the digest

Data Center Energy Consumption Has Doubled Since 2000

February 15, 2007

The energy consumed by data center servers and related infrastructure equipment in the U.S. and worldwide doubled between 2000 and 2005, according to a new study.

A jump in the volume of servers in data centers is accountable for 90 percent of the growth in power consumption. The total 2005 electric bill to operate those servers and related infrastructure equipment was $2.7 billion in the U.S. and $7.2 billion… read more

Darwin’s Theory May Explain Ill Health

October 11, 2002

Professor Randolph Nesse believes that conditions like heart disease, obesity and drug abuse can all be explained by the fact that the human body was not designed for the 21st Century. Nesse, professor of psychiatry at the University of Michigan, is one of the leading proponents of evolutionary or Darwinian medicine. Evolutionary medicine examines why some diseases still exist. According to Nesse, our bodies are designed to like things that… read more

Darwin’s God

March 5, 2007

In the world of evolutionary biology, the question is not whether God exists but why we believe in him. Is belief a helpful adaptation or an evolutionary accident?

‘Darwin’s Blind Spot’: Biotech Merger

March 24, 2003

Symbiosis has played an important role in the evolution of complex life-forms than natural selection, argues Frank Ryan in a controversial book, Darwin’s Blind Spot: Evolution Beyond Natural Selection.

‘Darwin chip’ brings evolution into the classroom

April 8, 2008

Scripps Research Institute researchers have created an automated device that evolves a biological molecule on a chip filled with hundreds of miniature chambers.

The molecule, a ligase that stitches together strands of RNA, became 90 times more efficient after just 70 hours of evolution.

All the reactions occurred in a miniature chamber on the “evolution chip.” It mixed an inefficient ligase in with RNA, let it duplicate (two… read more

Darwin and Design: Does Evolution Have a Purpose?

June 12, 2003

The “argument from design” for the existence of God has enjoyed a comeback recently in “intelligent design creationism.”

But adaptation, which has provided the basis of that argument, is not explained by God, but by natural selection, argues Michael Ruse in a new book, Darwin and Design: Does Evolution Have a Purpose?, reviewed by Mark Ridley in Nature, June 12, 2003 (Vol 423 No 6941 pp669-785).

Some scientists… read more

Dartmouth researchers build world’s smallest mobile robot

September 15, 2005

Dartmouth researchers have created the world’s smallest untethered, controllable robot.

The device measures 60 micrometers by 250 micrometers and crawls like an inchworm, making tens of thousands of 10-nanometer steps every second.

Source: Dartmouth College news release

Dartmouth Bioengineers Develop Humanized Yeast

September 2, 2003

Bioengineers at Dartmouth have genetically engineered yeast to produce humanized therapeutic proteins to address the manufacturing crunch currently confronting the biopharmaceutical industry.

Reported in this week’s issue of Science, the researchers have re-engineered the yeast P. pastoris to secrete a complex human glycoprotein — a process offering significant advantages over current production methods using mammalian cell lines, according to the researchers.

Dartmouth College pressread more

DARPA’s ‘Targeted Neuroplasticity Training’ program aims to accelerate learning ‘beyond normal levels’

The transhumanism-inspired goal: train superspy agents to rapidly master foreign languages and cryptography
March 23, 2016

neurostimulation_ft

DARPA has announced a new program called Targeted Neuroplasticity Training (TNT) aimed at exploring how to use peripheral nerve stimulation and other methods to enhance learning.

DARPA already has research programs underway to use targeted stimulation of the peripheral nervous system as a substitute for drugs to treat diseases and accelerate healing*, to control advanced prosthetic limbs**, and to restore tactile sensation.

But now… read more

DARPA’s plan to recruit military dogs: scan their brains

January 28, 2013

Military Working Dogs

According to a new research solicitation from DARPA, the FIDOS (Functional Imaging to Develop Outstanding Service-Dogs) project touts the idea of using magnetic image resonators (MRIs) to “optimize the selection of ideal service dogs” by scanning their brains to find the smartest candidates, Wired Danger Room reports.

Last year, Emory University neuroscientist Greg Berns and his colleagues trained dogs to sit unrestrained inside an MRI machine,… read more

DARPA’s plan for total surveillance of low-flying drones over cities

This is not Skynet. Really.
September 16, 2016

An artist’s concept of Aerial Dragnet system: several UAS carrying sensors form a network that provides wide-area surveillance of all low-flying UAS in an urban setting (credit: DARPA)

DARPA’s recently announced Aerial Dragnet program is seeking innovative technologies to “provide persistent, wide-area surveillance of all unmanned aerial systems (UAS), such as quadcopters, operating below 1,000 feet in a large city.

UAS devices can be adapted for terrorist or military purposes, so U.S. forces will “increasingly be challenged by the need to quickly detect and identify such craft — especially in urban areas, where sight lines are limited… read more

DARPA’s ‘Mind’s Eye’ program developing smart robotic cameras

January 6, 2011

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has contracted with 12 research teams to develop fundamental machine-based visual intelligence and three teams to develop system integration concepts.

“Ground surveillance is a mission normally performed by human assets, including Army scouts and Marine Corps Force Recon,” DARPA said. “Military leaders would like to shift this mission to unmanned systems, removing troops from harm’s way, but unmanned systems lack a capability… read more

DARPA’s human-augmentation suit

August 27, 2013

DARPA's Warrior Web program seeks to create a soft, lightweight under-suit that would help reduce injuries and fatigue and improve Soldiers' ability to efficiently perform their missions. The photos above are examples of three prototypes currently under development.

One of the most common risks that dismounted Soldiers face in the field is injury from carrying their gear — often topping 100 pounds — for extended periods over rough terrain.

Heavy loads increase the likelihood of musculoskeletal injury and also exacerbate fatigue, which contributes to both acute and chronic injury and impedes Soldiers’ physical and cognitive abilities to perform mission-oriented tasks.

To… read more

DARPA’s four-legged robots ace tests in demo

September 13, 2012

newls3-0

DARPA’s Legged Squad Support System (LS3) program demonstrated two robotic “pack mule” prototypes for the Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. James F. Amos, and DARPA Director, Arati Prabhakar.

The goal of the LS3 program is to demonstrate that a legged robot can unburden dismounted squad members by carrying their gear, autonomously following them through rugged terrain, and interpreting verbal and visual commands.

During… read more

Darpa’s Far-Out Dreams on Display

March 15, 2004

Darpa is planning for a blimp three times the size of Goodyear’s that would keep watch over an entire city. Another project involves materials that grow or heal themselves.

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