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A DNA Success Raises Bioterror Concern

January 12, 2005

Researchers have made an unexpectedly sudden advance in synthesizing long molecules of DNA, creating concern the technique might be used to create the smallpox virus.

“This has the potential for a revolutionary impact in the ease of synthesis of large DNA molecules,” said Dr. Richard Ebright, a molecular biologist at Rutgers University.

“This will permit efficient and rapid synthesis of any select agent virus genome in very short… read more

RoboCup competition opens in Seattle

August 2, 2001

Robotics teams from universities in 23 countries will compete at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center in Seattle from Aug. 2 to 10. It runs concurrent with the American Association for Artificial Intelligence’s annual conference.
The ultimate goal for the competition: “By the year 2050, develop a team of fully autonomous humanoid robots that can beat the human World Cup soccer champions.”

Opinion — Reaching for the Exa-scale, by BOINC-ing

October 16, 2008

How do you create a 1 exaFLOPS supercomputer (1000 times faster than the current leader, the 1 petaFLOPS Roadrunner supercomputer)?

By creating a grid of 4 million volunteers with 1 teraFLOPS GPU-equipped PCs, available an average of 25% of the time, says David Anderson, founder of the popular volunteer computing site known as BOINC (Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing), which he estimates could happen… read more

In breakthrough, nerve connections are regenerated after spinal cord injury

August 9, 2010

Researchers for the first time have induced robust regeneration of nerve connections that control voluntary movement after spinal cord injury, showing the potential for new therapeutic approaches to paralysis and other motor function impairments.

In a study on rodents, the UC Irvine, UC San Diego and Harvard University team achieved this breakthrough by turning back the developmental clock in a molecular pathway critical for the growth of corticospinal tract… read more

New tests identify cancer “ringleaders”

January 21, 2005

Cancer treatments could improve by targeting cancer “stem cells,” which give birth to all other cells in tumors, say researchers.

Killing these stem cells is vital because they avoid destruction and trigger regrowth of cancer even when all other cancer cells have been obliterated through standard drug or radiation therapy.

It’s Time to Prepare for the End of the Web as We Know It

July 13, 2010

It won’t be enough just to build branded mobile applications that repurpose content across all of the different platforms. That’s like newspapers taking the print experience and replicating it on the web as they tried back in the 1990s. Rather, we will need to rethink, remix and repackage information for an entirely different modality than platforms of yore to deal with “content snacking” and “infinite choice.”

Powerful X-ray technique reveals structure of printable electronics

April 17, 2012

North Carolina State University (NC State) researchers and their collaborators have used a powerful X-ray facility to examine printable electronics such as transistors and solar cells at size scales down to 10 nm. Their discoveries may lead to cheaper, more efficient printable electronic devices.

Printable electronics are created by spraying or printing inks containing conductive organic molecules onto a surface. The process is fast and much less expensive… read more

Celebrity cloning

August 22, 2001

The DNA Copyright Institute (DCI) of San Francisco is offering celebrities the chance to establish copyright over their DNA to prevent unwanted duplication.In theory, all someone needs to clone their hero or heroine is a few living cells from them left behind on a glass or exchanged in a handshake, for example.

DCI is offering to record celebrities’ DNA fingerprint, check that it is unique and store it. As… read more

3D nanotube assembly technique for nanoscale electronics

October 23, 2008
(Evin Gultepe et al.)

Northeastern University researchers have developed a method for high-volume manufactuing of three-dimensional, single-wall carbon nanotube electrical interconnects without the need for high-temperature synthesis.

They assemble the nanotubes into 3D structures by using an applied electric field to coax the nanotubes into deep nanoholes in a porous alumina template.

The method could also integrate well into existing silicon platforms for use in microelectronics, field emission displays, electronic… read more

Iris Scanners Create the Most Secure City in the World. Welcome, Big Brother

August 20, 2010


Biometrics R&D firm Global Rainmakers Inc. (GRI) is rolling out its iris scanning technology to create what it calls “the most secure city in the world.” In a partnership with Leon — one of the largest cities in Mexico, with a population of more than a million — GRI will fill the city with eye-scanners. That will help law enforcement revolutionize the way we live — not to… read more

Why Did Honda Build a Humanoid Robot That Meets With the Vatican’s Approval?

September 4, 2001

The Vatican has assured Honda Motors that the Church won’t complain about its two-legged four-foot robot named Asimo, which can walk, dance, shake hands and speak, but has no brain (AI functions).

So what else can it do? Honda plans to rent the robot as a guide in museums or to perform at weddings, and robots may someday sweep landmines, serve as seeing-eye dogs or work in nuclear-power plants.… read more

Atlas of hidden water may avert future conflict

October 27, 2008

A high-resolution UNESCO map showing where underground aquifers store vast amounts of water could help pave the way to an international law to govern how water is shared around the world.

Mining Mood Swings on the Real-Time Web

August 24, 2010

This widget shows current sentiment toward competing Web browsers (Viralheat)

Social-media analytics startup Viralheat is now offering free, real-time access to the data it is collecting on attitudes toward particular topics or products. One of the first customers for this new service — called Social Trends — is ESPN, which plans to use Social Trends to show live popularity rankings for different NFL teams.

Viralheat uses natural-language processing and machine learning to sift through Twitter, Facebookread more

Human cloning licence awarded to Dolly creator

February 9, 2005

A license to extract stem cells from cloned human embryos has been granted to the creator of Dolly the sheep, Ian Wilmut. The purpose of the research is to investigate motor neuron disease.

Wilmut and his colleagues will take cells from patients with motor neuron disease (MND) and create cloned embryos using a standard technique called cell nuclear replacement.

This involves stripping a human egg of its nucleus… read more

Bioterrorism defenses being developed

September 27, 2001

Bay Area biotech firms are developing technologies to detect and combat biological terror.

Cepheid Inc., a Sunnyvale firm, has developed a portable DNA test device designed to be used at the site of a suspected bioterror attack.

GeneSoft Inc. has an $8 million DARPA grant to help develop new ways to treat infections. It has a novel technique for creating chemical chains that bind to stretches of DNA… read more

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