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Window to the Heart: New Eye Exam Spots Disease Risk

February 6, 2006

University of Melbourne researchers have shown in several large-scale studies that abnormalities of the blood vessels in the retina can be used to predict patients’ risk for diabetes, hypertension, stroke and heart disease.

The approach involves analyzing digital photographs of patients’ retinas and studying them to find narrowing or ballooning of the small blood vessels. Systemic diseases often cause changes in the eye that can show up as red… read more

Window shopping goes high tech with gesture recognition

September 6, 2011

A 3-D prototype controlled by a user’s gestures that lets shoppers learn more about what’s in a store display window when the store is closed has been demonstrated by the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute.

Window opened on Alzheimer’s conundrum: Mouse-brain study shows protein plaques to be a cause of the problem

February 7, 2008

Harvard Medical School researchers have found that the brain protein plaques characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease can form extraordinarily fast, and seem to be the starting point of further degeneration in the brain–at least in mice.

The research helps settle a long-standing debate about whether such plaques are a primary cause or a symptom of Alzheimer’s, and may have implications for how the disease is treated.

Wind power not enough to affect global climate

September 11, 2012

Wind Farm

There is enough power in the Earth’s winds to be a primary source of near-zero emission electric power for the entire world, but some scientists have been concerned they would substantially affect climate.

In related news today, Stanford University and University of Delaware researchers found that there’s plenty of wind over land and near to shore, using 4 million turbines, to supply 7.5 terawatts of power without significant negative affect on… read more

Wind Energy Bumps Into Power Grid’s Limits

August 28, 2008

Expansive dreams about renewable energy from wind power and other sources are bumping up against the reality of a power grid that cannot handle the new demands.

An Energy Department plan to source 20 percent of the nation’s electricity from wind calls for a high-voltage backbone spanning the country, but it would cost $60 billion or more and would be contrained by multistate regulatory restrictions.

Wind could meet many times the world’s total power demand by 2030, Stanford reseachers say

September 11, 2012

wind farms

Researchers at Stanford University’s School of Engineering and the University of Delaware have used what they call the “most sophisticated weather model available” to  meet many times the world’s total power demand by 2030 — in fact, enough to exceed the total demand by several times, even after accounting for reductions in wind speed caused by turbines.

In related news today, Lawrence Livermore and Carnegie Institute researchers have found… read more

WiMAX Wherever I May Roam?

July 31, 2007

WiMAX, a technology that enables high-speed Internet access on mobile devices that is much faster than current cellular service, took its next step toward becoming a reality.

Phone carrier Sprint Nextel and wireless provider Clearwire today agreed to build the first nationwide mobile broadband network using WiMAX technology, a move that will soup up Web access on mobile devices should the network come to fruition in 2008 as expected.… read more

WiMax Gets Nod As Wireless Standard

October 22, 2007

The broadband technology WiMax has been added to a global standard for mobile devices, boosting its chances of becoming the preferred system for the next generation of high-speed wireless Internet access.

WiMax is capable of speeds of 70 megabits per second or more across an area of up to 40 miles. It’s faster than many fixed-line broadband connections today, which typically offer speeds of around 2 megabits per second.… read more

Willow Glass: ultra-thin glass can ‘wrap’ around devices

June 6, 2012


A new type of flexible ultra-thin glass has been unveiled by the firm that developed Gorilla Glass, currently used to make screens of many mobile devices.

Willow Glass can be “wrapped” around a device, said developer Corning.

A prototype is as thin as a sheet of paper, and the company said that it can be made to be just 0.05mm thick  — thinner than the current 0.2mm or… read more

Willow Garage introduces TurtleBot robot

April 19, 2011

Turtle Bot

Willow Garage has announced TurtleBot robot kits, intended to put a low-cost, personal robot kit in the hands of hobbyists and developers.

The TurtleBot uses a number of off-the-shelf components, including an Xbox Kinect controller that allows the robot to visually navigate its surroundings. The robot also uses free open-source software that can be adapted to make it perform a number of tasks.

The… read more

Willow Garage Gives Away 10 Free Robots to Jumpstart Open Source Revolution

January 19, 2010

Willow Garage, one of the driving forces behind the Robot Operating System, announced that it would be giving away ten of its new and extraordinary PR2 Beta Robots.

Each PR2 Beta is a highly valued and expensive machine that represents a unique entry point to world-class robotics research. Willow Garage has an open call for proposals, so that any research group on the planet can apply to receive one… read more

Will you soon be able to buy your own bladder?

December 6, 2007

Eventually, scientists will take one of the white spheres floating in the jars — the scaffolds — and add layers upon layers of human bladder cells, then ship the organ to a surgeon, who will implant it in the body of its donor. From biopsy to surgery, Tengion’s process takes six to eight weeks.

That patient just bought a new bladder, made out of her own cells. This may… read more

Will you be wearing ‘smart clothes’?

April 19, 2013

Shoulder dress

Computerized fabrics that change their color and shape in response to movement are being developed by Joanna Berzowska, professor and chair of the Department of Design and Computation Arts at Concordia University.
The interactive electronic fabrics harness power directly from the human body, store that energy, and then use it to change the garments’ visual properties.

“Our goal is to create garments that can transform inread more

Will We Recognize The Future?

June 6, 2008

What happens when the rate of technological change becomes so fast that the fundamental nature of what it means to be human changes too?

On Science Friday on NPR (June 6, 2009 at 3 PM), host Ira Flatow talks with inventor, technologist and futurist Ray Kurzweil about the idea of the Singularity — what happens when technology advances so much that it’s impossible to predict what happens… read more

Will the Next Ice Age Be Permanent?

November 13, 2008

The world may be witnessing the final stages of a 50-million-year transition from a planet with a persistent warm climate and scant polar ice to one with greatly expanded ice sheets at both poles, two climatologists suggest in Nature.

The Nature paper goes on to propose that humans, as long as they have a technologically powerful society, would be likely to avert such a slide into a long big… read more

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