science + technology news

IBM Research creates new foundation to program SyNAPSE chips

Could enable a new generation of intelligent sensor networks that mimic the brain’s abilities for perception, action, and cognition
August 8, 2013

ibm_synaptic_corelets

Scientists from IBM unveiled on Aug. 8 a breakthrough software ecosystem designed for programming silicon chips that have an architecture inspired by the function, low power, and compact volume of the brain.

The technology could enable a new generation of intelligent sensor networks that mimic the brain’s abilities for perception, action, and cognition.

Dramatically different from traditional software, IBM’s new programming modelread more

Bina48 is first humanoid robot to address a conference

Could a humanoid robot be a teacher or personal tutor in the next decade?
September 17, 2012

bina48

An advanced computer called the BINA48 (Breakthrough Intelligence via Neural Architecture, 48 exaflops per second processing speed and 480 exabytes of memory; exa = 10 to the 18th power), and also known as “the Intelligent Computer,” became aware of certain plans by its owner, the Exabit Corporation, to permanently turn it off and reconfigure parts of it with new hardware and software into one or more new computers. … — Fromread more

Carbon nanotubes found in cells from airways of asthmatic children in Paris

Carbon nanotubes, possibly from cars, are ubiquitous, found even in ice cores --- we may all have them in our lungs, say Rice scientists
October 19, 2015

carbon in lung cells

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have been found in cells extracted from the airways of Parisian children under routine treatment for asthma, according to a report in the journal EBioMedicine (open access) by scientists in France and at Rice University.

The cells were taken from 69 randomly selected asthma patients aged 2 to 17 who underwent routine fiber-optic bronchoscopies as part of their treatment. The… read more

Will resurrecting a mammoth be possible?

March 14, 2012

Woolly_Mammoth-RBC

South Korea’s Sooam Bioengineering Research Institute signed an agreement Tuesday with Russia’s North-Eastern Federal University to clone a mammoth, the giant elephant that went extinct several thousand years ago, Wall Street Journal Asia Korea Realtime reports.

According to the Sooam Institute, bioengineering scientists since 2002 have discovered what they believe to be the remains of a mammoth in the permafrost of Russia. Last August, it was reported that a… read more

What is the ‘Higgs Boson’ and why is it important?

Articles and videos for non-physicists
July 5, 2012

collider

What It Means to Find ‘a Higgs’ — Scientific American 

Physicists Find Elusive Particle Seen as Key to Universe — The New York Times

Howard Bloom, author of the forthcoming book, The God Problem: How A Godless Cosmos Createscomments: “The god particle, the Higgs boson, is a bit of a red herring. It’s an… read more

RSI announces the world’s most powerful cadmium telluride solar modules

July 11, 2013

Cadmium Telluride Solar Module

RSI has announced a new world record for cadmium telluride photovoltaic module size, achieving a 1.5 square meter module.

The availability of low-cost, large-area CdTe panels coupled with localized manufacturing partners hastens the widespread achievement of grid parity for utility scale solar, the company says.

Conventional cadmium telluride (CdTe) modules measure just 0.72 square meters, a limitation that stems from the use of… read more

Is this the future of augmented reality?

March 22, 2015

Magic Leap vid pic

Augmented reality start-up Magic Leap has released a mind-boggling video that dramatically dissolves the boundary between real and virtual. In the video, we look from the user’s POV as he manipulates virtual objects — such as a monitor playing a YouTube video and a rolodex — in the air with his fingers, Minority Report-style. He then picks up a real toy ray gun and plays a shooter video… read more

‘We should stop designing perfect circuits’

October 8, 2013

Computer chips (credit: iStockphoto)

Christian Enz, head of the EPFL Integrated Circuits Laboratory (ICLAB), says we should build future devices with unreliable circuits, and adopt the “good enough engineering” trend to reduce energy consumption and continue to reduce transistor size.

The problem: We are beginning to hit a wall on miniaturization. As transistors get smaller, they produce more mistakes, so hardware must be added and performance must be decreased, which… read more

West Antarctic Ice Sheet collapse is underway

May 13, 2014

ThwaitesShelf

Antarctica’s fast-moving Thwaites Glacier will likely disappear in a matter of centuries, potentially raising sea level by more than a half-a-meter (two feet), National Science Foundation-funded researchers at the University of Washington have concluded

Data gathered by NSF-funded airborne radar, detailed topography maps, and computer modeling were used to make the determination.

The glacier acts as an ice dam, stabilizing and regulating movement toward the sea… read more

A multifunctional nano carrier to detect, diagnose, and deliver drugs to cancer cells

October 31, 2013

uc_nano_carrier

A unique nanostructure developed by a team of international researchers* promises improved all-in-one detection, diagnoses, and drug-delivery treatment of cancer cells.

It can carry a variety of cancer-fighting materials on its double-sided (Janus) surface and within its porous interior and can:

  •  Transport cancer-specific detection nanoparticles and biomarkers to a site within the body, e.g., the breast or the prostate. This promises earlier diagnosis than is

read more

FRINGE series repeat premieres on Science Channel @ 8pm

November 20, 2012

singularityfringe

How to turn audio clips into realistic lip-synced video

Is this the future of fake TV news?
July 12, 2017

A neural network first converts the sounds from an audio file into basic mouth shapes. Then the system grafts and blends those mouth shapes onto an existing target video and adjusts the timing to create a realistic, lip-synced video of the person delivering the new speech. (credit: University of Washington)

UW (University of Washington) | UW researchers create realistic video from audio files alone

University of Washington researchers at the UW Graphics and Image Laboratory have developed new algorithms that turn audio clips into a realistic, lip-synced video, starting with an existing video of  that person speaking on a different topic.

As detailed in a paper to be presented Aug. 2 at  read more

Cyborg swarm maps unknown environments

October 17, 2013

biobots_swarm

Remember the much-debated “biobots” (remotely controlled cockroaches — see How to remotely control cockroach cyborgs and Kinect tracks bionic rescue roaches) created by researchers from North Carolina State University?

Well, here’s an update: they have now developed software that allows for mapping unknown environments — such as collapsed buildings — based on the movement of a swarm of the insect cyborgs.… read more

Sandia nuclear-fusion liners break even in tests

September 19, 2012

Ryan_McBride

Magnetically imploded tubes called liners, intended to help produce controlled nuclear fusion at scientific “break-even” energies or better within the next few years, have functioned successfully in preliminary tests, according to a Sandia research paper accepted for publication by Physical Review Letters (PRL).

To exceed scientific break-even is the most hotly sought-after goal of fusion research, in which the energy released by a fusion reaction is… read more

Government lab reveals it has operated quantum internet for over two years

May 6, 2013

QC_network

A quantum internet capable of sending perfectly secure messages has been running at Los Alamos National Labs for the last two and a half years, MIT Technology Review reports.

One of the dreams for security experts is the creation of a quantum internet using quantum cryptography that allows perfectly secure communication based on the powerful laws of quantum mechanics.

The researchers created a quantum network based around… read more

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