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Wired to the Brain of a Rat, a Robot Takes On the World

May 15, 2003

Georgia Tech researchers have created a hybrid mechanical/biological robot controlled by the neural activity of rat brain cells grown in a dish.

The neural signals are analyzed by a computer that looks for patterns emitted by the brain cells and then translates those patterns into robotic movement, providing real-world feedback to the neuron.

Wired textiles for a phone as useful as the shirt on your back

October 25, 2011

(Credit: Ohio State University)

The director of the ElectroScience Laboratory at Ohio State University is trying to end the need for cellphone hardware like the Bluetooth earpiece by fabricating communication devices out of something that most states require we carry with us all the time anyway: clothing.

His effort is part of a broad technological effort to make “smart textiles”: wearable fabrics with embedded electronics that can collect, store, send and receive information.

‘Wired microbes’ generate electricity from sewage

September 19, 2013


Interdisciplinary team creates ‘microbial battery’ driven by naturally occurring bacteria that evolved to produce electricity as they digest organic material.

Engineers at Stanford University have devised a new way to generate electricity from sewage using naturally occurring “wired microbes” as mini power plants that produce electricity as they digest plant and animal waste.

Yi Cui, a materials scientist, Craig Criddle,… read more

Wired M.D.

September 9, 2004

Imagine a computer chip that can diagnose thousands of diseases from a single drop of blood, or detect any possible chemical or biological hazard.

Peidong Yang, a chemistry professor at the University of California Berkeley has grown exceptionally long, flexible nanowires from the same materials used in computer chips, like silicon and gallium nitride.

“Because of the unique dimension of these nanowires — thin and very long –… read more

Wipe out a single memory

March 15, 2007

A single, specific memory has been wiped from the brains of rats, leaving other recollections intact, using a drug known to cause limited amnesia (U0126).

Greg Quirk, a neurophysiologist from the Ponce School of Medicine in Puerto Rico, thinks that psychiatrists working to treat patients with conditions such as PTSD will be encouraged by the step forward. “These drugs would be adjuncts to therapy,” he says. “This is the… read more

Winning ways

February 7, 2007

Supercomputer programs like IBM’s Deep Blue have demonstrated their ability to outthink human chess players. There is one game, however, where humans still reign supreme: Go. Yet here too their grip is beginning to loosen.

MoGo, a program developed by researchers from the University of Paris, has even beaten a couple of strong human players, using the Monte Carlo method, a form of statistical sampling. It is ranked 2,323rd… read more

Winners of the 2011 Feynman Prizes in nanotechnology

October 18, 2012

Foresight Institute logo

The Foresight Institute has announced the winners of the 2011 Foresight Institute Feynman Prizes for Nanotechnology Theory and Experiment.

The winner of the 2011 Feynman Prize for Experimental work is Leonhard Grill (Fritz Haber Institute, Max Planck Research School, Germany) in recognition of his pioneering and continuing work on manipulating and structuring functional matter at the atomic scale.

He has used scanning tunneling… read more

Winners of BodyShock contest to improve global health announced

September 27, 2010


The Institute for the Future has announced the winners of its BodyShock contest, a call for ideas to improve global health over the next 3-10 years by transforming our bodies and lifestyles.

The winners are Anjna Patient Education, for targeting free clinics and reaching out to socioeconomically disadvantaged patients; PLAY IT! SAY IT!, which proposes to use the existing communication functions of video game consoles (voice… read more

Wings that waggle could cut aircraft emissions by 20 percent

May 22, 2009

Wings that redirect air sideways back and forth over the wings could cut airline fuel bills by 20%, according to research funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and Airbus in the UK.

Windows, lose, draw

July 30, 2002

University of Alberta researchers have developed a poker-playing computer program that successfully guesses whether an opponent is bluffing, wavering or playing his hands straight.

It records a player’s habits or biases as the game progresses and uses algorithms to mix that information with baseline probabilities, creating the effect of both reason and intuition. The program now defeats 90% of opponents.

Windows Phone 8 details revealed

June 21, 2012

Windows Phone 8 Start Screen

At the Windows Phone Developer Summit in San Francisco Wednesday, Microsoft provided details on the upcoming Windows Phone 8 operating system.

It promises to provide deep integration with the Windows 8 operating system, meaning that the next generation of Windows devices, from PCs to laptops to tablets to mobile phones, should interact very nicely.

And the new “shared core” between Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 should provide… read more

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

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