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Building a Smarter Search Engine

January 4, 2005

Carnegie Mellon University researchers have developed Clusty, a search engine using AI to search the Web and cluster results by topic.

Clusty searches the results of other search engines and indexes, applies AI to pick out the major themes found within the results for each search, and organizes them into folders.

Chromosome caps may explain cell immortality

October 17, 2007

Telomeres in DNA make RNA copies and a drug might block this process to prevent cells turning cancerous, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology researchers have found.

World’s highest-res display matches human eye’s acuity

July 14, 2001
A complicated data set displayed with a clarity unmatched by the HDTV images on either side (higher-res image here)

A 20-million-pixels screen with the visual acuity of the human eye at 10 feet has been developed at Sandia National Laboratories. It is also the fastest in the world in rendering complex scientific data sets, says program leader Philip Heermann.

The Sandia images are created through massively parallel imaging, using outputs of 64 computers and splitting data into 16 screens arranged as a 4 by 4… read more

DNA cages guide nanoparticle self-assembly

March 18, 2009

Trapping nanoparticles in cages made of DNA could finally allow them to self-assemble into transistors, metamaterials and even tiny robots by preventing the nanoparticles from clumping together at random, one of the biggest problems with nanoscale self-assembly, University of Michigan scientists suggest.

The nanopoarticle is trapped inside a tetrahedral cage that has a single strand of DNA sticking out at each vertex. This symmetrical arrangement of strands is important… read more

Huge solar flare jams radio, satellite signals: NASA [UPDATE]

February 17, 2011


A powerful solar eruption — the strongest solar flare in four years — that has already disturbed radio communications in China could disrupt electrical power grids and satellites used on Earth in the next days NASA said.

Update from NASA Feb. 17: “The particle cloud produced by the Valentines Day event appears to be rather weak and is not expected to produce any strong effectsread more

Grids Unleash the Power of Many

January 14, 2005

Computer scientists in three states — West Virginia, North Carolina, and Colorado — are each combining their technology resources into separate computer grids that will give researchers, universities, private companies and citizens access to powerful supercomputers.

The project designers say these information aqueducts will encourage business development, accelerate scientific research, and improve the efficiency of government.

Lifeboat Foundation names James Martin 2007 Guardian Award Winner

October 27, 2007

The Lifeboat Foundation has presented its 2007 Guardian Award to Dr. James Martin in recognition of the achievements of his Future of Humanity Institute in studying global catastrophic risks and the impacts of future technologies.

The award is given annually to a respected scientist or public figure who has warned of a future fraught with dangers and encouraged measures to prevent them, according to Lifeboat Foundation president… read more

Automated invention machines

August 13, 2001

Genetic programming research has reinvented engineering patents generated as recently as last year, says John Koza, consulting professor of biomedical informatics at Stanford.

Concentrating on what he calls “the black arts” — areas where there’s no known mathematical method to solve the problem quickly — Koza’s recent focuses include controllers, analog circuits and cellular automata.

Koza’s resources include a 1,000-node parallel computing cluster at Genetic Programmingread more

A New Family of Molecules for Self-Assembly: The Carboranes

March 25, 2009

Researchers at Penn State and the Sigma-Aldrich company have found a way to control geometry and stability in making a self-assembled monolayer (SAM) of molecules on a surface by making SAMs out of different carboranethiol isomers, which are cage-like molecules.

These SAMs can selectively capture biomolecules from complex mixtures, for example.

Most ‘locked-in’ people are happy, survey finds

February 24, 2011

In the largest survey ever of the feelings and emotions of people with locked-in syndrome (LIS), 72 per cent communicated that they were happy with their lot, says Steven Laureys at the Coma Science Group at the University of Liège in Belgium.

He calls for a moratorium when new patients request euthanasia (in countries that allow it), until they stabilize, both physically and psychologically.

Those expressing unhappiness wanted… read more

Samsung Boasts Fastest Ever Multimedia RAM

January 25, 2005

Samsung Electronics has today begun mass production of what it claims is the world’s fastest RAM for multimedia applications.

Samsung’s 256Mb XDR (eXtreme Data Rate) DRAM is 10 times faster than DDR 400 memory and five times faster than RDRam (PC800), Samsung claims.

Samsung plans to introduce a 512Mb XDR DRAM, capable of transferring data as fast as 12.8Gbps, during the first half of this year.

Mechanosynthesis toolset is important new step toward the nanofactory

November 7, 2007
The DCB6Ge dimer placement tool places two carbon atoms onto the C(110) face of a dehydrogenated diamond surface. © 2004 Robert A. Freitas Jr.  All Rights Reserved.

A set of nine molecular tools for diamond mechanosynthesis (molecular assembly) — a significant new step toward creating the nanofactory — was presented by Robert A. Freitas Jr. and Ralph C. Merkle at Saturday’s Foresight Unconference.

Using only carbon, hydrogen, and germanium atoms, the high-precision tools, developed during three years of intensive modeling and analysis of chemical reactions, are “simple enough, but flexible enough so… read more

Human Brains May Take Unique Turn

September 4, 2001

Neuroscientists have tapped into what may represent a fundamental difference in brain development between people and other mammals and may offer insight into how humans evolved an enlarged frontal cortex capable of supporting symbolic thought and language use.In the new study, researchers injected a dye into the telencephalon of living tissue slices taken from the brains of 15-to-26-week-old human fetuses, as well as from monkey and mouse fetuses of comparable… read more

Concentrating solar powered desalination — a water solution?

March 31, 2009

Concentrating solar powered desalination is a promising new technology for providing global drinking water supplies.

New App Provides a 360-Degree View

March 4, 2011

Bubbli, a stealth Silicon Valley start-up that is inventing a new type of photographic experience it calls “bubbles.” These are 360-degree images that take advantage of the location, accelerometer and camera capabilities of mobile phones, and can be embedded in Web pages.

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