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‘Laser tweezers’ move nanoparticles a record 1.5 meters

September 9, 2010

Researchers from Australian National University have developed the ability to move particles  over distances of up to 1.5 meters, using a hollow laser beam to trap light-absorbing particles in a “dark core.” The particles are then moved up and down the beam of light, which acts like an optical “pipeline.”

“When the small particles are trapped in this dark core very interesting things start to happen,” said Professor… read more

Extending future electric-car battery life, range

January 12, 2014

A hybrid anode made of graphite and lithium could quadruple the lifespan of lithium-sulfur batteries (credit: Huang et al, Nature Communications)

A hybrid anode developed at the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) could quadruple the life of the lithium-sulfur batteries proposed for use in electric vehicles.

“Lithium-sulfur batteries could one day help us take electric cars on longer drives and store renewable wind energy more cheaply, but some technical challenges have to be overcome first,” said PNNL Laboratory Fellow Jun Liu. “PNNL’s new anode… read more

U.S. university to build ‘soft-bodied’ robots

January 30, 2007

The next generation of robots will be soft-bodied, providing more flexibility than their stiff-jointed cousins, according to researchers at Tufts University.

3D-printed circuit boards for solder-free printable electronics

May 7, 2012


Given the schematic for a simple circuit, here’s how to make it a real circuit with the base components, some conductive thread, and a 3D printer — no solder, no etching chemicals, no sending away for anything, Instructables explains in a how-to tutorial.

“We are entering an age where physical goods increasingly have a digital representation (e.g., — and the means of production of such goods are… read more

Nokia Edges Toward Phone Blogging

March 19, 2004

Nokia has unveiled Lifeblog, software designed to integrate and organize words, audio, pictures and even video from your mobile phone. Uploading your life to a weblog may be the next step.

Study finds new nanomaterial could be breakthrough for implantable medical devices

November 11, 2008

Nanoporous ceramic membranes may create an interface between human tissues and medical devices that is free of protein buildup, leading to new dialysis devices and other revolutionary medical implants, a new study led by North Carolina State University has found.

New universes will be born from ours

February 9, 2007

Some physicists have argued that the universe is doomed to be ripped apart by runaway dark energy, while others think it is bouncing through an endless series of big bangs and big crunches.

Now these two ideas are being combined to create another option, in which our universe ultimately shatters into billions of pieces, with each shard growing into a whole new universe. The model could solve the mystery… read more

Assessing brain function in unconscious, brain-injured patients

May 14, 2012

MRI Head

New functional and imaging-based diagnostic tests that measure communication and signaling between different brain regions may provide valuable information about consciousness in patients unable to communicate.

The new tests, described in an open-access survey article, are functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) combined with electroencephalograpy (EEG), and response to neuronal perturbation, measuring, for example, sensory evoked potentials (ERP).

Disorders of consciousness such as coma… read more

One billion people to get biometrics and RFID tracking by 2015

March 31, 2004

Civil liberties groups are railing against plans to create an international “identity register” that would force the inclusion of biometrics and controversial RFID tracking tags in all passports by 2015.

How to embed photos and videos in your video

November 17, 2008

Stanford University AI researchers have developed software that allows anyone to insert a video or still photo on almost any planar surface in an existing video.

A “3D Surface Tracker Technology” algorithm first analyzes the video, with special attention paid to the section of the scene where the new image will be placed. The color, texture and lighting of the new image are subtly altered to blend… read more

Deceptive robots hint at machine self-awareness

September 24, 2010

A robot that tricks its opponent in a game of hide and seek is a step towards machines that can intuit our thoughts, intentions and feelings.

Asteroid threat demands response, experts warn

February 19, 2007

Aasteroid Apophis, which researchers now say has a 1 in 45,000 chance of hitting Earth on 13 April 2036. Calculations show it would strike somewhere along a narrow track that stretches eastward from Siberia to the west coast of Africa.

The Association of Space Explorers, founded by Russell Schweickart, a former Apollo astronaut, will host a series of meetings to provide the UN with a “decision process” for assessing… read more

Cognitive software captures experts’ performance on flight simulators

May 18, 2012

Debrief Tool With Automated Event Flagging. The debrief tool used in the experiment displays a video replay of the operator console (similar to this map display), and a timeline of events suggested by AEMASE for discussion during debrief. The tool also includes visualizations of entity movement over time. (Credit: S. M. Stevens-Adams et al.)

Navy pilots and other flight specialists soon will have a new “smart machine” installed in training simulators that learns from expert instructors to more efficiently train their students.

Sandia National Laboratories’ Automated Expert Modeling & Student Evaluation (AEMASE, pronounced “amaze”) is being provided to the Navy as a component of flight simulators.

Components are now being used to train Navy personnel to fly H-60 helicopters and… read more

Bit by bit

April 14, 2004

Physicists are probing, experimentally and theoretically, the junction between the quantum and the classical (macro) worlds.

Carbon Nanotubes Detect Lung Cancer Markers in the Breath

November 21, 2008

Using an array of nanotube devices, each coated with a different organic material, researchers at the Israel Institute of Technology have developed diagnostic system that may be able to diagnose lung cancer simply by sampling a patient’s breath.

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