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Foresight offers discount to readers

April 18, 2003

Foresight Institute is offering a $100 discount to readers for the Foresight Vision Weekend Annual Senior Associates Gathering: “Molecular Myth, Manufacturing, Money and Mania-Will the real nanotechnology please self-assemble!,” May 2-4, 2003 in Palo Alto.

Speakers include Larry Lessig, K. Eric Drexler, Peter Schwartz, Ed Feigenbaum, Steve Jurvetson, Ralph Merkle, Neil Jacobstein, Eliezer Yudkowsky, Brad Templeton, Christine Peterson, and Aubrey de Grey. They will address current… read more

Planning for the Next Net War

April 18, 2003

The Department of Defense is introducing network-centric warfare in Iraq, using “real-time video images to target missiles in flight, wireless PDAs to connect with stateside medical records from the battlefield, and virtual- reality simulations to provide just-in-time delivery of material to front-line troops.”

Future war technologies will include information from sensors reporting such things as the shape of radar waveforms, acoustic signals and seismic analysis, used to immediately notify… read more

In the Skies Over Iraq, Silent Observers Become Futuristic Weapons

April 18, 2003

“Remotely piloted aircraft like the Predator have played a crucial role in the Iraq war, not only providing a bird’s-eye view of the battlefield but also giving military planners the ability to kill fiercely defended targets with a futuristic weapon — all without risking American lives.”

All the armed services are now using unpiloted aerial vehicles, with more than ten different unmanned aerial vehicles on the battlefield.

GM Blood Kills Human Cancer Cells

April 18, 2003

“Genetically modifying a patient’s white blood cells turns them into potent cancer killers, UK researchers have revealed.”

The researchers isolated T-lymphocyte cells from cancer patients and genetically modified these cells to carry a gene that produces an antibody that recognizes a specific molecule in the cancer cells.

“This antibody allows the T-cell to bind onto the cancer cell and trigger a chain of events that turns the T-cells… read more

SARS Virus is Mutating, Fear Doctors

April 18, 2003

“A cluster of SARS patients in Hong Kong with unusual symptoms has prompted concern that the virus causing the disease is mutating….Scientists in Hong Kong are now urgently sequencing key genes from recently isolated coronaviruses to reveal any changes.”

Games to take your breath away

April 18, 2003

Scientists at Dublin’s Media Lab Europe have developed a computer game uses sensors stuck to a player’s body.

“The sensors monitor breathing and only move characters on-screen if the player breathes in the right way. The game is designed for children in hospital to help them cope with boredom during long periods of bed rest and recuperation.

Fast Tracking

April 18, 2003

“Sophisticated software and hardware are giving wildlife trackers an almost instant overview of plant and animal patterns. Ultimately, this will offer scientists a more profound understanding of how nature interacts….Using handheld computers, digital cameras, and satellite positioning systems, scientists are able to simplify data collection, recruit more people to do the work, and take their most comprehensive look yet at plants and wildlife.”

Robot Planes Tested for Friendly Skies

April 18, 2003

“NASA is developing a collision-avoidance system that would allow fully autonomous, and not just remotely piloted, aircraft to operate in civil airspace.”

The aircraft uses a radar system and can detect the transponders found in larger aircraft. “Eventually, engineers envision a system that combines radar, transponders, cameras and other instruments so drones can operate as safely as any other plane.”

Mind-Machine Merger

April 18, 2003

“Devices that connect the brain with computers could lead to mind-controlled robots, repair neurological disorders, and even improve memory.”

Booze to Fuel Gadget Batteries

April 18, 2003

A new breed of biofuel cell, fueled by ethyl alcohol (ethanol), may become the power source of choice for portable electronics.

Prior experiments have used methanol as fuel. Ethanol is not toxic like methanol, easier to deal with, easier to get hold off (straight out of the bottle), and more active than methanol in the presence of enzymes, which are used as catalysts.

A working prototype is expected… read more

Cloned Pigs Differ From Originals In Looks And Behavior

April 17, 2003

Another cloning myth shattered. New research at North Carolina State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine indicates that cloned animals do not retain the physical and behavioral attributes of the animal from which they were cloned, “so you cannot expect your cloned pet to behave like your original pet,” said Dr. Jorge Piedrahita, professor of molecular biomedical sciences at NC State.

Final human genome sequence released

April 17, 2003

The complete sequence of human DNA is complete and the Human Genome Project is over, according to Francis Collins, director of the US National Human Genome Research Institute and head of the consortium of 16 international institutions that collaborated to sequence the code.

“The raw sequence is freely available on the web. But researchers will have to wait up to a year for the first analysis of it.”

Maths gets into shape

April 17, 2003

One simple equation can generate a vast diversity of natural shapes, from simple triangles and pentagons, to stars, spirals and petals.

“Using one formula to produce shapes will make graphics programs much more efficient, he says. It might also be useful in pattern recognition.”

Zyvex announces nanomanipulator

April 17, 2003

Zyvex Corporation has announced the sales release of the S100 Nanomanipulator System, a positioning and testing tool for nanotechnology R&D applications.

The S100 accommodates up to four quadrants of three-dimensional stages, which grasp, move, test, and optimally position molecular-level samples for scanning electron microscopes (SEMs).

The system is an integral part of Zyvex’s plan to provide flexible, automated manufacturing at ever-decreasing sizes.

Will Genetic Engineering Kill Us?

April 16, 2003

“Bioethicists and scientists contemplating the future fear that genetic engineering and other technologies are going to divide human beings into classes that may one day try to destroy one another.”

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