science + technology news

‘Mindsight’ could explain sixth sense

February 5, 2004

Some people may be aware that a scene they are looking at has changed without being able to identify what that change is. This could be a newly discovered mode of conscious visual perception, according to University of British Columbia psychologist Ronald Rensink, who discovered it. He has dubbed the phenomenon “mindsight.”

“I think this effect explains a lot of the belief in a sixth sense,” he said.

John Sperling Wants You to Live Forever

February 5, 2004

John Sperling has quietly assembled an unorthodox team of researchers poised to use all relevant technology in “regenerative medicine” — including, ultimately, therapeutic cloning, stem cell medicine, and genetic engineering — to alleviate human suffering and the fear of death.

Top chip makers tout nanotechnology

February 5, 2004

Nanotechnology will play a key role in next-generation silicon, according to researchers.

Promising technologies include crossed nanowire structures that form matrices, transistors that use a single electron to control current flow, and carbon nanotubes, which may extend CMOS scaling down to the 1 to 3 nm range.

IBM has applied a molecular “self-assembly” technique to nanotechnology and recently applied it to flash memory devices.

A mouse that can regenerate its tissues

February 5, 2004

Researchers at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory and the University of Rome have found a way to mobilize stem cells to achieve a major regeneration of damaged tissue.

The scientists investigated muscle tissue in mice, discovering that stem cells can travel large distances to reach an injury. They also found a special form of a protein called mIGF-1 induces the muscle to send the distress signal that summons them.… read more

Can nanopulses heal?

February 5, 2004

Exposing cells noninvasively to an extremely powerful electric field for nanoseconds might one day be used to treat cancer, speed up healing or tackle obesity.

Teams led by Vernier, Karl Schoenbach of Old Dominion University and Stephen Beebe of Eastern Virginia Medical School, both in Norfolk, Virginia, have shown that “nanopulsing” with electric fields with gradients of tens of megavolts per meter, applied for nanoseconds, can kill tumor cells… read more

NTT Develops Three-Dimensional Nanofabrication Using Electron Beam Lithography

February 4, 2004

NTT has created an electron-beam lithography system that enables the fabrication of 3D structures down to the 10-nanometer level.

Plans call for applying this technique to nanofabrication of semiconductors and other nanoelectronic devices.

The process achieves a resolution 100 times that of conventional methods using an optical or X-ray beam, enabling fast 3D fabrication and patterning of nanoscale devices.

NTT press release

US father names son ‘Version 2.0′

February 3, 2004

Jon Blake Cusack, from Holland, Michigan has named his new-born son “Jon Blake Cusack 2.0,” as if he were a software upgrade.

“There’s a lot of new features from Version 1.0 [Mr Cusack himself] with additional features from [wife] Jamie,” he said.

2003: nanotechnology in the firing line

February 3, 2004

2003 was the year when nanotechnology collided with the real world. It was a painful collision, bringing prophecies of doom, fears of hidden dangers and calls for a moratorium on nanoscience.

Living Machines

February 3, 2004

Technology and biology are converging fast. The result will transform everything from engineering to art — and redefine life as we know it.

Lung cancer cluster bombs created by researchers

February 2, 2004

“Nanoparticle cluster bombs” have proven effective in treating cancerous lung cells in vitro. They can be programmed to escape immune system surveillance like a Trojan Horse, and carry designer drugs that target cancer cells while leaving healthy cells alone.

Robots for No Man’s Land

February 2, 2004

The military is moving more machines into battle to save both money and lives. “Well before the end of the century, there will be no people on the battlefield,” said Robert Finkelstein, a professor at the University of Maryland’s School of Management and Technology.

Stryker, one of the U.S. Army’s newest infantry vehicles, is fitted with a “ladar” scanner, the equivalent of a mounted pair of eyes that see… read more

Nanotech spy eyes life inside the cell

February 2, 2004

Gold nanoparticles are giving an unprecedented picture of the chemical and physical activity in cells.

The “nano-cameras” are able to image individual viruses in living cells for the first time, at an astonishing resolution of about 30 nanometers.

Living with the Genie

February 2, 2004

Living With the Genie: Essays on Technology and the Quest for Human Mastery gives a “reasonably balanced view of the promise and risks of a variety of technologies,” says reviewer Michael A. Goldman in the Jan. 30, 2004 issue of Science magazine.

The new book from Island Press focuses mainly on GNR (genetic engineering, nanotechnology, and robotics). In one essay, Ray Kurzweil predicts that biotechnology and nanotechnology will combine… read more

For Science, Nanotech Poses Big Unknowns

February 2, 2004

The risks of nanoparticles may ultimately prove to be minor and avoidable, experts say. Nonetheless, in a move that industry supporters blame on a conflation of facts with popular fiction — such as Michael Crichton’s best-selling thriller “Prey,” in which rogue nanoparticles wreak deadly havoc — activists have begun to organize against the science.

And the first two studies to look for such problems appeared in the January issue… read more

Nanotechnology Takes On Cancer

January 30, 2004

The NIH Roadmap for Medical Research includes nanomedicine research for cancer therapy.

For example, the Center For Biologic Nanotechnology at the University of Michigan is developing dendrimers (molecules shaped like spheres and made up of nanoscale polymers in a very specific pattern) that can create smart-therapeutic nanodevices used to treat disease. One type seeks out and recognizes only cancer cells. Another type can diagnose what type of cancer it… read more

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