science + technology news

Homo Futurus: How Radically Should We Remake Ourselves — Or Our Children?

February 1, 2007

Futurists see a conflict forming over our dominion over the human body, and over the choices we make about our biological future, and that of our children. Some call it a clash between “bioliberals” and “bioconservatives,” and frame it as a debate over individual rights.

Transhumanists — those who advocate the use of science to alter the human future — may be playing an instrumental role in reshaping our… read more

Does evolution select for faster evolvers?

February 1, 2007

It’s a mystery why the speed and complexity of evolution appear to increase with time. For example, the fossil record indicates that single-celled life first appeared about 3.5 billion years ago, and it then took about 2.5 billion more years for multi-cellular life to evolve. That leaves just a billion years or so for the evolution of the diverse menagerie of plants, mammals, insects, birds and other species that populate… read more

No Big Bang? Endless Universe Made Possible by New Model

January 31, 2007

A new cyclic cosmological model demonstrates the universe can endlessly expand and contract, providing a rival to Big Bang theories and solving a thorny modern physics problem, according to University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill physicists.

Eating According to Your Genome

January 31, 2007

The emerging field of nutrigenomics is starting to yield some DNA-based diet tips.

Atomic ‘transistor’ may switch using quantum clouds

January 31, 2007

A Bose-Einstein condensate — a super-cold gas cloud of atoms that are all in the same quantum state — could be used to make tiny atomic transistors, Worcester Polytechnic Institute and University of Colorado resarchers have found.

U.S. university to build ‘soft-bodied’ robots

January 30, 2007

The next generation of robots will be soft-bodied, providing more flexibility than their stiff-jointed cousins, according to researchers at Tufts University.

GOOGLE’S MOON SHOT: The quest for the universal library

January 30, 2007

Google intends to scan every book ever published, and to make the full texts searchable, in the same way that Web sites can be searched on the company’s engine at

A Wheelchair That Reads Your Mind

January 30, 2007

Researchers are developing a thought-controlled robotic wheelchair, using a small, mobile interface that works with EEG electrodes placed on the scalp.

Silicon Valley Rebounds, Led by Green Technology

January 30, 2007

After five years of job losses, Silicon Valley is hiring again. The turnaround coincides with a huge increase of investment in the emerging category of clean environment technology.

Can Humanity Survive? Want to Bet on It?

January 30, 2007

We will make it to 2100, a New York Times journalist bets on, challenging British astronomer royal Martin Rees’ prediction: “By 2020, bioterror or bioerror will lead to one million casualties in a single event” because “by 2020 there will be thousands — even millions — of people with the capability to cause a catastrophic biological disaster.”

The Top 100 Alternative Search Engines

January 30, 2007

Market research shows that people use four main search engines for 99.99 percent of their searches: Google, Yahoo!, MSN, and (in that order). But in that .01 percent lies a vast multitude of the most innovative and creative search engines you have never seen.

Fuel cell automatically throttles its power

January 29, 2007

A fuel cell that efficiently regulates its own power output based on the amount of hydrogen it is fed has been developed. The simple control mechanism could extend the range of devices that can practically be powered using fuel cells.

Moore’s Law Seen Extended In Chip Breakthrough

January 29, 2007

Intel Corp. and IBM have announced one of the biggest advances in transistors in four decades, based on a layer of hafnium.

The latest breakthrough means Intel, IBM and others can proceed with technology roadmaps that call for the next generation of chips to be made with circuitry as small as 45 nanometers. Researchers are optimistic the new technology can be used at least through two more technology generations… read more

Gates: Internet to revolutionize TV in 5 years

January 29, 2007

The Internet is set to revolutionize television within five years, due to an explosion of online video content and the merging of PCs and TV sets, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates said on Saturday.

In the years ahead, more and more viewers will hanker after the flexibility offered by online video and abandon conventional broadcast television, with its fixed program slots and advertisements that interrupt shows, Gates said.

Adult stem cells can at least make blood

January 26, 2007

Transplanted “multipotent” adult progenitor cells (MAPCs) from bone marrow were able to form all blood cell types in mouse experiments.

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