Most Recently Added Most commentedBy Title | A-Z

Celebrity cloning

August 22, 2001

The DNA Copyright Institute (DCI) of San Francisco is offering celebrities the chance to establish copyright over their DNA to prevent unwanted duplication.In theory, all someone needs to clone their hero or heroine is a few living cells from them left behind on a glass or exchanged in a handshake, for example.

DCI is offering to record celebrities’ DNA fingerprint, check that it is unique and store it. As… read more

Man-beast hybrid beyond talking stage

August 22, 2001

The idea of combining the DNA of animals and humans has gone beyond the talking stage — it’s been attempted.
The first publicized case of animal-human hybrids took place in 1996 when Jose Cibelli, a scientist at the University of Massachusetts, took DNA from his white blood cells by swabbing the inside of his cheek. He then inserted the DNA sample into a hollowed-out cow egg.

Cibelli’s experiment came… read more

Program detects emotions in facial expressions

August 22, 2001

A computer program that detects emotions in facial expressions has been developed by University of California, San Diego (UCSD) researchers under CIA funding.The program is based on a coding system that breaks down facial expressions into 46 individual motions, or action units.

With this software and a video camera mounted on your monitor, project manager Terrence Sejnowski, UCSD professor of biology, thinks your computer might someday read you as… read more

Micromachine manipulates cells

August 22, 2001

Sandia National Laboratories has created a micromachine that interacts at the scale of cells and could have important uses in genetic engineering and medicine.

The device uses silicon microteeth that open and close like jaws to momentarily trap individual cells to implant materials.

The ultimate goal of the Sandia device is to puncture cells and inject them with DNA, proteins, or pharmaceuticals to counter biological or chemical… read more

Haptics adds touch to computers

August 21, 2001

Haptics -– the science of integrating the sense of touch into human/computer interactions — promises to greatly expand the reach of computers into everyday life.
Examples of haptics interfaces shown at SIGGRAPH:

  • A sensing chair that contains tiny vibrators that can send sensations to the person sitting in it. It also contains 4,032 sensors that pick up subtle cues from the person sitting in it. A potentially useful
  • read more

    ‘Spin’ Could Be Quantum Boost for Computers

    August 21, 2001

    Spintronics, based on magnetic properties of electrons, promises to make possible radical advances in computers and other electronic devices.Possible applications of spintronics include:

  • M-RAM, or magneto resistive memory, which will remember data after the power is turned off, eliminating boot-up time and possibly doing processing and storage in the same chip.
  • Quantum computers that can perform multiple computations simultaneously.
  • reprogrammable computer chips
  • A New Look at Large Biomolecules

    August 20, 2001

    A new method for studying the electrical charges of large biological molecules may enable researchers to make a leap from modeling molecules of 50,000 atoms to those of more than a million atoms. This may make it possible to develop more effective anti-cancer drugs.

    View a QuickTime movie of a “fly-through” of a microtubule
    The technique, developed by Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) researchers… read more

    Insect Senses Suggest Novel Neural Networks

    August 20, 2001

    A new model of neural networks, based on recent studies of fish and insect olfactory systems, suggests a way that neurons can be linked together to allow them to identify many more stimuli than possible with conventional networks. Researchers from the Institute for Nonlinear Science at the University of California, San Diego propose that connections between neurons can cause one neuron to delay the firing of another neuron system. The… read more

    MIT, HP to build quantum computer

    August 20, 2001

    Hewlett-Packard and MIT have announced a joint effort aimed at building quantum information systems.

    Researchers at HP Labs will work with their counterparts in MIT’s Media Lab, including Neil Gershenfeld and Isaac Chuang, on a joint $2.5 million quantum computing project.

    World’s fastest computer boots up

    August 20, 2001

    IBM has switched on the world’s most powerful computer, ASCI White, at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. It is the first computer capable of more than 10 trillion calculations per second and 1,000 times faster than IBM’s Deep Blue.

    Computer games stunt teen brains

    August 20, 2001

    Computer games are creating a dumbed-down generation of children far more disposed to violence than their parents, according to a controversial new study by Professor Ryuta Kawashima and his team at Tohoku University in Japan.The level of brain activity was measured in hundreds of teenagers playing a Nintendo game and compared to the brain scans of other students doing a simple, repetitive arithmetical exercise. The computer game only stimulated activity… read more

    Robots Tested in Mock Search for Urban Disaster Victims

    August 20, 2001

    Search-and-rescue teams of robots competed in a recent standardized obstacle course in an earthquake simulation. The event was part of the annual Robocup competition, held in conjunction with the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence.

    Designed by robotics experts around the world, the competitors are early iterations of search-and-rescue robots that can enter buildings after earthquakes, fires or bombings.

    Cosmic Laws Like Speed of Light Might Be Changing

    August 20, 2001

    The basic laws of nature may be changing slightly as the universe ages, an international team of astrophysicists has discovered.Observations of the behavior of metallic atoms in gas clouds 12 billion light years away revealed patterns of light absorption that the team could not explain without assuming a change in a basic constant of nature involving the strength of the attraction between electrically charged particles.

    If confirmed, the finding… read more

    Cloning and the New Jacobins

    August 20, 2001

    A curious coalition of the religious right and anti-science left has been
    whipping up a storm about the idea of a nationwide, or even worldwide ban on
    human reproductive cloning lately — an example of the clash of visions
    between the Lockean, Burkean, and Rousseauean temperaments in Anglosphere

    Silicon senses

    August 19, 2001

    “Silicon senses” could dramatically change the way we perceive our worlds.
    Examples include a head-mounted device projects a high-resolution image directly on the retina, a robot controlled by the brain-stem cells of a fish, a computer that emits odor, and a laptop that translates spoken words into another language by searching sentences for keywords that provide a clue to their meaning.

    close and return to Home