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Neural net programs diagnose colon tumors

March 5, 2002

Researchers at the University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center in Baltimore have devised a new method to differentiate and diagnose several types of colon tumors, using artificial neural networks to analyze thousands of genes at one time.
The program could ultimately help doctors to identify the cancers earlier and spare some patients from unnecessary, debilitating surgery, says Stephen J. Meltzer, M.D., professor of medicine at the University of Maryland School… read more

Robo-Therapist Helps Ailing Limbs

March 1, 2002

InMotion2 is a robo-therapist that its inventors believe can help patients regain the use of limbs incapacitated by a stroke.
The robot emulates the physical therapist’s movements by putting the patient’s affected limb through a range of repetitive exercises designed to rehabilitate damaged nerve pathways.

The patient sits at a table with his lower arm and wrist in a brace attached to the arm of the robot. The patient… read more

Glowing nanobots map microscopic surfaces

March 1, 2002

Molecular robots used to explore a surface’s terrain can produce maps of microscopic structures and devices with higher resolutions than those produced by conventional microscopes, research shows.
University of Washington researchers modified microtubules by fixing kinesin molecules (which normally move materials around cells along microtubule pathways) on a surface, causing the microtubules to propel themselves randomly on the surface.

By attaching a fluorescent dye to the microtubules, the… read more

High-tech soldier envisioned

February 24, 2002

A high-tech soldier with 20 times the capability of today’s warrior by about 2010 is envisioned by the Army and a team from Oak Ridge National Laboratory.Concept design teams met last year, composed of futurists, systems engineers, biologists, military experts, human factors specialists, writers and others met late last year to propose a plan of attack to the Army for the “Objective Force Warrior.”

Nano-based DNA detection

February 24, 2002

Microelectrodes and gold nanoparticle probes are being used to create lower-cost, faster and more accurate DNA detection.Northwestern University scientists used a synthetic sequence of DNA that models the anthrax lethal factor to test a technology that could displace polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and conventional fluorescence probes in clinical diagnostics and make point-of-care DNA testing possible in the doctor’s office and on the battlefield.

A simple electrical signal indicates that… read more

Antimatter atoms captured for the first time

February 21, 2002

Antimatter atoms have been captured for the first time by researchers at CERN, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics.
The research team used powerful magnetic fields to trap antiprotons in CERN’s particle accelerator and then introduced a beam of antielectrons, or positrons, and used an electric field to slow them down and bring the two types of particles together.

When they exposed the particle trap to an electric field,… read more

Senate to debate ban on cloning

February 21, 2002

The Senate is preparing to debate the Human Cloning Prohibition Act of 2001 (S.790), which would ban all forms of human cloning as well as the importation of therapies developed from cloned human embryos.”Such a ban could be passed without much public comment, so if you have strong views on this, get them in immediately,” Eric Drexler and Chris Peterson suggest in the Feb. 2002 Foresight Senior Associate Letter. “See… read more

Robot care bears for the elderly

February 21, 2002

Robot bears watch over elderly residents in the world’s first hi-tech retirement home in Osaka, Japan.
The bears monitor patients’ response times to spoken questions and how long they spend performing various tasks, alerting staff where appropriate via a local area network.

Upside of Downsizing Analog Chips

February 21, 2002

Impinj has found a way to make analog devices employing the same CMOS technology currently used for making digital chips and fine-tuning them after they are produced. The result is analog devices that can be scaled down to tiny sizes and work better than the current generation of analog chips.
The “self-adaptive silicon” technology is modeled on how the human brain adjusts nerve cells; it can monitor… read more

A.I. Reboots

February 21, 2002

The focus of artificial intelligence today is no longer on understanding and replicating human intelligence but the development of systems to augment human abilities.
Promising applications of the “new A.I.” include:

  • CycSecure, a program to be released this year that combines a huge database on computer network vulnerabilities with assumptions about hacker activities to identify security flaws in a customer’s network.
  • The “Semantic Web,” a sophisticated
  • read more

    Pill reminders from robot pets

    February 20, 2002

    In the future, the elderly could be reminded to take medication by a computerized pet. The Pill Pets are brightly coloured, cuddly toys made of silicon, with a computerised screen that gives instructions on taking medication,

    For the Pill Pets to survive, they have to be told their reminders to take medication are being acted on.

    Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Ageing Lab in Boston… read more

    Artificial Muscles Gain Strength

    February 20, 2002

    Researchers have developed materials with properties closer to human muscles than anything yet seen. They will be perfect for an anti-gravitational suit, as well as for therapeutic and commercial devices.
    The MIT team has recently launched Molecular Mechanisms in Cambridge, MA to develop the technology and expect to create a “superman suit” for the armed forces that could enable soldiers to run, jump and lift to a nearly superhuman degree.… read more

    Call for bioweapons database

    February 20, 2002

    A database that contains the genetic details of all the bacteria and viruses
    that could be used in a bioterrorist attack should be established, leading American scientists have said.
    Other initiatives include greater security in laboratories where dangerous
    microbes are kept and the development of new ways of diagnosing infections.
    The researchers have also urged the US Government to engage with other
    nations on biological weapons.

    The scientists made… read more

    Researchers close to delivering molecular circuits

    February 20, 2002

    Molecular electronics researchers are converging on viable circuit-fabrication methods. A Hewlett-Packard and UCLA team are tackling one universal problem with molecular circuits: the inherent defects created by any chemical reaction. They’re designing a molecular equivalent of an FPGA (floating point gate array) that can be used to implement a redundant wiring scheme in which defective cells are simply switched out of the network.

    The team is also working on… read more

    Hijacking the Brain Circuits With a Nickel Slot Machine

    February 20, 2002

    Neuroscientists have uncovered a common thread between Compulsive gambling, attendance at sporting events, vulnerability to telephone scams and exuberant investing in the stock market based on rewards. And they found that the brain systems that detect and evaluate such rewards generally operate outside of conscious awareness. In navigating the world and deciding what is rewarding, humans are closer to zombies than sentient beings much of the time.

    Dr. Jonathan… read more

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