science + technology news

These self-propelled microscopic carbon-capturing motors may reduce carbon-dioxide levels in oceans

September 25, 2015

Nanoengineers have invented tiny tube-shaped micromotors that zoom around in water and efficiently remove carbon dioxide. The surfaces of the micromotors are functionalized with the enzyme carbonic anhydrase, which enables the motors to help rapidly convert carbon dioxide to calcium carbonate. (credit: Laboratory for Nanobioelectronics, UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering)

Nanoengineers at the University of California, San Diego have designed enzyme-functionalized micromotors the size of red blood cells that rapidly zoom around in water, remove carbon dioxide, and convert it into a usable solid form.

The proof-of-concept study represents a promising route to mitigate the buildup of carbon dioxide, a major greenhouse gas in the environment, said the researchers.

The team, led by distinguished nanoengineering professor… read more

Solve for X: celebrating moonshot thinking

February 15, 2013

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Last week, Google hosted its 2013 Solve for X event, where they gathered 50 experienced entrepreneurs, innovators and scientists from around the world who are taking on moonshots — proposals that address a huge problem, suggest a radical solution that could work, and use some form of breakthrough technology to make it happen, Megan Smith and Astro Teller, co-hosts/creators of… read more

Not science fiction anymore: mail.ru’s Dmitry Grishin launches $25M robotics fund

June 17, 2012

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Robotic technology is close to reaching a new phase of mainstream consumer adoption. That’s the theory behind a new $25 million fund from Dmitry Grishin, the co-founder and CEO of Russia Internet giant Mail.Ru.

The fund will invest globally in areas such as home maintenance, healthcare, education, entertainment — basically any mass consumer market.

The robotics industry now is where the personal computing industry was in the… read more

How to watch everything in 3D

August 3, 2012

3DVision

Gene Dolgoff has developed a converter called 3-D Vision that he claims will instantly transform any 2-D video content — from TV to video games — into 3-D, using algorithms that present stereoscopic image pairs and give the illusion of depth, PandoDaily reports.

His crowdsourced Fundable 3-D Vision project (for design of the box) has reached more than half of its $10,000 goal in only four… read more

Walking in nature lowers risk of depression, scientists find in MRI study

Urbanization is associated with increased levels of mental illness
July 1, 2015

rumination to sgPFC-ft

A new study has found quantifiable evidence that supports the common-sense idea that walking in nature could lower your risk of depression.

The study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, found that people who walked for 90 minutes in a natural area, as opposed to participants who walked in a high-traffic urban setting (El Camino Real in Palo Alto, California, a noisy street with three to four… read more

Meta’s AR headset lets you play with virtual objects in 3D space

February 4, 2013

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A new augmented reality headset from Meta puts a full twin-display digital environment — controlled by two-hand 3D tracking — in front of the user, Slashgear reports.

The prototype headset uses Epson Moverio BT-100 see-through glasses with a low-latency 3D camera mounted on top.

Both components reportedly feed into custom electronics in a separate wearable computer, which can track individual fingertips and… read more

Now you can learn to fly a plane from expert-pilot brainwave patterns

February 12, 2016

pilot brain patterns

You can learn how to improve your novice pilot skills by having your brain zapped with recorded brain patterns of experienced pilots via transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), according to researchers at HRL Laboratories.

“We measured the brain activity patterns of six commercial and military pilots, and then transmitted these patterns into novice subjects as they learned to pilot an airplane in a realistic flight… read more

Handheld plasma flashlight rids skin of pathogens

April 6, 2012

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Imagine a handheld, battery-powered plasma-producing device that can rid skin of bacteria in an instant — no soap and water required.

It could be used in ambulance emergency calls, natural disaster sites, military combat operations, and wherever treatment is required in remote locations.

It’s called a “plasma flashlight.”

In an experiment, the plasma flashlight effectively inactivated a thick biofilm with 17 different layers of one of the most… read more

A 36-core chip design with an Internet-style communication network

Chips of the future will resemble little Internets
June 27, 2014

The MIT researchers' new 36-core chip is "tiled," meaning that it simply repeats the same circuit layout 36 times. Tiling makes multicore chips much easier to design (Credit: Bhavya K. Daya et al.)

The more cores — or processing units — a computer chip has, the bigger the problem of communication between cores becomes.

Now, Li-Shiuan Peh, the Singapore Research Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT, speaking at the International Symposium on Computer Architecture, hasread more

Scientists grow eye lens from patients’ own stem cells, restoring vision

In pioneering new cataract treatment of 12 pediatric patients, the eye grew a new lens from its own stem cells after cloudy lens was removed
March 11, 2016

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Researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Shiley Eye Institute, with colleagues in China, have developed an eye lens restoration treatment that has been tested in monkeys and in a small human clinical trial. It produced much fewer surgical complications than the current standard-of-care and resulted in regenerated lenses with superior visual function in all 12 of the pediatric cataract patients who received the new surgery.… read more

Google wants to replace all your passwords with a ring

March 13, 2013

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As part of research into doing away with typed passwords, Google has built rings that not only adorn a finger but also can be used to log in to a computer or online account, MIT Technology Review reports.

At the RSA security conference in San Francisco last month, Mayank Upadhyay, a principal engineer at Google,  said that using personal hardware to log in would remove the dangers of… read more

Space elevator by 2050 planned, to include space solar power

February 22, 2012

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Obayashi Corp., headquartered in Tokyo, has unveiled a project to build a space elevator by the year 2050 that would transport passengers to a station 36,000 kilometers above the Earth and transmit power to the ground.

A cable, made of carbon nanotubes, would be stretched up to 96,000 kilometers, or about one-fourth of the distance between the Earth and the moon. One end of… read more

Android app from GCHQ emulates the Enigma Machine

December 15, 2014

(Credit: GCHQ)

GCHQ, the British counterpart of the NSA, announced Friday a free Android (iOS planned) educational app called Cryptoy, which “enables users to understand basic encryption techniques, learn about their history, and then have a go at creating their own encoded messages.

“These can then be shared with friends via social media or more traditional means and the recipients can use the app to see “how… read more

You’re far less in control of your brain than you think

When your eyes tell your hands what to think
October 1, 2012

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You’ve probably never given much thought to the fact that picking up your cup of morning coffee presents your brain with a set of complex decisions. You need to decide how to aim your hand, grasp the handle and raise the cup to your mouth, all without spilling the contents on your lap.

A new Northwestern University study shows that, not only does your brain… read more

UCSD spinoffs create lab-quality portable 64-channel BCI headset

Dry electrodes and Bluetooth take the EEG lab to the street, with NSF, DARPA, and Army funding
January 13, 2016

Bioengineers and cognitive scientists have developed the first portable, 64-channel wearable brain activity monitoring system that's comparable to state-of-the-art equipment found in research laboratories. The system also includes a sophisticated software suite for data interpretation and analysis. (credit: Jacobs School of Engineering/UC San Diego)

The first dry-electrode, portable 64-channel wearable brain-computer interface (BCI) has been developed by bioengineers and cognitive scientists associated with UCSD Jacobs School.

The system is comparable to state-of-the-art equipment found in research laboratories, but with portability, allowing for tracking brain states throughout the day and augmenting the brain’s capabilities, the researchers say. Current BCI devices require gel-based electrodes or fewer than 64 channels.

The… read more

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