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US denies patent for part-human hybrid

February 14, 2005

The US Patent and Trademark Office rejected a claim in a patent on a laboratory-conceived creature that is part human and part animal, saying the hybrid — designed for use in medical research but not yet created — would be too closely related to a human to be patentable.

The decision leaves a crucial question unanswered: At what point is something too human to patent?

The inventor, Stuart… read more

US boasts of laser weapon’s ‘plausible deniability’

August 13, 2008

The US Air Force Research Laboratory’s Advanced Tactical Laser (ATL) weapon, dubbed the “long-range blowtorch,” can deliver the heat of a blowtorch with a range of up to 20 kilometers, so the aircraft carrying it might not be seen, especially at night.

The 5.5-ton ATL combines chlorine and hydrogen peroxide molecules to release energy, which stimulates iodine into releasing intense infrared light.

The ATL is touted as bringing… read more

US Army unveils 1.8 gigapixel camera helicopter drone

December 30, 2011


New helicopter-style drones with 1.8 gigapixel color cameras are being developed by the U.S. Army.

The army said the technology promised “an unprecedented capability to track people and vehicles from altitudes above 20,000 feet (6.1km) across almost 65 square miles (168 sq km).

US Army toyed with telepathic ray gun

March 24, 2008

A recently declassified US Army report on the biological effects of non-lethal weapons reveals plans for “ray gun” devices, which would cause artificial fevers, disturb the sense of balance, or beam voices into people’s heads.

US Army to Push X-Files Tech Development, Invade World of Warcraft

November 6, 2008

The US Army is ramping up the development of technology that is “making science fiction into reality” as Dr. John Parmentola, Director of their Research and Laboratory Management, puts it.

The research includes regenerating body parts on “nano-scaffolding,” telepathy through electronic impulses in the scalp, and self-aware virtual photorealistic soldiers that can be deployed in the battlefield through “quantum ghost imaging.” To test these they want to use them… read more

US Army orders weapons supercomputer

August 4, 2004

The US army has commissioned a new supercomputer to model the behavior of materials used in the development of new weapons.

Named Stryker, it will be capable of a peak performance of 10 teraflops. It will be the most powerful computer in the world to use the Linux operating system.

On July 27, the US Navy ordered an even faster supercomputer from IBM that will have a peak… read more

US Army Invests in ‘Thought Helmet’ Technology for Voiceless Communication

September 23, 2008
(Jeff Corwin Photography, Boeing)

Future soldiers may communicate silently with sophisticated “thought helmets” that detect a person’s brain waves, decode then into words, and transmit them as radio waves to the headphones of other soldiers.

US approves world’s biggest solar energy project in California

October 26, 2010

The U.S. Department of Interior approved on Monday a permit for Solar Millennium, LLC to build the largest solar energy project in the world — four  plants at the cost of one billion dollars each — in southern California.

The project is expected to generate up to 1,000 Megawatts of energy, enough electricity to annually power more than 300,000 single-family homes, more than doubling the solar electricity production capacity… read more

Upside of Downsizing Analog Chips

February 21, 2002

Impinj has found a way to make analog devices employing the same CMOS technology currently used for making digital chips and fine-tuning them after they are produced. The result is analog devices that can be scaled down to tiny sizes and work better than the current generation of analog chips.
The “self-adaptive silicon” technology is modeled on how the human brain adjusts nerve cells; it can monitor… read more

Uploading Life: Send Your Personality to Space

June 28, 2001

The gradual merging of human beings with their computers over the next century gives rise to the prospect of interstellar immortality, said William Sims Bainbridge at a recent George Washington University Space Policy Institute symposium.

Cognitive neural science, genetic engineering, nanotechnology and information systems may allow the founding of a cosmic civilization, a possibility that does not require flying living human bodies and all the necessities of life to… read more

Updating Prescriptions for Avoiding Worldwide Catastrophe

September 13, 2006

In a new book, scientist James E. Lovelock has come under attack from some environmentalists for his support of nuclear power as a way to avoid runaway “global heating” — his preferred alternative to “global warming.”

Updated: Intel revamps teraflop MPU efforts

December 3, 2009

Intel Corp. has re-positioned its “tera-scale” processor R&D efforts, moving towards a more mainstream, x86-based multicore design instead of a proprietary technology.

Intel has demonstrated an experimental, 48-core processor–or “single-chip cloud computer” (because it resembles the organization of datacenters used to create a “cloud” of computing) based on a 45-nm process using high-k and metal-gate technology.

In the future, Intel’s “single-chip cloud computer” processor could be powerful enough… read more

Unzipping Graphene’s Potential

April 16, 2009

By slicing open carbon nanotubes, Rice University and Stanford University researchers have devised simple methods for unfurling carbon nanotubes to make “nanoribbons” of graphene, which could be used to create electronics faster than those made of silicon.

Unzipped nanotubes as an alternative to costly platinum for fuel cells

March 4, 2015

An illustration shows a three-dimensional aerogel created by researchers at Rice University who combined graphene nanoribbons with boron and nitrogen. The aerogels show promise as a possible alternative to expensive platinum in fuel cells (credit: Ajayan Group/Rice University)

Rice University researchers have formed graphene nanoribbons into a three-dimensional aerogel enhanced with boron and nitrogen as catalysts for fuel cells as a replacement for platinum.

In tests involving half of the catalytic reaction that takes place in fuel cells, a team led by materials scientist Pulickel Ajayan and chemist James Tou discovered that versions with about 10 percent boron and nitrogen were efficient in catalyzing an… read more

‘Unzipped’ carbon nanotubes could help energize fuel cells and batteries, Stanford scientists say

May 29, 2012


Multi-walled carbon nanotubes riddled with defects and impurities on the outside could replace some of the expensive platinum catalysts used in fuel cells and metal-air batteries, according to scientists at Stanford University.

“Platinum is very expensive and thus impractical for large-scale commercialization,” said Hongjie Dai, a professor of chemistry at Stanford and co-author of the study. “Developing a low-cost alternative has been a… read more

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