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First personal thermal-imaging device for consumers

See-in-the-dark device acts as case for iPhone 5/5s; app captures photos, videos
January 9, 2014

FLIR ONE (Credit: FLIR)

FLIR Systems launched at CES the FLIR ONE, the first consumer-oriented thermal imaging system for a smartphone.

Acting as a case for the Apple iPhone 5 or 5s smartphone, the FLIR ONE displays a live thermal image on the phone’s screen, letting you see in complete darkness.

FLIR ONE senses heat rather than light, using the same professional thermal imaging technology that FLIR uses in its… read more

Cloning quantum information from the past

January 8, 2014

In the film "Looper," time travel is invented by the year 2074 and, though immediately outlawed, is used by criminal organizations to send those they want killed into the past where they are killed by "loopers." (Credit: TriStar Pictures)

It is theoretically possible for time travelers to copy quantum data from the past, according to three scientists in a recent paper in Physical Review Letters.

It all started when David Deutsch, a pioneer of quantum computing and a physicist at Oxford, came up with a simplified model of time travel to deal with the Grandfather paradox*.  He solved the paradox originally using a slight change to quantum theory,… read more

How to find time travelers

January 8, 2014

Is Jay-Z a time traveler? --- desusnice (Buzz Feed) (credit: The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture/New York Public Library)

If there were time travelers among us, how would you find them?

That question occurred to astrophysicist Robert Nemiroff, a professor at Michigan Technological University. So he and his team developed a search strategy based on what they call “prescient knowledge.”

If they could find a mention of something or someone on the Internet before people should have known about it, that could indicate that whoever wrote it… 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

RAMBO: a small but powerful magnet

Rice University system allows high-magnetic-field experiments on a tabletop
January 8, 2014

0106_RAMBO-1-web

RAMBO (Rice Advanced Magnet with Broadband Optics) — a tabletop magnetic pulse generator that does the work of a room-sized machine — has been developed by Rice University scientists.

The device will allow researchers who visit the university to run spectroscopy-based experiments on materials in pulsed magnetic fields of up to 30 tesla. (A typical high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging system used in hospitals… read more

Intel intros wearable devices and projects at CES

January 7, 2014

Edison computer (credit: Intel)

Intel is introducing at CES several new products and projects focused on wearables:

  • Jarvis, a headset that can automatically integrate with a personal assistant app like Siri on a phone without touching it.
  • A smartwatch with “geo-fencing” to monitor the person who’s wearing it. For example: in case of an emergency and a person steps out of the geo-fence, the watch can send out an alert.

read more

An easy, low-cost way to get into 3D printing

January 7, 2014

MakerBot Mini

If you’ve been thinking about getting into 3D printing, the compact MakerBot Replicator Mini 3D printer, just introduced at CES, could make it easy and affordable at $1,375 (available spring 2014).

It’s limited to printing objects around 4 x 4 x 4 inches, but the company claims it’s easy to use, with no 3D skills needed. You can download models from the free MakerBot Printshop and Thingverse,… read more

Growing human organs inside pigs in Japan

January 6, 2014

(Credit: iStock)

Meiji University professor Hiroshi Nagashima is creating chimeric pigs, which carry genetic material from two different species, BBC News reports. It starts off by making what Nagashima calls “a-pancreatic” embryos. Inside the white pig embryo, the gene that carries the instructions for developing the animal’s pancreas has been “switched off.”

The Japanese team then introduces stem cells from a black pig into the embryo. What they have… read more

Open collaboration leading to novel organizations

January 6, 2014

bitcoin

Open collaboration — which has brought the world Bitcoin, TEDx and Wikipedia — is likely to lead to new organizations that are not quite non-profits and not quite corporations, according to a paper by Sheen S. Levine of Columbia University and Michael J. Prietula of Emory University published in the journal Organization Science.

The authors define open collaboration as “any system of innovation or production that relies on goal-oriented yet… read more

Making silicon devices responsive to infrared light

January 6, 2014

silicon_infrared

A new system developed by researchers at five institutions, including MIT, could eliminate many limitations in methods to develop detectors that are responsive to a broad range of infrared light. Such detectors could form sensitive imaging arrays for security systems, for example.

The new system works at room temperature and provides a broad infrared response, says associate professor of mechanical engineering Tonio Buonassisi.

It… read more

Using supercomputers in the hunt for ‘cheapium’

January 6, 2014

Compound-forming vs non-compound-forming systems.  (Adapted from G. Hart et al./Phys. Rev. X)

In the search for cheaper materials that mimic their purer, more expensive counterparts, researchers are abandoning hunches and intuition for theoretical models and pure computing power.

In a new study, researchers from Duke University’s Pratt School of Engineering used computational methods to identify dozens of platinum-group alloys that were previously unknown to science but could prove beneficial in a wide range of applications.

Platinum… read more

Self-driving vehicles: benefits to society, policy challenges for lawmakers

January 6, 2014

Imagined autonomous vehicle

Self-driving vehicles offer the promise of significant benefits to society, but raise several policy challenges, including the need to update insurance liability regulations and privacy concerns such as who will control the data generated by this technology, according to a new RAND Corporation study.

“Our research finds that the social benefits of autonomous vehicles — including decreased crashes, increased mobility and increases… read more

Turning off the ‘aging genes’

Computer algorithm developed by TAU researchers identifies genes that could be transformed to stop the aging process
January 3, 2014

(Credit: iStock)

Tel Aviv University researchers have developed a computer algorithm that predicts which genes can be “turned off” to create the same anti-aging effect as calorie restriction*. The findings, reported in Nature Communications, could lead to the development of new drugs to treat aging.

“Most algorithms try to find drug targets that kill cells to treat cancer or bacterial infections,” says Keren Yizhak, a doctoral student in Prof.… read more

Fully self-driving cars expected by 2030, says forecast — UPDATE

New IHS Automotive study forecasts nearly 12 million yearly self-driving cars sales and almost 54 million in use on global highways by 2035
January 3, 2014

Google_autonomous_vehicle

Self-driving cars (SDC) that include driver control are expected to hit highways around the globe before 2025 and self-driving “only” cars (only the car drives) are anticipated around 2030, according to an emerging technologies study on Autonomous Cars from IHS Automotive.

In the study, “Emerging Technologies: Autonomous Cars — Not If, But When,” IHS Automotive forecasts total worldwide sales of self-driving cars will grow from nearly 230… read more

NSA seeks to develop quantum computer to crack nearly every kind of encryption

January 3, 2014

Cooper-pair device (Credit:

Is this device above — part of a quantum-computing research project at the Laboratory for Physical Sciences in Maryland — the core of a future NSA quantum computer for cracking nearly every kind of encryption used to protect banking, medical, business and government records around the world?

According to documents provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, the effort to build “a cryptologically useful quantum computer” is part… read more

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