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The brain-computer interface goes wireless

March 3, 2013

Neural interface implanted in pig (credit: David A Borton et al./J. Neural Eng.)

A team of neuroengineers at Brown University has developed a fully implantable and rechargeable wireless brain sensor capable of relaying real-time broadband signals from up to 100 neurons in freely moving subjects.

Several copies of the novel low-power device, described in the open-access Journal of Neural Engineering, have been performing well in animal models for more than year, a first in the brain-computer interface field.… read more

The Brain: Malleable, Capable, Vulnerable

May 28, 2007

In the new book, “The Brain That Changes Itself,” Dr. Norman Doidge offers a fascinating synopsis of the current revolution in neuroscience, focusing on the surprising neuroplasticity (malleability) of both the injured and normal brain.

The Brains Behind the Image Fulgurator

June 30, 2008

The guerrilla-art stunt “Image Fulgurator” projects stealth images into the flash photographs of strangers.

A photograph flash triggers a flash located behind a film camera to project an instantaneous image (from a 35 mm slide) onto the scene being photographed.

The brain’s three layers of working memory allow you to multitask

March 11, 2011

Researchers from Rice University and Georgia Institute of Technology have found support for the theory that the brain has three concentric layers of working memory where it stores readily available items, allowing for a person to effectively multitask.

The researchers, Chandramallika Basak of Rice University and Paul Verhaeghen of Georgia Tech, used simple memory tasks involving colors and shapes on a computer screen to determine the three distinct layers… read more

The brain’s visual data-compression algorithm

December 24, 2013


Researchers have assumed that visual information in the brain was transmitted almost in its entirety from its entry point, the primary visual cortex (V1).

“We intuitively assume that our visual system generates a continuous stream of images, just like a video camera,” said Dr. Dirk Jancke from the Institute for Neural Computation at Ruhr University.

“However, we have now demonstrated that the visual cortex suppresses… read more

The Brainy Learning Algorithms of Numenta

December 20, 2010

Numenta is preparing to release a version of their AI technology that is ready to help companies turn a deluge of data into business intelligence.

The Brightest, Sharpest, Fastest X-Ray Holograms Yet

August 4, 2008

An international group of scientists has produced two of the brightest, sharpest x-ray holograms of microscopic objects ever made, thousands of times more efficiently than previous x-ray-holographic methods.

The two experiments demonstrate that massively parallel holographic x-ray images with nanometer-scale resolution can be made of objects measured in microns, in times as brief as femtoseconds, using a pinhole array.

By knowing the precise layout of a pinhole array,… read more

The Bubble Bursts

July 20, 2008

A Purdue University nuclear engineer who claimed to have carried out tabletop nuclear fusion is responsible for two instances of scientific misconduct, a report made public today concludes. Both cases centered on efforts by physicist Rusi Taleyarkhan to make experiments carried out by members of his lab appear as independent verification of his work.

Also see:

Sound waves produce nuclear fusion

The Business Of Nanotech

February 4, 2005

Hew nano-based products that could have a big impact are only a step or two away.

Within the next two years, diagnostic machines with components built at the nano scale should allow doctors and nurses to carry pint-size laboratories in their briefcases, perhaps to test for HIV or count white blood cells on the spot. Nano sensors will scour airports and post offices for anthrax and sarin. Toward the… read more

The Business Of Nanotech

February 14, 2005

There’s still plenty of hype, but nanotechnology is finally moving from the lab to the marketplace.

The Cambridge Project for Existential Risk

June 29, 2012


Concerned that developments in human technology may soon pose new, extinction-level risks to our species as a whole, Astronomer Royal Martin Rees, Cambridge University philosopher Huw Price, and Skype co-founder Jaan Tallinn have formed The Cambridge Project for Existential Risk.

“These dangers have been suggested from progress in AI, from developments in biotechnology and artificial life, from nanotechnology, and from possible extreme effects of anthropogenic climate change,” the… read more

The Car That Makes Its Own Fuel

October 25, 2005

A unique system that can produce Hydrogen inside a car using common metals such as magnesium and aluminum and running on water has been developed by an Israeli company.

The system reportedly solves the obstacles associated with the manufacturing, transporting and storing of hydrogen to be used in cars. When it becomes commercial in a few years time, the system will be incorporated into cars that will cost about… read more

The case for optionally manned aircraft

September 18, 2012

Contender concept image of LRS-B next-generation stealth bomber (credit: Boeing/Lockheed Martin)

Purely manned or purely unmanned aircraft possess various inherent advantages and limitations. Optionally manned aircraft provide the best of both worlds, allowing commanders to employ force at various risk levels and to employ their aircraft and crews to their fullest capacities, says Lt. Col. Peter Garretson in Armed Forces Journal.

Such platforms — and in particular, the planned Long Range Strike-Bomber (LRS-B) — represent the lowest-cost, lowest-risk path toward… read more

The cat is out of the bag: cortical simulations with 10^9 neurons, 10^13 synapses

November 18, 2009

BlueMatter, a new algorithm created in collaboration with Stanford University, exploits the Blue Gene supercomputing architecture in order to noninvasively measure and map the connections between all cortical and sub-cortical locations within the human brain using magnetic resonance diffusion weighted imaging. Mapping the wiring diagram of the brain is crucial to untangling its vast communication network and understanding how it represents and processes information. (IBM Research)

Results of massively parallel cortical simulations of a cat cortex, with 1.5 billion neurons and 9 trillion synapses, running on Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Dawn Blue Gene/P supercomputer, will be presented by IBM and LLNL researchers today at the SC09 Conference on High Performance Networking and Computing in Portland.

“The simulations, which incorporate phenomenological spiking neurons, individual learning synapses, axonal delays, and dynamic synaptic channels,… read more

The Cell Hijackers

May 19, 2004

Soon, our knowledge of life processes will let us program cells as we do computers, says Rodney Brooks.

This engineering revolution is coming to be known as synthetic biology. Examples include modifying protein production processes to turn E. coli cells into primitive digital computers; the creation of cells that are genetically altered to deliver drugs within a person’s body; programming a cell to sense blood sugar levels and produce… read more

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