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Watching atoms vibrate in real time

March 21, 2007
This slow-motion simulation of the JILA nanoscale motion detector shows the wiggling of a floppy metal beam, just 100 nanometers thick, as it is struck by an electric current at the dot. Red indicates the greatest change in position from the rest state.

A new nanoscale apparatus–a tiny gold beam whose 40 million vibrations per second are measured by hopping electrons–offers the potential for a 500-fold increase in the speed of scanning tunneling microscopes, perhaps paving the way for scientists to watch atoms vibrate in high definition in real time.

The new device measures the space between a metal beam and an electrically conducting point just a single atom wide,… read more

Watch your back, Hasbro, 3D-printed games have arrived

September 2, 2012


Ill Gotten Games‘ Pocket Tactics is the first open-source miniatures game designed to be manufactured on a 3D printer, Wired Design reports.

Consisting of character figurines, tiles, and dice, the pieces can be downloaded from Thingiverse and printed on a MakerBot. A complete set of parts takes several hours to extrude, but games can be played in just over 20 minutes.

The use of… read more

Watch scientists ‘herd’ cells with electric fields for controlled tissue engineering

March 12, 2014


Researchers at UC Berkeley found that an electrical current can be used to orchestrate the flow of a group of cells, an achievement that could establish the basis for more controlled forms of tissue engineering and for potential applications such as “smart bandages” that use electrical stimulation to help heal wounds.

In the experiments, described in a study published this week in the journal Nature Materials, the… read more

Watch International Mars Society Convention via live webcast

August 15, 2013


The Mars Society is hosting its 16th Annual International Mars Society Convention from August 15–18 at the University of Colorado in Boulder. All plenary talks are being broadcast live on the Internet via a special video webcast.

Convention program schedule (times listed are MDT).

Watch flying robots build a 6-meter tower

December 14, 2011

ETH quadcopter

ETH Zurich roboticists and architects used a fleet of quadcopters to build a 6 meter (20 feet) twisting tower out of 1500 foam bricks, IEEE Spectrum Automaton reports.

The ceiling of the room where the assembly is taking place was equipped with a motion-capture system. A computer uses the vision data to keep track of the quadcopters and tell them where to go.


 … read more

Waste wafers give solar power a silicon boost

October 31, 2007

A simple method of recycling waste silicon from microchips that could help ease the shortage of refined silicon for solar energy panels has been developed by IBM.

IBM estimates that 3.3 percent of these wafers are normally scrapped before they reach the market, which adds up to nearly 3 million discarded wafers per year. It reckons the silicon from these discarded wafers could make solar panels capable of generating… read more

Wasps with bigger brains evolve social networking

April 12, 2011

Wasp Nest

Neurobiologists at the University of Washington have found that bigger-bodied social wasps have larger brains and devote up to three times more of their brain tissue to regions that coordinate social interactions, learning, memory, and other complex behaviors.

The researchers dissected wasp brains and measured the volume of two brain regions. They focused on the central processing region (the mushroom bodies) that, like the cerebral cortex… read more

Washington’s I.T. Guy

June 15, 2010

Carl Malamud has taken it upon himself to see that all public information — from court decisions to financial disclosures to Army training tapes — is actually, well, public.

His art is in figuring out how to free documents that aren’t restricted by secrecy but by the fact that the government has failed to put them online.

It’s time for the government to catch up to technology. Creating… read more

Washington to Give Nanotech $37B Boost

November 26, 2002

New legislation now before President Bush could result in $37 billion in new funding over the next five years for the National Science Foundation –money that is expected to boost venture capital investments in nanotechnology and emerging biotech sectors.

Was our universe made for us or not?

May 17, 2006

The anthropic principle — which argues that our universe is finely tuned to support life and there is no point in asking why it is so — has been criticised as lazy, untestable science. Now there may be a way to test the theory for one of the most problematic instances of fine-tuning.

Cosmologists have observed that the expansion of the universe is accelerating, and have attributed this to… read more

Warrior Web to augment soldiers’ endurance

May 27, 2013

(credit: DARPA)

DARPA‘s Warrior Web program seeks to create a soft, lightweight under-suit that would help reduce injuries and fatigue common for soldiers, who often carry 100-pound loads for extended periods over rough terrain.

DARPA envisions Warrior Web augmenting the work of soldiers’ own muscles to significantly boost endurance, carrying capacity and overall warfighter effectiveness — all while using no more than 100W of power.… read more

Warp drive may be more feasible than thought, scientists say

September 18, 2012


A warp drive to achieve faster-than-light travel — a concept popularized in television’s Star Trek — may not be as unrealistic as once thought, according to scientists at the 100 Year Starship Symposium, reports.

A warp drive would manipulate space-time itself to move a starship, taking advantage of a loophole in the laws of physics that prevent anything from moving fasterread more

Warp drive and wormholes could be used for time travel, says physicist

August 24, 2007
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Hubble image of dark matter ring in galaxy cluster

Warp drive and stargate wormholes could be used for time travel to the past. That’s the surprising conclusion that controversial theoretical physicist and author Dr. Jack Sarfatti has reached from his research into dark energy and dark matter.

Sarfatti, who was the inspiration for “Doc” in the movie “Back To The Future,” will discuss this on the Coast to Coast AM national radio… read more

Warning sounded over ‘flirting robots’

December 10, 2007

A program that can mimic online flirtation and then extract personal information from its unsuspecting conversation partners is making the rounds in Russian chat forums.

The artificial intelligence of CyberLover’s automated chats is good enough that victims have a tough time distinguishing the “bot” from a real potential suitor.

Warning sounded on web’s future

September 17, 2008

Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s new World Wide Web Foundation is looking for ways to give websites a label for trustworthiness once they had been proved reliable sources and help people separate rumor from real science.

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