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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

A record quantum entanglement: 103 dimensions

More quantum dimensions easier to achieve than more qubits, researchers find
March 31, 2014

multi-dimensional-entanglement

An international team of researchers has created an entanglement of 103 dimensions with only two photons, beating the previous record of 11 dimensions.

The discovery could represent an advance toward toward better encryption of information and quantum computers with much higher processing speeds, according to a statement by the researchers.

Until now, to increase the “computing” capacity of these particle systems, scientists have mainly turned to increasing the number… read more

A Renowned Geneticist Analyzes Consumer Tests

June 16, 2009

Francis Collins, the former head of the National Human Genome Research Institute, has had his genome analyzed by the big three of direct-to-consumer genetic testing: 23andMe, Navigenics, and DecodeMe.

He found significant differences in the numbers of genetic variations used to calculate disease risk, as well as the final risk score.

A research agenda for potential ecological risks of synthetic biology

May 30, 2014

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Environmental scientists and synthetic biologists have developed the first list of key research areas to study the potential ecological impacts of synthetic biology, which could create organisms that transcend common evolutionary pathways.

The Synthetic Biology Project at the Wilson Center and the Program on Emerging Technologies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology convened the interdisciplinary group of scientists released the report, Creating aread more

A Review of the Best Robots of 2008

January 12, 2009

Keith Kleiner’s selections of the best robots and robot videos of 2008 include Robotic Soccer, the ultracute NAO robot, and the award-winning I-Sobot, the smallest bipedal robot.

A Review Of The Best Robots of 2009

December 23, 2009

In 2009, robots continued their advances in industrial/manufacturing, humanoid, and other areas.

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