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First human clone embryo ready for implantation

September 16, 2003

The first human cloned embryo could be implanted into a surrogate mother’s womb before the end of the year, US fertility expert Panayiotis Zavos claimed on Monday.

Zavos says he created the human cloned embryo by fusing an empty human egg with a granulosa cell. The embryo, which was frozen after growing to a ball of eight to 10 cells, was created after Zavos had experimented for months with… read more

Best & Worst 2009

January 4, 2010

The best: Nanotech is coming on strong, cognitive liberty is on the rise, Dollhouse Rocks 2 Hour episodes, Obama sets our stem cells free, and the film Transcendent Man “kinda makes you think.”

The worst: the economy, broken promises by Obama administration, draconian action against sharing music, Terminator Salvation, and tensions between the transhumanist left and the transhumanist libertarians.

Telstra chief hosts conference as hologram

May 28, 2008

In an Australian first, Telstra’s high definition “holographic” video projection system projected a life-sized, real-time hologram of an executive, who interacted with business executives at an Adelaide conference while he stood in front of cameras in Telstra’s Melbourne office.

Nano compartments may aid drug delivery, catalyst design

April 23, 2013

This false-color image (left) depicts the core lattice in blue, where drugs can be placed in compartment pores for targeting in the body. In the hexagon-shaped cylinder branches, other types of drugs may be place for delivery. Simultaneous delivery of pharmaceuticals can thus be optimized for each drug separately. The accompanying illustration (right) offers a clear vision of the left image. (Credit:

Cornell researchers have created spongelike nanoparticles with separate compartments that could deliver two or more different drugs to the same location, with precise control over the amounts,  avoiding unpleasant side effects.

The technology might also be applied to catalysts used to enhance chemical reactions, which are sometimes formed into porous nanoparticles to expose more surface area. Compartmented particles could allow two or more catalysts to… read more

Japan Bests IBM in Supercomputer Stakes

July 31, 2006

The MDGrape-3 supercomputer at Riken in Japan has been clocked at one petaflop (10^15) floating-point calculations per second — three times faster than IBM’s BlueGene/L, the current fastest supercomputer.

The MDGrape-3 will let scientists screen proteins that can potentially be used to make new drugs.

New tool for the study of spatial patterns in living cells

November 2, 2011

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A new way to study the impact of spatial patterns of chemical and physical properties on living cells has been developed by scientists with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). Differences of only a few nanometers can determine the fate of a cell — whether it lives or dies, remains normal or turns cancerous.

Berkeley Lab chemist Jay Groves… read more

Schrödinger’s cat comes closer

October 1, 2003

Scientists have described a scheme for achieving quantum superposition of states in an object with around a hundred trillion atoms. This is about a billion times larger than anything demonstrated previously.

In the proposed experiment, a photon effectively follows both paths at once, using mirrors.

Apple Patent Application Could Presage Thinner Devices

January 8, 2010

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A new Apple patent application describes a way of integrating a touch-sensitive panel into a display, rather than layering it on top, potentially allowing for thinner and less expensive touch screens.

Microrobots dance on something smaller than a pin’s head

June 3, 2008

Duke University scientists have developed the first implementation of an untethered, multi-microrobotic system.

The microrobots are almost 100 times smaller than any previous robotic designs of their kind, measuring about 60 microns wide, 250 microns long and 10 microns high, and run off power scavenged from an electrified surface.

Built with microchip fabrication techniques, they are each designed to respond differently to the same single “global control signal”… read more

Shape-shifting mobile devices

April 30, 2013

The phone screen can bend to provide privacy when needed (credit: University of Bristol)

Prototype mobile devices that can change shape on-demand and lead to high “shape resolution” devices of the future.were presented on Monday at the ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems in Paris.

In the presentation, Dr. Anne Roudaut and Professor Sriram Subramanian, from the University of Bristol‘s Department of Computer Science used shape resolution to… read more

Nanotube Coating Meshes with Living Cells

August 16, 2006

Using a polymer coating that mimics part of a cell’s outer membrane, University of California, Berkeley investigators have developed a versatile method for targeting carbon nanotubes to specific types of cells.

This new coating could spur the development of new anticancer agents that rely on the unique physical characteristics of carbon nanotubes.

Reporting their work in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, the researchers demonstrated that they… read more

Breathing life into messy sketches

October 14, 2003

AI-based software being developed by the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at MIT will observes what we draw on the screen and then turns the sketch into computer code.

The smart program is able to interpret what we had in mind from the crude drawing, then animates the sketch by applying the laws of physics to create motion using gravity and momentum — balls roll down slopes, a propeller creates lift.

Self-assembling solar panels a step closer

January 15, 2010

University of Minnesota researchers have developed a method for self-assembling and electrically connecting small (20-60 micrometer) semiconductor chiplets at predetermined locations on flexible substrates at high speed (62500 chips in 45 seconds).

The process could find uses in numerous applications such as solar cells, video displays, and semiconductors.

Will We Recognize The Future?

June 6, 2008

What happens when the rate of technological change becomes so fast that the fundamental nature of what it means to be human changes too?

On Science Friday on NPR (June 6, 2009 at 3 PM), host Ira Flatow talks with inventor, technologist and futurist Ray Kurzweil about the idea of the Singularity — what happens when technology advances so much that it’s impossible to predict what happens… read more

Scientists Find Memory Molecule

August 28, 2006

Scientists at SUNY Downstate Medical Center have discovered a molecular mechanism that maintains memories in the brain. In an article in Science magazine, they demonstrate that by inhibiting the molecule they can erase long-term memories, much as you might erase a computer disc.

Furthermore, erasing the memory from the brain does not prevent the ability to re-learn the memory, much as a cleaned computer disc may be re-used. This… read more

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