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Signal Jammer

June 18, 2003

An academic experiment has lead to a new class of drug for attacking heart disease.

Researchers found that oxidants are involved in activating the genes that initiate the inflammatory process that causes atherosclerosis and that a modified form of an antioxidant, Probucol (an anticholesterol medication) blocks this process.

Nanotube chip could hold 10 gigabits

June 18, 2003

A nanoscale random access memory (NRAM) memory chip based on carbon nanotubes under development by Nantero would have a theoretical capacity of 10 gigabits of data and would be non-volatile.

To simplify fabrication, Nantero applies the nanotubes randomly across the entire surface of a silicon wafer. It then uses existing lithographic equipment to etch away the nanotubes that are not in the correct alignment.

Technology Elite Are Focusing Next on Human Body

June 17, 2003

The recent TEDMED conference focused on the premise that technology’s next big wave will arise from its intersection with medicine.

Examples of new products and services:

  • Key chains that store a person’s health records and plug into the USB port of any computer to display the information.
  • A computer-based armband that measures how many calories its wearer burns.
  • Genetic profile tests
  • read more

    Brain Experts Now Follow the Money

    June 17, 2003

    Neuroscientists are developing a new field of study, called neuroeconomics, to provide a theory of how people decide in economic and strategic situations.

    To explore economic decision making, researchers are scanning the brains of people as they engage in a variety of games designed by experimental economists.
    Some findings:

  • In making short-term predictions, neural systems tap into gut feelings and emotions.
  • The brain relies on
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    ‘Nano’ Suddenly a Gigantic Label

    June 17, 2003

    Nanotechnology has become one of the hottest areas in scientific research, pulling in billions of dollars in government, corporate and foundation cash.

    But Eric Drexler, the scientist who coined the term “nanotechnology,” says a lot of what passes for nano is just plain ol’ science, gussied up with a fancy name to rake in the bucks.

    Battelle Convenes Experts to Name Top Ten Innovations In National Security and Defense by 2012

    June 16, 2003

    According to a panel of experts convened by Battelle at the close of the recent war in Iraq, the top ten innovations in technology by the year 2012 will make military action faster and safer — with far less bloodshed and damage — resulting in greater American security at home and around the world.

    Computing’s Big Shift: Flexibility in the Chips

    June 16, 2003

    An emerging type of chip architecture known as adaptive, or reconfigurable, computing, could transform technology, combining the programmability of the microprocessor with the speed of dedicated hardware.

    With this new approach, software is able to effectively redraw a chip’s physical circuitry on the fly. Adaptive computing enables a single chip to perform tasks normally requiring several; it can add speed while saving cost and energy, compared to today’s conventional… read more

    New noninvasive scanning technique allows for optical biopsies

    June 16, 2003

    A new noninvasive microscopy technique that could lead to optical biopsies without removal of tissue is being reported by biophysical scientists at Cornell and Harvard universities.

    The researchers have demonstrated the new imaging technique by making live-tissue intrinsic fluorescence scans of autopsy samples from the brains of patients with Alzheimer’s disease and by imaging mammary gland tumors in mice that serve as models of human cancer.

    Scans can… read more

    Imaging nerve-cell growth and repair in vivo

    June 16, 2003

    Biophysics researchers at Cornell and Harvard researchers have proposed a new method of imaging the cytoskeletal infrastructure of nerve cells to map the nervous system as it develops and struggles to repair itself.

    The technique allows for in vivo images of the growth of microtubules by detecting the second harmonic generated from microtubules when hit by laser light.

    The technique could answer the puzzle about which errant pathways… read more

    UK to study nanotech benefits and risks

    June 16, 2003

    The UK Government has commissioned the Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering to conduct an independent study to examine in detail the benefits and risks of nanotechnology.

    The study will:

  • summarize the current scientific knowledge on nanotechnology;
  • identify applications of nanotechnology, both currently and potentially, with indications of when they might be developed;
  • consider environmental, health and safety, ethical and social
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    Nanotechnology: the next small thing

    June 16, 2003

    Governments and venture capitalists invested more than $3 billion in the nanotechnology sector in 2002, according to a report to be published this week by Lux Capital.

    Allen claims success in work on computers that can reason

    June 16, 2003

    Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has claimed preliminary success in Project Halo, a hitherto secret project to enable computers to answer questions they’ve never seen before and to state their reasoning.

    The project’s early phases are limited to facts in hard science, so Allen’s Vulcan Inc. investment arm stands a better chance of success than did earlier, sweeping AI projects seeking to reduce all human knowledge to computer-readable form, said… read more

    Breakthrough ‘Interface Tuning’ Is Macro Step For Microelectronics

    June 16, 2003

    The ability to make atomic-level changes in the functional components of semiconductor switches, demonstrated by a team of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, North Carolina State University and University of Tennessee physicists, could lead to huge changes in the semiconductor industry. The results are reported in the June 13 issue of Science.

    The experiments demonstrated that the Schottky barrier — the boundary at the edge of a substance where electrons… read more

    Smart cellphone would spend your money

    June 15, 2003

    Intelligent agents now being developed for the new generation of 3G phones will watch how you use your mobile and learn to anticipate your next move, for example retrieving online information, making restaurant or hotel reservations, or buying travel tickets.

    They will recognize when you have a trip coming up in your diary and then ask if you want it to check the availability of flights and hotels.

    Smart Bricks to Monitor Buildings of the Future

    June 15, 2003

    A “smart brick” that can monitor a building’s health and report its conditions wirelessly has been developed.

    They could monitor a building’s temperature, vibration and movement, which could be vital to firefighters battling a blazing skyscraper, or to rescue workers ascertaining the soundness of an earthquake-damaged structure. They could also help monitoring nurseries, daycares and senior homes.

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