science + technology news

Man vs. machine

April 5, 2006

Utah State University professor Hugh De Garis predicts a takeover by AI-based “artilects” and a coming conflict between humans and machines in his 2005 book “The Artilect War: Cosmists vs. Terrans: A Bitter Controversy Concerning Whether Humanity Should Build Godlike Massively Intelligent Machines.”

He is featured in a coming documentary by Chicago filmmaker Ken Gumbs called “Building Gods.” Preview here.

Speedy robot legs it to break record

April 5, 2006

Runbot, a two-legged robot that walks at record-breaking speed, has been developed by researchers from Germany and Scotland.

At 30 centimeters high, it can walk at a speedy 3.5 leg-lengths per second. The robot is controlled by a simple program that mimics the way neurons control reflexes in humans and other animals: it detects just two things — when a foot touches the ground and when a leg swings… read more

Disorder creates order

April 5, 2006

According to a computational study conducted by physicists at Washington University in St. Louis, one may create order by introducing disorder.

While working on their model — a network of interconnected pendulums, or “oscillators” – the researchers noticed that when driven by ordered forces the various pendulums behaved chaotically and swung out of sync like a group of intoxicated synchronized swimmers. This was unexpected –shouldn’t synchronized forces yield synchronized… read more

Low-Calorie Diet May Lead to Longer Life

April 5, 2006

A low-calorie diet, even in people who are not obese, can lead to changes in metabolism and body chemistry that have been linked to better health and longer life, researchers are reporting.

A six-month study published today in The Journal of the American Medical Association found that calorie restriction led to decreases in insulin levels and body temperature. Both are considered signs of longevity, partly because an earlier study… read more

Cheaper Fuel Cells

April 5, 2006

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers who developed a new, simple-to-produce material that boosts the performance of fuel cells many times — and could be a major step toward making them affordable.

The Fountain of Health

April 5, 2006

Calorie restriction delays the onset of a broad swath of age-related diseases, so some biologists hope that a drug that mimics the molecular effects of calorie restriction might also delay the onset of some or all of these diseases.

Part 2 of the article

A Rapture for the Rest of Us

April 5, 2006

Is the Singularity just a new religion? Or is religion just the pre-marketing department for the Singularity?

“Jihadists are strapping on suicide bombs today, in the hope of attaining the kind of environment that virtual reality will deliver in 20 years,” notes futurist Glenn Harlan Reynolds.

Cure for cancer worth $50 trillion

April 5, 2006

Finding a cure for cancer would be worth about $50 trillion, according to a study by University of Chicago Graduate School of Business economists.

The social value of improved health and longevity is the amount in dollars that additional life years or other health improvements are worth to people, the study report said. The value of improved longevity is based on what individuals gain from the enjoyment of consumption… read more

Theorists explain how single-molecule diode works

April 4, 2006

Theorists from the University of South Florida and the Russian Academy of Sciences have explained how a single-molecule diode developed by a University of Chicago research team works.

The researchers showed electron energy levels in a molecule are efficient channels for transferring electrons from one electrode to another. Because the molecule in the diode is asymmetrical, the electronic response is also asymmetrical when voltage is applied. The asymmetry contributes… read more

On a Scaffold in the Lab, Doctors Build a Bladder

April 4, 2006

Bladders created in the laboratory from a patient’s own cells and then implanted in seven young people have achieved good long-term results in all of them.

A major advantage of his technique is that rejection cannot occur because the cells used to create a new bladder are from the patient, not from another individual.

Google accused of bio-piracy

April 3, 2006

Google has been accused of being the “biggest threat to genetic privacy” for its alleged plan to create a searchable database of genetic information.

Long-term cell use raises brain tumor risk

April 3, 2006

The use of mobile phones over a long period of time can raise the risk for brain tumors, a new Swedish study said.

Heavy users had a 240 percent increased risk of for a malignant tumor on the side of their head that the phone was used on.

In a Wired South Korea, Robots Will Feel Right at Home

April 3, 2006

South Korea, the world’s most wired country, is rushing to turn what sounds like science fiction into everyday life. The government, which succeeded in getting broadband Internet into 72 percent of all households, plans to put a robot in every South Korean household between 2015 and 2020.

HUMOR | The Cure For Information Overload

April 2, 2006

The Singularity may bring major information overload. Is this a cure — or a cause?

Gold Nanoparticles Emit Intense Heat

March 31, 2006

Nanoparticles of gold can act as tiny, precise and powerful heaters for an area up to 1,000 times its size when stimulated with the right frequency of laser light. They could be used in biomedical applications.

Source: Ohio University news release

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