science + technology news

A Gentler Way to Jump-Start the Brain

May 19, 2008

An Israeli company called Brainsway has developed a transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) method using multiple coils that stimulates areas deeper areas in the brain associated with depression and other neurological disorders, providing a possible treatment for patients with major depression who fail to respond to antidepressants.

Brainsway is designing different coils to tackle brain regions associated with other conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, autism, and drug… read more

A giant interneuron for ‘sparse coding’

May 16, 2011

Giant Interneuron

A single giant interneuron tracks in real time the activity of several tens of thousands of neurons in an olfactory center of a locust and feeds inhibition back to all of them to control their collective output, scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research in Frankfurt have discovered.

The researchers tested how neurons (Kenyon cells) in the insect brain’s mushroom bodies  respond with great… read more

A Giant Takes On Physics’ Biggest Questions

May 15, 2007

Physicists hope the Large Hadron Collider giant particle accelerator at Cern will recreate conditions that last prevailed when the universe was less than a trillionth of a second old.

A giant telescope 80 feet in diameter to capture the Universe

Images 10 times sharper than the Hubble telescope
August 26, 2013


The Steward Observatory Mirror Lab (SOML) at the University of Arizona is spin-casting the world’s largest telescope mirror: the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT), which will be more than 80 feet in diameter.

In comparison, the mirror of the Hubble Telescope measures 94.5 inches (just over 7.5 feet) from one edge to the other; that mirror has allowed astronomers to capture some of the most miraculous… read more

A Glimmer of Hope for Fading Minds

April 13, 2004

Scientists are uncovering clues that may eventually allow them to prevent, slow or even reverse Alzheimer’s disease.

Researchers have found evidence suggesting that statins, drugs taken to lower cholesterol levels, may also protect against Alzheimer’s. Other researchers have hypothesized that medications that reduce inflammation might prove useful or that Alzheimer’s may result from “multiple hits” from a stroke, high blood pressure or high cholesterol.

A Glimpse of a Future in a New Kind of Light

February 11, 2003

Lighting experts expect the pace of change in developing light-emitting diodes to pick up as researchers shrink the chips to microscopic size, improve their already impressive energy efficiency and increase their brightness. The chips are expected to move into the general home and office lighting market as early as 2007.

The eventual result, the experts say, will be savings of billions of dollars annually in energy and maintenance costs… read more

A global quantum network

June 14, 2013

Atoms, coupled to a glass fiber - the basis of the worldwide communication network of the future?

By quantum-mechanically coupling laser-cooled atoms to glass fiber cables, Vienna University of Technology researchers have developed a way to store quantum information over a long enough period of time to allow for entangling atoms hundreds of kilometers apart via fiber cables.

This finding is a fundamental building block for a global fiber-based quantum communication network, the researchers suggest.

Atoms and light

“In our… read more

A Global Social Network Without The Language Barrier – Mojofiti

February 23, 2010

The Mojofiti social networking website uses real-time machine translation to allow users to transparently collaborate with others in 27 languages.

A glove and mechanical assembly let you feel the unreal

April 4, 2002

Haptic interfaces, which add the sense of touch to virtual-reality systems, are becoming commerically available but are still expensive.CyberGrasp from San Jose-based Immersion consists of a lightweight mechanical exoskeleton that fits over a motion capture glove. It lets users manipulate virtual objects in a computer-generated world and creates the illusion of touching and grasping objects.

Woburn, MA-based SensAble Technologies makes touch-based modeling systems for industrial designers. Its FreeForm system… read more

A good night’s sleep really does improve the brain

July 14, 2008

Sleep improves performance in skill tasks, University of Geneva scientists have found, based on fMRI measurements.

The results revealed that a period of sleep following a new experience can consolidate and improve subsequent effects of learning from the experience, they suggest.

A good night’s sleep with the flip of a switch?

May 1, 2007

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have found a way to stimulate the slow waves typical of deep sleep by the use of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to send a harmless magnetic signal through the skulls of sleeping volunteers.

A ‘Google’ for chemistry invents best path to new compounds in seconds

Giant network links all known compounds and reactions
August 24, 2012


Northwestern University scientists have connected 250 years of organic chemical knowledge into one giant computer network called Chematica — a chemical “Google” on steroids.

A decade in the making, the software optimizes syntheses of drug molecules and other important compounds, combines long (and expensive) syntheses of compounds into shorter and more economical routes, and identifies suspicious chemical recipes that could lead to chemical weapons.

The… read more

A Google Prototype for a Precision Image Search

April 29, 2008

Google researchers say they have developed a new software technology intended to do for digital images on the Web what the company’s original PageRank software did for searches of Web pages.

Their VisualRank algorithm combines image-recognition software methods with techniques for weighting and ranking images that look most similar.

A Grand plan for brainy robots

March 19, 2004

On a good day, Lucy can tell a banana apart from an apple. And that’s handy skill to have if you are an orangutan. Even a robotic one….

A grand unified theory of AI

March 30, 2010

By combining the old rule-based systems with insights from new probabilistic statistical systems, MIT research scientist Noah Goodman has found a way to model thought that could have broad implications for both AI and cognitive science.

More info: MIT News

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