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Bigelow Aerospace and NASA look at private exploration

April 22, 2013

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Bigelow Aerospace and NASA say they’ve agreed to look at ways for private ventures to contribute to human exploration missions, perhaps including construction of a moon base, but not asteroids and Mars, NBC News Cosmic Log reports.

The Moon ranks high among the targets that Bigelow Aerospace has in mind. The Nevada-based company has been working on moonbase concepts for years, including a… read more

Biosensor patch monitors brain, heart, muscle signals

April 22, 2013

A close-up view of the Bio-patch (credit: KTH The Royal Institute of Technology)

The future of health care could be found in a tiny, paper-thin skin patch that collects vital information.

The Bio-patch sensor developed by KTH Royal Institute of Technology researchers is inexpensive, versatile, and comfortable to wear. It measures bioelectrical signals through the skin when applied to different parts of the body.

“On the chest it provides electrocardiography (ECG), on the skull it measures brainwaves… read more

Google fiber now coming to the ‘Silicon slopes’

April 21, 2013

google_fiber_installation

The Google Fiber team is in Provo, Utah, where Mayor John Curtis announced that Google intends to make Provo its third Google Fiber City (after Kansas City and Austin), Google Fiber Blog reports.

Google has signed an agreement to purchase iProvo, an existing fiber-optic network owned by the city, upgrade the network to gigabit technology, and finish network construction so that every home along the existing… read more

Will robots create new jobs when they take over existing ones?

April 19, 2013

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At a robotics industry event organized by business blog Xconomy in Menlo Park last week, people working on better industrial robots claimed their robotics technology will actually boost the U.S. economy and create more jobs, even if some jobs do disappear forever, MIT Technology Review reports.

“We’re replacing jobs that people don’t want to do and really shouldn’t be doing,” said Aldo Zini, whose company… read more

New technique to deliver life-saving drugs to the brain

April 19, 2013

FIU_drug_delivery

Researchers from Florida International University (FIU)’s Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine have developed a revolutionary technique that can deliver and fully release the anti-HIV drug AZTTP into the brain.

Madhavan Nair, professor and chair, and Sakhrat Khizroev, professor and vice chair of the HWCOM’s Department of Immunology, used magneto-electric nanoparticles (MENs) to cross the blood-brain barrier and send a significantly increased level… read more

New microbatteries a boost for electronics

April 19, 2013

Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) cross-section of the interdigitated electrodes spanning two<br />
periods. The interdigitated electrodes alternate between anode and cathode. The insets show the magnified electrodes with the nickel scaffold coated<br />
with nickel–tin on the left and lithiated manganese oxide on the right. Scale bars, 50mm and 1mm in the insets. (Credit: Nature Communications)

New microbatteries developed by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, out-power even the best supercapacitors and could drive new applications in radio communications and compact electronics.

“This is a whole new way to think about batteries,”  said William P. King, the Bliss Professor of mechanical science and engineering. “A battery can [now] deliver far more power than anybody ever thought.… read more

Massive star factory churned in Universe’s youth

April 19, 2013

Background image is Herschel/SPIRE image of the portion of sky in which HFLS3 was found, with zoom. Upper-left inset is combined radio/millimeter/submillimeter image of the distant galaxy. Top right is VLA spectrum showing radio emission from Carbon Monoxide molecules. (Credit: Riechers et al., ESA/Herschel/HerMES/IRAM/, NRAO/AUI/NSF)

Astronomers using a world-wide collection of telescopes have discovered the most prolific star factory in the Universe, surprisingly in a galaxy so distant that they see as it was when the Universe was only six percent of its current age.

The galaxy, dubbed HFLS3, 12.8 billion light-years from Earth, is producing the equivalent of nearly 3,000 Suns per year, a rate more than 2,000 times that of… read more

Quantum computing taps nucleus of single atom

April 19, 2013

qubit_nanostructure

Australian engineers at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) have demonstrated a quantum bit based on the nucleus of a single atom in silicon, promising dramatic improvements for data processing in ultra-powerful quantum computers of the future.

Quantum bits, or qubits, are the building blocks of quantum computers, which will offer enormous advantages for searching expansive databases, cracking modern encryption, and modelling atomic-scale systems… read more

When does your baby become conscious?

April 19, 2013

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New research shows that babies display glimmers of consciousness and memory as early as 5 months old, Science Now reports.

Studies on adults show a particular pattern of brain activity: When your senses detect something, such as a moving object, the vision center of your brain activates, even if the object goes by too fast for you to notice. But if the object remains in your visual… read more

Facial recognition tech could help trace Boston bomb suspects

April 19, 2013

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Experts say the FBI may be able to use other images from the scene of Monday’s bomb attacks in Boston.— together with facial recognition software — to search through identity databases.

The approach is likely to become more common in the future as new technology makes using facial recognition on surveillance and bystander imagery more reliable, MIT Technology Review reports.

Deploying facial recognition software in the… read more

A tablet controlled by your brain

April 19, 2013

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Samsung is researching how to bring mind control to its mobile devices with the hope of developing ways for people with mobility impairments to connect to the world, MIT Technology Review reports.

In collaboration with Roozbeh Jafari, an assistant professor of electrical engineering at the University of Texas, Dallas, Samsung researchers are testing how people can use their thoughts to launch an application, select a… read more

Reversing memory loss

April 19, 2013

Aplysia_californica

Neuroscientists at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) have reversed memory loss in sea-snail nerve cells by by retraining them on optimized training schedules.

This may be a major step in helping people with memory loss tied to brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, the researchers suggest.

“Although much works remains to be done, we have demonstrated the feasibility of… read more

Super-nanotubes: ‘remarkable’ spray-on coating combines carbon nanotubes with ceramic

April 19, 2013

Micrograph of one strand of a new spray-on super-nanotube composite developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Kansas State University. The multi-wall nanotube core is surrounded by a ceramic shell. The composite is a promising coating for laser power detectors. (Color added for clarity.)<br />
Credit: Kansas State University

A spray-on mixture of carbon nanotubes and ceramic that has unprecedented ability to resist damage while absorbing laser light has been demonstrated by researchers from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Kansas State University.

Coatings that absorb as much of the energy of high-powered lasers as possible without breaking down are essential for optical power detectors that measure the output… read more

New keyboard for touchscreens speeds up thumb-typing

April 19, 2013

The new KALQ keyboard (credit: MPI for Informatics)

A new keyboard called KALQ that enables faster thumb-typing on touchscreen devices has been created by a research team at the Max Planck Institute for Informatics, the University of St Andrews, and Montana Tech.

They used computational optimization techniques and a model of thumb movement to search among millions of potential layouts before identifying one that yields superior performance.

A user study found… read more

Will you be wearing ‘smart clothes’?

April 19, 2013

Shoulder dress

Computerized fabrics that change their color and shape in response to movement are being developed by Joanna Berzowska, professor and chair of the Department of Design and Computation Arts at Concordia University.
The interactive electronic fabrics harness power directly from the human body, store that energy, and then use it to change the garments’ visual properties.

“Our goal is to create garments that can transform inread more

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