science + technology news

S. Korean scientists develop walking robot maid

January 19, 2010


South Korean scientists have developed a walking robot called Mahru-Z that has a human-like body including a rotating head, arms, legs and six fingers plus three-dimensional vision and can clean a home, dump clothes in a washing machine and even heat food in a microwave.

S.F. hacker who made ATMs spit out cash dies

July 29, 2013


A prominent hacker who discovered a way to have ATMs spit out cash and was set to deliver a talk about hacking pacemakers and other wireless implantable medical devices has died in San Francisco, authorities and his employer said, San Jose Mercury News reports.

Barnaby Jack died at his home in San Francisco Thursday, although the cause of death is still under investigation, San Francisco Deputy Coroner… read more

Safe nanotech studied by new group

January 21, 2003

The nonprofit Center for Responsible Nanotechnology (CRN) has been formed by Chris Phoenix and Mike Treder to advance the safe use of molecular nanotechnology.

“Many of us have dreamed of a world with cheap, non-polluting, innovative manufacturing capability,” said Treder. “That dream is now within sight–but so is the nightmare of accidental or deliberate misuse.”

The New York-based CRN is researching all the issues involved–political, economic,… read more

Safe Seed: Researchers Yielding Good Results On Food Cotton In Field

September 14, 2009

Field trial of low-gossypol cotton (Texas AgriLife Research, Kathleen Phillips)

Genetically modified cotton could ultimately make available 44 million metric tons of high-protein seed every year to help feed malnourished people worldwide, Texas AgriLife Research biotechnologists suggest.

The process uses RNAi to silence the toxic gossypol gene in the cottonseed to make the seeds edible but lets the gene express itself in the rest of the plant to ward off pests and disease.

Safecrackers open up the “deep Web”

September 7, 2005

Glenbrook Networks says it has a way to tunnel far into the “deep Web” and extract Web pages that are largely unreachable by most search engines because they are stored in databases that Web crawlers can’t access.

Safer bioimaging of cancer cells without biopses

October 25, 2012

A new fluorescent glucose-amine probe can make identification of cancer cells (green) using two-photon microscopy easier and safer (credit: Guan Wang/National University of Singapore)

Early detection of soft-tissue diseases, such as breast cancer, typically requires invasive biopsies. Now, a new self-assembled nanoparticle developed by Bin Liu at the A*STAR Institute of Materials Research and Engineering and co-workers may soon make biopsies obsolete.

The team’s material significantly enhances the safety of two-photon microscopy (TPM) — a technique that uses fluorescent probes to generate three-dimensional pictures of cancer cell structures in… read more

Safer Prenatal Testing

April 25, 2008
Fetal cell with three copies of chromosome 21, found in the mother

Sequenom and Biocept researchers have built noninvasive prenatal genetic tests that can detect defects with a simple blood-draw from the mother, rather than invasively sampling amniotic fluid.

They have adapted methods from Chinese University of Hong Kong scientists in finding free-floating nucleic acids to diagnose Down syndrome and Rh-encoding genes to diagnose HR incompatibility syndrome.

Biocept uses microfluidics and sticky antibodies to capture fetal cells that… read more

Safer robots will improve manufacturing

July 14, 2011

Robonaut 2 (credit: NASA)

Robots have been considered too unpredictable and dangerous to work alongside humans in factories, but improved technologies for artificial sensing and motion are leading to a new wave of safer robots.

Last winter, NASA sent a humanoid robot dubbed Robonaut 2 (R2) to the International Space Station. R2, which has only a torso, sophisticated arms and fingers, and a head full of sensors, jointly developed by NASA and General Motors… read more

Safer way to make induced pluripotent stem cells

February 2, 2011

Researchers at Johns Hopkins have found a better way to create induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells — adult cells reprogrammed with the properties of embryonic stem cells — from a small blood sample. This new method, described last week in Cell Research, avoids creating DNA changes that could lead to tumor formation.

“These iPS cells are much safer than ones made with previous technologies because they don’t… read more

Safer, personalized cancer therapy by linking cancer genes with effective anticancer drugs

March 29, 2012


In the largest study of its kind, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute researchers have uncovered hundreds of associations between mutations in cancer genes with sensitivity to anticancer drugs in order to develop a personalized approach to cancer treatments.

One of the key responses the team found was that cells from a childhood bone cancer, Ewing’s sarcoma, respond to a drug that is currently used in the treatment of breast and… read more

Sal Khan’s ‘Academy’ sparks a tech revolution in education

May 31, 2012


Salman Khan’s simply narrated, faceless home videos on everything from algebra to French history have been viewed half a billion times.

Last year, a number of schools began “flipping” their classrooms, having students study Khan videos by night and do homework with teachers by day.

His staff has been ramped up to 32, including the recent high-profile addition of Google’s first hired employee, programming ace Craig Silverstein. The staff’s… read more

Salad oil may fuel hydrogen car of future

August 26, 2004

Sunflower oil could prove to be a source for a hydrogen generator that uses only sunflower oil, air and water vapor. The secret lies in two catalysts, one based on nickel, the other on carbon.

Salamander robot uses ‘spinal cord’ to move

March 9, 2007

A robotic salamander with an electric “spinal cord” that controls both its walking and swimming has been developed by researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.

It could be a forerunner of robots with movements coordinated by an artificial nervous systems, they claim.

Sales of Computer Chips Rise for Third Consecutive Quarter

December 2, 2002

Worldwide semiconductor sales increased to $12.52 billion in October, a 1.8 percent jump from September and a 20 percent rise from 2001.

Major segments: chips for personal computers and wireless devices, flash memory and digital signal processors.

Salk Institute finds neural code used by the retina to relay color information to the brain

October 7, 2010


By comparing a clearly defined visual input with the electrical output of the retina, researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies were able to trace for the first time the neuronal circuitry that connects individual photoreceptors with retinal ganglion cells, the neurons that carry visuals signals from the eye to the brain.

Their measurements, published in the Oct. 7, 2010, issue of the journal Nature, not only reveal… read more

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