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Weed sequenced. No really — weed.

August 23, 2011

(Credit: iStockphoto)

DNA sequencing hit a new high with the release of the Cannabis sativa genome, says Nature News.

The raw sequence, done in Amsterdam (where else?), was posted on Amazon’s EC2 public cloud computing service by a young company called Medicinal Genomics, which aims to explore the genomes of therapeutic plants.

Medicinal Genomics founder Kevin McKernan says he estimates the size of the… read more

Website turns tables on government officials

July 6, 2003

MIT researchers have created the Government Information Awareness (GIA) project as a response to the US government’s Total Information Awareness program.

Internet users can submit their own intelligence reports on government officials; they will be published with no effort to verify their accuracy. Software similar to Google also gleans information from Internet sites that store information about politicians. Users can also access information compiled from various real-time… read more

Webcast: Robots in Space

November 2, 2002

Dr. Richard Terrile, NASA JPL Mars Scout Program Scientist, will present “Rise of the Machines: Intelligent Robots and Space Exploration,” an overview of the current and future plans for exploring the solar system with robotic spacecraft, on Nov. 21 and 22 in Pasadena, CA. The Nov. 21 event will also be webcast.

“The science and science fiction of computer intelligence will be explored by comparing our technological and scientific… read more

Webcams Transport Virtual Visitors

February 3, 2005

“Video chatting” is getting easier and more popular thanks to a growing number of service providers, fast broadband connections, and new cameras.

Using lightweight portable minicameras mounted on computer screens, people can see and be seen by friends or virtual strangers who are invited into the home to talk and take a look around.

Web-based program calculates effects of an Earth impact

April 9, 2004

A new web-based program tells you how an asteroid or comet collision will affect your spot on the globe by calculating several environmental consequences of its impact, including thermal radiation, seismic shaking, ejecta deposition, and air-blast effects.

University of Arizona press release

Web-based counseling — telepsychiatry — is taking off

February 10, 2012

Dr. Avrim Fishkind, a psychiatrist in Houston, rarely sees any of his patients in person, and that’s the way they like it.

Fishkind is part of a fast growing movement in the mental healthcare field where therapists counsel patients via inexpensive, Web-based video conferencing technology.

“We’ve had just over 60,000 patient encounters. To my knowledge, only six have refused to be seen via teleconferencing,” he said. “When it… read more

Web-based attacks could create chaos in the physical world

May 2, 2003

Using little more than a Web search engine and some simple software, a computer-savvy criminal or terrorist could easily leap beyond the boundaries of cyberspace to wreak havoc in the physical world, a team of Internet security researchers has concluded.

Automated order forms on the Web could be exploited to send tens of thousands of unwanted catalogs to a business or an individual, which could also paralyze the local… read more

Web Surfers Hit Higher Speeds

August 19, 2004

A majority of U.S. home Internet users now have broadband: an estimated 63 million broadband users, or 51 percent of all home Internet users, as of July.

Special offers for broadband services, the growing use of multimedia on the Web, and the availability of music and video downloads drove Internet users to the faster service.

Web Searches Take Cultural Pulse

December 19, 2002

Google, Lycos and other search sites have unleashed lists of the year’s top search terms, which many say are an accurate barometer of cultural fads, fears and obsessions.

Web search is ready for a shakeup, says researcher

August 4, 2011

Computer scientist Oren Etzioni at the University of Washington has called upon the international academic community and engineers working in industry to take a bolder approach when designing how people find information online.

Etzioni calls on experts to literally think outside the search box. He imagines a future in which someone would speak a question, such as: “What was the score in today’s Mariners game?” or “Where’s… read more

Web program simplifies artificial gene design

February 20, 2006

GeneDesign, a new web-based program that simplifies many tricky steps involved in designing artificial DNA, has been released by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine researchers.

But this is also a source of concern. An investigation conducted by New Scientist in November 2005 revealed that few gene synthesis companies check that the genes they are being asked to make are safe, or perform customer background checks after receiving an… read more

Web Mashups Made Easy

March 12, 2008

Mash Maker, A new research project from Intel Research, aims to let people use their ordinary Web browsers to combine information from different sites.

Mash Maker is one of a handful of services and products intended to help the motivated noncoder combine information from different websites, including Microsoft’s Popfly, Yahoo Pipes, and IBM’s Lotus Mashups.

Web inventor warns of ‘dark’ net

May 24, 2006

Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee warned that if the US decided to go ahead with a two-tier Internet, the network would enter “a dark period.”

Web freedom faces greatest threat ever, warns Google’s Sergey Brin

April 16, 2012

The principles of openness and universal access that underpinned the creation of the Internet three decades ago are under greater threat than ever, according to Google co-founder Sergey Brin.

The threat to the freedom of the Internet comes, he claims, from a combination of governments increasingly trying to control access and communication by their citizens, the entertainment industry’s attempts to crack down on piracy, and the rise of “restrictive” walled gardens… read more

Web experts ask scientists to use the Web to improve understanding, sharing of their data in science

February 14, 2011

Correlation of aerosol optical depth for the same instrument [the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS)] operating on different satellites (Terra and Aqua) for the year 2008. The visualization reveals that there is a zero-correlation anomaly centered on the date line with the shape of an orbital character. [Image courtesy of NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center (G. Leptoukh)]

Fox and Hendler, both professors within the Tetherless World Research Constellation at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, outlined a new vision for the visualization of scientific data, in a perspective piece titled “Changing the Equation on Scientific Data Visualization.”

As the researchers explain, visualizations provide a means to enable the understanding of complex data. The problem with the current use of visualization in the scientific community, according to Fox… read more

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