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How Google Glass will usher in an era of superhuman vision

November 1, 2013

augmented realilty

Stanford professor Marc Levoy sees a combination of computational imaging and new-form-factor camera-equipped devices that will allow for a set of what he described as “superhero vision” capabilities, Extreme Tech reports.

Rapidly increasing processor power will help fuel this new world of powerful new photographic tools. Levoy, a pioneer in both computer graphics and computational imaging, noted that GPU power is growing by roughly 80% per year,… read more

An Earth-like exoplanet in mass and size discovered

October 31, 2013

Gliese436b

MIT researchers have found that Kepler 78b, a small, intensely hot planet 400 light-years from Earth discovered by the researchers in August, shares Earth’s mass.

By analyzing the movement of its host star, Kepler 78, the scientists determined that the exoplanet is about 1.7 times as massive as the Earth.

From the same measurements, they calculated that the planet’s density is 5.3 grams… read more

Drive wearing Glass, get a ticket

... and Glass updates
October 31, 2013

Google-Glass-photo_610x306

In a possible first, Cecilia Abadie received a traffic ticket Tuesday for wearing Google Glass while driving in San Diego, she noted on Google+:

According to CNN, the California law cited in Abadie’s case, V C 27602, prohibits televisions and similar monitors from being turned on and facing the driver. “There are exceptions for GPS and mapping tools and… read more

A multifunctional nano carrier to detect, diagnose, and deliver drugs to cancer cells

October 31, 2013

uc_nano_carrier

A unique nanostructure developed by a team of international researchers* promises improved all-in-one detection, diagnoses, and drug-delivery treatment of cancer cells.

It can carry a variety of cancer-fighting materials on its double-sided (Janus) surface and within its porous interior and can:

  •  Transport cancer-specific detection nanoparticles and biomarkers to a site within the body, e.g., the breast or the prostate. This promises earlier diagnosis than is

read more

NSA hacks Yahoo, Google data-center cables worldwide

October 30, 2013

NSA-Google

The NSA has secretly broken into fiber-optic cables that connect Yahoo and Google data centers around the world — positioning itself to collect at will from hundreds of millions of user accounts, many of them belonging to Americans, according to documents obtained from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and interviews with knowledgeable officials, the Washington Post reported today.

According to a top-secret accounting dated… read more

Compound blocks neurodegeneration in mice

October 30, 2013

neurodegeneration

An orally administered compound that prevents neurodegeneration in mice has been developed by researchers at the Medical Research Council (MRC) Toxicology Unit at the University of Leicester.

The team had found previously (Nature) that the build up of misfolded proteins in the brains of mice with prion disease over-activates a natural defense mechanism in cells, which switches off the production of new proteins.… read more

Controlled atomic-layer crystal growth is ‘breakthrough’ for solar-cell efficiency

October 30, 2013

InGaN-GaN

Arizona State University and Georgia Institute of Technology researchers have developed a new approach to growing indium gallium nitride (InGaN) crystals, promising “record-breaking” photovoltaic solar cell efficiencies.

Researchers previously found that the atomic separation of the crystal layers of the InGaN alloy varies, which can lead to high levels of strain, breakdowns in growth, and fluctuations in the alloy’s chemical composition.

“Being able to ease… read more

The Titan Arm helps you lift 40 more pounds

But there no plans to sell it as a product yet.
October 30, 2013

titan_arm

Out of shape and can’t lift something? No prob,  just strap on an external bicep — the Titan Arm, a new invention from a group of engineering students at the University of Pennsylvania.

That’s if it’s ever available commercially (co-inventor Nick McGill told KurzweilAI they’re working on it, no date yet). If so, the Titan Arm will help lift 40 pounds more than you normally can.… read more

Diagnostic devices the size of a credit card

Shrinking laboratory-scale processes to automated chip-sized systems would revolutionize biotechnology and medicine
October 29, 2013

A microfluidic bioreactors consists of two chambers separated by a nanoporous silicon membrane. It allows for flow-based assays using minimal amounts of reagent. The ultra-thin silicon membrane provides an excellent mimic of biological barrier properties. NOTE: This image combines two exposures in order to capture the brighter and darker parts of the scene, which exceed the dynamic range of the camera sensor. The resulting composite is truer to what the eye actually sees.<br />
Credit: Photo by Adam Fenster/University of Rochester.

A silicon nanomembrane developed at the University of Rochester could drastically shrink the  power source needed with electroosmotic pumps (EOPs) to move solutions through micro-channels — paving the way for ultra-thin ”lab-on-a-chip” diagnostic devices the size of a credit card.

“Until now, electroosmotic pumps have had to operate at a very high voltage — about 10 kilovolts,” said James McGrath, associate professor of biomedical… read more

Is invisible dark matter detectable?

October 29, 2013

dark-matter detector

Scientists at MIT and elsewhere have developed a tool that could test to see if dark matter is detectable.

That will be a challenge: dark matter, believed by physicists to outweigh all the normal matter in the universe by more than five to one, is by definition invisible.

However, the MIT researchers have come up with a workaround, described in a paper in the journal Physicalread more

Deepest-ever probe of the Universe

October 29, 2013

Hubble Frontier Fields

NASA’s Hubble, Spitzer, and Chandra space telescopes are teaming up to look deeper into the universe than ever before.

With a boost from natural “zoom lenses” found in space, they should be able to uncover galaxies that are as much as 100 times fainter than what these three great observatories typically can see.

The Frontier Fields

In an ambitious collaborative program called Theread more

Developing robots that collaborate with people

National Robotics Initiative invests $38 million in next-generation robotics
October 29, 2013

simon_the_robot_web

The National Science Foundation (NSF), in partnership with NIH, USDA and NASA, has announced about $38 million in investment for developing robots that cooperatively work with people to enhance individual human capabilities, performance and safety.

Co-robots

The 30 new projects, funded projects target the creation of next-generation collaborative robots (co-robots) for advanced manufacturing; civil and environmental infrastructure; health care and rehabilitation; military and homeland… read more

Evidence that dendrites actively process information in the brain

The brain's theoretical information processing power has just been multiplied
October 29, 2013

This is a dendrite in a single neuron in the brain. The bright object from the top is a pipette attached to a dendrite in the brain of a mouse. The pipette allows researchers to measure electrical activity, such as a dendritic spike.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers have discovered that dendrites do more than passively relay information from one neuron to the next — they actively process information, according to  Spencer Smith, PhD, an assistant professor in the UNC School of Medicine.

Axons are where neurons conventionally generate electrical spikes, but many of the same molecules that support axonal electrical spikes (firing) are also present… read more

Break gridlock on global challenges or risk an unstable future, says report

October 28, 2013

now_for_the_long_term

The Oxford Martin Commission for Future Generations has launched a report, Now for the Long Term, on the successes and failures in addressing global challenges over recent decades.

Published by the Oxford Martin School at Oxford University, the report calls for a radical shake-up in politics and business to deliver progress on climate change, reduce economic inequality, improve corporate practices, and address the chronic… read more

Robots designed to assist people with disabilities, aid doctors

Robots enhance mobility for visually and physically impaired, improve treatment for atrial fibrillation
October 28, 2013

Cane with description_nih

Three projects have been awarded funding by the National Institutes of Health to develop innovative robots that work cooperatively with people and adapt to changing environments to improve human capabilities and enhance medical procedures. Funding for these projects totals approximately $2.4 million over the next five years, subject to the availability of funds.

The awards mark the second year of NIH’s participation in the National… read more

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