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Will robots create new jobs when they take over existing ones?

April 19, 2013

rethink_baxter

At a robotics industry event organized by business blog Xconomy in Menlo Park last week, people working on better industrial robots claimed their robotics technology will actually boost the U.S. economy and create more jobs, even if some jobs do disappear forever, MIT Technology Review reports.

“We’re replacing jobs that people don’t want to do and really shouldn’t be doing,” said Aldo Zini, whose company… read more

New technique to deliver life-saving drugs to the brain

April 19, 2013

FIU_drug_delivery

Researchers from Florida International University (FIU)’s Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine have developed a revolutionary technique that can deliver and fully release the anti-HIV drug AZTTP into the brain.

Madhavan Nair, professor and chair, and Sakhrat Khizroev, professor and vice chair of the HWCOM’s Department of Immunology, used magneto-electric nanoparticles (MENs) to cross the blood-brain barrier and send a significantly increased level… read more

New microbatteries a boost for electronics

April 19, 2013

Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) cross-section of the interdigitated electrodes spanning two<br />
periods. The interdigitated electrodes alternate between anode and cathode. The insets show the magnified electrodes with the nickel scaffold coated<br />
with nickel–tin on the left and lithiated manganese oxide on the right. Scale bars, 50mm and 1mm in the insets. (Credit: Nature Communications)

New microbatteries developed by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, out-power even the best supercapacitors and could drive new applications in radio communications and compact electronics.

“This is a whole new way to think about batteries,”  said William P. King, the Bliss Professor of mechanical science and engineering. “A battery can [now] deliver far more power than anybody ever thought.… read more

Massive star factory churned in Universe’s youth

April 19, 2013

Background image is Herschel/SPIRE image of the portion of sky in which HFLS3 was found, with zoom. Upper-left inset is combined radio/millimeter/submillimeter image of the distant galaxy. Top right is VLA spectrum showing radio emission from Carbon Monoxide molecules. (Credit: Riechers et al., ESA/Herschel/HerMES/IRAM/, NRAO/AUI/NSF)

Astronomers using a world-wide collection of telescopes have discovered the most prolific star factory in the Universe, surprisingly in a galaxy so distant that they see as it was when the Universe was only six percent of its current age.

The galaxy, dubbed HFLS3, 12.8 billion light-years from Earth, is producing the equivalent of nearly 3,000 Suns per year, a rate more than 2,000 times that of… read more

Quantum computing taps nucleus of single atom

April 19, 2013

qubit_nanostructure

Australian engineers at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) have demonstrated a quantum bit based on the nucleus of a single atom in silicon, promising dramatic improvements for data processing in ultra-powerful quantum computers of the future.

Quantum bits, or qubits, are the building blocks of quantum computers, which will offer enormous advantages for searching expansive databases, cracking modern encryption, and modelling atomic-scale systems… read more

When does your baby become conscious?

April 19, 2013

smart_kid

New research shows that babies display glimmers of consciousness and memory as early as 5 months old, Science Now reports.

Studies on adults show a particular pattern of brain activity: When your senses detect something, such as a moving object, the vision center of your brain activates, even if the object goes by too fast for you to notice. But if the object remains in your visual… read more

Facial recognition tech could help trace Boston bomb suspects

April 19, 2013

Boston_Marathon_bombing,_first_bomb_site_54_minute_before_explosion

Experts say the FBI may be able to use other images from the scene of Monday’s bomb attacks in Boston.— together with facial recognition software — to search through identity databases.

The approach is likely to become more common in the future as new technology makes using facial recognition on surveillance and bystander imagery more reliable, MIT Technology Review reports.

Deploying facial recognition software in the… read more

A tablet controlled by your brain

April 19, 2013

samsung.mind_.controlx299

Samsung is researching how to bring mind control to its mobile devices with the hope of developing ways for people with mobility impairments to connect to the world, MIT Technology Review reports.

