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New I.B.M. Supercomputer to Begin Its Weather Work

June 6, 2003

The nation’s most powerful supercomputer for weather forecasting is scheduled to go online today, I.B.M. said yesterday, a machine that may eventually rival the Japanese Earth Simulator as the world’s fastest supercomputer.

Shocking Cells Into Submission

June 6, 2003

A new treatment called electroporation uses pulses of electric current to force cells to accept DNA, which is designed to fight HIV, cardiovascular disease and other maladies.

Deadly spread of cancer halted

June 6, 2003

Metastasis of cancers through the body could be halted by targeting a protein named galectin-3 that helps cells latch on to each other, reveals a new study in Clinical Cancer Research June issue.

Quantum cryptography stretches 100 kilometers

June 6, 2003

A team from Toshiba Research Europe has developed a quantum photon detector capable of significantly reducing the amount of random noise picked up as cryptographic keys are generated. This boosts the fiber optic distance over which quantum cryptography is feasible to 100 kilometers.

Smartcams Take Aim at Terrorists

June 5, 2003

Distributed digital video arrays, or DIVAs — collections of smart cameras able to detect and identify an individual in a crowded train station and track him wherever he goes — are being developed by researchers at the University of California at San Diego under a Department of Defense contract.

The systems also notify authorities when they “think” an individual engages in suspicious activity or meets with questionable cohorts.

How to download a movie in 5 seconds

June 5, 2003

Imagine an internet connection that lets you download a whole movie in just 5 seconds or access TV-quality video servers in real time. That’s the promise from a team at the California Institute of Technology that has developed a system called Fast TCP.

The trick: software and hardware on the sending computer continually measure the time it takes for sent packets to arrive and how long acknowledgements take to… read more

Imagine Machines That Can See

June 5, 2003

Robotics experts are turning to biomimetics (machines are designed to function like biological systems) for guidance in making machines that see, hear, smell and move like living creatures.

For example, one system imitates small eye movements that humans use to gather 3-D information about objects in their visual fields and improve overall visual sensitivity.

Taking Technology to Extremes

June 5, 2003

Ever-lighter electronics, GPS satellites, and a network of programmers, tinkerers and trekkers have brought real-time connectedness to the world’s most remote places.

Recently, North Pole explorer Ben Saunders rigged up an iPaq digital assistant, pocket-size Global Positioning System locator, satellite phone, and digital camera to remotely update his Web site,

‘Sims’ creator inks TV deal with Fox

June 4, 2003

Will Wright, creator of “The Sims,” has signed a deal with Fox Broadcasting Co. to develop a TV show starring a robot.

“I’d like to fast-forward into the future a bit and explore how machines and artificial intelligence will impact human beings and how robots will help us define ourselves,” Wright said.

ROBO SPACE: How Space Perception Separates Man From Machine

June 4, 2003

Robots can’t dance. Or navigate a building and interact with physical objects.

Researchers in Sony Computer Science Laboratory in Paris and elsewhere are figuring out how to teach them spatial cognition and language, adapted to whatever environment they find themselves in.

Blood Substitute From Worms Shows Promise

June 3, 2003

Researchers have found that the hemoglobin of worms might be a good red-cell alternative for humans. Animal hemoglobin can cause allergic reactions and even damage the kidneys. But the hemoglobin from a common marine worm (Arenicola marina) has shown none of these effects in mice, at least.

Coming Soon: Smarter Soldiers

June 3, 2003

Soldiers of 2011 will step into wired uniforms that incorporate all the equipment they need. The uniforms will monitor vital signs and plug them into a massive network of satellites, unmanned planes and robotic vehicles.

CIA Developing Software to Scour Photos

June 2, 2003

The CIA is bankrolling efforts to improve technology designed to scour millions of digital photos or video clips for particular cars or street signs or even, some day, human faces.

The innovative software promises
to help analysts make better use of the CIA’s enormous electronic archives. Analysts also could be alerted whenever a helicopter or other targeted item appeared in a live video broadcast.

Quantum dots boost tissue imaging

June 2, 2003

An ultra-high resolution technique for imaging living tissue can provide a thousand-fold increase in resolution, thanks to the addition of tiny nanocrystals called quantum dots. Researchers ultimately hope to use the technique to probe ovarian tumors and other types of cancer deep in the body.

Specific cells, such as cancer cells, can be targeted by adding antibodies to quantum dots, which then act as homing devices.

Nano-coated implants cut MRI scan dangers

June 2, 2003

Biophan has developed a coating for pacemaker implants made from nanoparticles that reflect most of frequencies of MRI radio waves. The coating also prevents high currents from flowing around the implant’s surface and heating nearby body tissues. The technology should protect such patients from life-threatening MRI scanner fields.

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