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A Bitcoin backlash?

October 15, 2013

bitcoin

Governments and established financial institutions are likely to launch a campaign to quash the decentralized digital currency Bitcoin, according to a leading economist and academic. Simon Johnson, a professor of entrepreneurship at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, expects Bitcoin to face political pressure and aggressive lobbying from big banks because of its disruptive nature, MIT Technology Review reports.

The code that supports and… read more

A Black Box for People

April 8, 2004

Stanford University and NASA/Ames scientists have developed the CPOD, which typically keeps track of the wearer’s heart performance, blood pressure, respiration, temperature, blood oxygen levels, and movements.

The device can store data for eight-hour periods for later downloading or send it wirelessly in real time.

While developed for astronauts, it also has possible terrestrial uses. EMT’s at an accident scene could quickly gain information about a victim’s condition.… read more

A blood test offers clues to longevity

May 19, 2011

New blood tests that can gauge the length of telomeres in the human body are now going on sale, marketed by some laboratories as revealing the subject’s biological age.

Experts disagree on the relevance of telomere length as an indicator of biological age.

Some of the labs offering the test call it more of a warning flag than an indicator of the biological age. Certain telomere experts, such… read more

A blueprint for how to build a human brain

April 3, 2014

Image of the human fetal brain, reference atlas, color-coded by structure (credit: Allen Institute)

Researchers at the Allen Institute for Brain Science have generated a blueprint for how to build a human brain at unprecedented anatomical resolution.

This first major report using data from the  the BrainSpan Atlas of the Developing Human Brain is published in the journal Nature this week. The data provide insight into diseases like autism that are linked to early brain development, and to the origins of human… read more

A Blueprint For ‘Smart’ Health Care

August 2, 2007

New technology from the University of Florida and IBM creates the first-ever roadmap for widespread commercial development of “smart” devices that, for example, take a person’s blood pressure, temperature or respiration rate the minute a person steps into his or her house — then transmit it immediately and automatically to doctors or family.

A Blueprint to Regenerate Limbs

August 19, 2008

To find clues to the salamander’s remarkable ability to regrow damaged limbs and organs, researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have sequenced the genes most highly expressed during limb-bud formation and growth.

They found that at least 10,000 genes were transcribed during regeneration, with a few thousand that don’t resemble known genes. They plan to make a gene chip designed to detect levels of some of these… read more

A Book With 90,000 Authors

July 21, 2008

German publisher Bertelsmann plans to publish a book with the most credited individual authors ever–approximately 90,000: “The One-Volume Wikipedia Encyclopedia,” containing the 25,000 most popular articles on German Wikipedia.

A boost for quantum reality

May 9, 2012

joint_measurement_n_qubits

In a controversial paper in Nature Physics, theorists claim they can prove that wavefunctions — the entity that determines the probability of different outcomes of measurements on quantum-mechanical particles — are real states.

The paper is thought by some to be one of the most important in quantum foundations in decades. The authors say that the mathematics leaves no doubt that the wavefunction is not just a statistical tool, but rather, a… read more

A Bot That Knows Where It’s Going

May 24, 2002

Evolution Robotics’ new ER1 mobile robot can learn on the fly, enabling it to roam around new environments entirely on its own.

Following simple commands, it can recognize an ever-changing environment by processing 30 still-frame photos a minute looking for a picture that matches its memory. It comes with a digital camera and speech recognition, and voice response systems.

A brain area unique to humans is linked to strategic planning/decision making/multitasking

January 30, 2014

human brain region

Oxford University researchers have identified a specific area of the human brain that appears to be unlike anything in the brains of some of our closest relatives.

MRI imaging of 25 adult volunteers was used to identify key components in the area of the human brain called the ventrolateral frontal cortex, and how these components were connected up with other brain areas. The results were then compared with equivalent… read more

A Brain Implant that Uses Light

February 24, 2010

Researchers at Medtronic are developing a prototype neural implant that uses light to alter the behavior of neurons in the brain.

The device is based on the emerging science of optogenetic neuromodulation, in which specific brain cells are genetically engineered to respond to light.

The company plans to market the device to neuroscience researchers and use it for in-house research on the effects of DBS.

A Brain Scan Identifies Race Bias

December 17, 2003

Scientists have developed a brain scan that can purportedly identify racists.

The technique was used on white volunteers shown photographs of black individuals. In those with racist tendencies, a surge of activity was seen in part of the brain that controls thoughts and behavior. Scientists believe this reflected volunteers’ attempts to curb their latent racism.

“To my knowledge, this is the first study to use brain imaging data… read more

A Breakthrough in Imaging: Seeing a Virus in Three Dimensions

January 13, 2009

Researchers at IBM Almaden Research Center have captured the first three-dimensional image of a virus, using a new technique, magnetic resonance force microscopy, or MRFM, which is similar to MRI.

They captured a 3-D image of tobacco mosaic virus particles with a spatial resolution down to four nanometers.

A Bridge between Virtual Worlds

August 11, 2008

The first steps in developing virtual-world interoperability are now being tested between Second Life and other independent virtual worlds, with the launch of Linden Lab’s Open Grid Beta.

A building block for optical quantum networks

February 8, 2013

Quantum device (credit: New Journal of Physics)

Another approach to creating optical quantum networks has been developed by Cal Tech, HP, and University of Washington researchers. (See The quantum internet,)

In an optical quantum network, information is carried between points by photons. It could enable quantum computers that are millions of times faster at solving certain problems than what we are used to today.

This new device, which combines a single… read more

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