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The New Hearing Aid

June 25, 2002

Adding increased stochatic (random) noise to cochlear implant signals makes the neural pattern more natural, increases the perceived dynamic range, allowing patients to detect subtler sounds, according to Dr. Jay Rubinstein, associate professor of otology at the University of Iowa, speaking at the conference of the American Society for Artificial Internal Organs.

AI to Assist Alzheimer’s Patients

June 25, 2002

The Activity Compass, a Palm handheld with a GPS receiver and wireless modem, will memorize an Alzheimer’s patient’s daily routine and offer him directions when he becomes lost or confused.

3D maps show brain gene activity

June 25, 2002

A 3D map of the brain’s genetic activity should help researchers pinpoint the neurological underpinnings of autism, schizophrenia and other brain disorders.

SCIENTISTS ARE A WHISKER AWAY FROM SEMICONDUCTING NANOWIRES

June 25, 2002

Boron crystalline nanowires (“nanowhiskers”) may replace carbon nanotubes as nanoscale semiconductors.

At Los Alamos, Two Visions of Supercomputing

June 25, 2002

Heat may be a limiting factor to Moore’s law. By 2010, scientists predict, a single chip may hold more than a billion transistors, giving off 1,000 watts of thermal energy — far more heat per square inch than a nuclear reactor.

Already, Los Alamos National Laboratory’s 30-teraops Q computer, designed to provide full-scale, three-dimensional simulation of the physics involved in a nuclear explosion, will require 5 megawatts of energy.… read more

Science-Technology Drive Is Urged to Fight Terror

June 25, 2002

The National Research Council has developed a blueprint for using current technologies and creating new capabilities to reduce the likelihood of terrorist attacks. The recommendations include protecting and controlling nuclear weapons and material, producing sufficient supplies of vaccines and antibodies, securing shipping containers that could hide bombs or toxins, protecting power grids more effectively, improving ventilation systems in public buildings, emergency communications for workers responding to disasters, and more research… read more

Magnetic Future

June 26, 2002

Researchers at GE and IBM are developing “patterned media”-based disks that hold between 30 and 40 gigabits per square centimeter, ten times the density of today’s products, and the storage density might be pushed to more than 150 gigabits per square centimeter.

The technology involves physically isolating a disk’s magnetic grains from one another on nanoscale “islands.” Currently, several hundred magnetic grains are needed to store a bit clearly,… read more

Robots called electronics driver of 21st century

June 26, 2002

The robot could emerge as the driving force of electronics this century, according to Murata Manufacturing Co. Ltd. at the the Robotrex 2002 exhibition in Fukuoka, Japan.

A New Twist on Light Speed

June 27, 2002

Glasgow scientists have measured a single photon’s orbital angular momentum for the first time. The research could lead to speeding up optical communications by allowing each photon sent over fiber optic lines to encode multiple bits as quantum orbital states.

Measuring the Orbital Angular Momentum of a Single Photon, Phys. Rev. Lett. 88, 257901 (2002) (June 24, 2002)

Nano device could result in 1000:1 increase in storage density

June 27, 2002

University at Buffalo materials researchers have developed an extremely sensitive nanoscale device that could shrink ultra-high-density storage devices factor of a 1,000.

The magnetic sensor, made of nickel and measuring only a few atoms in diameter, could ultimately increase data storage capacity to a terabit per square inch.

University at Buffalo Materials Researchers Develop Device for “Ultrasmall” Data Storage (press release)

Healthy Shocks to the Head

June 28, 2002

Brain pacemakers, or “deep-brain stimulators,” are starting to show promise for treating neurological disorders, such as Parkinson’s, epilepsy, dystonia, and severe obsessive-compulsive disorder.

New treatment for depression

June 28, 2002

Psychiatrists are using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to treat depression that doesn’t respond to drugs.

The experimental treatment applies a pulsed magnetic field to the frontal cortex, which links to the limbic system, a regulator of emotion.
The experimental treatment applies a pulsed magnetic field to the frontal cortex, which links to the limbic system, a regulator of emotion.

Nanoparticles Cut Tumors’ Supply Lines

July 1, 2002

Cancer researchers packed a tiny particle with a gene that forces blood vessel cells to self-destruct, then “mailed” the particle to blood vessels feeding tumors in mice. A single treatment erased large tumors in mice in about 6 days.

VR hallucinations used to treat schizophrenia

July 2, 2002

A virtual reality environment has been designed by a team at the University of Queensland in Brisbane to help treat people with schizophrenia, using a simulated living room projected onto a wrap-around screen and a soundtrack with an abusive running commentary.
For example, it can mimic common hallucinations: walls appear to be closing in, photographs of faces morph, straight lines such as the edge of pictures wobble. The idea is… read more

Art as a State of Mind

July 2, 2002

Artist Paras Kaul is creating art using a computer/brain-wave interface.

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