science + technology news

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.

Street-fighting robot challenge announced

January 26, 2007

Nanoscale “drum skins” have been created using one-atom-thick sheets of graphene. The layers of the material vibrate when electrified, an effect that could ultimately be used to make sensors capable of weighing single atoms, one at a time.

Study pinpoints area in brain linked to smoking addictions

January 26, 2007

An unusual study of people with brain damage, caused in most cases by a stroke, suggests the compulsion to light up might be driven by the same little-studied brain region, the insula, that helps us make sense of hunger pangs, nervous twitches and all sorts of visceral body signals.

Researchers said the findings identify an important new target for research into the biological underpinning of addiction. It might even… read more

British Breakthrough Highlights Nanotechnology Policy Gap

January 26, 2007

An urgent need for new nanotechnology policy is highlighted by breakthrough results from a recent British government funded project, according to a statement by the Center for Responsible Nanotechnology (CRN).

In the one-week “IDEAS Factory on the Software Control of Matter” project, sponsored by the UK’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, scientists produced three “ground-breaking research proposals that bring the nanofactory concept closer to reality.”… read more

U.S. cities don’t make the intelligence cut

January 25, 2007

For the second year running, no U.S. city has made the list of the world’s top Intelligent Communities of 2007, as selected by global think tank Intelligent Community Forum.

The ICF selects the Intelligent Community list based on how advanced the communities are in deploying broadband, building a knowledge-based workforce, combining government and private-sector “digital inclusion,” fostering innovation and marketing economic development.

The intelligent city finalists are:… read more

Deadly H5N1 may be brewing in cats

January 25, 2007

The discovery, announced last week, that the H5N1 bird flu virus is widespread in cats in locations across Indonesia has refocused attention on the danger that the deadly virus could be mutating into a form that can infect humans far more easily.

Scientists Build Memory Chip as Small as Blood Cell

January 25, 2007

Scientists have built a working memory chip with 160,000 bits capacity that is roughly the size of a white blood cell — about 1/2000th of an inch on a side.

The chip has a bit density of 100 billion per square centimeter, about 20 times greater than current memory chips.

A key component of the memory chip is a molecular switch using rotaxanes.

Touch Screens for Many Fingers

January 24, 2007

Researchers have bigger plans for multi-touch screens than the novel interface on Apple’s iPhone.

Jeff Han, consulting research scientist at New York University, has developed an inexpensive way to make large multi-touch screens accommodating 10, 20, or even more fingers. He envisions applications ranging from interactive whiteboards to touch-screen tables and digital walls–any of which could be manipulated by more than just one person.

Some researchers are even… read more

Do ‘You’ really matter?

January 24, 2007

User-generated content is all the rage right now. But the thought of “You” controlling the media and marketing world is little more than breathless hype.

Hacking the Human Life Span

January 24, 2007

Hope for a fountain of youth may spring eternal, but these days it is surprisingly active among the ranks of highly educated and even scientifically trained professionals — despite what experts say is a lack of compelling clinical evidence for any particular treatment.

Resveratrol, which has protected lab animals from heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, seized the public imagination in November when two prominent studies showed that… read more

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