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A projector the size of a sugar cube

September 13, 2006

No larger than a sugar cube, a video projector developed by researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems contains just a single mirror which can be rotated around two axes.

Tiny fuel cell might replace batteries in laptop computers, portable electronics

September 13, 2006

Chemists at Arizona State University have created a tiny hydrogen-gas generator that they say can be developed into a compact fuel cell package that can power electronic devices three to five times longer than conventional batteries of the same size and weight.

The generator uses a special solution containing borohydride, an alkaline compound that has an unusually high capacity for storing hydrogen, a key element that is used by… read more

Colleges see the future in technology

September 13, 2006

Cutting-edge videogame and artificial intelligence technology are on the way to provide more individualized instruction.

Some of the most futuristic devices could even monitor students’ brainwaves to keep track of how they’re learning.

Updating Prescriptions for Avoiding Worldwide Catastrophe

September 13, 2006

In a new book, scientist James E. Lovelock has come under attack from some environmentalists for his support of nuclear power as a way to avoid runaway “global heating” — his preferred alternative to “global warming.”

Electric jolt triggers release of biomolecules, nanoparticles

September 12, 2006

Johns Hopkins researchers have devised a way to use a brief burst of electricity to release biomolecules and nanoparticles from a tiny gold launch pad. The technique could someday be used to dispense small amounts of medicine on command from a chip implanted in the body. The method also may be useful in chemical reactions that require the controlled release of extremely small quantities of a material.

For their… read more

Mental Activity Seen in a Brain Gravely Injured

September 11, 2006

A severely brain-damaged woman in an unresponsive, vegetative state showed clear signs on brain imaging tests that she was aware of herself and her surroundings, based on peaks in the premotor cortex and other areas of her brain during functional MRI tests.

More Than 2.5 Billion Cellular Lines in the World

September 11, 2006

According to estimates from Wireless Intelligence, the total number of cellular connections in the world will reach 2.5 billion by the end of September, and is expected to reach 3 billion connections around the end of 2007.

Spinning new theory on particle spin brings science closer to quantum computing

September 11, 2006

Physicists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory have devised a potentially groundbreaking theory demonstrating how to control the spin of particles without using superconducting magnets — a development that could advance the field of spintronics and bring scientists a step closer to quantum computing.

Laser-driven MRI scanner promises portability

September 11, 2006

A team led by UC Berkeley has developed a highly sensitive laser detector that produces magnetic resonance images at room temperature using low-power, off-the-shelf magnets.

The apparatus uses polarised laser light to align rubidium atoms in a vapor. The atomic alignment changes in response to faint magnetic signals and the same laser can measure these slight changes, so less powerful magnets are required.

The apparatus could be scaled… read more

Magnetic vortices could store thousands of movies per square inch

September 8, 2006

In a research first that could lead to a new generation of hard drives capable of storing thousands of movies per square inch, physicists at Rice University have decoded the three-dimensional structure of a tornado-like magnetic vortex.

It could lead to next-generation magnetic storage devices with storage densities in the range of terabits per square inch as well as non-volatile magnetic random access memory and novel magnetic logic gates… read more

Post-9/11 antiterror technology: A report card

September 8, 2006

CNET News.com has compiled a list of 10 technologies, five that should be adopted more speedily to help in homeland security efforts–and five that raise at least some privacy and security concerns.

Xerox reveals transient documents

September 8, 2006

Xerox is developing “transient documents” — reusable paper that allows content to be automatically erased after a period of time, ready for fresh printing.

The paper has a photochromic compound that changes from a clear state to a colored state under ultraviolet light and will fade with time.

‘Frankenstein protein’ defies biology textbooks

September 8, 2006

Researchers have discovered a bizarre “Frankenstein protein” on the surface of leukemia cells, with peptides stitched together in reverse order to that coded for by their DNA template.

It may have implications for the development of peptide vaccines against cancer and infectious diseases.

Semantic memory pinpointed in the brain

September 8, 2006

The part of the brain responsible for the way we understand words, meanings and concepts has been revealed as the anterior temporal lobe.

The findings may one day help researchers treat dementia by targeting gene therapy or administering drugs directly into the brain region responsible for specific types of memory loss.

Fastest supercomputer to be built

September 8, 2006

IBM will build the world’s most powerful supercomputer at Los Alamos National Laboratory by 2008.

The machine, codenamed Roadrunner, will be able to achieve 1.5 petaflops.

The new computer is a hybrid design, using both conventional supercomputer processors and the new “cell” chip designed for Sony’s PlayStation 3.

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