Dead Air

November 25, 2002

Cell phones and the wireless industries of the future are snarled by a critical shortage of airwaves.

Solutions are on the way. Intel has discovered how to build entire radios in silicon chips. This and other new wireless technologies like cognitive radio, ultrawideband, software-defined radio and mesh networks could allow for spectrum sharing without interference, which the FCC is considering.

Now Here’s a Really Big Idea

November 26, 2002

Darryl Macer, associate professor at the Institute of Biological Sciences at the University of Tsukuba in Japan, plans to create a human mental map — a database that would contain a log of every human idea.

By understanding which ideas are specific to certain cultures and which ones are universal, policy-makers can make more informed decisions about such agreements, Macer said.

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.

Human Clone Unlikely Say Experts

November 26, 2002

The controversial Italian doctor Severino Antinori has announced that the first human baby clone will be born in January 2003. Speaking at a news conference in Rome on Tuesday, the researcher said three women he has treated are now carrying foetus clones in the advanced stages of pregnancy. Later on Wednesday, a company in the US claimed it too had women that were pregnant with baby clones – one of… read more

Claim GM Rice Withstands Drought, Salt Water

November 26, 2002

Scientists say they have genetically modified rice to withstand drought, salt water and cold temperatures by borrowing a gene from the E. coli bacteria. They hope the new stress-tolerant rice will help farmers in poor countries grow more food under the worst conditions. The research team added to the rice a gene for trehalose, a sugar that helps plants withstand stress.

Stem Cell Mixing May Form a Human-Mouse Hybrid

November 27, 2002

Proposed stem cell experiments would involve creating a human-mouse hybrid to test different lines of human embryonic stem cells for their quality and potential usefulness in treating specific diseases.

Any animals born from the experiment would be chimeras — organisms that are mixtures of two kinds of cells, such as a mouse with a brain made entirely of human cells or a mouse that generated human sperm. However, Dr.… read more

God Is the Machine

November 30, 2002

That life might be information, as biologists propose, is far more intuitive than the corresponding idea that hard matter is information as well. When we bang a knee against a table leg, it sure doesn’t feel like we knocked into information. But that’s the idea many physicists are formulating. The new science of digitalism says that the universe itself is the ultimate computer — actually the only computer. Weaving together… read more

Throwing Einstein for a Loop

November 30, 2002

Physicist Fotini Markopoulou Kalamara has developed a way to connect relativity with quantum theory – while making sure that cause still precedes effect. The unification of Einstein’s general relativity with quantum theory to explain the nature of space and time is probably the single greatest challenge of modern physics. Kalamara’s work suggests networks that do not live in space and are not made of matter. Rather their very architecture gives… read more

Digital image stored in single molecule

December 2, 2002

University of Oklahoma researchers have found a way to store 1024 bits of information in 19 hydrogen atoms in a single liquid-crystal molecule. The data are stored in the interactions of the protons’ magnetic moments, activated by firing an electromagnetic pulse containing 1024 different radio frequencies (each with amplitude modulation on or off) at the molecule.

Researcher Bing Fung hopes the “molecular photography” technique could one day be used… read more

Listening to the Internet reveals best connections

December 2, 2002

The reliability and strength of internet connections can be assessed by converting the latency of a series of pulses into musical sounds, according to Chris Chafe, a cellist and director of the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics at Stanford University in California.

Quantum computing making ‘tremendous progress’

December 2, 2002

There has been what one researcher calls “tremendously rapid progress” in quantum computing in the last year. A device for overcoming quantum “decoherence” has been developed at the University of New South Wales, using two phosphorus atoms precisely embedded in a silicon crystal.

Other researchers at Innsbruck University in Austria have achieved a quantum computation using a single trapped calcium ion, the first calculation made on a system proven… read more

First Baby of 2003 to Be a Clone?

December 2, 2002

Cloning enthusiast Severino Antinori claims the first cloned human will be born in January. The scientific community is skeptical and many researchers warn that a human clone would carry a high risk of death and deformity.

However, Michael West, CEO of Advanced Cell Technology, the leading private company in human therapeutic cloning, said, “All those stories about cloned animals being abnormal is just silliness.”

Sales of Computer Chips Rise for Third Consecutive Quarter

December 2, 2002

Worldwide semiconductor sales increased to $12.52 billion in October, a 1.8 percent jump from September and a 20 percent rise from 2001.

Major segments: chips for personal computers and wireless devices, flash memory and digital signal processors.

Solaris movie: slow-paced scifi

December 2, 2002

Solaris, a movie adapted from the brilliant scifi novel by Stanislaw Lem and set on a space station, features shape-shifting reality, a mysterious planet that reads minds, and replicants, but lapses into slow-paced, soporific gloom.


New York Times
Chicago Sun-Times

Will China Blindside the West?

December 2, 2002

China’s transformation is trickling even into the poor interior, dragging all 1.3 billion people into the world economy. When historians look back on our time, I think they’ll focus on the resurgence of China after 500 years of weakness — and the way America was oblivious as this happened. For most of human history, China was the world’s largest economy and most advanced civilization. Then it stagnated after about 1450,… read more

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