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Intel Envisions Shape-Shifting Smartphones

March 10, 2009

Intel and CMU are developing shape-shifting materials that could one day enable a smartphone to expand to the size of a netbook once you take it out of your pocket, and even go spherical so you can stick it on your ear, Bluetooth-like, to make a call.

The researchers are using transparent silicon dioxide hemispheres that can be programmed to be reshaped via electrical impulses.


The Invisible Fighter

December 30, 2004

Researchers may be developing an invisibility cloak for soldiers and vehicles using digital cameras that can capture nearby surroundings and then project that scene on uniforms and vehicles.

The system would create a mobile movie screen that is indistinguishable from the surrounding cityscape.

Breakthrough Awards

October 12, 2007

Popular Mechanics magazine has identified cutting-edge projects and ideas leading to a better world, ranging from multitouch to a 3D inkjet printer for building up an object of any shape and a prosthetic arm.

A.I.: Kurzweil Says Thumbs Up

July 5, 2001

In this Wired News Radio interview, Ray Kurzweil says A.I.: Artificial Intelligence offers a good glimpse of things to come.
The show can be listened to via download or stream.

Brain on a chip?

March 17, 2009

European researchers are building a neuromorphic computer that will work similar to the brain, at smaller scale.

The first effort is a network of 300 artificial neurons and half a million “synapses” on a single chip.

Could a hole in space save man from extinction?

January 11, 2005

In the next decade, powerful satellites will help us to understand life, the fate of our universe and the “theory of everything,” says Michio Kaku.

  • In 2014, the Terrestrial Planet Finder satellite will begin to hunt for small, Earth-like planets in 500 star systems with a telescope designed to screen out the mother stars, whose light otherwise overwhelms the faint radiation from any nearby planets.
  • Consisting
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    Genealogy site uses DNA and social networks to trace ancestors

    October 23, 2007

    GeneTree, a new genealogy site, adds a new twist to online family history searches by allowing users to submit their own DNA and to collaborate with others using social networking tools.

    The site also will also let users share pictures and video clips on the site to create interactive digital family trees.

    For between $99 and $149, users can submit DNA samples to be matched against dozens of… read more

    Population predicted to peak in 2070

    August 1, 2001

    The world’s population will peak at 9 billion over the next 70 years before beginning a decline into the 22nd century, researchers predict in a new study.

    Population currently stands at 6.1 billion, and the study projects that most of the new growth will continue to occur in developing countries. It also predicts some demographic changes. For example, the authors say, the number of people aged 60 or older… read more

    Heating Up Magnetic Memory

    March 23, 2009

    A new technology called heat-assisted magnetic recording — blasting the magnetic regions of a disk with heat to make them more stable — should make it possible to record data at densities 50 times greater than will be possible when today’s technologies reach their limits.

    Small science to be big in 2005: analysts

    January 21, 2005

    “Nanotechnology” will be a much more familiar word to everyone in 2005, not just scientists, say analysts.

    In 2005, people will start noticing its mundane uses, like making car paint shinier, windows that clean themselves, and smaller and better mobile batteries.

    Nanotech will replace disk drives in 10 years, researcher says

    November 2, 2007

    Nanotechnology will replace magnetic disk drives in iPods, laptops and servers within five to 10 years, making them more durable, lighter and faster, according to Michael Kozicki, a researcher at Arizona State University.

    He’s developing ways to store data in nanowires instead of as electrons in cells. He’s also researching ways to stack multiple layers of memory on top of a single layer of silicon.

    Micromachine manipulates cells

    August 22, 2001

    Sandia National Laboratories has created a micromachine that interacts at the scale of cells and could have important uses in genetic engineering and medicine.

    The device uses silicon microteeth that open and close like jaws to momentarily trap individual cells to implant materials.

    The ultimate goal of the Sandia device is to puncture cells and inject them with DNA, proteins, or pharmaceuticals to counter biological or chemical… read more

    Artificial Protein Mimics Blood

    March 30, 2009

    A protein that can function like some proteins in the human body — carry and deliver oxygen — may be a useful step in developing artificial blood and avoiding problems with existing blood substitutes, which can increase the risk of heart attacks in trauma victims, suggest researchers at the University of Pennsylvania.

    Mirror that reflects your future self

    February 3, 2005

    Accenture Technology is developing an image-processing computer system that shows you what you will look like in five years’ time if you take no exercise, eat too much junk food and drink too much alcohol.

    Cameras monitor your activity and a computer asks you to identify food eaten and other behaviors. The computer then calculates your likely future appearance and displays in on a flat-screen LCD TV.

    Mapping News

    November 9, 2007

    A new startup called YourStreet is bringing hyper-local information to its users by collecting news stories and placing them on its map-based interface, down to the nearest street corner.

    While there have been many companies that combine information and maps, YourStreet is novel in its focus on classifying news by location.

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