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Turning Point for Touch Screens

August 25, 2008

Apple’s slick use of touch technology on its iPhone has created a new market for touch screens.

Genetic fingerprints will help extend life

June 9, 2004

A drop of blood from a thumbprick will be enough to test 10,000 elements of our health a decade or two from now, says a leading scientist.

Dr Leroy Hood told the Bio 2004 conference in San Francisco yesterday that scientists would soon be able to spot the genetic fingerprints of most ailments by running that drop of blood through a computer.

“My prediction is that, if this… read more

Iron Man 2 Envisions the Future of Computing Interfaces

May 11, 2010

The Iron Man 2 movie had several enticing scenes of the main character interacting with his computer.

When Stark is mid-design and doesn’t like what he’s working on, he grabs it off the projection and throws it into the trash. This allows him to throw away a virtual idea with as much expression as can be used with an idea that’s taken physical form.

At one point, he… read more

Quantum Secrets of Photosynthesis Revealed

April 13, 2007

A new discovery in emulating photosynthesis may allow for creating artificial versions of photosynthesis that would help convert solar to chemical energy at very high efficiency.

Through photosynthesis, green plants and cyanobacteria are able to transfer sunlight energy to molecular reaction centers for conversion into chemical energy with nearly 100-percent efficiency. Speed is the key — the transfer of the solar energy takes place almost instantaneously so little energy… read more

Biometric bracelet lets a medical device recognize its wearer

Wristwatch-like device measures a person's "bioimpedance" to identify him or her to medical monitoring devices
August 8, 2012

biometric_bracelet

A device that measures someone’s unique response to a weak electric signal could let medical devices such as blood-pressure cuffs automatically identify the wearer and send measurements straight to his or her electronic medical record, Technology Review reports.

For now, nurses, patients, and doctors juggle the job of keeping patients’ identities straight. But computer scientist Cory Cornelius at Dartmouth College, in New Hampshire, has developed… read more

Circadian rhythms boost cancer therapies (subscription requred)

August 29, 2008

Chronotherapists have found that side effects of specific drugs and radiotherapy can be minimized by administering them at defined times of the day, also taking into account individual patient circadian cycles.

Circadian rhythms affect the expression of almost every gene in our bodies, so it is not surprising that drugs are metabolised differently according to the time of day.

NASA Spaces on Energy Solution

June 23, 2004

Scientists from around the world will soon gather to discuss how satellites could be used to address the world’s energy needs by relaying solar power to Earth. But the U.S. government’s decision to abandon research in 2001 could prevent the alternative energy source from ever seeing the light of day.

Software taps power of graphics processors

May 18, 2010

A research team from North Carolina State University has developed compiler software that could make it easier for traditional software programs to take advantage of graphics processing units (GPUs).

They found that standard programs translated by their compiler ran approximately 30 percent more quickly than those optimized by GPU developers.

The CPU from an average computer has about 10 gigaflops of computing power, or 10 billion operations per… read more

MyGenes

April 23, 2007

Google medicine–sharing genetic information on the Web–will lead to cures.

Routine lab tests using cells swabbed from the inside of a cheek can already expose genetic variations associated with cholesterol, cancer and hundreds of other traits and diseases, both common and rare. Coming soon: home test kits as simple and cheap as a pregnancy-test dipstick.

NIST’s superfast ions could speed up quantum computers

August 15, 2012

speedy ions graphic

Physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) can accelerate their beryllium ions from zero to 100 miles per hour and stop them in just a few microseconds. They may be useful in future quantum computers.

The ions (electrically charged atoms) travel 100 times faster than was possible before across a few hundred microns in an ion trap — a single ion can go… read more

New nano device detects immune system cell signaling

September 4, 2008

Vanderbilt University scientists have detected previously unnoticed chemical signals that individual cells in the immune system use to communicate with each other over short distances.

The signals originated in dendritic cells — the sentinels of the immune system that do the initial detection of microscopic invaders.

A new technology, a multi-trap nanophysiometer, demonstrated the existence of non-contact signaling. This is one of the first microfluidic devices that has… read more

Elderly crucial to evolutionary success of humans

July 7, 2004

Senior citizens played an important role in the dramatic spread of human civilisation some 30,000 years ago, a study of the human fossil record has shown.

It found a five-fold increase the number of individuals surviving into old age in the Early Upper Palaeolithic period — around 30,000 years ago. This coincides with an explosive population growth of modern humans and the spread of archaeological artefacts that suggest the… read more

First fully operational life-size hummingbird-like unmanned aircraft

February 21, 2011

Nano Air Vehicle (

AeroVironment, Inc. has announced controlled precision hovering and fast-forward flight of a two-wing, “hummingbird-like” flapping wing aircraft that carries its own energy source, and uses only flapping wings for propulsion and control.

(Videos)

Developed for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the final concept demonstrator is called the “Nano Hummingbird” and is capable of climbing and descending vertically, flying sideways left and right, flying forward and… read more

Advances made in walking, running robots

May 27, 2010

(Oregon State University)

A biped robot design being built by researchers at Oregon State University has the potential to reduce energy use while improving robotic locomotion.

Microorganisms act as tiny machines in future MEMS devices

April 30, 2007

The integration of microorganisms with MEMS, resulting in “biotic-MEMS,” is a hot topic for scientists designing micron-level machines.

Recently, scientists have catalogued a large number of the most promising microorganisms for different areas of MEMS systems. They show that many of these microorganisms can offer capabilities beyond the limits of conventional MEMS technology.

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