science + technology news

Human-rabbit embryos intensify stem cell debate

August 18, 2003

“Human” embryonic stem cells have been harvested from cloned embryos created by fusing human cells with rabbit eggs, claims a soon-to-be published report by Chinese scientists.

The goal of the experiments: create a new source of embryonic stem cells (ESCs), which can transform into any tissue, making them potential sources of replacement cells for the treatment of many diseases.

Unlike controversial fertilized human embryos, which must be destroyed… read more

Power Up!

August 18, 2003

The electricity grids of all the nations of North and South America should be interconnected within the next 10 years. Twenty years from now, the whole world will be sharing electricity through one grid.

By making electric power as easily transferrable as data, analysts expect a global grid to smooth the market spikes out of the world’s most useful commodity.

For Those Needing 32 More Bits

August 18, 2003

The arrival of 64-bit desktop processors signifies a new era of computing — initially for professionals who are bumping up against the memory limits of existing PC’s. Soon afterward the new chips will affect everyday computer users, for whom a new generation of media machines should offer remarkable improvements in audio and visual effects.

DNA Power Computing? Could Be

August 18, 2003

A growing amount of research supports the idea that DNA, the basic building block of life, could also be the basis of a staggeringly powerful new generation of computers.

Columbia University researcher Milan Strojanovic and a colleague published a paper in the current issue of the journal Nature Biotechnology describing how they built a biological-based computer that can’t lose a game of tic-tac-toe to man and doesn’t need any… read more

It’s a Flawed World After All

August 18, 2003

The recent MSBlaster worm and power blackout incidents have laid bare the brittleness of increasingly complex, interconnected systems, leading some to question their near-total dependence on them.

Smart chips making daily life easier

August 18, 2003

The Smart-Its Project has a vision to tag almost any object in the home with microchips to make peoples’ daily lives easier.

For examples, the sensors would recognize if has fallen on the floor or can’t stand up, which is less intrusive than cameras.

Are Pulsar Signals Evidence of Astro-Engineered Signalling Systems?

August 18, 2003

In his recent book, The Talk of the Galaxy, Dr. Paul LaViolette shows how new high-resolution recordings of pulsar signals reveal features that are inconsistent with the long-standing “neutron star lighthouse” pulsar model.

LaViolette argues compellingly that the interesting and quite intricate behaviors of pulsars fit much more easily with a model of an extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI) beacon carrying information.

For example, pulse transmissions may be interrupted for… read more

Unplugged: Without the Grid, Modern Man Is Totally in the Dark

August 16, 2003

Perhaps this is time for everyone to take stock of their dependence on invisible technologies.

Ray Kurzweil, author of “The Age of Spiritual Machines,” says the Blackout of 2003 shows that the electrical grid is merely a first Industrial Revolution technology. It’s highly centralized. It’s old-fashioned. We are now in the midst of the second Industrial Revolution, which favors decentralized technologies such as the Internet.

“The second is… read more

Sandia team develops cognitive machines

August 15, 2003

Sandia National Laboratories is developing cognitive machines that accurately infer user intent, remember experiences with users, and allow users to call upon simulated experts to help them analyze situations and make decisions.

The initial goal of the work was to create a “synthetic human” that could think like a person. Work on cognitive machines took off in 2002 with a contract from DARPA to develop a real-time machine that… read more

Total recall

August 15, 2003

“Tremendous promise exists for the development of hybrid technologies … in which self-assembling materials are integrated into existing manufacturing processes to deliver nanoscale control and meet exacting fabrication constraints,” says University of Wisconsin-Madison Prof. Paul Nealey.

Biotech a healthy market for chips

August 15, 2003

Intel is planning to develop medical devices using nanotech chips and sensing technology.

Ideas include constructing hemoglobin molecules that can carry 10 times as much oxygen, a diagnostic lab on a chip, toxin-detecting and analysis-capable bandaids, ulcer-detecting stockings for diabetics, and computer feedback systems for diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Electronic ‘Etch A Sketch’ may boost quantum design

August 15, 2003

Erasable electrostatic lithography (EEL), uses an atomic force microscope to draw, modify, or erase a circuit by depositing spots of charge directly on to the surface of a semiconductor. It could significantly speed the design of quantum electronic devices.

No More Human Guinea Pigs

August 15, 2003

The Pentagon’s Virtual Soldier project, which seeks to digitally copy the human anatomy, could create an army of digital subjects for trying out new drugs, medical procedures and even weapons.

Virtual Soldiers? Dream on, Darpa

August 15, 2003

The Pentagon wants to digitally recreate every element of a soldier’s body, and embed it all on a chip in the soldier’s dog tags. This Virtual Soldier program could help battlefield medics make quicker, more accurate diagnoses of combat trauma and help save lives.

“Every single person in the United States will have an electronic medical record,” said Dr. Richard Satava, manager of the Virtual Soldier program and professor… read more

Nanoparticles may be good for you

August 14, 2003

University of Central Florida researchers have found that brain cells exposed to a single dose of ten-nanometer-size oxide particles routinely outlived untreated cells by three- to four-fold and remained functional.

Nanoparticles also have potent anti-inflammatory properties, they discovered. The investigators hope to create a coating from the particles that could be used for vascular and orthopedic implants, stents and other devices prone to inflammatory reactions.

The nanoparticle anti-oxidants… read more

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