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The Double Thinker

September 24, 2007

Steven Pinker brings his theory of human nature and his obsession with words together in his new book, “The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window Into Human Nature.”

The Drake Equation for the Multiverse

February 11, 2010

Multiverse Drake equation

Marcelo Gleiser at Dartmouth College has devised a version of the classic Drake equation (for the total number of intelligent civilizations in the Milky Way) for the entire multiverse (multiple universes).

The Dream Factory

November 29, 2004

Neil Gershenfeld of MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms and his students are cobbling together mobile manufacturing systems they call fabrication laboratories, or fab labs — miniature factories for the digital age.

The latest version consists of three Linux PCs, a laser cutter, a combination 3-D scanner and drill, a numerically controlled X-Acto knife, and a handful of RISC chips. You can crank out not only solid objects like… read more

The Dream of a Lifetime

July 11, 2005

Moore’s law predicts that transistor density will in 10 years be about 100 times what it is now. In thinking about the future of computing, do we understand what another 100-fold increase in computing power will mean? It should enable big new dreams, says Bill Joy.

We should boldly set our sights on Doug Engelbart’s goal of augmentation of the human intellect.

The Dream of Mechanical Life

December 17, 2002

“A spate of new books addresses eighteenth-century automata, ventriloquists’ dummies, and puppets– together with more recent avatars of chess computers, artificial intelligence, androids, robots, and cyborgs. Does ‘computerization’ challenge human identity as ominously as ‘mechanization’ previously seemed to?”

The Droids of Sport

March 26, 2003

Robotic competitions are popping up around the world. A new book, “Gearheads,”
examines their universe.

The drone threat — in the US

March 27, 2012

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Drone proliferation raises an issue that has received too little attention: the threat that they could be used to carry out terrorist attacks.

President Obama signed a sweeping aviation bill in February that will open American airspace to “unmanned aircraft systems,” a.k.a.  drones.

The technology exists to build drones that fit into a backpack and are equipped with a video camera and a warhead so they can be… read more

The E-Gang: Medical Marvels

August 16, 2002

Forbes profiles eight visionaries in information technology for medicine.

  • Neuroscientist Kari Stefansson’s gene-mining software will allow doctors to create genetic profiles of patients within a decade.
  • TIGR’s Claire Fraser gene tests could one day let doctors customize drug treatment for the exact genetic strain found in their patients.
  • Rosetta Inpharmatics’ Stephen Friend plans to use DNA chips to spot which genes are most active in
  • read more

    The Easy Way To Boost Your Brain

    May 6, 2007

    Manchester Metropolitan University researchers have found in an experiment that subjects who moved their eyes from to side remembered 10 per cent more words than the others and reduced false memory of words.

    The eco machine that can magic water out of thin air

    November 24, 2008

    Element Four, has developed a machine that condenses water from air, passed through a self-sterilizing UV chamber, filters it, and passes pure drinking water through a pipe to the owner’s kitchen tap.

    The emergence of individuality in genetically identical mice

    May 13, 2013

    Enrichment enclosure housing 40 mice

    How do people and other organisms evolve into individuals that are distinguished from others by their own personal brain structure and behavior?

    Why do identical twins not resemble each other perfectly even when they grew up together?

    To shed light on these questions, the scientists observed 40 genetically identical mice that were kept in an enclosure that offered a rich shared environment with a large variety of activity… read more

    The Emerging Field of Biophotonic Communication

    November 20, 2009

    Sergei Mayburov at the Lebedev Institute of Physics in Moscow suggests that optical communication is a natural process in many cells of body, closely related to photosynthesis.

    The emerging science of DNA cryptography

    March 19, 2009

    A new approach to using DNA for data encryption, based on how information from DNA is processed inside cells, has been developed by independent researcher Nang King.

    The emotional meanings of emoticons

    October 16, 2011

    heart_emoticon

    Ever wonder exactly what kind of emotion people mean to express with some of the more obscure emoticons, like :/, <3, or ^_^?  Alex Davies, a Gates scholar at the University of Cambridge, has too, so he created a Twitter sentiment analysis list of ~5000 common words used on Twitter, each with their associated joint log probability for appearing in a happy tweet or… read more

    The Encyclopedia of Life, No Bookshelf Required

    February 27, 2008

    Scientists are building a Web site called the Encyclopedia of Life, dedicated to documenting all species on Earth.

    Spearheaded by Harvard biologist Edward O. Wilson with $50 million initial funding, the first 30,000 pages will be introduced on Thursday this week. Within a decade, they predict, they will have the other 1.77 million.

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