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Oil and water mix for better drugs

March 29, 2005

Oil and water will mix — providing all the gas dissolved in the liquids is removed first — and the technique can be used to mix fat-soluble drugs with water.

That could do away with additives and their adverse reactions, as well as simplifying drug production.

26 Most Fascinating Entrepreneurs

March 27, 2005

Ray Kurzweil has been named to Inc. magazine’s “26 Most Fascinating Entrepreneurs” list “because he is Edison’s rightful heir.”

Kurzweil in number 8 in Inc.’s slide show profiling innovative entrepreneurs, joining Richard Branson, Martha Stewart, Trip Hawkins, Michael Dell, and others.

“Kurzweil’s businesses rely on one basic theme: pattern recognition,” the Inc. slide show explains. “‘I gather as much data as I can to develop patterns at every… read more

Fish oil holds promise in Alzheimer’s fight

March 25, 2005

A diet high in DHA–an omega-3 fatty acid found in relatively high concentrations in cold-water fish–dramatically slowed the progression of Alzheimer’s disease in mice, researchers with the Department of Veterans Affairs and the University of California at Los Angeles found.

After three to five months–the equivalent of several years in human biology–the high-DHA mice group had 70-percent less buildup of amyloid protein in the brain. This sticky protein makes… read more

BlueGene/L doubles up

March 25, 2005

BlueGene/L, already number one on the latest Top 500, nearly doubled its performance — now at 135.3 teraflops — after doubling its processor count at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Startling Scientists, Plant Fixes Its Flawed Gene

March 25, 2005

In a startling discovery, Purdue University geneticists have found plants that possess a corrected version of a defective gene inherited from both their parents.

The finding implies that some organisms may contain a cryptic backup copy of their genome that bypasses the usual mechanisms of heredity.

Equally surprising, the cryptic genome appears not to be made of DNA, but of RNA, set in motion when the plant is… read more

Common sense boosts speech software

March 24, 2005

MIT researchers have combined speech recognition software with The Open Mind Common Sense Project database to distinguish among words that sound the same or similar.

The database contains more than 700,000 facts that MIT Media Lab researchers have been collecting from the public.

Cheap material makes speedy memory

March 24, 2005

A low-cost, high-speed nonvolatile memory made from polystyrene and gold nanoparticles is being developed by researchers from the University of California at Los Angeles and the Rohm and Haas Electronic Materials Company.

The memory can be easily manufactured from inexpensive materials, making it potentially much cheaper than today’s flash memory chips; it can be read to and written electronically, making it potentially much faster than today’s CDs and DVDs.… read more

A New Company to Focus on Artificial Intelligence

March 24, 2005

Palm Computing co-founders Jeff Hawkins and Donna Dubinsky will announce today the creation of Numenta, a technology development firm that will conduct research in an effort to extend Mr. Hawkins’s AI theories, described in his book “On Intelligence: How a New Understanding of the Brain Will Lead to the Creation of Truly Intelligent Machines.”

Hawkins is demonstrating a pattern-recognition application using a version of his software. It allows a… read more

New look for nanomotors

March 23, 2005

Physicists in the US have built the first nanoelectromechanical device that exploits the effects of surface tension.

The “relaxation oscillator” consists of two droplets of liquid metal on a substrate made of carbon nanotubes and can be controlled with a small applied electric field. Alex Zettl and colleagues at the University of California at Berkeley and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory say the device could find use in various… read more

In Search of the Sixth Sense

March 23, 2005

n this interview, Ray Kurzweil discusses birth, death, and the potential offered by non-biological thinking processes.

“I believe we’ll demonstrate a mouse that doesn’t age within approximately a decade,” he says. “And within a decade of that we’ll translate that into human therapies.”

“The killer app for nanotechnology is nanobots. Some will be in the environment, cleaning up, providing energy. Some will be involved in automated manufacturing. Some… read more

Alien Planets Show Themselves for First Time

March 23, 2005

Astronomers have seen light from extrasolar planets for the first time.

The planets, in the constellations constellation Pegasus and Lyra, were discovered by comparing measurements of infrared light made while the planet and star were both visible and while the planet was hidden behind the star.

Biological computer can run 1 billion programs

March 23, 2005

Technion Israel Institute of Technology scientists have developed a biological computer, composed entirely of DNA molecules and enzymes constructed on a gold-coated chip, that can run 1 billion programs.

This increase represents a dramatic advance in terms of the potential mathematical operations and complexity of problems that may be solved using a biological computer, according to a Technion statement.

“The chip allows for automatic, real-time readout of the… read more

Nano-Probes Allow an Inside Look at Cell Nuclei

March 23, 2005

Scientists have developed a way to sneak nano-sized probes inside cell nuclei where they can track life’s fundamental processes, such as DNA repair, genomic alterations, and cell cycle control.

This may allow researchers to track the effectiveness of disease-fighting drugs that target these processes.

The researchers, at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, transported the fluorescent quantum- dot probes inside cell nuclei by attaching a… read more

Bacteria act as glue in nanomachines

March 22, 2005

Electric currents are being used to move bacteria around silicon chips and trap them at specific locations. The technique could help to assemble nanomachines from miniature parts, and to create a new generation of biological sensors.

Mini Big Bang Created, Puzzling Results Too Explosive

March 22, 2005

Physicists claim that at a trillion degrees, nuclear material melts into an exotic form of matter called a quark-gluon plasma — thought to have been the state of the universe a microsecond after the Big Bang.

Recreating this primordial soup is the primary purpose of the Relativistic Heavy-Ion Collider (RHIC) at Brookhaven National Laboratory. After five years of data, it appears as if RHIC may have succeeded.

But… read more

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