Recently Added Most commented

Wanted: Home Computers to Join in Research on Artificial Life

September 29, 2009

A concept view of an artificial protocell forming in the EvoGrid (Ryan Norkus/DigitalSpace)

Silicon Valley researchers at Digital Space plan to turn software originally designed to search for evidence of extraterrestrial life to the task of looking for evidence of artificial life, using hundreds of thousands of Internet-connected computers in homes and offices.

The goal of the “EvoGrid” project is to detect evidence of self-organizing behavior in computerized simulations that have been constructed to model the first emergence of life in the… read more

Hybrid computer materials may lead to faster, cheaper technology

April 4, 2008

University of Missouri researchers are exploring new ways to achieve seamless integration of memory and logical functions, with the goal of enabling the design of devices that operate at much higher speeds and use considerably less power than current electronic devices.

Funded by a $6.5 million grant from the Department of Defense, they are integrating magnetism and magnetic materials (for memory) with emerging electronic materials such as organic semiconductors… read more

Big Brain Thinking

February 15, 2006

Stanford neuroscientist Bill Newsome wants to implant an electrode in his brain to better understand the link between activity in specific parts of the brain and consciousness.

If approved, he would insert an electrode in an area of the brain known as MT. The cells in this area respond selectively to a specific direction of motion, as in monkey experiments he has done.

“If I could stimulate my… read more

Bad News for Quantum Clones

May 9, 2003

Two physicists have shown that it is impossible to build a quantum “universal constructor” — a quantum computer that has the ability to spawn perfect copies of itself.

However, MIT prof. Seth Lloyd says it’s not necessary to make an exact duplicate of a machine for it to be able to reproduce like a living creature — an almost-perfect copy will do just fine.

Ultrafast DNA Nanosensor

October 5, 2009

DNA nanosensors bind with a target gene sequence of anthrax bacteria (Benjamin Miller, University of Rochester Medical Center)

A portable instrument based on an ultrasensitive nanoscale sensor could detect bacteria in minutes, helping to catch infectious diseases early and prevent their spread, says Benjamin Miller, professor of dermatology and biomedical engineering at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

Open source 3D printer copies itself

April 8, 2008

New Zealand software developers are developing an open-source, self-copying 3D printer.

The RepRap (Replicating Rapid-prototyper) printer can replicate and update itself. It can print plastic objects, 2D or 3D circuits, and its own parts, including updates.

Stealth sharks to patrol the high seas

March 2, 2006

Engineers funded by the US military have created a neural implant designed to enable a shark’s brain signals to be manipulated remotely, controlling the animal’s movements, and perhaps even decoding what it is feeling.

The Pentagon hopes to exploit sharks’ natural ability to glide quietly through the water, sense delicate electrical gradients and follow chemical trails. By remotely guiding the sharks’ movements, they hope to transform the animals into… read more

Working Remotely, Robots in Place

May 26, 2003

The most natural way to “meet” when people are not face to face is to use robots, say Hewlett-Packard researchers.

The robot is a surrogate for remote attendees, with the face and the voice of the person who remotely controls it.

Researchers create smaller and more efficient nuclear battery

October 12, 2009

University of Missouri researchers are developing a radioisotope battery that can provide power density six orders of magnitude higher than chemical batteries, and believe it could be thinner than the thickness of human hair.

Coat of armour creates hardy ‘super-cells’

April 14, 2008

Giving cells a tough calcium phosphate mineral coat can make them much more robust, Chinese researchers say.

The team has developed such egg-shell-like coats for yeast cells that let them survive longer in harsh environments, entering a state of “suspended animation,” where they did not grow or divide. When the shells were later removed with a weak acid solution, the cells began growing and dividing as normal.

Incorporating… read more

Life, the Universe, and Everything

March 15, 2006

Atoms and electrons are bits. Atomic collisions are “ops.” Machine language is the laws of physics. The universe is a quantum computer.

So says Seth Lloyd in is new book, Programming the Universe. “The universe is a system where the very specific details and structures in it are created when quantum bits de-cohere — choose one path out of multiple possibilities — and that this process is identical to… read more

New I.B.M. Supercomputer to Begin Its Weather Work

June 6, 2003

The nation’s most powerful supercomputer for weather forecasting is scheduled to go online today, I.B.M. said yesterday, a machine that may eventually rival the Japanese Earth Simulator as the world’s fastest supercomputer.

Scientists Create Robot Surrogate For Blind Persons In Testing Visual Prostheses

October 20, 2009

(Caltech/Wolfgang Fink, Mark Tarbell)

Scientists at the California Institute of Technology have created a remote-controlled robot that is able to simulate the “visual” experience of a blind person who has been implanted with a visual prosthesis, such as an artificial retina using a silicon chip with electrodes that directly stimulate retinal nerve cells. The system allows for testing new prosthetic technologies.

Shape-shifting skin to reduce drag on planes and subs

April 17, 2008

Aircraft or submarines covered with an undulating skin able to change at a flick of a button would experience 50% less drag than conventional vehicles.

This trick, which naturally occurs in dolphins, is now being tested by engineers at Texas A&M University.

Online test calculates brain speed

March 27, 2006

San Francisco-based Posit Science unveiled a program that tests how fast a person’s brain can process information, based on his or her hearing speed.

close and return to Home