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A telescope that sets its sights on cyber-crime

February 5, 2010

Endgame Systems of Atlanta has come up with a system called the Internet telescope that can map the physical location of computers infected with malicious software, or malware, used to run botnets (thousands of computers taken over to run malware). It can even identify the type of malware on the machine and preempt its next moves.

A Terabyte In A Cigar Box

January 15, 2004

LaCie has introduced a 1 Terabyte disk for $1,199.

A Terminator-style contact-lens display

November 23, 2011

(Credit: University of Washington/

Bringing us a step closer to a Terminator-style augmented-reality display, University of Washington engineers have constructed an experimental contact lens with a single-pixel embedded light-emitting diode (LED) and tested it in a rabbit.

The LED lights up when it receives energy from a remote radio frequency transmission, picked up by an antenna around the edge and collected via a silicon power harvesting and radio integrated circuit.

But the… read more

A termite-inspired robot construction team

February 14, 2014


On the plains of Namibia, millions of tiny termites are building a mound of soil — an 8-foot-tall “lung” for their underground nest. During a year of construction, many termites will live and die, wind and rain will erode the structure, and yet the colony’s life-sustaining project will continue.

Inspired by termites’ resilience and collective intelligence, Harvard  computer scientists and engineers have created an autonomous robotic construction crew comprising… read more

A Test for 400 Inherited Diseases

January 14, 2011

Researchers at the National Center for Genome Resources have developed a new universal screening test that shows promise for accurately identifying a couple’s risk of conceiving a child with any one of 448 devastating and fatal childhood genetic diseases.

The test is expected to become commercially available in the third quarter of 2011, at a cost lower than any single test currently available for any single disease on the… read more

A theoretical metamaterial that acts as an analog computer

Computational metamaterials could almost instantly perform certain complex mathematical operations
January 12, 2014

Edge detection - featured

Metamaterials can be designed to do “photonic calculus” as a light wave goes through them, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, The University of Texas at Austin and University of Sannio in Italy have discovered.

A light wave, when described in terms of space and time, has a profile in space that can be thought of as a curve on a… read more

A Theory of Evolution, for Robots

September 6, 2002

Scientists have designed a winged robot capable of learning flight techniques automatically with genetic algorithms. Its small motors allow it to manipulate its meter-long, balsa-wood wings in different directions. A computer program feeds the robot random instructions, which let it develop the concept of liftoff on its own.

A Theory Set in Stone: An Asteroid Killed the Dinosaurs, After All

March 8, 2010

Asteroid Killed Dinosaurs

A study by a group of 41 researchers has verified the theory that a massive asteroid some 10 kilometers across that slammed into Earth, creating Chicxulub Crater on Mexico’s Gulf Coast, killed off many of the species on the planet, including the non-avian dinosaurs.

A therapist in your pocket

February 8, 2012

Mobilyze (credit:

Are you depressed, checking e-mail and Facebook, or home alone ruminating for hours?

Cheer up. Scientists are inventing  web-based, mobile and virtual technologies to treat depression and other mood disorders at a new National Institutes of Health-funded Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine center.

In the works: a virtual human therapist to prevent depression, a medicine bottle that reminds you to take antidepressant medication and tells your doctor if… read more

A thermodynamic limit on brain size

May 26, 2009

The thermodynamics of heat balance does not restrict brain size, which could be heavier than 5 kg, leaving plenty of growing room for humans, which have brains of only 1.5 kilograms on average, calculates Jan Karbowski at the Sloan-Swartz Center for Theoretical Neurobiology at the California Institute of Technology.

A Thin Line Between Film and Joystick

February 23, 2003

Enter the Matrix, the first commercial video game based on the world and characters of The Matrix, represents the closest collaboration so far between moviemaking and game production.

“There are scenes that start in the video game and will complete the movie,” Joel Silver, the films’ producer, noting that the game was conceived to “feel like it’s a part and experience of the movie.” Some of the plot lines… read more

A Time-Lapse Movie Shot Inside the Brain

January 26, 2011

A new type of micro-endoscope developed by Stanford University researchers lets scientists watch nerve cells and blood vessels deep inside the brain of a living animal over days, weeks, or even months.

Dubbed the optical needle, it is 500 to 1,000 microns in diameter.

A tiny computer attracts a million tinkerers

January 31, 2013

The Raspberry Pi Model B is a credit–card sized computer board that plugs into a TV. It’s a miniature ARM–based PC that can perform many of the functions of a large desktop PC such as spreadsheets, word–processers and games. It also plays High–Definition videos. (Credit: Raspberry Pi)

Almost one million $35 Raspberry Pi computers have shipped since last February, capturing the imaginations of educators, hobbyists and tinkerers around the world, The New York Times reports.

The Raspberry Pi — about 3 inches by 2 inches and less than an inch high — was intended to replace the expensive computers in school science labs. For less than the price of a new keyboard, a… read more

A Tissue Engineer Sows Cells and Grows Organs

July 11, 2006

Tissue-engineering researchers are working on tissue replacement projects for practically every body part — blood vessels and nerves, muscles, cartilage and bones, esophagus and trachea, pancreas, kidneys, liver, heart and even uterus.

A more immediate goal is to improve upon a multitude of smaller therapies: transplantable valves for ailing hearts, cell-and-gel preparations for crushed nerves, injections of skeletal muscle cells for urinary continence or new salivary gland tissue to… read more

A Tool to Verify Digital Records, Even as Technology Shifts

January 27, 2009

University of Washington scientists have developed the initial component of a public system for digitally preserving and authenticating first-hand accounts of war crimes, atrocities and genocide.

The solution is a publicly available digital fingerprint, known as a cryptographic hash mark, that will make it possible for anyone to determine that the documents are authentic and have not been tampered with.

At the heart of the system is an… read more

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