science + technology news

Smallest ‘test tube’ scoops world record

November 24, 2004

Scientists at the University of Oxford and the University of Nottingham created the world’s smallest test tubes out of carbon nanotubes: each nanotube has an inner diameter of 1.2 nm and is roughly 2000 nm long

They used the tubes to polymerize fullerene oxide molecules in an ordered way as a result of the tube’s shape. However, there is not yet a way to extract the polymerized material from… read more

Smart Airline Seat Detects Shifty Passengers

June 11, 2003

Intelligent airline seats could automatically alert busy cabin crew to nervous, shifty passengers, who might be terrorists or air-ragers. The seats will contain pressure sensors that will relay signals to a central computer to assess the seat occupant’s behavior, which can then be used to assess whether the passenger presents a risk.

Smart algorithm automatically adjusts exoskeletons for best walking performance

"Human-in-the-loop optimization" assistance method could increase walking or running endurance, help stroke patients walk again sooner
June 25, 2017

exoskeleton leg ft

Researchers at the College of Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) have developed a new automated feedback system for personalizing exoskeletons to achieve optimal performance.

Exoskeletons can be used to augment human abilities. For example, they can provide more endurance while walking, help lift a heavy load, improve athletic performance, and help a stroke patient walk again.

But current one-size-fits-all exoskeleton devices, despite their potential, “have not improved… read more

Smart amoebas reveal origins of primitive intelligence

October 30, 2008

University of California, San Diego researchers have developed a simple circuit based on a memristor (a resistor that remembers earlier voltages or currents and adjust its resistance) that models an amoeba’s “learning,” based on its predictive response to temperature changes.

Smart assistant will cut driver distraction

December 8, 2003

A smart assistant is being developed to help drivers cope with the increasing number of electronic devices in cars. It will decide — based on road conditions, car performance, and other factors — when it is too dangerous for a driver to be disturbed and will divert phone calls to voicemail, hide arriving emails, and lock the controls of the satellite navigation system, radio, CD player, and other devices.

Smart bacteria

May 28, 2001

Genetically engineered bacteria that function like microchip components are being developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Researchers modified Pseudomonas putida cells to produce AND and OR gates. For the AND gate, they used chemical “inducers” as inputs. One causes a gene to make a protein that the second input inducer must have to express the output enzyme.

In theory, a single cell could do massively parallel computations.

‘Smart’ bandage glows to measure oxygenation

October 8, 2014

The transparent liquid bandage displays a quantitative, oxygenation-sensitive colormap that can be easily acquired using a simple camera or smartphone (Credit: Li/Wellman Center for Photomedicine)

Inspired by a desire to help wounded soldiers, a team of researchers has created a paint-on, see-through, “smart” bandage that glows to indicate a wound’s tissue oxygenation concentration.

Oxygen plays a critical role in healing, so mapping these levels in severe wounds and burns can help to significantly improve the success of surgeries to restore limbs and physical functions.

The development was led by Assistant Professor Conor L.… read more

‘Smart Bomb’ delivery destroys tumors in mice

January 6, 2004

Weizmann Institute scientists have destroyed malignant tumors in mice using allicin, a chemical that occurs naturally in garlic.

To zero in on the targeted tumor, scientists took advantage of the fact that most types of cancer cells exhibit distinctive receptors on their surfaces. An antibody that is “programmed” to recognize the tumor’s characteristic receptor is chemically bound to the enzyme alliinase. Injected into the bloodstream, the antibody seeks out… read more

‘Smart bomb’ nanoparticle strategy to stop metastasis

July 8, 2008

Researchers at University of California, San Diego have developed a nanoparticles/anti-cancer-drug combination that acts as a “smart bomb” to target metastasis (spreading) in mouse pancreatic and kidney cancer.

The 100-nm. nanoparticle comprises (unnamed) lipid polymers that deliver the drug doxorubcin, selectively targeting blood vessels that feed cancerous lesions by homing in on the protein marker integrin alpha-nu-beta-3 found on the surface of those blood vessels. It has a strong… read more

Smart bombs to blast tumors

January 6, 2005

Exploding capsules could one day be used to deliver cancer drugs with pinpoint accuracy, New Scientist reports in its January 8 issue.

The capsules, being developed by University of Melbourne researchers, would rupture when heated by a low-energy laser pulse. Anti-cancer drugs would be more effective, and the side effects less severe, if they could home in on a tumor and be delivered in a single burst. This would… read more

Smart Bricks to Monitor Buildings of the Future

June 15, 2003

A “smart brick” that can monitor a building’s health and report its conditions wirelessly has been developed.

They could monitor a building’s temperature, vibration and movement, which could be vital to firefighters battling a blazing skyscraper, or to rescue workers ascertaining the soundness of an earthquake-damaged structure. They could also help monitoring nurseries, daycares and senior homes.

‘Smart car’ model predicts the behavior of human drivers

June 15, 2011

The researchers test their algorithm using a miniature autonomous vehicle traveling along a track that partially overlaps with a second track for a human-controlled vehicle, observing incidences of collision and collision avoidance.	 (Credit: Melanie Gonick.)

MIT researchers have developed a software system for “smart cars” that predicts the behavior of other human drivers, to prepare for a world where the road is shared by both human and artificially intelligent drivers.

They tested their algorithms with toy-sized cars on a miniature track.

The key of their research is to create a system that carefully evaluates drivers based on their behavior and flags… read more

Smart Cards Track Commuters

October 8, 2003

Civil rights campaigners have expressed concerns about new smart travelcards that track a London commuter’s movements and store them in a database.

Smart cellphone would spend your money

June 15, 2003

Intelligent agents now being developed for the new generation of 3G phones will watch how you use your mobile and learn to anticipate your next move, for example retrieving online information, making restaurant or hotel reservations, or buying travel tickets.

They will recognize when you have a trip coming up in your diary and then ask if you want it to check the availability of flights and hotels.

Smart chips making daily life easier

August 18, 2003

The Smart-Its Project has a vision to tag almost any object in the home with microchips to make peoples’ daily lives easier.

For examples, the sensors would recognize if has fallen on the floor or can’t stand up, which is less intrusive than cameras.

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