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‘Give stem cells to ill patients’

December 29, 2005

Professor Ian Wilmut, the scientist behind the cloning of Dolly the Sheep, is calling for stem cell treatment to be offered to people with terminal illnesses.

“If we wait until things are totally tested and analysed in animals, it will deny some people treatment,” he said.

Quantum Trickery: Testing Einstein’s Strangest Theory

December 29, 2005

Experiments in quantum entanglement are increasing challenging Einstein’s critique of “spooky action at a distance.”

The world is “not as real as we think,” says Anton Zeilinger of the University of Vienna. It’s “even weirder than what quantum physics tells us.”

Chip Industry Sets a Plan for Life After Silicon

December 29, 2005

A transition from silicon to nanontechnology around the year 2015 is forecast in the biannual International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors, to be issued Saturday. The report is used by the semiconductor industry as a planning tool to determine how best to spend research and development money for new technology.

2005: The year in technology

December 28, 2005

Many weird and wonderful new gadgets, gizmos and inventions were revealed in 2005. Autonomous cars, robotic assistants and nano-circuitry provided a bright view of the future, while cellphone viruses, virtual crime sprees and “non-lethal” crowd control weapons hinted at technological troubles ahead.

The busiest inventor of the year was almost certainly Google, which continues to grow from a search engine into a many-tentacled technological titan, with a service for… read more

New Microsoft Patent Apps Discusses the Building of Personalized Portals

December 27, 2005

Microsoft has had an interesting patent application published descibing a system that assists users in building personalized portals.

Top 10 tech trends for 2006

December 27, 2005

Cell phones that “do everything,” Internet phone calls become more popular, the office moves to the Web, stem-cell research advances, biotechs target flu vaccines, small start-ups go global, video comes to the blog, on-demand video everywhere, and clean technologies are the top tech trends forecast by the Merc for 2006.

The 50 Best Robots Ever

December 27, 2005

They’re exploring the deep sea and distant planets. They’re saving lives in the operating room and on the battlefield. They’re transforming factory floors and filmmaking….

Best Tech Moments of 2005

December 26, 2005

New software apps changed the way we looked at the world, while hardware got smaller, faster and more fun. On the net, blogs provided many of the most dramatic moments.

Slowly, Cancer Genes Tender Their Secrets

December 26, 2005

Scientists are now finding that untangling the genetics of cancer is not impossible and are basing new treatments on their findings.

The turning point came only recently: with microarrays, or gene chips that can be coated with all known human genes, scientists can now discover every gene that is active in a cancer cell and learn what portions of the genes are amplified or deleted.

With another method,… read more

Gyroscope sets course to fight cancer

December 26, 2005

Micro-gyroscopes can make sensitive biosensors for fast detection of the proteins associated with diseases by measuring the subtle change in vibration caused when a protein binds to a DNA coating.

The researchers plan to produce hand-held devices to test blood, smear and biopsy samples and immediately relay the results to a doctor.

2005: The year in biology and medicine

December 26, 2005

Major breakthroughs in 2005 included the publishing of several complete genomes, including a dog called Tasha, the chimpanzee, three human parasites, ancient cave bears, as well as a map of genetic variations called SNPs in the human genome.

The year also saw the world’s first human face transplant by French surgeons, a growing fear of bird flu, fabricated claims of cloned human stem cells, and a robot to carry… read more

Bezos brings space race to Kent as he plans a passenger rocket

December 26, 2005

Amazon.com billionaire Jeff Bezos is building a rocket-ship complex set to open early next year.

Blue Origin, Bezos’ aerospace company, plans to develop a vehicle that can take passengers on a thrill ride to the edge of space. But eventually, Bezos has said, he wants to build spaceships powerful enough to orbit the Earth. He even hopes to establish permanent colonies in space someday.

Ray Kurzweil: Life in the Future

December 26, 2005

Ray Kurzweil appeared on NPR’s Science Friday show on December 23, speaking on accelerating technological change and its effects on everything from health to artificial intelligence.

(Listen here)

Evolution takes science honours

December 25, 2005

Research into how evolution works has been named by Science Magazine as top science achievement of 2005, a year that also saw fierce debate erupt over “intelligent design.”

Science magazine’s breakthroughs of 2005:

Winner: Evolution in action. Genome sequencing and painstaking field observations shed light on the intricacies of how evolution works.

Runner up: Planetary blitz. Europe’s Huygens probe touched down on Saturn’s moon Titan in January.… read more

Better than people

December 25, 2005

Japanese find robots less intimidating than people.

“The prevailing view in Japan is that the country is lucky to be uninhibited by robophobia. With fewer of the complexes that trouble many westerners, so the theory goes, Japan is free to make use of a great new tool, just when its needs and abilities are happily about to converge.

“What seems to set Japan apart from other countries is… read more

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