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The neural basis of ‘number sense’ in young infants

February 7, 2008

Research reported in PLoS Biology shows that very young infants are sensitive to both the number and identity of objects, and these pieces of information are processed by distinct neural pathways.

3-months-old infants were watching images of objects where the number or identity of objects occasionally changed. Electrical activity measured on the scalp showed that the infant brain responded to both changes, but in different brain regions, which map… read more

The digital Dark Age

September 26, 2005

A major challenge faces the “digital” generation: how can masses of machine-generated, machine-read material be stored in a form that is safe, secure from degradation.

Computer experts worldwide believe that, far from a panacea that provides increasingly efficient answers to problems of recording, storing and retrieving information, technology is deeply flawed.

They fear that rather than ushering mankind into a techno-utopia of paperless offices and clean, eco-friendly, endlessly… read more

GE and EADS to print parts for airplanes

May 10, 2011

A conventional hinge for the cover of a jet engine (top) could be replaced by the more intricate one at bottom, which is just as strong but weighs half as much, using 3-D printing (credit: EADS Innovation Works)

GE is starting a new lab at its global research headquarters in Niskayuna, New York devoted to turning 3-D printing technology into a viable means of manufacturing functional parts for a range of its businesses, including health care and aerospace.

3-D printing technology has improved to the point that these printers can make intricate objects out of durable materials , including ceramics and metals such as titanium and aluminum,… read more

Supercomputer to Use Optical Fibers

November 18, 2002

The California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology plans to announce on Monday a campus-wide supercomputer woven together with optical fibers at the University of California at San Diego.

An example of a new trend in advanced computing known as grid computing, the “optiputer” will initially consist of about 500 processors linked via an optical switching system that will permit parts of the computer to share information at the… read more

Emotional robots: Will we love them or hate them?

July 6, 2009

Researchers are helping computers detect emotions by analyzing facial expressions, head movement, body posture, gestures, voice, and other cues.

Tiny Cellphone Chip Aims to Improve Sound Quality

February 11, 2008

Audience, a Silicon Valley start-up company that has modeled the function of the cochlea of the inner ear, plans on Monday to introduce an integrated circuit intended to improve the sound quality of cellphones.

The chip runs software that digitizes sound and represents it as a three-dimensional matrix, making it possible for the circuitry to identify and then suppress noise picked up by the cellphone microphone while leaving the… read more

Safer bioimaging of cancer cells without biopses

October 25, 2012

A new fluorescent glucose-amine probe can make identification of cancer cells (green) using two-photon microscopy easier and safer (credit: Guan Wang/National University of Singapore)

Early detection of soft-tissue diseases, such as breast cancer, typically requires invasive biopsies. Now, a new self-assembled nanoparticle developed by Bin Liu at the A*STAR Institute of Materials Research and Engineering and co-workers may soon make biopsies obsolete.

The team’s material significantly enhances the safety of two-photon microscopy (TPM) — a technique that uses fluorescent probes to generate three-dimensional pictures of cancer cell structures in… read more

The Rise of the Body Bots

October 10, 2005

The most advanced exoskeleton projects are at the University of California, Berkeley, and at Sarcos Research Corp., in Salt Lake City. Both are funded under a $50 million, five-year program begun by DARPA in 2001. During the past several months, each group has been working on a second-generation exoskeleton that is a huge improvement over its predecessor.

First Baby of 2003 to Be a Clone?

December 2, 2002

Cloning enthusiast Severino Antinori claims the first cloned human will be born in January. The scientific community is skeptical and many researchers warn that a human clone would carry a high risk of death and deformity.

However, Michael West, CEO of Advanced Cell Technology, the leading private company in human therapeutic cloning, said, “All those stories about cloned animals being abnormal is just silliness.”

Breakthrough in 3-D Brain Mapping Enables Removal of Fist-Sized Tumor

July 15, 2009

A new technology involving the fusion of four different types of images into a 3-D map of a patient’s brain has helped University of Cincinnati (UC) specialists successfully remove a fist-sized tumor from a brain.

The multiple brain scans from MRI, fMRI, diffusion tensor imaging, and computed tomography angiography were fused and installed into a surgical guidance computer. By revealing the tumor’s relationship to all of the functional centers,… read more

Shear Ingenuity: Tweaking The Conductivity Of Nanotube Composites

February 15, 2008

National Institute of Standards and Technology scientists have learned to tune the conductive properties of an polymer-nanotube composites (electrically conducting plastics) simply by changing changing processing conditions–how fast the polymer flows–without changing the carbon nanotube concentration.

Nano-electronics boosted atom by atom

October 21, 2005

Nanoscale microprocessors could get a big performance boost from a technique that enables semiconducting materials to be doped with useful impurities one ion at a time, with nanoscale accuracy.

The “single ion implantation” (SII) process involves using a small aperture to extract single ions from a beam, which are then implanted into the target material.

Eventually, the researchers believe, the process could provide a substantial speed injection to… read more

Airships tested as telecom beacons

December 17, 2002

“Stratellites,” spherical airships at 19,000 meters in altitude, will be used as high-flying telecommunications platforms to supply two-way Internet access across the United States and into Mexico and Canada ihin 2004. They offer the advantages of satellites without the launch costs and transmission latency.

A Superlens That Assembles Itself

July 23, 2009
(Nature)

Korean researchers have created nanoscale lenses with superhigh resolution, using a novel self-assembly method, that can be used for ultraviolet lithography for chips, for imaging objects too tiny for conventional lenses, and for capturing individual photons from a light-emitting nanostructure called a quantum dot.

New rubber promises self-mending products

February 21, 2008

Researchers have built rubber that only uses hydrogen bonds, not covalent or ionic, for connecting crosslinked polymer chains, allowing the rubber to bind back together after being snapped or punctured.

The substance self-heals when its surfaces are brought together under gentle compression at room temperature. Applications include self-healing shoes, fan belts, gloves, and new designs for storage bags.

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