robotic actuators.

Microchips in the Blood

September 18, 2002

Many of the promised genomic drugs will be impossible to swallow as pills. Instead, they will have to be injected in minute quantities at precise intervals for months at a time. Just the job for an implantable syringe-on-a-chip. Researchers in this field refer to their goal as intelligent drug delivery. The intelligence is derived from a piece of silicon one centimetre square. Etched in the silicon is a matrix of… read more

In Nature vs. Nurture, a Voice for Nature

September 17, 2002

Discoveries about genetically determined human nature have been ignored or suppressed in modern discussions of human affairs, says MIT psychologist Dr. Steven Pinker in the forthcoming The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature.

The “blank slaters” — critics of sociobiology and their many adherents in the social sciences — have sought to base the political ideals of equal rights and equal opportunity on a false biological premise:… read more

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