Recently Added Most commented

FDA panel recommends against ‘bionic eye’

July 16, 2006

The FDA’s ophthalmic devices panel recommended against the Implantable Miniature Telescope.

The device, which is implanted in one eye, uses a telephoto lens that could enable some patients to do away with the special glasses and handheld telescopes they now use to compensate for the loss in central vision caused by age-related macular degeneration, according to VisionCare Ophthalmic Technologies Inc., its manufacturer.

Rebooting Your Doctor

July 14, 2006

It’s time for silicon to do for medicine what it’s done for so many other fields, says Andy Kessler in his new book, The End of Medicine: How Silicon Valley (and Naked Mice) Will Reboot Your Doctor.

Sharply tuned nanostrings work at room temperature

July 14, 2006

Using a fast, low-cost fabrication technique that allows inexpensive testing of a wide variety of materials, Cornell researchers have come up with nanoscale resonators — tiny vibrating strings — with the highest quality factor so far obtainable at room temperature for devices so small.

The work is another step toward “laboratory on a chip” applications in which vibrating strings can be used to detect and identify biological molecules. The… read more

Stuck Pig

July 14, 2006

Gryonic suspension may be just a few years away from clinical trials on humans, based on successful suspended animation with hundreds of pigs for an hour at a time.

Gadgets get the feel of the tactile world

July 14, 2006

Gadgets that stimulate our sense of touch, known as haptic devices, will soon add a new dimension to communications, entertainment and computer control for everybody, and for people with visual impairment they promise to transform everyday life.

Cellphones could soon have a tactile “display”, for example, and portable gadgets containing a GPS device will be able to nudge you towards your desired destination.

Researchers Build Sharpest Tip

July 13, 2006

Robert Wolkow, a physics professor at the University of Alberta, has made the sharpest tip ever known: a one atom-thick coating of nitrogen for binding a pyramid of metal atoms.

These sharp tips are needed for making contact with metals or semiconductors as well as for the manipulation and examination of atoms, molecules and small particles. They may also allow for make the highest-resolution electron microscopes.

Marvin Minsky on Common Sense and Computers That Emote

July 13, 2006

“What surprises me is how few people have been working on higher-level theories of how thinking works. That’s been a big disappointment,” says Marvin Minsky, whose forthcoming book, The Emotion Machine, reinterprets the human mind as a “cloud of resources,” or mini-machines that turn on and off depending on the situation and give rise to our various emotional and mental states.

Artificial Intelligence

July 13, 2006

Eugene Charniak, professor of Computer Science at Brown University and James H. Moor, professor of Philosophy at Dartmouth discuss the history, philsophy and ethics of AI in an NPR radio program.

This Is a Computer on Your Brain

July 13, 2006

Researchers at Columbia University are combining the processing power of the human brain with computer vision to develop a novel device that will allow people to search through images ten times faster than they can on their own.

The “cortically coupled computer vision system,” known as C3 Vision, harnesses the brain’s well-known ability to recognize an image much faster than the person can identify it.


July 13, 2006

Microsoft has announced that it will give $1 million to a team of researchers from Bryn Mawr College and the Georgia Institute of Technology to develop “personal robots” for use in introductory computer science classes as part of the creation of the Institute for Personal Robots in Education at the two colleges.

Freescale goes to market with magnetic memory

July 13, 2006

Freescale Semiconductor has released its MR2A16A chip, which the company says is the first commercial MRAM, or magnetoresistive random access memory, device.

Freescale’s chip promises to read or write data in 35 nanoseconds. In addition, MRAM can hold data even after the computer is turned off. Proponents say it could replace both flash memory, used inside cell phones and cameras, and DRAM, employed inside computers to shuttle data to… read more

Brain-implant enables mind over matter

July 13, 2006

A man paralyzed from the neck down by knife injuries sustained five years ago can now check his email, control a robot arm and even play computer games using the power of thought alone, according to John Donoghue of Brown University, who led the work reported in Nature.

Electrodes implanted in Matt Nagle’s brain measure the neural signals generated when he concentrates on trying to move one of his… read more

Paint-on semiconductor outperforms chips

July 13, 2006

Researchers at the University of Toronto have created a semiconductor device that outperforms today’s conventional chips — and they made it simply by painting a liquid onto a piece of glass.

The Toronto team cooked up semiconductor particles a few nanometers across in a flask containing extra-pure oleic acid, the main ingredient in olive oil. They then placed a drop of solution on a glass slide patterned with gold… read more

What Kind of Genius Are You?

July 12, 2006

A new theory suggests that creativity comes in two distinct types — quick and dramatic, or careful and quiet.

“Conceptual innovators” make bold, dramatic leaps in their disciplines. They do their breakthrough work when they are young.

“Experimental innovators” proceed by a lifetime of trial and error and thus do their important work much later in their careers.

A Peek Into the Remarkable Mind Behind the Genetic Code

July 12, 2006

The first biography of Francis Crick has now appeared. In “Francis Crick, Discoverer of the Genetic Code,” Matt Ridley has created a vivid portrait that explains Crick’s scientific work with clarity, deftly outlines his career and provides sharp insights into the nature of Crick’s remarkable creativity.

close and return to Home