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Military robo-surgeon prepares for battle

August 25, 2006

Life-saving operations on soldiers in combat zones could become possible thanks to a remotely operating portable robotic surgeon that allows doctors to perform surgery on the battlefield without endangering themselves.

Future Shock: Kurzweil on The Daily Show

August 25, 2006

Daily Show “correspondent” Samantha Bee learns about nanobots, immortality, and sex with robots from Ray Kurzweil on The Daily Show in a new segment, “Future Shock.”

Brave new world in life sciences

August 23, 2006

The authors of the 2006 report, “Globalization, Biosecurity, and the Future of Life Sciences,” propose a “web of protection” that bolsters the development of robust defenses without restricting the free flow of scientific information.

Source: Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

The Future of Robots

August 23, 2006

Futurist Ray Kurzweil explains how the boundary between man and machine is quickly disappearing (includes podcast).

Embryonic stem cells without embryo death

August 23, 2006

Advanced Cell Technology researchers were able to grow a stem cell line from just one or two cells from an early embryo — leaving that embryo viable.

The cells are “pluripotent,” meaning they can grow into the three major tissue types.

They hope that because the method does not involve destroying embryos, it will lead to the lifting of the veto on federal funding for stem cell research.

Watching the Brain in Action

August 23, 2006

MIT researchers have used two-photon microscopy to visualize chemical activity in individual brain cells of living animals.

The technique could be used to monitor cell activity in animal models of neurological disease or degeneration, or to test the effects of therapies in treating these conditions, or study plasticity, the ability of neurons and their connections to change in response to experience.

Computers write news at Thomson

August 23, 2006

Thomson Financial has found a way to replace human beings in the newsroom and is instead using computers to write some of its stories.

The computers work so fast that an earnings story can be released within 0.3 seconds of the company making results public.

Project to link genes, lifestyle and health gets go-ahead

August 23, 2006

The world’s largest project to investigate how genes and lifestyle combine to cause common diseases has received the go-ahead.

Organisers of the UK’s “Biobank” project will now begin recruiting the half a million citizens aged between 40 and 69 they need for the project, about one percent of the UK population.

A Periodic Table Of Nanoparticles

August 22, 2006

By mixing and matching pairs of semiconducting, metallic, and magnetic nanoparticles, researchers have made many versions of what they call “binary nanoparticle superlattices.”

Their theoretical analyses, modeling work, and experimental data indicate that the factors that determine exactly what binary superlattice will form include relatively long-range electrostatic forces between the nanoparticles, close-proximity effects such as dipole interactions and van der Waals forces, size effects, and the relative concentrations of… read more

Nano Engineering Simulations

August 22, 2006

The largest model ever simulated with NanoEngineer-1, a worm drive assembly designed by K. Eric Drexler, Josh Hall, Ninad Sathaye and Mark Sims, includes 11 components totalling 25,374 atoms.

Revealed: world’s oldest computer

August 22, 2006

The “Antikythera mechanism,” found amid the wreckage of a cargo ship that sunk off the tiny island of Antikythera in 80 BC, is the world’s oldest computer, used to map the motions of the sun, moon and planets.

Colossal Cosmic Collision Reveals Mysterious Dark Matter

August 22, 2006
Galaxy cluster 1E0657-556: dark matter is not seen, but its gravity affects how the light from each background galaxy is distorted

New observations of a great big cosmic collision provide the best evidence yet that invisible and mysterious dark matter really does exist.

Spying an intelligent search engine

August 21, 2006

While most would agree that Google has set the current standard for Web search, some technologists say even better tools are on the horizon thanks to advances in artificial intelligence.

The Robots Are Coming!

August 21, 2006

Forbes presents the masters of robotic innovation–entrepreneurs and researchers who are fusing advances in biomechanics, software, sensor technology, materials science and computing to create new generations of robotic assistants.

Your Brain Boots Up Like a Computer

August 21, 2006

As we yawn and open our eyes in the morning, the brain stem sends little puffs of nitric oxide to another part of the brain, the thalamus, which then directs it elsewhere.

Like a computer booting up its operating system before running more complicated programs, the nitric oxide triggers certain functions that set the stage for more complex brain operations, according to a new study.

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