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3D printed car is as strong as steel, half the weight, and nearing production

March 1, 2013

urbee

Picture an assembly line not that isn’t made up of robotic arms spewing sparks to weld heavy steel, but a warehouse of plastic-spraying printers producing light, cheap and highly efficient automobiles.

If Jim Kor’s dream is realized, that’s exactly how the next generation of urban runabouts will be produced, Wired reports. His creation is called the Urbee 2 and it could revolutionize parts manufacturing while creating… read more

Google Glass: how it works (infographic)

April 15, 2013

google-glass-projector

German artist Martin Missfeldt has created an infographic that attempts to show how Google Glass works, based on various sources (listed below). One correction: an image is actually not projected directly onto the retina; it is refracted by the cornea and focused by the lens.

Google’s smart contact lens project could allow diabetics to track glucose levels automatically

January 17, 2014

google_contact_lens

To help people with diabetes as they try to keep their blood sugar levels under control, Google is testing a smart contact lens designed to measure glucose levels in tears.

It uses a tiny wireless chip and miniaturized glucose sensor that are embedded between two layers of soft contact lens material, according to Google Official Blog.

People with diabetes must still prick their finger and test… read more

Can computers understand art?

Another “only humans can…” belief has just been shattered
September 27, 2012

figure_artists

Computer scientists Computer scientists Lior Shamir and Jane Tarakhovsky of Lawrence Technological University in Michigan have developed a program that analyzes paintings in a manner similar to how expert art historians perform their analysis, and conducted an  experiment that showed that machines can outperform untrained humans in the analysis of fine art.

In the experiment, the researchers used approximately 1, 000 paintings of 34 well-known artists, and let the computer… read more

An information-processing approach to the origin of life

New perspective would allow for living systems instantiated in different chemical substrates --- including potentially non-organic substrates
December 17, 2012

Is life based on software and information? (Plants in the Rwenzori Mountains, Uganda; credit: Wikimedia Commons)

A novel approach to the question of life’s origin, proposed by two Arizona State University scientists — Paul Davies, an ASU Regents’ Professor and director of the Beyond Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science, and Sara Walker, a NASA post-doctoral fellow at the Beyond Center — in an open-access Journal of the Royal Society Interface paper, attempts to dramatically redefine the problem.

The authors shift… read more

Piggy-backing proteins ride white blood cells to destroy metastasizing cancer

“Unnatural killer cells" zap circulating tumor cells in the bloodstream
January 8, 2014

nanoscale_liposomes_trail

Cornell biomedical engineers have discovered a new way to destroy metastasizing cancer cells traveling through the bloodstream by hitching cancer-killing proteins along for a ride on life-saving white blood cells.

“These circulating cancer cells are doomed,” said Michael King, Cornell professor of biomedical engineering and the study’s senior author.

“About 90 percent of cancer deaths are related to metastases, but now we’ve found a way to… read more

‘Germanane’ may replace silicon for lighter, faster electronics

May replace silicon in semiconductors
April 12, 2013

Germanane single- or multiple-atom-layer sheets can be place onto silicon dioxide or silicon surfaces

In a paper published online in the journal ACS NanoJoshua Goldberger, assistant professor of chemistry at Ohio State University, and colleagues describe how they created a stable, one-atom-thick single layer of germanium atoms.

In this form, the crystalline material is called germanane.

The chemists found that it conducts electrons more than ten times faster than silicon and five times faster than conventional germanium — the same material that… read more

First biological signature of a supernova

May 10, 2013

cassiopeia_a

Researchers at the Technical University of Munich have found a radioactive iron isotope in bacteria microfossils.that they trace back to a supernova in our cosmic neighborhood.

This is the first proven biological signature of a starburst on our earth. The age determination of the deep-drill core from the Pacific Ocean showed that the supernova explosion must have occurred about 2.2 million years ago, roughly around the… read more

Black holes growing faster than expected

February 14, 2013

M104_ngc4594_sombrero_galaxy

Black holes are growing faster than previously thought possible, according to new research published Wednesday in the Astrophysical Journal.

Even the black hole in our own Milky Way Galaxy, which otherwise appears very quiet, has probably been consuming the equivalent of one Sun every 3000 years.

Until recently, astronomers thought that black holes grow mostly when galaxies crash into each other, at which time a large… read more

First full-resolution and panorama images from NASA’s Curiosity Mars Rover

August 9, 2012

First full-resolution (1024 by 1024 pixels) long-range image of the Martian surface from one of the Navigation cameras on NASA's Curiosity rover, which are located on the rover's "head" or mast. The rim of Gale Crater can be seen in the distance beyond the pebbly ground. The topography of the rim is very mountainous due to erosion. The ground seen in the middle shows low-relief scarps and plains. The foreground shows two distinct zones of excavation likely carved out by blasts from the rover's descent stage thrusters. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Google simulates brain networks to recognize speech and images

October 5, 2012

unsupervised_icml2012_cat_and_face

This summer Google set a new landmark in the field of artificial intelligence with software that learned how to recognize cats, people, and other things simply by watching YouTube videos (see “Self-Taught Software“).

That technology, modeled on how brain cells operate, is now being put to work making Google’s products smarter, with speech recognition being the first service to benefit, Technology Review reports.… read more

Sequencing the Connectome

Genetic barcoding to trace the brain's wiring down to the neuron level
October 25, 2012

DNA barcode

A team of neuroscientists led by Professor Anthony Zador, Ph.D., of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory have proposed a revolutionary new way to create a connectivity map (“connectome”) of the whole brain of the mouse at the resolution of single neurons: high-throughput DNA sequencing.

The only current method for obtaining the connectome with high precision relies on laboriously examining individual cell-to-cell contacts (synapses) in electron microscopes, which is slow, expensive… read more

The brain-computer interface goes wireless

March 3, 2013

Neural interface implanted in pig (credit: David A Borton et al./J. Neural Eng.)

A team of neuroengineers at Brown University has developed a fully implantable and rechargeable wireless brain sensor capable of relaying real-time broadband signals from up to 100 neurons in freely moving subjects.

Several copies of the novel low-power device, described in the open-access Journal of Neural Engineering, have been performing well in animal models for more than year, a first in the brain-computer interface field.… read more

Computer modeling: brain in a box

February 23, 2012

Neocortical column (credit: EPFL)

Henry Markram’s controversial proposal for the Human Brain Project (HBP) — an effort to build a supercomputer simulation that integrates everything known about the human brain, from the structures of ion channels in neural cell membranes up to mechanisms behind conscious decision-making — may soon fulfill his ambition.

The project is one of six finalists vying to win €1 billion (US$1.3 billion) as one of the European Union’s two new… read more

Ford predicts self-driving, traffic-reducing cars by 2017

July 4, 2012

ford_self_driving_cars

According to Ford, the self-driving car will be here within five years, using technologies available today.

The technology concept, known as Traffic Jam Assist, uses adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, and the sensors from its active park assist.

While driver safety is the primary benefit, the environment wins as well. If one in four cars has Traffic Jam Assist or similar self-driving technologies, travel times are reduced… read more

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