science + technology news

Intel’s Wireless Power Play

June 22, 2009
(Kate Greene)

Intel researchers demonstrated on Thursday an iPod speaker wirelessly powered by magnetic fields produced from a coil a meter away.

The technology could be incorporated into Intel products, such as laptops or other portable devices, for wireless battery charging.

Direct Sequencing Of DNA, RNA Using Novel Technique

February 4, 2008

Institute for Analytical Sciences (Dortmund) scientists have combined spectroscopy and atomic force microscopy to create a method for reading DNA and RNA directly, and have used it to read RNA.

Previous methods for sequencing DNA are highly complex, work indirectly, and require a large sample of genetic material. In contrast, the new technique directly reads the code without chemical agents or detours. It also requires only a single strand… read more

Google to Put Copyright Laws to the Test

September 19, 2005

Pre-Internet copyright laws are about to be tested as Google attempts to scan millions of books and make their text fully searchable on the Internet. TV programs are next.

I.B.M. Advance Connects Layers of Tiny Wafers

November 11, 2002

IBM researchers plan to announce on Monday a new approach to building three-dimensional integrated circuits using thin (.5 micron) slices of a circuit. The technique would allow for interconnecting separate layers directly at thousands or even hundreds of thousands of points, increasing chip density and communication speeds.

Solar X-rays may create DNA building blocks on Titan

June 29, 2009

Blasting the atmosphere of Saturn’s moon Titan with X-rays can produce adenine, a base component of DNA, a new laboratory study suggests.

When meteoroid impacts deliver water to the moon’s surface, the finding adds to evidence that Titan may be ripe for life.

Team Uncovers New Evidence of Recent Human Evolution

February 8, 2008

French and Spanish researchers have found new evidence to support recent evolution in humans: genes for traits such as skin color and stature changed rapidly to allow humans to survive in new habitats.

The team identified 582 genes that have evolved differently in different populations in the past 60,000 years, including a dozen that protect people from obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and other diseases.

Ray Kurzweil deciphers a brave new world

September 30, 2005 reporter Declan McCullagh quizzed Ray Kurzweil in a wide-ranging interview on the implications of the Singularity for society.

Future of Wi-Fi: Fast, Fast, Fast

November 22, 2002

With demand from high-definition TV and multimedia systems, look for faster wireless networking systems to take off in late 2003, based on faster versions of the 802.11 (Wi-Fi) standard. We’ll see a broadband connection to a home media hub, which could distribute TV signals, digital audio, gaming and other entertainment wirelessly throughout the house.

Solar for Dark Climates

July 8, 2009

A system developed by Cool Energy that produces heat and electricity from the sun could help make solar energy competitive with conventional sources of energy in relatively dark and cold climates.

The system combines a conventional solar water heater with a new Stirling-engine-based generator. In cool months, the solar heater provides hot water and space heating. In warmer months, excess heat is used to drive the Stirling engine and… read more

Researchers discover technique for repairing gene defect that causes spinal muscular atrophy

February 13, 2008

University of Delaware researchers have discovered a technique to repair the defective gene that causes spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), the number-one genetic killer of children under two years old in the US.

With the “targeted gene alteration” technique, the research team replaced the function of the SMA-causing defective SMN1 gene by introducing a small fragment of a similar but non-defective gene’s DNA into a diseased cell, triggering the cell… read more

Behind Artificial Intelligence, a Squadron of Bright Real People

October 14, 2005

The five robots that successfully navigated a 132-mile course in the Nevada desert last weekend demonstrated the re-emergence of artificial intelligence, a technology field that for decades has overpromised and underdelivered.

This leap was possible, in large part, because researchers are moving from an approach that relied principally on logic and rule-based systems to more probability or statistics-oriented software technologies.

Iris recognition scanner eliminates passwords

May 16, 2011

Eye Lock

A device called EyeLock, which uses iris recognition as an alternative to passwords to log you in to password-protected Web sites and applications, has been designed by the Hoyos Group.

The scanning device resembles a wand and plugs into a base that connects to your PC via a USB port.

After you install the software and choose the sites and applications that you want… read more

Research examines robot-assisted therapy

December 6, 2002

Purdue University is running a year-long study that puts an AIBO robot dog for six weeks in the homes of people 65 years and older who live alone to see if robots can provide social stimulation.

One manufacturer is working to include a blood-pressure sensor in its robot. Other possibilities include alerting a nurses’ station if the person does not react to the robot for extended periods.

The Crowd Is Wise (When It’s Focused)

July 20, 2009

Open-innovation models succeed only when carefully designed for a particular task and when the incentives are tailored to attract the most effective collaborators, say collective-intelligence experts.

Laser beam sets record for intensity

February 18, 2008

The world’s most intense laser beam uses 300 terawatts of power concentrated in a 30 femtosecond pulse to a 1.3-micron area, or 20 billion trillion watts per square centimeter.

University of Michigan news release

See also The most intense laser in the Universe

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