science + technology news

Detecting Chemical Threats With Microsensor Arrays

September 24, 2003

Prototype microsensor arrays connected to artificial neural networks can reliably identify trace amounts of toxic gas, such as mustard gas and nerve agents (Tabun and Sarin) at levels below one part per million. They will make a significant difference in military strategy as they increase in reliability.

The Genetically Modified Bomb

September 24, 2003

Anybody who’s part of a group with a shared genetic profile may be at risk in the future from “genetic bombs,” a virus or bacteria designed to kill people who fit a certain genotype for purposes of mass genocide or social control.

Digital Dealmakers Meet in the Middle

September 24, 2003

Software companies are developing programs to conduct negotiations, relying on algorithms to gauge what might constitute acceptable offers in the growing field of electronic mediation.

The Underground Internet

September 24, 2003

“Darknets,” private Internet communities using encrypted communication, are popping up for trading pirated music and movies as well as secure corporate communications.

Can chromosomes be the elixir of youth?

September 24, 2003

“Telomere engineering” offers a way to produce tissues and cells to treat age-related conditions.

Other techniques include dietary supplements such as acetyl-L-carnitine and an antioxidant, alpha-lipoic acid; and natural tissue regeneration, which might be promoted with drugs or genes.

Is life the key to new tech?

September 24, 2003

Biologically-inspired computing could soon form the basis of new devices with the potential to perform trillions of calculations at once.

“The ultimate application would be a ‘doctor in a cell,’ where a bio-molecular computer operates in the body,” Udi Shapiro of the Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science told CNN.

Applied Nanotech To Demonstrate Nanotube TV

September 24, 2003

Applied Nanotech Inc. will unveil a 14-inch black-and-white television based on nanotubes in December at a conference in Japan.

Putting Your Calls Into Context

September 24, 2003

Researchers are marrying the modest cell phone with accelerometers, skin sensors, GPS and a calendar to create a system that always knows where you are and what you are doing, thereby eliminating phone tag.

Chatbot bids to fool humans

September 23, 2003

Jabberwacky, a chatbot that will be entered in the coming Loebner Prize competition (to find the computer program with the most convincing conversational skills), has no fixed rules, unlike other chatbots. It learns from thousands of online conversations with humans.

“Nothing is hard-coded, nothing is fixed, and it changes slightly, on its own, every day,” according to its creator, Rollo Carpenter.

Not Science Fiction: An Elevator to Space

September 23, 2003

Advances in nanotubes and ultrastrong fibers put an elevator to space within reach.

Ban cloning babies, demand world’s top scientists

September 23, 2003

Cloning babies should be banned worldwide by the United Nations, more than 60 of the world’s leading scientific academies demanded on Monday.

But the ban should not extend to therapeutic cloning, they added.

Molecular library opens era of personal medicine

September 22, 2003

The U.S. National Institutes of Health is launching a national molecular library to accelerate the development of new drugs and nano-scale agents for an emerging “era of personalized medicine.”

The library will act as a repository “for some of the hundreds of thousands of molecules the pharmaceutical industry screens for their use in identifying target agents that could be used to track or treat diseases.”

Money for old mice

September 22, 2003

A contest to produce the oldest laboratory mouse and thus help unravel the mysteries of human ageing has been launched by Aubrey de Grey of the University of Cambridge.

The competition aims to encourage research and funding for anti-ageing interventions. Cash is awarded for each day that their animal survives after breaking the record.

New Sun Microsystems Chip May Unseat the Circuit Board

September 22, 2003

Sun researchers have discovered a way to transmit data inside a computer 60 to 100 times as fast as the present top speeds by using transmitters to connect between chips, representing the end of the printed circuit board.

They expect to reach speeds in excess of a trillion bits a second, which would be about 100 times the limits of today’s technology. The chip should consume far less power… read more

Smart grid will wed modern computing with nanotechnology

September 22, 2003

The smart grid of the future will require far more advanced breakthroughs such as smart power controllers and new lightweight quantum wires made of carbon nanotube fibers to revolutionize the capacity of the transmission wires, according to Nobel laureate Rick Smalley and other experts.

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