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Dead Air

November 25, 2002

Cell phones and the wireless industries of the future are snarled by a critical shortage of airwaves.

Solutions are on the way. Intel has discovered how to build entire radios in silicon chips. This and other new wireless technologies like cognitive radio, ultrawideband, software-defined radio and mesh networks could allow for spectrum sharing without interference, which the FCC is considering.

Is your city prepared for a home-made nuke?

July 9, 2009

For many people, the safest option would be to seek shelter in buildings or underground.

Just staying inside could slash the immediate death toll from radiation by up to a factor of 100, or even 1000.

Progenitor cells coud prop up the patient’s immune system while the bone marrow recovers.

Looks familiar

February 13, 2008

The 3D reconstruction of a face from a single 2D image could be made faster and more accurate with new software being developed by scientists at York University.

Dr. William Smith, a lecturer in computer vision at York, aims to combine the advantages of two face-recognition techniques to challenge the most advanced method for recovering 3D shapes when there is only one image to work from, such as an… read more

Strengthening fragile forests of carbon nanotubes

October 31, 2012

A carbon-nanotube forest (credit: BYU)

 

Brigham Young University (BYU) researchers have created stronger microstructures that can form precise, tall and narrow 3-D shapes for microelectromechanical systems (MEMS).

MEMS are ultra-tiny devices, often built on the scale of microns (millionths of a meter). Conventional MEMS structures tend to be made out of silicon-based materials familiar to the micro-electronics industry, but this ignores a suite of useful materials such… read more

Bird flu outbreaks expected in more countries

October 18, 2005

The deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu is likely to spread to more and more countries, a World Health Organization official warned on Monday.

The strain, which has killed over 60 people in southeast Asia, appears to have travelled extensively in the latter half of 2005. It has affected birds in China, Mongolia, Russia, Kazakhstan and most recently reached Europe.

It is now believed that the virus has… read more

Digital imaging software to create a ‘Google Earth’ view of the bladder

May 17, 2011

UW Scope

A new system that would use an ultrathin laser endoscope with software to stitch together images from the scope’s path to create a full, 3-D panorama of a bladder’s interior has been proposed by researchers at the University of Washington.

The user interface projects the reconstructed organ onto a spherical ball or onto a flat map. The resulting mosaic matches the images to a single… read more

The World According to Google

December 12, 2002

Google is transforming the masses into data-miners and becoming a cultural phenomenon.

But its founders have even bigger plans. “The ultimate search engine would be smart; it would understand everything in the world,” says Larry Page. “I view Google as a way to augment your brain with the knowledge of the world,” says Sergey Brin. “It will be included in your brain.”

Mammoth Telescope to Be Built in Hawaii

July 22, 2009

A giant telescope with a primary mirror that measures 30 meters across, giving it nine times more collecting surface than the biggest telescopes on Earth today, will be constructed in Hawaii by 2018.

Solar cell speeds hydrogen production

February 19, 2008

Pennsylvania State University researchers built a solar cell that mimics photosynthesis to make hydrogen directly from water.

The device works much like a Gratzel solar cell, using sunlight to knock electrons off dye molecules, but instead of creating a current, the electrons are shuttled from the dye into a catalyst to split water molecules. The device splits water a thousand times faster than in other dye-based cells.

The… read more

‘Dark’ Spins in Diamond Could Lead to Room-Temperature Quantum Computing

November 1, 2005

Researchers at UC Santa Barbara have potentially opened up a new avenue toward room-temperature solid-state quantum information processing.

They discovered previously invisible “dark” (not visually detectable) spins from nitrogen defects in the diamond crystal.

“We have found a channel for moving information between single electron spins at room temperature,” said Awschalom, David Awschalom, a professor of physics. This is an initial step towards spin-based information processing.

The… read more

Aurasma app is augmented reality, augmented

May 23, 2011

Aurasma VR

Aurasmsa, a new augmented reality app by Autonomy that works with smart phones and tablets, will be available on the Apple App store next week, with a version for TV stations arriving in a month.

For a fee, media companies can use Aurasma to relate printed matter (for example, street posters, newspapers, and magazines) to compelling video and online content.

For the rest of us,… read more

Sick? DNA Scanner Tells What Ails

December 27, 2002

A prototype diagnostic tool under development by two London companies offers rapid genetic analysis of infectious diseases, delivering results in a half hour rather than the usual two weeks with DNA labs.

The box takes a DNA sample directly from saliva. DNA is extracted from the sample and then multiplied in a miniature polymerase chain reaction, which clones DNA strands rapidly. Once enough DNA is present, it can be… read more

Nanodiamonds Serve as Transport Mechanism for Therapeutic Insulin

July 31, 2009

Northwestern University scientists are experimenting with using nanodiamonds to transport and selectively deliver insulin molecules to wounds (insulin can help wounds heal faster), triggered by alkaline pH levels in wounds.

Seeds of Future Agriculture Enter Doomsday Deep Freeze

February 27, 2008

The first batch of 100 million of the most important agricultural seeds were placed into the “doomsday repository” Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway.

The vault is a backup of last resort, stocked with copies of different crops from national seed storage facilities. In cold isolation the seeds can keep for hundreds and thousands of years–sorghum alone can last for 20,000 years–effectively allowing agriculture to be restarted in the… read more

World’s Fastest Computer Gets Even Faster

November 14, 2005

The IBM Blue Gene/L supercomputer, which operates at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, has doubled its performance to 280.6 trillion calculations a second (teraflops), up from 136.8 teraflops from the list released in June.

The system is used to study the United States nuclear stockpile and perform other research.

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