Technion-Israel Institute of Technology scientists have discovered how to make a new kind of flexible sensor that one day could be integrated into “electronic skin” (e-skin) — a covering for prosthetic limbs that would allow patients to feel touch, humidity, and temperature.
Current kinds of e-skin detect only touch, but the Technion team’s invention “can simultaneously sense touch (pressure), humidity, and temperature, as real skin… read more
July 9, 2013
A device that trains the brain to turn sounds into images could be used as an alternative to invasive treatment for blind and partially-sighted people, researchers at the University of Bath have found.
“The vOICe” is a visual-to-auditory sensory substitution device that encodes images taken by a camera worn by the user into “soundscapes” from which experienced users can extract information about their surroundings.
It helps… read more
July 9, 2013
If there is life on Mars, it’s not too farfetched to believe that such Martian species may share genetic roots with life on Earth, based on RNA or DNA.
That’s because more than 3.5 billion years ago, a blitz of meteors ricocheted around the solar system, passing material between the two fledgling planets. This may have left bits of Earth on Mars, and vice versa, creating a shared genetic… read more
Betaine — a nutrient found in shellfish and beets — boosts athletic performance by nearly six percent when added to a sports drink, according to a study supervised by Ithaca College’s Exercise and Sport Sciences Chair Thomas Swensen.
“Betaine may contribute to creatine synthesis, which improves, strength, power and short-term performance,” Swensen said. “Future research should elucidate the mechanism of how betaine supplementation improves performance.”… read more
Called CETSA (Cellular Thermal Shift Assay), the method could improve the development of new improved drug substances.
Most drugs operate by binding to one or more proteins and affecting their function, which creates two common bottlenecks in the development of drugs:… read more
July 8, 2013
Researchers at MIT’s Research Laboratory of Electronics together with colleagues at Harvard University and the Vienna University of Technology have developed an experimental optical switch that’s controlled by a single photon — the optical analog of a transistor, the fundamental component of a computing circuit.
Optical computing — using light rather than electricity to perform calculations — could could point toward new designs for… read more
Quantum software has finally left the dark ages with the creation of the first practical, high-level programming language for quantum computers. Called Quipper, it could guide the design of quantum computers and make them easier to program, New Scientist reports.
July 8, 2013
Lab-on-a-chip devices are microfluidic cells that incorporate pipes, reaction vessels, valves and a host of other implements typically found in laboratories. These components are typically carved into an inexpensive flat plastic plate, made of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), to enable efficient… read more
The Human Race to the Future: What Could Happen — and What to Do, by Dr. Daniel Berleant (388 pages), the first book published by the Lifeboat Foundation, is available free (Kindle version) to KurzweilAI readers on July 8 as a one-day promo.
A non-fiction book verging on science fiction, its imaginative future scenarios include colonizing the planet Mercury (it has water at the poles), GPS-enabled… read more
July 5, 2013
University of New South Wales (UNSW) physicists are studying a distant star where gravity is more than 30,000 times greater than on Earth to test their controversial theory that α (alpha) — also known as the fine-structure constant — is not a constant.
“If alpha [the fine-structure constant] were bigger than it really is, we should not be able to distinguish matter… read more