November 13, 2012
From November 24 to January 14, 2013, people with reservations can go and have their portraits taken. Except, instead of a photograph, you’ll receive miniature replicas of yourselves.
Reservations can be madke via… read more
More than a thousand known asteroids are classed as “potentially hazardous,” based on size and trajectory, says astronomer Neil deGrasse Tyson in Wired Science.
Currently, it looks doable to develop an early-warning and defense system that could protect the human species from impactors larger than a kilometer wide. … Smaller ones, which reflect much less light and are therefore much harder to detect at great distances, carry enough energy to incinerate entire… read more
A new carbon-based material structure developed at MIT generates steam from solar energy.
The structure — a layer of graphite flakes and an underlying carbon foam — is a porous, insulating material structure that floats on water.
When sunlight hits the structure’s surface, it creates a hotspot in the graphite, drawing water up through the material’s pores, where it evaporates as steam. The brighter the light,… read more
Imec, Holst Centre and Panasonic have developed a new prototype of a wireless EEG (electroencephalogram, or brain waves) headset designed to be a reliable, high-quality and wearable EEG monitoring system.
The system combines ease-of-use with ultra-low power electronics. Continuous impedance monitoring and the use of active electrodes increases the quality of EEG signal recording compared to former versions of the system.
How it works
The EEG… read more
IBM researchers unveiled today a new generation of experimental computer chips designed to emulate the brain’s abilities for perception, action and cognition.
In a sharp departure from traditional von Neumann computing concepts in designing and building computers, IBM’s first neurosynaptic computing chips recreate the phenomena between spiking neurons and synapses in biological systems, such as the brain, through advanced algorithms and silicon circuitry.
The technology could yield many orders… read more
An artificially intelligent virtual game bot created by computer scientists at The University of Texas at Austin has won the BotPrize by convincing a panel of judges that it was more human-like than half the humans it competed against.
DARPA has announced a new program called Targeted Neuroplasticity Training (TNT) aimed at exploring how to use peripheral nerve stimulation and other methods to enhance learning.
DARPA already has research programs underway to use targeted stimulation of the peripheral nervous system as a substitute for drugs to treat diseases and accelerate healing*, to control advanced prosthetic limbs**, and to restore tactile sensation.
But now… read more
An artificial synapse that emulates a biological synapse while requiring less energy has been developed by Pohang University Of Science & Technology (POSTECH) researchers* in Korea.
A human synapse consumes an extremely small amount of energy (~10 fJ or femtojoules** per synaptic event).
The researchers have fabricated an organic nanofiber (ONF), or organic nanowire (ONW), electronic device that emulates the important working principles and… read more
Cancer is a modern, man-made disease caused by environmental factors such as pollution and diet, a study by University of Manchester scientists has strongly suggested.
A study of remains and literature from ancient Egypt and Greece and earlier periods — carried out at the University of Manchester’s KNH Centre for Biomedical Egyptology and published in Nature — includes the first histological diagnosis of cancer in an Egyptian mummy.… read more
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
Duke University neuroscientists have created a network called “Brainet” that uses signals from an array of electrodes implanted in the brains of multiple rodents in experiments to merge their collective brain activity and jointly control a virtual avatar arm or even perform sophisticated computations — including image pattern recognition and even weather forecasting.
A new theory on how the brain first learns basic math could alter approaches to identifying and teaching students with math-learning disabilities, according to Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) researchers.
The widely accepted “sense of numbers” theory suggests people are born with a “sense of numbers,” an innate ability to recognize different quantities, and that this ability improves with age. Early math curricula and tools for diagnosing math-specific… read more
Scientists at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research’s (A*STAR) Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB) have developed a method to generate human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) from a single drop of finger-pricked blood.
The method also enables donors to collect their own blood samples, which they can then send to a laboratory for further processing. The easy access to blood samples using the new… read more