science + technology news

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.

From a Rapt Audience, a Call to Cool the Hype

March 13, 2007

Some scientists argue that some of Al Gore’s central points are exaggerated and erroneous. They are alarmed, some say, at what they call his alarmism.

Scientists threatened for ‘climate denial’

March 13, 2007

Scientists who questioned mankind’s impact on climate change have received death threats and claim to have been shunned by the scientific community.

They say the debate on global warming has been “hijacked” by a powerful alliance of politicians, scientists and environmentalists who have stifled all questioning about the true environmental impact of carbon dioxide emissions.

Richard Lindzen, professor of Atmospheric Science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology recently claimed:… read more

Neuron Control

March 13, 2007

A coalition of big technology companies wants to bring high-speed Internet access to consumers by allowing idle TV channels, known as white space, to be used to beam the Internet into homes and offices.

TR10: Neuron Control

March 13, 2007

Karl Deisseroth’s genetically engineered “light switch,” which lets scientists turn selected parts of the brain on and off, may help improve treatments for depression and other disorders.

Is the universe a fractal?

March 13, 2007

Written across the sky is a secret, a hidden blueprint detailing the original design of the universe itself.

The spread of matter throughout space follows a pattern laid out at the beginning of time and scaled up to incredible proportions by nearly 14 billion years of cosmic expansion. Today that pattern is gradually being decoded by analyzing maps of the distribution of the stars, and what has been uncovered… read more

Animation tool puts you in the frame, or the game

March 13, 2007

A 3D animation technique that could take the hard work out of acting has been developed by German researchers.

It allows for directly animating 3D laser scans of people, using the motion of another individual collected using motion capture or using the pre-programmed motion of another character.

Can computers make life-or-death medical decision?

March 13, 2007

A simple formula can predict how people would want to be treated in dire medical situations as accurately as their loved ones can, say researchers.

Kurzweil issued patent for AI poetry-writing software

March 12, 2007

Ray Kurzweil has been issued the first patent for AI software capable of writing poetry.

United States Patent 7,184,949, “Basic poetry generation,” issued February 27, 2007, covers “a method of analyzing an author’s work, including reading a text file, generating an analysis model from the text file and storing the analysis model…a linked data structure.”

The patent has been assigned to Kurzweil CyberArt Technologies, Inc., which… read more

Tracking of Killer Asteroids Runs Low on Money and Short on Time

March 12, 2007

NASA can find and track most of the nearby asteroids that could hit and damage the Earth, but there is not enough money in its budget to finish the project within a 15-year deadline mandated by Congress.

There are about 20,000 asteroids and comets orbiting relatively close to our planet that could deliver blows ranging from destroying cities to ending all life.

Nanoparticle Research Offers Hope of Artificial Retinas, Prostheses

March 12, 2007

The world’s first direct electrical link between nerve cells and photovoltaic nanoparticle films has been achieved by researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and the University of Michigan.

The development opens the door to applying the unique properties of nanoparticles to a wide variety of light-stimulated nerve-signaling devices–including the possible development of a nanoparticle-based artificial retina.

Peering into Video’s Future

March 12, 2007

Video applications already account for more than 60 percent of Internet traffic, says CacheLogic. “I imagine that within two years it will be 98 percent,” adds Hui Zhang, a computer scientist at Carnegie Mellon University. And that will mean slower downloads for everyone.

Zhang believes help could come from an unexpected quarter: peer-to-peer (P2P) file distribution technology.

Scientists say nerves use sound, not electricity

March 12, 2007

Copenhagen University researchers theorize that propagation of sonic solitons is a much more likely explanation for propagation of signal in neurons than electrical impulses.

The physicists say because the nerve membrane is made of a material similar to olive oil that can change from liquid to solid through temperature variations, they can freeze and propagate the solitons.

The scientists, whose work is in the Biophysical Society’s Biophysical Journal,… read more

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