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First replicating creature spawned in life simulator

June 17, 2010

Game of Life player Andrew Wade has created the first self-replicating mathematical organism.

The replicator demonstrates how astounding complexity can arise from simple beginnings and processes and might help us understand how life on Earth began, or even inspire strategies to build tiny computers.

Synthetic biology startup launchpad announced by Singularity University

March 28, 2012


Singularity University (SU) is partnering with Triple Ring Technologies to launch a pilot program whose mission is to “help great synthetic biology ideas turn into startup companies.”

“Promising entrepreneurs with great ideas will be intensively mentored over a 4-month period to develop exciting products and services,” according to the SU announcement. The program will run from May to August 2012 in the San… read more

Invisibility cloaks could take sting out of tsunamis

September 30, 2008
(M Farhat/S Enoch/S Guenneau/A B Movchan)

University of Liverpool researchers have built a model of a metamaterial cloaking structure that could channel a tsunami around vulnerable coastlines and offshore platforms.

Pass the Virtual Scalpel, Nurse

August 10, 2006

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute researchers are developing a surgery simulator similar to the flight simulators used to train pilots. The medical training system would allow surgeons to manipulate virtual human organs in real time, learning and acquiring crucial skills without using cadavers or risking human life.

They are pursuing a grand vision of developing the holy grail of simulation technology: a “virtual human.”

GM ‘could be another Thalidomide’

October 9, 2003

Plans for the future of GM crops in Britain suffered a massive blow as insurance giants issued dire warnings about the unknown dangers posed by the supercrops.

Insurance firms are refusing to offer cover to farmers who want to plant GM crops because they fear a public health disaster and huge compensation payouts.

NIST team advances in translating language of nanopores

June 25, 2010


National Institute of Standards and Technology scientists have moved a step closer to developing a rapid diagnostic blood test that can scan for thousands of disease markers and other chemical indicators of health.

The team reports it has learned how to decode the electrical signals generated by a nanopore — a “gate” less than 2 nanometers wide in an artificial cell membrane.

Oscillating gel acts like artificial skin, giving robots potential ability to ‘feel’

April 1, 2012

Smiley Gel

gel can be resuscitated in a fashion similar to a medical cardiopulmonary resuscitation, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have demonstrated.

These findings pave the way for new applications — like artificial skin for robots — that sense mechanical stimuli and respond chemically; this is a natural phenomenon few materials have been able to mimic.

The Pitt… read more

Scientist: Holographic television to become reality

October 7, 2008

University of Arizona scientists have developed the first updatable three-dimensional display with memory.

The researchers produced displays that can be erased and rewritten in a matter of minutes. They believe it could reach the market within five to ten years.

Computers write news at Thomson

August 23, 2006

Thomson Financial has found a way to replace human beings in the newsroom and is instead using computers to write some of its stories.

The computers work so fast that an earnings story can be released within 0.3 seconds of the company making results public.

Discovery May Spur Cheap Solar Power

October 20, 2003

A major European chipmaker says it had discovered new ways to produce solar cells that will generate electricity 20 times cheaper than today’s solar panels. Over a typical 20-year life span of a solar cell, one watt should cost as little as $0.20, compared with the current $4.

Singularity Summit Australia to be held in Melbourne this September

July 5, 2010
Singularity Summit-AU logo

The first Singularity Summit-AU will be held in Melbourne, Australia on September 10th-12th, 2010, by the Australian branch of the Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence. The conference, the first in the Singularity Summit series to be held outside the U.S., will feature both live talks and videos from the San Francisco Singularity Summit held on August 14-15.

Singularity Summit-AU, the… read more

Novartis compound spurs cartilage in arthritic mice

April 9, 2012

Scientists at Novartis AG have discovered a compound that spurred cartilage growth from stem cells to fix damaged joints of mice, a finding that may point to a novel therapy for the arthritis that afflicts most elderly.

Researchers tested 22,000 drug-like molecules using a robotic screen, applying each one to bone marrow stem cells in tiny laboratory dishes. One compound, dubbed kartogenin, promoted the development of chondrocytes, cells that… read more

Rapture For the Geeks: When AI Outsmarts IQ

October 13, 2008

Richard Dooling, author of the new book, Rapture For the Geeks: When AI Outsmarts IQ, will appear on the national Coast To Coast AM talk show tonight at 1 AM EDT/10 PM PDT for the first hour.

Dooling tells he will discuss “how a wizard, an atomic physicist, and the Unabomber predicted the Wall Street debacle.”

Rapture For the Geeks is a witty,… read more

Douglas Engelbart’s HyperScope 1.0 Launched

September 6, 2006

HyperScope 1.0, a Web app based on tech legend Douglas Engelbart’s 1968 NLS/Augment (oNLine System), has been launched.

HyperScope is “a high-performance thought processor that enables you to navigate, view, and link to documents in sophisticated ways.” This is seen as the first (renewed) step towards Doug Engelbart’s larger vision for an Open Hyperdocument System — only this time round it’ll be based on Web technologies.

The problem with abundance

October 28, 2003

What do traffic jams, obesity and spam have in common?

They are all problems caused by abundance in a world more attuned to scarcity. By achieving the goal of abundance, technology renders the natural checks and balances of scarcity obsolete.

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