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Designing a new Internet with more choices

August 10, 2012

Partial map of the Internet based on the January 15, 2005 data found on opte.org

A team of researchers from four U.S. universities is poised to lay out the key components for a networking architecture to serve as the backbone of a new Internet that gives users more choices about which services they use.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) asked the researchers to design a blueprint for a future version of the Internet.

Making choices

The new Internet architecture will hinge on… read more

Self/Less movie features uploading … to an existing human body

July 10, 2015

selfless ft

In Self/Less, a science-fiction thriller to be released in the U.S. today, July 10, 2015, Damian Hale, an extremely wealthy aristocrat (Ben Kingsley) dying from cancer, undergoes a $250 million radical medical procedure at a lab called Phoenix Biogenic in Manhattan to have his consciousness transferred into the body of a healthy young man (Ryan Reynolds).… read more

Origin of intelligence and mental illness linked to ancient genetic accident

How humans --- and other mammals --- have evolved to have intelligence
December 4, 2012

mice, we found that humans with mutations in DLG2 made significantly more errors than healthy control subjects from the general population in tests of visual discrimination acquisition and cognitive flexibility (credit: J. Nithianantharajah et al/Nature Neuroscience)

Researchers have identified the moment in history when the genes that enabled us to think and reason evolved.

This point 500 million years ago provided our ability to learn complex skills, analyze situations and have flexibility in the way in which we think.

According to Professor Seth Grant of the University of Edinburgh, who led the research, intelligence in humans developed as the result… read more

New Fox science fiction show Almost Human features androids

November 17, 2013

Almost human poster

Almost Human is a new Fox TV series set in 2048 when humans in the Los Angeles Police Department are paired up with lifelike androids. It features a detective with a bionic leg paired with an android capable of emotion.

The series premiered November 17, 2013 on Fox. Full episodes are also viewable here.

Executive-produced by J.J. Abrams (Fringe, Lost, and the Star Trek and Mission: Impossible franchises),… read more

The amazing trajectories of life-bearing meteorites from Earth

April 12, 2012

Earth_ejecta

The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs 65 million years ago (10 km in diameter, mass greater than 1 trillion tons) must have ejected billions of tons of life-bearing meteorites into space. Now Kyoto Sangyo University physicists have calculated this could have seeded life in the solar system and even as far as Gliese 581,  Technology Review Physics arXiv Blog reports.

Their results contain a number of surprises:

  • As

read more

Skilled work, without the worker

August 19, 2012

400px-Seagate_Wuxi_China_Factory_Tour

A new wave of robots, far more adept than those now commonly used by automakers and other heavy manufacturers, are replacing workers around the world in both manufacturing and distribution, The New York Times reports.

Factories like a Philips Electronics factory in the Netherlands, where 128 robot arms do the same work  as hundreds of workers in  sister factory, are a striking counterpoint to those used by… read more

DARPA flight test of world’s fastest aircraft fails

August 12, 2011

Falcon HTV-2 (credit: DARPA)

In its second flight test, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) fastest (13,000 mph) aircraft ever built, the Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2 (HTV-2), was successfully inserted into the desired trajectory at near-orbital speed, but the flight  ended in loss of signal (and control) when the aircraft transitioned to Mach 20 (about 13,000 mph) aerodynamic flight around nine minutes into the flight, DARPA… read more

D-Wave quantum computer solves protein folding problem

August 20, 2012

dwave_ones_in_the_lab_large

A 128-qubit D-Wave One quantum computer has solved the puzzle of how certain proteins fold, Nature News Blog reports.

The latest finding from a Harvard’s Alan Aspuru-Guzik and his colleagues shows that the D-Wave one could predict the lowest-energy configurations of a folded protein.

The model consisted of mathematical representations of amino acids in a lattice, connected by different interaction strengths. The D-wave computer… 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

Are bots taking over Wikipedia?

February 20, 2014

bots-vs featured

As crowdsourced Wikipedia has grown too large — with more than 30 million articles in 287 languages — to be entirely edited and managed by volunteers, 12 Wikipedia bots have emerged to pick up the slack.

The bots use Wikidata — a free knowledge base that can be read and edited by both humans and bots — to exchange information between entries and between the… read more

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

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

How to feel phantom objects floating in air

July 21, 2013

aireal-21

A groundbreaking project called Aireal lets you feel virtual objects, Fast Company reports.

Aireal is the result of research by University of Illinois PhD student Rajinder Sodhi and Disney Reseach’s Ivan Poupyrev. When set by your television or connected to an iPad, this diminutive machine will puff air rings that allow you to actually feel objects and textures in… read more

Google glass to hit developers’ hands this month

January 16, 2013

google_io2012_glasses

Developers who want to get their hands on Google’s Project Glass won’t have to wait much longer, Mashable reports.

Google announced plans Tuesday to hold a “Glass Foundry” in San Francisco and New York in the coming weeks: two full days of hacking that will allow developers to get an early look at Glass and start developing for the platform.

Glass Foundry will be… read more

Bitdrones: Interactive quadcopters allow for ‘programmable matter’ explorations

November 6, 2015

Could an interactive swarm of flying "3D pixels" (voxels) allow users to explore virtual 3D information by interacting with physical self-levitating building blocks? (credit: Roel Vertegaal)

We’ll find out Monday, Nov. 9, when Canadian Queen’s University’s Human Media Lab professor Roel Vertegaal and his students will unleash their “BitDrones” at the ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Programmable matter

Vertegaal believes his BitDrones invention is the first step towards creating interactive self-levitating programmable matter — materials capable of changing their 3D shape… read more

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