science + technology news

Witchcraft: Sinatra lives

August 8, 2003

In October, Radio City Music Hall in New York will feature a lifelike virtual performance by Frank Sinatra.

Video images of the singer will be projected onto three-dimensional screens as his recorded voice plays over the sound system. The producers will use rotoscoping to black out background imagery and project Sinatra across a series of moveable 3-D panels.

January 4, 2005

Responses by readers to a request for New Year’s wishes ranged from futuristic visions such as photosynthesis in humans and nanocameras that fit inside cells, to serious themes including recognition for scientists in developing countries and freedom from reliance on oil.

Wish You Were Here, See You There

October 28, 2003

There, Inc. has launched its vast virtual online 3-D world, “There.”

Wiring Up DNA, Detecting Mutations

February 13, 2008

Caltech and Columbia University researchers have measured DNA’s ability to conduct electricity by wiring it up between two carbon nanotubes, creating a new way to detect mutations.

Introducing just a single letter change can drastically alter DNA’s resistance, a phenomenon that they plan to exploit with a device that can rapidly screen DNA for disease-linked mutations.

Wiring the brain, literally, to treat stubborn disorders

January 19, 2012


Researchers are now using deep brain stimulation (DBS) for psychiatric conditions.

After two years of DBS, 92% reported significant relief from their major depression or bipolar disorder and more than half were in remission, with no manic side effects.

Other clinical trials are studying DBS as a treatment for epilepsy and obsessive-compulsive disorder; some researchers are experimenting with it for Alzheimer’s disease, tinnitus, addiction and Tourette syndrome, a… read more

Wires that can store energy like batteries

Imagine being able to power a miniaturized smartphone in the fabric of your jacket, replacing bulky batteries
June 6, 2014

Copper wire surrounded by two supercapacitor layers interfaced with nanowhiskers (credit: UCF)

University of Central Florida researchers have invented a way to store energy in a copper wire by wrapping a supercapacitor* sheath around a core conductor wire, acting as a battery to power a connected device.

Applications could include electrical vehicles, space-launch vehicles, and portable electronic devices. By being able to store and conduct energy on the same wire, heavy, space-consuming batteries could become a thing of the… read more

Wireless World

November 26, 2003

In a few years, wireless will become the dominant form of communication service in the U.S. Already there are about 147 million cell phones in the country, compared with 187 million traditional phone lines, according to FCC figures.

Wireless Watchdogs: Intelligent Software for Astronauts and their Robots

April 19, 2004

Personal “mobile agent” software will cut down on the amount of time astronauts take relaying information back to Earth, monitor astronaut progress, and automatically contact Earth in case of emergencies.

Wireless to Drive Internet Growth, Tech Leaders Say

November 16, 2004

Wireless services will lead the next growth phase of the Internet, industry leaders said, with investors now ready to spend again.

“I think the Internet’s largest opportunities are in bringing new services, ones that we barely imagine, to billions of people around the world, wirelessly,” said venture capitalist John Doerr.

Bill Joy, former chief scientist and a co-founder of Sun Microsystems, said he envisioned many kinds of Webs,… read more

Wireless Tasers extend the long arm of the law

March 12, 2009

The new Taser XREP is an electrically charged dart that can be fired from up to 20 meters away with a 12-gauge shotgun.

Upon impact, its barbed electrodes penetrate a victim’s skin, discharging a 20-second burst of electricity to “distract, disorient and entice the subject to grab the projectile,” which routes the shock through the hand, making it difficult to let go and spreading the pain further.

U.S.… read more

Wireless signals could transform brain-trauma diagnostics

May 16, 2013

University of California, Berkeley researchers have developed a device that uses wireless signals to provide real-time, non-invasive diagnoses of brain swelling or bleeding.

The device analyzes data from low energy, electromagnetic waves, similar to the kind used to transmit radio and mobile signals. It could potentially become a cost-effective tool for medical diagnostics and to triage injuries in areas where access to medical care, especially medical imaging, is… read more

Wireless sensors learn from life

August 26, 2008

In the WINSOC project, European and Indian researchers are applying principles learned from living organisms to design self-organizing networks of wireless sensors suitable for a wide range of environmental monitoring purposes,robust against node failures and capable of being implemented on large scales.

They developed mathematical models of biological systems and translated them into algorithms to determine how the sensor nodes should interact with each other, using self-organization. The sensor… read more

Wireless sensor network keeps tabs on the environment

June 5, 2008

University of Alberta researchers are building a wireless sensor network that allows for clandestine data collection of environmental data in remote locations, with monitoring from anywhere in the world.

The sensors can continuously monitor data like temperature and luminosity. They’ll be deployed in two locations–including a rainforest–in Fall 2008.

University of Alberta News Release

Wireless power system replaces batteries in implants

A breakthrough for miniaturizing implanted devices
September 5, 2012

High-frequency wireless power transmission to a device in the human heart. Red indicates greatest power; blue is least. (Credit: John Ho, Stanford Engineering)

Stanford University engineers have demonstrated the feasibility of a super-small, implantable cardiac device that gets its power from radio waves transmitted from a small transmitter on the surface of the body.

This is an impressive achievement that may lead to replacing bulky batteries in implants. That means the implants can be further miniaturized, while eliminating¬†surgery to replace or charge batteries (or require a wired connection outside the body).… read more

Wireless Power Harvesting for Cell Phones

June 11, 2009

A device that can harvest up to 50 milliwatts of power from ambient radio frequencies for recharging a cell phone is being developed by Nokia researchers.

It will require a wideband receiver capable of capturing signals from between 500 megahertz and 10 gigahertz.

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