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A Quantum Leap in Cryptography

July 17, 2003

BBN network engineer Chip Elliott is building what he hopes will be an unbreakable encryption machine, designed to harness subatomic particles to create a hacker-proof way to communicate over fiber-optic networks.

A quantum logic gate combining light and matter

April 11, 2014

quantum_logic_gate

Scientists at Max-Planck-Institute of Quantum Optics (MPQ) have successfully achieved a quantum logic gate using a single photon and a single atom.

In the experiment, described in a Nature paper, the binary states 0 and 1 are represented by the two spin orientations of an atom (upwards or downwards), and by two polarization states of an optical photon (left or right circular), respectively.

The atom is… read more

A Quantum Memory Leap

January 23, 2009

University of Maryland and University of Michigan researchers have announced the ghostly transfer of the quantum state of a single ion to another one a meter away for several seconds.

Unlike current experiments, this scheme for “quantum teleportation” could buy enough time for manipulations that allow long-distance communications that are immune to eavesdropping, or for computations that exploit the quantum mechanics to perform blazing fast calculations.

A Question of Mind Over Matter

September 21, 2006

Scientists are probing the limits of mind-body interaction, developing tools that use artificial intelligence, muscle and neuron sensors — and even plugging directly into the brain — to achieve unprecedented results.

A Question of Resilience

May 8, 2006

“Resilience” — springing back from serious adversity — can best be understood as an interplay between particular genes and environment — GxE, in the lingo of the field.

Researchers are discovering that a particular variation of a gene can help promote resilience in the people who have it, acting as a buffer against the ruinous effects of adversity. In the absence of an adverse environment, however, the gene doesn’t… read more

A Quicker Map for Disease

May 11, 2001

Mapping common genetic diseases may turn out to be much easier. Segments of DNA shared by people with common ancestors can be much larger than previously thought — significantly decreasing the number of starting places researchers need to map genetic disorders.

A quiet death for bold project to map the mind

March 19, 2007

DARPA has killed the BICA (Biologically Inspired Cognitive Architectures) project to reverse-engineer the human brain.

The brain effort linked experts from neuroscience, cognitive psychology, robotics and artificial intelligence, who wanted to replicate how different parts of the brain interact.

“In some ways, it was like a Manhattan project or the Apollo project. Building a brain is a big task,” said Randall O’Reilly, an associate professor at the University… read more

A radical new holistic view of health based on cooperation and disease based on competition

September 16, 2013

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Researchers at The Mount Sinai Medical Center have developed a radical holistic view of health — seeing it as a cooperative state among cells, while they see disease as result of cells at war that fight with each other for domination.

Their unique approach is backed by experimental evidence. The researchers show a network of genes in cells, which includes the powerful tumor suppressor p53,… read more

A Rapture for the Rest of Us

April 5, 2006

Is the Singularity just a new religion? Or is religion just the pre-marketing department for the Singularity?

“Jihadists are strapping on suicide bombs today, in the hope of attaining the kind of environment that virtual reality will deliver in 20 years,” notes futurist Glenn Harlan Reynolds.

A real fMRI high: my ecstasy brain scan

September 19, 2012

5,6-Methylenedioxy-N-methyl-2-aminoindane (credit: Wikipedia)

New Scientist reporter Graham Lawton is taking part in a groundbreaking study on MDMA, the drug commonly known as ecstasy.

The research is run by David Nutt of Imperial College London, a former government adviser and one of the few UK researchers licensed to study class-A drugs. Objectives: discover what MDMA does to the human brain and study MDMA as a… read more

A Real-Life Debate on Free Expression in a Cyberspace City

January 16, 2004

A debate over free expression and ethical behavior in online worlds is reverberating in the real one.

Massively multiplayer online role-playing games now regularly attract a million or more Americans. Sims Online, Everquest and others, where the border between fantasy and reality is increasingly blurry, the games have become more than simply a source of entertainment. They are also a gateway to a complex social network that takes on… read more

A real-life ‘holodeck’ in 10 years?

January 17, 2013

The holodeck of the USS Enterprise (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

According to software expert Tim Huckaby, we’re on the verge of a science-fiction-like future where doctors manipulate molecules in three-dimensional (3-D) space, augmented music players tune into your thoughts, and retailers deliver coupons in real time based on the focus of your gaze across store shelves, Smart Planet reports.

His predictions for what’s possible within the next 10 years include a functioning “holodeck” (as in Star Trek)… read more

A realistic look at the promises and perils of nanomedicine

November 17, 2011

New nanomaterials: the next nanomedicines? (credit: )

Is the emerging field of nanomedicine a breathtaking technological revolution that promises remarkable new ways of diagnosing and treating diseases, or does it portend the release of dangerous nanoparticles, nanorobots, or nanoelectronic devices that will wreak havoc in the body?

A new review of more than 500 studies on the topic by Centro de Investigación Príncipe Felipe in Spain concludes that neither scenario is likely.… read more

A recipe for making strings in the lab

May 16, 2005

Theoretical physicists in the Netherlands have proposed a way to make superstrings in the laboratory: by trapping an ultracold cloud of fermionic atoms along the core of a quantized vortex in a Bose-Einstein condensate.

Hopefully this will allow observation of the supersymmetry between bosons and fermions, thus providing the first experimental evidence to support superstring theory.

A reconfigurable miniature robot

The robotic equivalent of a Swiss army knife
December 4, 2012

A four-segment milli-motein chain with a one-centimeter<br />
module size (credit: MIT Center for Bits and Atoms)

MIT scientists have designed a little device called a “milli-motein” (millimeter-sized components and a motorized design inspired by proteins, which naturally fold themselves into incredibly complex shapes) that may be a harbinger of future devices that could fold themselves up into almost any shape imaginable.

The device was conceived by Neil Gershenfeld, head of MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms, visiting scientist Ara… read more

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