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‘Super Earth’ Discovered at Nearby Star

August 26, 2004

European astronomers have found one of the smallest planets known outside our solar system, a world about 14 times the mass of our own around a star much like the Sun.

No planet so small has ever been detected around a normal star. And the finding reveals a solar system more similar to our own than anything found so far.

Brain Disease Blocker

August 25, 2004

Genetics researchers are reporting some exciting progress in the search for a cure for genetic brain-wasting diseases like Huntington’s disease, using RNA interference, a gene therapy.

Crisis Alert in Critical State

August 25, 2004

The Emergency Alert System (EAS) is a mess. “Unfortunately, I think it will take a major catastrophe where hundreds of thousands of people are killed for people to understand what (we) have been saying,” said Jim Gabbert, who oversees California’s Emergency Alert System.

The FCC plans to rebuild the EAS, sending warnings to computers, PDAs, cell phones, and is considering the idea of automatically turning on TVs and radios… read more

Stem Cells: Promise, in Search of Results

August 24, 2004

At three Boston laboratories, the world of stem cell research can be captured in all its complexity, promise and diversity.

HK firm develops cyber girlfriend

August 24, 2004

Hong Kong company Artificial Life has developed a “virtual girlfriend” game for 3-G mobile phones.

GM ‘marathon’ mice break distance records

August 24, 2004

Mice that can run almost twice the distance of normal mice have been genetically engineered by Salk Institute scientists, raising questions over performance-enhancing drugs for atheletes.

Virtual veins give nurses a hand

August 23, 2004

A virtual reality hand, complete with vital veins, that “feels” could help trainee nurses learn more effectively than with plastic mannequins, which give little idea of the pressure needed to puncture the skin and are not too realistic.

DNA technique protects against ‘evil’ emails

August 23, 2004

An algorithm named Chung-Kwei, originally designed to analyze DNA sequences, was able to identify spam with 96.56 per cent accuracy by analyzing text patterns.

Instead of chains of characters representing DNA sequences, the research group fed the algorithm 65,000 examples of known spam. Each email was treated as a long, DNA-like chain of characters. Teiresias identified six million recurring patterns in this collection, such as “Viagra”.

Big Bang Chronology Bolstered by Beryllium

August 23, 2004

Astronomers have proof that the very first stars were formed when the universe was less than 200 million years old. Their evidence? Minuscule amounts of beryllium atoms in the outer layers of two faint stars 7200 light-years from Earth.

Language may shape human thought

August 23, 2004

Language may shape human thought, suggests a counting study in a Brazilian tribe whose language does not define numbers above two.

Teleportation goes long distance

August 20, 2004

Physicists have carried out successful quantum teleportation of qubits with polarization-encoded photons over a distance of 600 meters.

Internet Heading to Light Speed

August 19, 2004

Buckyballs glued together could allow for optical switches for fiber networks, eliminatng network bottlenecks and forwarding data at up to 100 times the speed of today’s fastest networks.

Assembling Nano Building Blocks

August 19, 2004

University of Michigan researchers have discovered a way to self-assemble nanoparticles into wires, sheets, shells and other unusual structures using sticky patches that make the particles group themselves together in programmed ways. This method could be used to fabricate new nanoscale materials and devices.

The assemblies could serve as basic structural units to further prepare materials with more complex structures such as tubes, helices and 3-D networks, which could… read more

Artificial Retina

August 19, 2004

A retinal prosthesise implanted in the eye could restore the sight of millions.

It would use a digital video camera mounted on a pair of glasses, coupled via a miniature transmitter to a retinal implant array underneath the retina. The array’s electrodes would stimulate surviving nerve cells in response to images from the camera, providing a small patch of vision.

The Boston Retinal Implant Project hopes to test… read more

Web Surfers Hit Higher Speeds

August 19, 2004

A majority of U.S. home Internet users now have broadband: an estimated 63 million broadband users, or 51 percent of all home Internet users, as of July.

Special offers for broadband services, the growing use of multimedia on the Web, and the availability of music and video downloads drove Internet users to the faster service.

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