science + technology news

No More Human Guinea Pigs

September 9, 2003

DARPA’s “Virtual Soldier” program plans to create an army of digital test subjects that can be subjected to new drugs, new medical procedures—even new weapons—without using soldiers as human guinea pigs. The “Virtual Soldier” will be an exact, computerized copy of every part of a person’s body.

Researcher Finds Method to Define Genetic ‘Words’

September 9, 2003

Stuart Kim, PhD, associate professor at the Stanford School of Medicine, has created a genome dictionary that could help researchers understand the role of newly identified genes. It also provides a glimpse into how a gene’s function has evolved over time.

Soundless Music Shown to Produce Weird Sensations

September 9, 2003

British scientists have shown in a controlled experiment at a concert that the extreme bass sound known as infrasound produces a range of bizarre effects in people including anxiety, extreme sorrow and chill.

Bacterial Battery Converts Sugar into Electricity

September 9, 2003

Researchers have developed a primitive microbial fuel cell that can convert simple sugars into electricity with 81 percent efficiency.

Nanotubes Exhibit ‘Ideal’ Photon Emission

September 8, 2003

Nanotubes have been shown to re-emit light (when radiated by a laser) at precise, stable frequencies, making them ideal for quantum cryptography and as sensors that can detect a single molecule of a substance.

Molecules of life come in waves

September 8, 2003

Scientists at the University of Vienna have observed an interference pattern for molecules of tetraphenylporphyrin, the key component of light-absorbing chlorophyll in plants and oxygen-binding haemoglobin in blood.

This quantum behavior was thought to be limited to subatomic particles and individual atoms. The finding raises questions about larger biological molecules and may have implications for the Penrose-Hameroff proposal that consciousness might arise from wave-like quantum-mechanical effects involving protein filaments… read more

Superworm To Storm The Net On 9/11

September 5, 2003

An analysis of Internet virus activity shows that on September 11th, an advanced worm attack is set to infiltrate the Internet and could potentially halt email traffic worldwide. We need to act now.

The Nanotechnology Revolution

September 5, 2003

From science fiction to the halls of Congress, the promise and perils of nanotechnology have become big news. But just what is nanotechnology, what are its prospects, and how should policymakers and citizens think about it? Adam Keiper explores the surprisingly varied meanings of nanotech, and the implications of our growing control over the very small.

Doomsday postponed

September 5, 2003

Astronomers have issued the “all-clear” on asteroid 2003 QQ47, suspected by some to be on a possible collision course with the Earth in just 11 years.

Intel sampling first ICs made on 90-nm line

September 4, 2003

Intel Corp. is sampling the first microprocessors manufactured on its 90-nanometer process technology — the Prescott for desktop PCs and the Dothan, an improved version of the Pentium M chip for laptops.

Prescott, an upgrade over current Pentium 4 microprocessors, doubles the on-die Level 2 cache to 1 Mbyte with an expected 3.4-GHz frequency.

Nanoscale iron could help cleanse the environment

September 4, 2003

An ultrafine nanoparticle made from iron is turning out to be a remarkably effective tool for cleaning up contaminated soil and groundwater–a trillion-dollar problem that encompasses more than 1000 still-untreated Superfund sites in the United States, some 150,000 underground storage tank releases, and a staggering number of landfills, abandoned mines, and industrial sites.

When metallic iron oxidizes in the presence of contaminants such as trichloroethene, carbon tetrachloride, dioxins, or… read more

Computer modelling future of medicine

September 4, 2003

By finding new ways to harness huge amounts of computing power, the costs and time of drug testing can be reduced.

Mapping the human genome has given researchers a massive amount of data which can be used to study reactions to disease and therapeutic interventions at a molecular level.

The DNA of the animals commonly used for testing had also been mapped, meaning it should be possible to… read more

Future Watch: Using computers to outthink terrorists

September 3, 2003

Some of the technology shown in last year’s blockbuster movie Minority Report may soon be a reality and a centerpiece of the intelligence community’s war on terrorism.

Research into new intelligence technology is taking place as part of a $54 million program known as Genoa II. DARPA is studying potential IT that may not only enable new levels of collaboration among teams of intelligence analysts, policy-makers and covert operators,… read more

Chilly Future May Await Tomorrow’s Computers

September 3, 2003

A “chill pill” that Slovenian computer scientists recently formulated could eliminate most heat-caused errors with quantum computers, allowing them to operate at incredible speeds successfully.

Reinventing the Transistor

September 3, 2003

Hewlett-Packard is betting that it can build computers whose functionality rests on the workings of individual molecules. It’s blue-sky research, but if it works, it will push computing far beyond the limits of silicon.

A chip in which silicon transistors are replaced with molecular devices could in principle be fabricated through a simple chemical process. A circuit with 10 billion switches could eventually fit on a grain of salt;… read more

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