science + technology news

Personalized Medical Monitors

March 15, 2007

MIT researchers are developing algorithms to help doctors efficiently interpret EKG, EEG, and other ever-growing masses of medical data and quickly perceive patterns that might otherwise be buried.

Digital Imaging, Reimagined

March 15, 2007

Rice University engineers have developed a camera that uses a single image sensor to collect just enough information to let a novel algorithm reconstruct a high-resolution image.

Future applications include MRI systems that capture images up to 10 times as quickly as today’s scanners and tiny mobile-phone cameras that produce high-quality, poster-size images.

Inkjet printers start cranking out microchips

March 15, 2007

Nanoident Technologies has opened a factory in Linz, Austria that produces organic semiconductors, which are chips made by spraying intricate patterns of specialized ink onto layers of foil and polymer.

The factory costs a fraction of a traditional silicon chip factory, but the chips, which are slower and degrade over time, will be used for one-time-only applications, such as water purity testers.

Research focused on enabling desktop computers to see the light

March 15, 2007

University of Bath researchers are are attempting to build an ultra-high-speed desktop computer that runs on light rather than electronics, using attosecond (10^-18 second) light pulses.

Wipe out a single memory

March 15, 2007

A single, specific memory has been wiped from the brains of rats, leaving other recollections intact, using a drug known to cause limited amnesia (U0126).

Greg Quirk, a neurophysiologist from the Ponce School of Medicine in Puerto Rico, thinks that psychiatrists working to treat patients with conditions such as PTSD will be encouraged by the step forward. “These drugs would be adjuncts to therapy,” he says. “This is the… read more

The universe is a string-net liquid

March 15, 2007

Herbertsmithite could be the new silicon — a building block for quantum computers.

Unlike conventional error-prone quantum computers using electron spin, a new stable design may be possible, using a “string-net liquid” — a potentially new state of matter — with elementary and quasi-particles at the end of “strings.”

Physicists could manipulate these particles with electric fields, braiding them around each other, encoding information in the number of… read more

Renewing a Call to Act Against Climate Change

March 14, 2007

Bill McKibben, who was one of the first laymen to warn of global warming, is now the philosopher-impresario of the program of climate-change rallies called Step It Up.

Start-Up Fervor Shifts to Energy in Silicon Valley

March 14, 2007

Silicon Valley’s dot-com era may be giving way to the watt-com era. Out of the ashes of the Internet bust, many technology veterans have regrouped and found a new mission in alternative energy: developing wind power, solar panels, ethanol plants and hydrogen-powered cars.

Invisible Revolution

March 14, 2007

Artificially structured metamaterials could transform telecommunications, data storage, and even solar energy.

New 3D ‘flyovers’ let viewers swoop down on Mars

March 14, 2007

Dramatic virtual flyovers of NASA’s two Mars rover landing sites have been made using 3D imagery from the agency’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). The flyovers give a first taste of the probe’s astoundingly precise 3D mapping abilities and may help the Opportunity rover find a safe path into the yawning chasm of Victoria crater.

Nanowires in the blood could feel the pressure

March 14, 2007

Nanowires that produce a current during bending could one day be implanted into the body to monitor changes in blood pressure, Georgia Institute of Technology researchers claim.

Yacht voyage yields array of new genes

March 14, 2007

A yacht voyage that genome pioneer Craig Venter took around the world has turned up a startling array of new genes and new gene families.

They have found genes that help microbes use the sun’s energy in new ways, genes that help them use nitrogen, and genes that protect organisms from ultraviolet light, and have identified more than 6 million new proteins.

Robot that roams the body to seek and destroy cancer

March 14, 2007

An insect-shaped robot could be a major weapon in the fight against cancer.

The device, just under an inch long, is designed to be inserted into the body through a small incision. Once inside, doctors can control its movements and direct it to areas where investigations are needed.

The robot measures 2cm in length by 1cm in diameter and can deliver drugs, collect data and treat affected body… read more

A Smarter Web

March 13, 2007

New technologies will make online search more intelligent–and may even lead to a “Web 3.0.”

Study Says Computers Give Big Boosts to Productivity

March 13, 2007

Money spent on computing technology delivers gains in worker productivity that are three to five times those of other investments, according to a study being published today. But the study also concluded that the information technology industry itself was unlikely to be a big source of new jobs.

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