science + technology news

Six-legged robot spider does the limbo

August 11, 2008

A six-legged autonomous robotic spider jointly developed by Nanyang Polytechnic of Singapore, Schmid Engineering AG and Analog Devices has been designed to support rescue operations.

The robot’s highly mobile walking scheme design consists of six independent legs that move the robot, even across rough terrain. Walking and rotating are among the basic motions adopted from six-legged insects. With three legs moving and three lifted, the robot can reach the… read more

Sixth type of symmetry discovered

April 4, 2011

Lattice2 Symmetry

Researchers at Penn State have discovered a sixth type of symmetry in the structure of materials called rotation reversal.

Rotation-reversal symmetry enriches the mathematical language that researchers use to describe a crystalline material’s structure and predict its properties. The research is expected to have broad relevance in many development efforts involving physical, chemical, biological, and engineering disciplines, such as the search for advanced ferroelectric ferromagnet materials… read more

Sizing Up Consciousness by Its Bits

September 22, 2010

Dr. Giulio Tononi, distinguished chair in consciousness science at the University of Wisconsin, and colleagues are adapting information theory to build a “consciousness meter” that doctors can use to measure consciousness.

Tononi and his colleagues have been expanding traditional information theory to develop an “Integrated Information Theory.” Consciousness, he says, is nothing more than integrated information, measurable in bits.

It is possible, the researchers have shown, to calculate… read more

Sizing up nanotubes

June 29, 2006

Rice University Scientists have developed the first method to sort semiconductor carbon nanotubes by size. It separates metallic nanotubes from semiconducting ones and sorts the semiconducting tubes according to their diameters. The ability to separate and sort nanotubes like this will be essential for high-speed nanoscale electronics.

Sizing up the coming robotics revolution

May 16, 2007

“There are four research topics that, as we make progress on each one, will enable our robots to do a lot more,” says Rodney Brooks is the Panasonic professor of robotics at MIT and the director of its Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab.

“And so I have set these goals: the object recognition capabilities of a 2-year-old child, the language understanding of a 4-year-old, the manual dexterity of… read more

Sizing Up the Silicon Problem After the Quake

March 22, 2011

Plant shutdowns in Japan have halted production in factories accounting for 25 percent of the world’s silicon wafers used to make computer chips, according to a report released Monday by the research firm IHS iSuppli.

The Shin-Etsu plant, according to IHS iSuppli, produces 20 percent of the raw wafers used by semiconductor makers worldwide.

Another shuttered wafer factory in Utsunomiya, owned by MEMC Electronic Materials Inc., accounts… read more

SKA telescope to provide a billion PCs’ worth of processing

September 21, 2009

IBM has a partnership with the US Department of Energy to build a 20 petaflops machine by 2011-2012*, followed by an exaflop machine (10^18 flops), the processing equivalent of about a billion PCs.

IBM is also planning to develop over the next 10 years a machine capable of processing the exabyte (10^18) of data expected to flow per day from the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) telescope project. And the… read more

Skilled readers rely on their brain’s ‘visual dictionary’ to recognize words

November 16, 2011

Skilled readers can recognize words at lightning fast speed when they read because the word has been placed in a sort of visual dictionary, say Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC) neuroscientists. The visual dictionary idea rebuts the theory that our brain “sounds out” words each time we see them.

This finding, reported at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, Neuroscience 2011,… read more

Skilled work, without the worker

August 19, 2012


A new wave of robots, far more adept than those now commonly used by automakers and other heavy manufacturers, are replacing workers around the world in both manufacturing and distribution, The New York Times reports.

Factories like a Philips Electronics factory in the Netherlands, where 128 robot arms do the same work  as hundreds of workers in  sister factory, are a striking counterpoint to those used by… read more

Skin and bones ‘made to measure’

January 19, 2005

University of Manchester scientists are developing an inkjet printer that can create “made to measure” skin and bones to treat people with severe burns or disfigurements.

Human cells are suspended in a nutrient-rich liquid before being printed out in several thin layers. The printers create 3-D structures, known as tissue scaffolds.

Skin cancer treatment: biggest breakthrough in 30 years

June 6, 2011

Researchers at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York and colleagues have shown that vemurafenib outperforms the most common chemotherapy drug for metastatic melanoma, dacarbazine.

The researchers compared the drugs on 672 patients with late stage, inoperable melanoma. They found that 48 per cent of those receiving vemurafenib responded to the treatment, while only 5 per cent of patients responded to dacarbazine. At 6 months, survival was 84… read more

Skin cell bandages treat burns

April 28, 2004

People with severe burns or diabetic wounds could benefit from “living” bandages made of their own skin cells, according to UK researchers.

Called “Myskin,” the treatment involves the growing of healthy skin cells on small discs. Once applied, the discs release the cells and help new layers of skin to grow.

Skin layer grown from human stem cells could replace animals in drug and cosmetics testing

April 28, 2014

iPSC-derived keratinocytes colonies

An international team led by King’s College London and the San Francisco Veteran Affairs Medical Center (SFVAMC) has developed the first lab-grown epidermis (the outermost skin layer) with a functional permeability barrier akin to real skin.

The new epidermis, grown from human pluripotent stem cells, offers a cost-effective alternative lab model for testing drugs and cosmetics, and could also help to develop new therapies for rare and… read more

Skin to Stem Cell Breakthrough Promises Health Care Revolution

March 31, 2009

A new stem-cell technique discovered by Japanese scientist Shinya Yamanaka creates stem cells without using and destroying human embryos and allows for testing drugs for genetic diseases.

Skin used to transmit key data

August 6, 2004

Ident Technology has developed a system that transfers a tiny 30-nanoamperes electric current across the skin to control devices such as a car lock or computer securely by simply touching them.

Since it’s based on an electrostatic effect, it can also work at up to a meter away.

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