science + technology news

Edmonton Aging Symposium video archive now available

April 12, 2007

Videos and MP3s for the Edmonton Aging Symposium, held March 30-31, are now available for downloading or viewing.

Veteran’s new artificial leg has artificial intelligence

April 11, 2007

Ossur’s “Power Knee” prosthetic leg allows amputees to walk longer while experiencing less physical toll.

It uses sensors located on the artificial knee and on the insole of the other leg, which sends information about their position at high speed. Gyroscopes on the artificial knee and on the ankle also send information about the tilt of the limbs. All of this information flows to a microprocessor in the knee,… read more

Sharing Data Visualization

April 11, 2007

IBM has launched a new website, called Many Eyes, with the hope of adding a social aspect to data visualizations like maps, network diagrams, and scatter plots.

Many Eyes teaches people how to build their own visualizations so that they can dive into complex, multidimensional data.

New Experiment Probes Weird Zone Between Quantum and Classical

April 10, 2007

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics have created a tiny silicon cantilever arm on a chip.

After being cooled down to 0.0001 degrees above absolute zero, it will become the first object in the observable world scaled down to interact in the slippery world of quantum mechanics.

With a minute magnet attached at one end, the cantilever will make ultra-sensitive measurements of a cloud of… read more

Water Found in Extrasolar Planet’s Atmosphere

April 10, 2007

Astronomers have detected water in the atmosphere of a planet outside our solar system for the first time.

The discovery, announced today, means one of the most crucial elements for life as we know it can exist around planets orbiting other stars.

Scots scientists unveil ‘spray-on’ computer

April 10, 2007

Scottish scientists have developed a computer the size of a matchstick head, thousands of which can be sprayed onto patients to give a comprehensive analysis of their condition.

The individual appliances, or “specks,” will form networks that can be programmed like ordinary computers.

Spraying them directly onto a person creates the ability to carry out different tests at the same time, for example muscle movement and pulse rate.… read more

Flying wind farms

April 10, 2007

Sky WindPower has developed a flying generator that could produce power for as little as two cents a kilowatt hour.

That is cheaper than the three to five cents that conventional energy generation costs.

Revolution, flashmobs, and brain chips. A grim vision of the future

April 10, 2007

Information chips implanted in the brain. Electromagnetic pulse weapons. The middle classes becoming revolutionary, taking on the role of Marx’s proletariat. The population of countries in the Middle East increasing by 132 percent, while Europe’s drops as fertility falls. “Flashmobs” – groups rapidly mobilised by criminal gangs or terrorists groups.

This is the world in 30 years’ time envisaged by a Ministry of Defence team responsible for painting a… read more

Researchers Demonstrate ‘Nano Generators’

April 10, 2007

Georgia Institute of Technology researchers have demonstrated a new nanometer-scale generator that they claim can produce a continuous flow of electricity by harvesting energy from things like ultrasonic waves, mechanical vibrations, and even blood flow.

It could be used to power other nanodevices in the future, without the need for batteries or other impractical or toxic external power sources.

With further optimization, the researchers expect their nanogenerators could… read more

MIT model helps researchers ‘see’ brain development

April 10, 2007

MIT, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School researchers have developed a tool that could help researchers “see” how cerebral folds develop and decay in the cerebral cortex.

By applying computer graphics techniques to brain images collected using MRI, they have created a set of tools for tracking and measuring these folds over time. Their resulting model of cortical development may serve as a biomarker, or biological… read more

Thin Carbon Is In: Graphene Steals Nanotubes’ Allure

April 10, 2007

The latest craze in materials science is graphene, a one-atom-thick sheet of carbon that looks like molecular chicken wire and is the thinnest of all possible materials in the universe.

Graphene can be made from graphite flakes using ordinary Skotch tape. Physicists have made transistors out of graphene and used it to explore odd quantum phenomena at room temperatures.

Taming data overload with AI and grid computing

April 9, 2007

Researchers at the University of Southern California’s Information Sciences Institute are building a prototype of a system that will address the problem of data overload by automating scientific workflows.

The $13.8 million Windward project aims at “Scaleable Knowledge Discovery through Grid Workflows,” using AI and grid computing.

A Plastic Wrapper Today Could Be Fuel Tomorrow

April 9, 2007

A “fuel-latent plastic,” designed for conversion, can be used like ordinary plastic, but when it is waste, the “bioplastic” can easily be turned into a substitute diesel fuel.

How to Confine the Plants of the Future?

April 9, 2007

A new generation of genetically engineered crops that produce drugs and chemicals is fast approaching the market — bringing with it a new wave of concerns about the safety of the global food and feed supply.

The containment practices used by developers assume an ability to control living and propagating organisms, which scientific evidence does not support.

DNA Factories

April 9, 2007

Codon Devices aims to streamline genetic engineering with made-to-order DNA strands, freeing scientists from the finicky work it takes to put together a complicated piece of DNA.

That capability could soon change the face of molecular biology. As it becomes cheaper and cheaper to create large chunks of genetic material from scratch, scientists will be able to make ever more complex biological creations.

close and return to Home