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The DNA so dangerous it does not exist

January 4, 2007

Boise State University researchers are searching for “primes”: DNA sequences and chains of amino acids so dangerous to life that they do not exist.

They have identified more than 60,000 primes of 15 nucleotides in length and 746 protein “peptoprime” strings of five amino acids that have never been reported in any species, and that represent the largest possible set of lethal sequences.

The next step is to… read more

The Doctor Kiosk

February 25, 2009
(Massachusetts General Hospital)

A computerized kiosk under development at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) can take a patient’s medical history, weight, pulse, blood pressure, and other vital signs, and even perform simple blood tests for glucose and cholesterol.

Physicians hope that the device will one day bring relief to the overburdened healthcare system, and allow doctors to intervene earlier in chronic disease.

The Doctor Will Freeze You Now

May 5, 2004

BioTime has developed a process that cools living bodies down to the brink of freezing — a state in which the brain takes hours, not minutes, to wither.

Given the need to preserve donor organs for as long as possible, brain-dead accident victims may lead the way in whole-body cryobiological research. The day may not be far off when we freeze these cadavers for transport, then thaw them and… read more

The Doctor Will See Your Prototype Now

February 11, 2005

The Physiome Project is assembling digital models of every system and anatomical feature of the human body – from large organs to tiny cellular and molecular functions.

The ssytem would allows physicians to test various scenarios on your digital model – surgery, radiation, chemotherapy – and watch how your system reacts.

The Doctrine of Digital War

April 6, 2003

“Rumsfeld’s new-wavers think massing huge numbers of land troops isn’t always needed in an era when powerful networked-computing systems and unerringly accurate munitions can do much of the dirty work.”

The Double Thinker

September 24, 2007

Steven Pinker brings his theory of human nature and his obsession with words together in his new book, “The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window Into Human Nature.”

The Drake Equation for the Multiverse

February 11, 2010

Multiverse Drake equation

Marcelo Gleiser at Dartmouth College has devised a version of the classic Drake equation (for the total number of intelligent civilizations in the Milky Way) for the entire multiverse (multiple universes).

The Dream Factory

November 29, 2004

Neil Gershenfeld of MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms and his students are cobbling together mobile manufacturing systems they call fabrication laboratories, or fab labs — miniature factories for the digital age.

The latest version consists of three Linux PCs, a laser cutter, a combination 3-D scanner and drill, a numerically controlled X-Acto knife, and a handful of RISC chips. You can crank out not only solid objects like… read more

The Dream of a Lifetime

July 11, 2005

Moore’s law predicts that transistor density will in 10 years be about 100 times what it is now. In thinking about the future of computing, do we understand what another 100-fold increase in computing power will mean? It should enable big new dreams, says Bill Joy.

We should boldly set our sights on Doug Engelbart’s goal of augmentation of the human intellect.

The Dream of Mechanical Life

December 17, 2002

“A spate of new books addresses eighteenth-century automata, ventriloquists’ dummies, and puppets– together with more recent avatars of chess computers, artificial intelligence, androids, robots, and cyborgs. Does ‘computerization’ challenge human identity as ominously as ‘mechanization’ previously seemed to?”

The Droids of Sport

March 26, 2003

Robotic competitions are popping up around the world. A new book, “Gearheads,”
examines their universe.

The drone threat — in the US

March 27, 2012

a-oe-villasenor-license-domestic-drones-20120-001

Drone proliferation raises an issue that has received too little attention: the threat that they could be used to carry out terrorist attacks.

President Obama signed a sweeping aviation bill in February that will open American airspace to “unmanned aircraft systems,” a.k.a.  drones.

The technology exists to build drones that fit into a backpack and are equipped with a video camera and a warhead so they can be… read more

The E-Gang: Medical Marvels

August 16, 2002

Forbes profiles eight visionaries in information technology for medicine.

  • Neuroscientist Kari Stefansson’s gene-mining software will allow doctors to create genetic profiles of patients within a decade.
  • TIGR’s Claire Fraser gene tests could one day let doctors customize drug treatment for the exact genetic strain found in their patients.
  • Rosetta Inpharmatics’ Stephen Friend plans to use DNA chips to spot which genes are most active in
  • read more

    The Easy Way To Boost Your Brain

    May 6, 2007

    Manchester Metropolitan University researchers have found in an experiment that subjects who moved their eyes from to side remembered 10 per cent more words than the others and reduced false memory of words.

    The eco machine that can magic water out of thin air

    November 24, 2008

    Element Four, has developed a machine that condenses water from air, passed through a self-sterilizing UV chamber, filters it, and passes pure drinking water through a pipe to the owner’s kitchen tap.

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