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Stretchable Displays

May 11, 2009

Researchers at the University of Tokyo have developed a stretchable display by connecting organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) and organic transistors with a new rubbery conductor.

The display can be folded in half or crumpled up without incurring any damage, and can also cover complex three-dimensional objects, unlike other stretchable displays.

2007: The Year in Hardware

December 27, 2007

Touch screens, context-aware gadgets, autonomous vehicles, and brain-computer interfaces (controlling computer games, market research, facial recognition) were among the top hardware developments covered by Technology Review in 2007.

Quantum computer springs a leak

June 27, 2005

Physicists in the Netherlands have shown that efforts to engineer quantum computers around ever-smaller qubits may face significant obstacles.

They have proven that there is a universal decoherence rate for qubits. This means that quantum information will inevitably be lost after a certain time, even without any external disturbance. For some of the most promising qubit technologies, the limit would be about 1 second.

Art as a State of Mind

July 2, 2002

Artist Paras Kaul is creating art using a computer/brain-wave interface.

Nine games computers are ruining for humanity

May 19, 2009

AI researchers have taught computers to play a wide range of strategic games well enough to beat the best human players, including chess, poker, and checkers.

The next generation of bots will be general game players (GGPs), which can learn the rules of any game and then figure out how to play it.

SuperAger brains yield new clues to their remarkable memories

February 5, 2015

Three cingulate ROIs. Medial ROIs of the cingulate cortex in the Desikan-Killiany (Desikan et al., 2006) cortical labeling protocol are color-coded with their corresponding parcellations characterized by Vogt (2009). (Credit: Tamar Gefen et al./The Journal of Neuroscience)

SuperAgers, aged 80 and above — but with memories that are as sharp as those of healthy persons decades younger — have distinctly different looking brains than those of normal older people, according to new Northwestern Medicine research.

Understanding Superagers’ unique “brain signature” may enable scientists to decipher the genetic or molecular source and develop strategies to protect the memories of normal aging persons, as well as… read more

‘Electronic Switch’ Opens Doors In Rheumatoid Joints

January 3, 2008

University of Leeds scientists have identified a previously unknown natural mechanism that opens ion channels by donating electrons to them like “an electronic on-switch.”

The new mechanism occurs through the naturally occurring protein thioredoxin–a protein generated to counter inflammation–so the research could eventually lead to new treatments for inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Until now, two main groups of activating mechanisms have been acknowledged: changes in cell… read more

Gravity doughnut promises time machine

July 14, 2005

One of the major difficulties of travelling backwards in time has just been solved, according to Amos Ori from Technion, the Israel Institute of Technology.

He says that according to Einstein’s theories, space can be twisted enough to create a local gravity field that looks like a doughnut of some arbitrary size. The gravitational field lines circle around the outside of this doughnut, so that space and time are… read more

Shape Memory Alloy May Be Ready for Market

July 23, 2002

Interest is picking up in nitinol shape-memory devices for use in toys (dolls with nitinol facial muscles and mobile action figures), medical devices (stents in blood vessels and arteries to keep them from clogging), and other uses. The benefits: shrink components to reduce weight, cut materials costs and improve design flexibility.

Growing biofuel without razing the rainforest

May 25, 2009

Plant scientist Marcos Buckeridge says Brazil can produce sustainable biofuel while preserving its rainforests.

“Brazil’s sugar cane ethanol is different from America’s maize ethanol,” he said. “Our bioethanol is produced by using less than 1 per cent of Brazil’s total agricultural area. It does not destroy preserved areas or compete for land with food crops.”

New nanostructured thin film shows promise for efficient solar energy conversion

January 9, 2008

A hybrid material that combines two nanotechnology methods for engineering solar cell materials–thin metal oxide films and quantum dots–has better performance than either method has alone, University of California, Santa Cruz researchers have found.

The nanocomposite’s “incident photon to current conversion efficiency” (IPCE) was as much as three times greater than the sum of the IPCEs for the two other materials.


July 28, 2005

Feng-Hsiung Hsu, author of “Behind Deep Blue,” which told the story of how world chess champion Garry Kasparov was defeated by the IBM computer known as Deep Blue, says he had been planning at IBM to “create something a hundred to a thousand faster and capable of beating” Garry Kasparov, with 100 to 1 time odds, before IBM cancelled the project.

Hsu, now a senior manager and researcher at… read more

NASA telescopes observe unprecedented explosion

April 8, 2011

Swift Telescope

One of the most puzzling cosmic blasts yet observed has been observed by NASA‘s Swift, Hubble Space Telescope, and the Chandra X-ray Observatory.

Although research is ongoing, astronomers say that the unusual blast likely arose when a star wandered too close to its galaxy’s central black hole. The spinning black hole formed an outflowing jet along its rotational axis. A powerful blast of X- and gamma… read more

The Age of Assisted Cognition

August 16, 2002

Researchers are developing AI and pervasive-systems technology that can adapt to elder patients’ changing needs and respond quickly in moments of agitation and distress, based on patient data gathered by sensors placed throughout an eldercare facility.

Examples include a “gesture pendant” that can detect Parkinson’s Disease or side effects from medication; tracking elderly guests’ movements in a pervasive environment that includes electronic badges, infrared detectors and load-sensing beds; a… read more

Siri lifts veil on intelligent assistant

May 29, 2009

Siri, a San Jose company, has announced that it would offer an “intelligent agent” for the iPhone that responds to natural-language queries to find movie theaters, book restaurant reservations and airline flights, buy from online retail sites, and even answer trivia questions.

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