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A Rapture for the Rest of Us

April 5, 2006

Is the Singularity just a new religion? Or is religion just the pre-marketing department for the Singularity?

“Jihadists are strapping on suicide bombs today, in the hope of attaining the kind of environment that virtual reality will deliver in 20 years,” notes futurist Glenn Harlan Reynolds.

Cure for cancer worth $50 trillion

April 5, 2006

Finding a cure for cancer would be worth about $50 trillion, according to a study by University of Chicago Graduate School of Business economists.

The social value of improved health and longevity is the amount in dollars that additional life years or other health improvements are worth to people, the study report said. The value of improved longevity is based on what individuals gain from the enjoyment of consumption… read more

Theorists explain how single-molecule diode works

April 4, 2006

Theorists from the University of South Florida and the Russian Academy of Sciences have explained how a single-molecule diode developed by a University of Chicago research team works.

The researchers showed electron energy levels in a molecule are efficient channels for transferring electrons from one electrode to another. Because the molecule in the diode is asymmetrical, the electronic response is also asymmetrical when voltage is applied. The asymmetry contributes… read more

On a Scaffold in the Lab, Doctors Build a Bladder

April 4, 2006

Bladders created in the laboratory from a patient’s own cells and then implanted in seven young people have achieved good long-term results in all of them.

A major advantage of his technique is that rejection cannot occur because the cells used to create a new bladder are from the patient, not from another individual.

Google accused of bio-piracy

April 3, 2006

Google has been accused of being the “biggest threat to genetic privacy” for its alleged plan to create a searchable database of genetic information.

Long-term cell use raises brain tumor risk

April 3, 2006

The use of mobile phones over a long period of time can raise the risk for brain tumors, a new Swedish study said.

Heavy users had a 240 percent increased risk of for a malignant tumor on the side of their head that the phone was used on.

In a Wired South Korea, Robots Will Feel Right at Home

April 3, 2006

South Korea, the world’s most wired country, is rushing to turn what sounds like science fiction into everyday life. The government, which succeeded in getting broadband Internet into 72 percent of all households, plans to put a robot in every South Korean household between 2015 and 2020.

HUMOR | The Cure For Information Overload

April 2, 2006

The Singularity may bring major information overload. Is this a cure — or a cause?

Gold Nanoparticles Emit Intense Heat

March 31, 2006

Nanoparticles of gold can act as tiny, precise and powerful heaters for an area up to 1,000 times its size when stimulated with the right frequency of laser light. They could be used in biomedical applications.

Source: Ohio University news release

Nanodots may unlock power of superconducting wires

March 31, 2006

Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers have developed the next generation of superconducting wires by depositing lines of 10-nanometer-wide, non-conducting dots of barium zirconate at fixed distances along the wire to suppress disruptions from fluctuating magnetic fields on the wires.

IBM develops method to control atom-scale magnetism

March 31, 2006

IBM scientists have developed a new technique called spin-excitation spectroscopy to explore and control magnetism at its fundamental atomic level.

The method promises to be important in designing future computer circuits and data-storage elements as they shrink toward atomic dimensions and in laying the foundation for new materials and computing devices that leverage atom-scale magnetic phenomena, such as quantum computers.

Spin-excitation spectroscopy uses IBM’s low-temperature scanning tunneling microscope… read more

When it comes to intelligence, size isn’t everything

March 30, 2006

Intelligence has more to do with when and how the brain grows rather than its overall size, suggests a new study.

In the brightest children, the thickness of the prefrontal cortex — a brain region thought to be responsible for many facets of intelligence — increased rapidly through their pre-teen years before thinning out again after the age of 11. The pattern was the same in those of average… read more

Your secrets are safe with quasar encryption

March 30, 2006

Japanese scientists have come up with a method for encrypting messages using radio waves from quasars.

The researchers believe quasars could make an ideal cryptographic tool because the strength and frequency of the radio pulses they emit is impossible to predict. Each communicating party would only need to know which quasar to monitor and when to start in order to encrypt and decrypt a message.

Scientists divided over longevity

March 29, 2006

Aubrey de Grey’s claims for long life based on SENS (Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence) have drawn criticism from some gerontologists.

Cell Phones, Reality Gaming

March 29, 2006

Games are becoming vastly more lifelike — more realistic. The addition of voice, initially driven by Xbox Live on consoles and TeamSpeak on PCs, is now improving to VoIP levels driven by Vivox.

A gaming platform called AI.Implant is helping to drive improvements in gaming AI. Implant specializes in easily giving game characters complex personalities so that the experience is more realistic. Characters act and react to players and… read more

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