In collaboration with Roozbeh Jafari, an assistant professor of electrical engineering at the University of Texas, Dallas, Samsung researchers are testing how people can use their thoughts to launch an application, select a… read more

Reversing memory loss

April 19, 2013

Aplysia_californica

Neuroscientists at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) have reversed memory loss in sea-snail nerve cells by by retraining them on optimized training schedules.

This may be a major step in helping people with memory loss tied to brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, the researchers suggest.

“Although much works remains to be done, we have demonstrated the feasibility of… read more

Super-nanotubes: ‘remarkable’ spray-on coating combines carbon nanotubes with ceramic

April 19, 2013

Micrograph of one strand of a new spray-on super-nanotube composite developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Kansas State University. The multi-wall nanotube core is surrounded by a ceramic shell. The composite is a promising coating for laser power detectors. (Color added for clarity.)<br />
Credit: Kansas State University

A spray-on mixture of carbon nanotubes and ceramic that has unprecedented ability to resist damage while absorbing laser light has been demonstrated by researchers from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Kansas State University.

Coatings that absorb as much of the energy of high-powered lasers as possible without breaking down are essential for optical power detectors that measure the output… read more

New keyboard for touchscreens speeds up thumb-typing

April 19, 2013

The new KALQ keyboard (credit: MPI for Informatics)

A new keyboard called KALQ that enables faster thumb-typing on touchscreen devices has been created by a research team at the Max Planck Institute for Informatics, the University of St Andrews, and Montana Tech.

They used computational optimization techniques and a model of thumb movement to search among millions of potential layouts before identifying one that yields superior performance.

A user study found… read more

Will you be wearing ‘smart clothes’?

April 19, 2013

Shoulder dress

Computerized fabrics that change their color and shape in response to movement are being developed by Joanna Berzowska, professor and chair of the Department of Design and Computation Arts at Concordia University.
The interactive electronic fabrics harness power directly from the human body, store that energy, and then use it to change the garments’ visual properties.

“Our goal is to create garments that can transform inread more

Google reveals tech specs for Glass

April 18, 2013

google-glass-specs-2

Today we have more info about Glass, after Google released the tech specs of its upcoming smartglasses, Gizmag reports.

The most important part of Glass is its display. Google vividly describes the tiny high-res screen as “the equivalent of a 25-inch high definition screen from eight feet away.”

Glass shoots 5-megapixel stills and 720p videos. Google had already revealed that Glass delivers audio via bone conduction.… read more

Layered ’2D nanocrystals’ could replace CMOS transistors

April 18, 2013

Researchers are developing a new type of semiconductor technology, pictured here, for future computers and electronics based on "two-dimensional nanocrystals." The material is layered in sheets less than a nanometer thick that could replace today's silicon transistors. (Credit: Birck Nanotechnology Center/Purdue University)

Purdue University researchers are developing a new type of semiconductor technology for future computers and electronics that could replace today’s CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor) transistors.

It’s based on “two-dimensional nanocrystals” layered in sheets less than one nanometer thick.

The layered structure is made of a material called molybdenum disulfide, which belongs to a new class of semiconductors — metal di-chalogenides.

The nanocrystals are… read more

Synthetic biologists vs. conservationists

The unintended consequences of tinkering with nature
April 18, 2013

This is a gastric-brooding frog, Rheobatrachus silus, giving oral birth in the lab of Mike Tyler of the University of Adelaide (credit: Mike Tyler/University of Adelaide)

At a first-of-its-kind meeting, held on April 9–11 at the University of Cambridge, leading conservationists and synthetic biologists discussed how synthetic biology could be used to benefit the planet, Nature News reports.

Example might include producing heat-tolerant coral reefs, pollution-sensing soil microbes, ruminant gut microbes that don’t belch methane, and helping frogs to overcome chytridiomycosis, the fungal disease threatening amphibians worldwide that is thought to have contributed to… read more

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