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A Few of Our Favorite Things: ScienceNOW’s top stories of 2007

January 3, 2008

Arguments that black holes do not exist and quantum mechanics research that finds an observer can change the behavior of light, even after it has been measured, are two of Science Now’s top stories of 2007.

A Few Ways to Win Mortality War

November 21, 2002

Wired reports on Alcor’s Extreme Life Extension Conference.

A fiber-optic method of arresting epileptic seizures

February 5, 2013

Blocking a seizure. The vertical green bar indicates online seizure detection, prior to the start of stage 4–5 behaviour (arrow). The yellow bars under the trace highlight the theoretical window for intervention.

 

UC Irvine neuroscientists have developed a way to stop epileptic seizures with fiber-optic light signals, heralding a novel opportunity to treat the most severe manifestations of the brain disorder.

Using a mouse model of temporal lobe epilepsy, Ivan Soltesz, Chancellor’s Professor and chair of anatomy & neurobiology, and colleagues created an EEG-based brain-waves-sensing) computer system that lights up hair-thin fiber optic… read more

A Fight to Win the Future: Computers vs. Humans

February 15, 2011

Rapid progress in natural language processing is beginning to lead to a new wave of automation that promises to transform areas of the economy that have until now been untouched by technological change.

The repercussions of technology such as IBM’s Watson are unknown, but it is possible, for example, to envision systems that replace not only human experts, but hundreds of thousands of well-paying jobs throughout the economy and… read more

A first in integrated nanowire sensor circuitry

August 5, 2008

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California at Berkeley have created the world’s first all-integrated sensor circuit based on nanowire arrays, combining light sensors and electronics made of different crystalline materials.

Their method can be used to reproduce numerous such devices with high uniformity.

A First Look at the Google Phone

November 13, 2007

Google has teamed up with others in the wireless industry to create an open-source operating system, as well as other services, for mobile phones.

To show what the Android phones will look like, Google today has posted a couple of demos of their user interface, including iPhone-like functions, and some applications.

Google executives Sergey Brin and Steve Horowitz discuss the Android SDK and demo applications on the… read more

A first step towards Minority Report ads from Inwindow Outdoor (demo)

November 22, 2011

Inwindow Outdoor is testing several prototype digital “Experience Stations” in malls and hotel lobbies that combine several interactive technologies — including motion capture, large touch screens, and NFC readers (to buy tickets
or unlock deals in local stores) — to create immersive experiences in physical locations, similar to the scene in Minority Report where Tom Cruise is walking through a mall and all the digital signs are talking… read more

A first: organs tailor-made with body’s own cells

September 17, 2012

synthetic_windpipe

Andemariam Beyene sat by the hospital window, the low Arctic sun on his face, and talked about the time he thought he would die.

Two and a half years ago doctors in Iceland, where Mr. Beyene was studying to be an engineer, discovered a golf-ball-size tumor growing into his windpipe. Despite surgery and radiation, it kept growing. In the spring… read more

A first: Stanford engineers build basic computer using carbon nanotubes

September 26, 2013

A scanning electron microscopy image of a section of the first ever carbon nanotube computer. Credit: Butch Colyear</p>
<p>Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-09-stanford-carbon-nanotube-technology.html#jCp

A team of Stanford engineers has built a basic computer using carbon nanotubes (CNTs) — a semiconductor material with the potential to launch a new generation of smaller electronic devices that run faster, while using less energy, than those made from silicon chips.

This unprecedented feat culminates years of efforts by scientists around the world to harness this promising but quirky material.

The achievement is reported… read more

A Flash Of Light Turns Graphene Into A Biosensor

September 23, 2009

DNA with an attached fluorescent molecule turns its fluorescent light switch on and off when near graphene, researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Princeton University have found, suggesting that the combination could be used to create a biosensor.

Possible applications: diagnosing diseases like cancer, detecting toxins in tainted food, detecting pathogens from biological weapons, and drug delivery for gene therapy.

A Flashy Web Communication Tool

July 21, 2002

The new Flash Communication Server MX allows Flash developers to create multimedia Web applications that let users talk and stream video, collaborate on documents in real time, chat, and send instant multimedia messages.

A flexible, transparent gesture sensor

February 22, 2013

A comparison between the image being focused on the sensor surface and the reconstructed image (inset) (credit: Oliver Bimber, Johannes Kepler/ University Linz)

A new method of capturing images based on a flat, flexible, transparent, and potentially disposable polymer sheet has been developed by a team of researchers at Johannes Kepler University Linz in Austria.

The new imager, which resembles a flexible plastic film, uses fluorescent particles to capture incoming light and channel a portion of it to an array of sensors framing the sheet.

With no electronics or internal components,… read more

A fluorescent test for antioxidant drugs

November 25, 2011

Zebrafish

A study by UC San Diego School of Medicine, with colleagues in Australia, to visualize accumulation of oxidized LDL in genetically modified zebrafish could lead to a rapid test for the potential effectiveness of new antioxidant and dietary therapies for human atherosclerosis.

Atherosclerosis is a process of lipid deposition and inflammation in the artery walls. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) that carries “bad” cholesterol in blood is easily oxidized, and… read more

A Flute Made on a 3D Printer, and the Possibilities to Come

January 5, 2011

multi-pipetrumpet

MIT Media Lab researcher Amit Zoran has printed a playable flute, using a 3D printer that is capable of on-the-fly use of multiple materials, in 15 hours.

The instrument is playable, but Zoran plans additional iteration and improvement.

The 3D printer could represent new potential for instrumental research. It’s too difficult now to prototype ideas. Being able to rapidly prototype a lot of variations inexpensively could mean… read more

A fly-inspired miniature microphone

Hypersensitive 2-millimeter-wide device could lead to a new generation of miniaturized low-power hearing aids
July 25, 2014

This is a photograph of the biologically-inspired microphone taken under a microscope, providing a top-side view. The tiny structure rotates and flaps about the pivots (labeled), producing an electric potential across the electrodes (labeled). (Credit: N. Hall/UT Austin)

University of Texas Austin researchers have developed a tiny prototype microphone device that mimics the Ormia ochraceafly’s hearing mechanism. The design may be useful for a new generation of hypersensitive, millimeter-sized, low-power hearing aids.

The yellow-colored Ormia ochracea fly, the inspiration for the design, can pinpoint the location of a chirping cricket with remarkable accuracy because of its freakishly acute hearing, which relies upon a sophisticated sound processing… read more

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