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The Robot Ate My Homework

February 20, 2003

Robots are helping kids who are hospitalized for long periods by trauma or chronic illness keep up with school.

One goes to school in the absent child’s place. Another in the hospital transmits an image of the child’s face to the classroom. The child can direct the school robot to raise its hand to ask a question or swivel its head to follow the teacher.

Nanotechnology: Will it be a boon — or kill us all?

February 20, 2003

The Future Dances on a Pin’s Head, a commentary by Julia A. Moore, Wilson Center Public Policy Scholar, subtitled “Nanotechnology: Will it be a boon — or kill us all?” dated November 26, 2002, argues for setting aside a portion of nanotechnology funding to investigate the implications of the technology.

Japan’s NEC Takes Step Forward in Quantum Computing

February 20, 2003

NEC and Japanese government-funded research group RIKEN said they had successfully created a state of quantum entanglement between two solid-state qubits for the first time. This breakthrough could bring quantum computers a step closer.

News tip: Darryl Caldwell

First 3-D Map of Protein Universe

February 20, 2003

The first three-dimensional global map of the protein structure universe has been created by researchers with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the University of California at Berkeley. It provides important insight into the evolution and demographics of protein structures and may help scientists identify the functions of newly discovered proteins.

Who should explore space, man or machine?

February 20, 2003

A contest for dominance in space pits biology and brains against circuits and chips.

New atlas for neuroscientists

February 19, 2003

Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have developed computerized atlases and associated tools for visualizing and analyzing the brain.

The 3-D maps outline structural and functional areas in the cerebral cortex and the cerebellar cortex.

Detailed maps such as these will help physicians better understand the implications of brain damage due to stroke, epilepsy, trauma and other causes, and will help guide neurosurgeons in… read more

Word ‘bursts’ may reveal online trends

February 19, 2003

Searching for sudden “bursts” in the usage of particular words could be used to rapidly identify new trends and spot problems, according to Jon Kleinberg of Cornell University, who has developed algorithms that identify bursts of word use in documents.

Complete DNA Map: All Your Genes

February 19, 2003

Researchers will unveil the most complete version of the human genome to date at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in May.

Pentagon’s ‘wish list’ to enhance commandos’ abilities

February 18, 2003

DARPA is seeking digital analysis and artificial intelligence technology that may enable analysts to track terrorists’ financial transactions and communications.

Robotics put new face on the future

February 17, 2003

Robots could be based on adaptive animals like octopi and could use new electroactive polymers that emulate muscle tissue. These could lead to more realistic and capable robots.

The scientists spoke at a symposium on “biologically inspired intelligent robots” at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

New robot face smiles and sneers

February 17, 2003

The new K-bot robot can express a full repertoire of human facial expressions and could be a useful tool for scientists researching AI.

She has 28 facial movements, including smiling, sneering, furrowing her brow and arching her eyebrows. She also has cameras in her eyes to recognize and respond to humans.

K-bot is the creation of David Hanson, a former Disney employee now working at the University of… read more

Our Bodies, Our Fears

February 16, 2003

Americans say they’re more anxious than ever. Scientific research about how our brains and bodies process fear can teach us how to live with long-term stress.

Artificial worlds used to unlock secrets of human interaction

February 16, 2003

Agent-based modeling is a new tool to look for elementary principles of self-organization that might shed new light on long-standing puzzles about how humans interact, according to sociologist Michael Macy of Cornell University, speaking at the Feb. 14 at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Cornell news release

Biology to make mini machines

February 16, 2003

Computers of the future will be built not by factory machines, but by living cells such as bacteria.

Long distance quantum teleportation draws closer

February 13, 2003

Researchers in Austria have solved a problem plaguing long distance quantum teleportation: verifying that information has been transmitted has required the quantum link itself to be destroyed, preventing any further use.

The solution was to reduce the intensity of the source used to fire photons at the entangled pair, lowering the total number of photons in the system and hence also the number of false positives. Now, if the… read more

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