science + technology news

Data Center Energy Consumption Has Doubled Since 2000

February 15, 2007

The energy consumed by data center servers and related infrastructure equipment in the U.S. and worldwide doubled between 2000 and 2005, according to a new study.

A jump in the volume of servers in data centers is accountable for 90 percent of the growth in power consumption. The total 2005 electric bill to operate those servers and related infrastructure equipment was $2.7 billion in the U.S. and $7.2 billion… read more

Medtronic discloses component for “brain radio”

February 15, 2007

Engineers from Medtronic disclosed a novel amplifier that is a key component in an implantable “brain radio” the company is developing to monitor and control nervous disorders.

The devices measures the average activity of thousands of brain cells.

IBM Reveals Breakthrough eDRAM Memory Technology

February 15, 2007

IBM has revealed a first-of-its-kind, on-chip memory technology that features the fastest access times ever recorded in eDRAM (Embedded Dynamic Random Access Memory).

IBM’s new microchip technology will more than triple the amount of memory stored on chips and double the performance of computer processors. It will be available in 2008.

A Portable Refinery Powered by Garbage

February 14, 2007

Researchers at Purdue University have led development of a portable “tactical” biorefinery for the U.S. Army that turns a variety of waste streams into a mixture of ethanol and methane gas, which are burned in a modified diesel engine to produce electricity.

Haptic glove to touch on virtual fabrics

February 14, 2007

“Virtual fabric” that feels just like the real thing is being developed by European researchers in their HAPTEX project.

Detailed models of the way fabrics behave are combined with new touch-stimulating hardware to realistically simulate a texture’s physical properties.

Detailed measurements of a fabric’s stress, strain and deformation properties are fed into a computer, recreating it virtually. Two new physical interfaces then allow users to interact with these… read more

Biology Goes Open Source

February 13, 2007

Some of the world’s biggest drug companies are finding that their genetic research is worth more to them if they give it away.

Novartis has helped uncover which of the 20,000 genes identified by the Human Genome Project are likely to be associated with diabetes. It is making it available for free on the Web.

Pfizer has promised to make available for free a swath of genetic information… read more

Building the Cortex in Silicon

February 13, 2007

Kwabena Boahen, a neuroengineer at Stanford University, is planning the most ambitious neuromorphic project to date: creating a silicon model of the cortex.

The first-generation design will be composed of a circuit board with 16 chips, each containing a 256-by-256 array of silicon neurons. Groups of neurons can be set to have different electrical properties, mimicking different types of cells in the cortex. Engineers can also program specific connections… read more

Scientists Clone Mice From Hair Follicle Stem Cell

February 13, 2007

Researchers have cloned mice using stem cells from the rodents’ hair follicle region.

The skin stem cells come from adult mice, are relatively easy to obtain and inject, and may represent a good future source of stem cells for animal cloning.

Afternoon naps may boost heart health

February 13, 2007

A study of nearly 24,000 people found that those who regularly took midday naps were nearly 40 percent less likely to die from heart disease than non-nappers.

Researchers suggest that siestas might protect the heart by lowering levels of stress hormones.

‘Doomsday’ vault design unveiled

February 12, 2007

The final design for a “doomsday” vault that will house seeds from all known varieties of food crops has been unveiled by the Norwegian government, to be built into a mountainside on a remote island near the North Pole.

The Arctic vault will act as a backup store for a global network of seed banks financially supported by the trust.

Intel Prototype May Herald a New Age of Processing

February 12, 2007
Teraflop Chip (Intel)

Intel will demonstrate on Monday an experimental computer “Teraflop Chip” with 80 separate processing engines, or cores, that company executives say provides a model for commercial chips that will be used widely in standard desktop, laptop and server computers within five years.

Such computing power matches the performance speed of the world’s fastest supercomputer of just a decade ago.

For example, it could make it possible… read more

$25 million prize for greenhouse gas removal

February 12, 2007

A prize of $25 million for anyone who can come up with a system for removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere was launched on Friday.

It calls for devises a system to remove a “significant amount” of greenhouse gases — equivalent to 1 billion tons of carbon dioxide or more — every year from the atmosphere for at least a decade.

It is the biggest prize in history,… read more

An experiment that hints we are wrong on climate change

February 11, 2007

Compilations of weather satellite data by Danish National Space Center scientists indicate that cloudiness varies according to how many atomic particles are coming in from exploded stars, contradicting the theory that the rise in temperatures since the mid-20th century is due to man-made greenhouse gases.

The sun’s magnetic field bats away many of the cosmic rays, and its intensification during the 20th century meant fewer cosmic rays, fewer clouds,… read more

The brain scan that can read people’s intentions

February 11, 2007

A team of world-leading neuroscientists has developed a powerful technique that allows them to look deep inside a person’s brain and read their intentions before they act.

The team used high-resolution computed tomography (CT) brain scans to identify patterns of activity before translating them into meaningful thoughts, revealing what a person planned to do in the near future. They revealed signatures of activity in the medial prefrontal cortex that… read more

Kurzweil: Biotech Will Drive Software Security

February 11, 2007

Software security will be even more important as humans become more of a hybrid of non-biological and biological technology and intelligence, said Ray Kurzweil in a keynote speech Wednesday at the RSA 2007 conference in San Francisco.

This convergence is already happening with neural implants designed for Parkison’s Disease sufferers that are capable of downloaded software updates. “As devices shrink and get more powerful, software security is going to… read more

close and return to Home