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A Visual Exploration of Complex Networks

July 25, 2006

Parsons School of Design teacher Manuel Lima has constructed striking images that represent complexity.

AI set to exceed human brain power

July 25, 2006

AI is already in more common usage than many of us might imagine. AI-inspired systems are already integral to many everyday technologies such as internet search engines, bank software for processing transactions and in medical diagnosis, said Nick Bostrom, Director of Oxford University’s Future of Humanity Institute.

Ray Kurzweil believes the development of artificial superintelligence will herald a singularity, in which human cognitive abilities are enhanced by brain implants.

Trauma may make the brain grow old

July 25, 2006

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may do damage to the brain that kick-starts memory problems, Mount Sinai School of Medicine scientists have discovered.

Even patients who had recovered from a period of stress started to get age-related memory difficulties about a decade earlier than non-traumatized people, they report.

Man-Machine Merger Arriving Sooner Than You Think

July 24, 2006

Science-fiction writers Vernor Vinge and Cory Doctorow look at the various ways a technological Singularity will develop in the near future and conclude that a cooperative model linking computers, networks, and people makes the most sense.

Flexible 3D computer chips invented

July 24, 2006

New thin-film semiconductor techniques invented by University of Wisconsin-Madison engineers allow layers of double-sided, thin-film semiconductors to be stacked together, creating powerful, low-power, three-dimensional electronic devices.

Applications include solar cells, smart cards, RFID tags, medical applications, active-matrix flat panel displays, and flexible semiconductors embedded in fabric to create wearable electronics or computer monitors that roll up like a window shade.

Source: University of Wisconsin news

Meet the Remote-Control Self

July 21, 2006

Hiroshi Ishiguro, a senior researcher at ATR Intelligent Robotics and Communication Laboratories outside Kyoto, has created a machine in his own image — a robot that looks and moves exactly like him. It sits on a chair and gazes around the room in a very humanlike fashion, just like its creator.

Scientists Hope to Unravel Neanderthal DNA

July 21, 2006

Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology plan to collaborate with an American company in an effort to reconstruct the genome of Neanderthals, the archaic human species that occupied Europe from 300,000 years ago to 30,000 years ago until being displaced by modern humans.

Recovery of the Neanderthal genome, in whole or in part, would be invaluable for reconstructing many events in human prehistory and evolution.

Europe plans giant eye on the sky

July 21, 2006

A giant telescope with a mirror up to 60 meters wide is being planned by the European Southern Observatory to detect Earth-like planets around other stars and spot the universe’s first galaxies.

Google site to aid the blind

July 21, 2006

Google’s new Google Accessible Search site is designed to help blind people find results that will work best with their text-to-speech software and prioritizes the list of search results based on how simple the Web page layouts are.

First Bush Veto Maintains Limits on Stem Cell Use

July 19, 2006

President Bush on Wednesday rejected legislation to expand federally supported embryonic stem cell research.

The bill Mr. Bush vetoed would have allowed taxpayer-financed research on lines derived from embryos slated for destruction by fertility clinics.

Technology Rewrites the Book

July 19, 2006

The print-on-demand business is gradually moving toward the center of the marketplace. What began as a way for publishers to reduce their inventory and stop wasting paper is becoming a tool for anyone who needs a bound document. Short-run presses can turn out books economically in small quantities or singly, and new software simplifies the process of designing a book.

Quantum Computer: Laser tweezers sort atoms

July 19, 2006

Physicists of the University of Bonn have succeeded in using “laser tweezers” to sorti up to seven atoms and line them up.

The next aim of the Bonn physicists is to construct a quantum gate. For this purpose they want to “write” quantum information onto two caesium atoms and then place them between two tiny mirrors. The intention is that they should interact there with each other, i.e. exchange… read more

Scientists to build ‘brain box’

July 19, 2006

The “brain box,” being built by University of Manchester scientists, will use large numbers of microprocessors to model the way networks of neurons interact.

The Quest for the $1,000 Human Genome

July 18, 2006

The goal now being pursued by the NIH and by several manufacturers is to drive the costs of decoding a human genome down to as little as $1,000.

At that price, it could be worth decoding people’s genomes in certain medical situations and, one day, even routinely at birth.

Powered shoes — perfect for a virtual stroll

July 18, 2006

“Powered Shoes,” a pair of motorized roller skates that cancel out a person’s steps, could let users naturally explore virtual reality landscapes in confined spaces.

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