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The Grammar of Sound

May 1, 2003

Fast-Talk software lets you index and search audio much faster than in the past. Developed by Fast-Talk Communications, a Georgia Tech spinoff, the software lets users locate clips in an audio file simply by phonetically spelling and entering any term they want to find.

Note: reviewed a beta version of Fast-Talk and found it effective and fast in retrieving information from audio interviews. – Ed.

Concepts are born in the hippocampus

September 29, 2009

The hippocampus creates and stores concepts and passes this information onto the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, where it is put to use while making decisions, Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging researchers have found from experiments using fMRI scanning.

Graphene gazing gives glimpse of foundations of universe

April 4, 2008

University of Manchester researchers have found that graphene, the world’s thinnest material (a one-atom-thick gauze of carbon atoms), absorbs a well-defined fraction of visible light, which allows the direct determination of the fine structure constant (approximately 1/137), which defines the interaction between very fast moving electrical charges and electromagnetic waves.

The researchers found the carbon monolayer absorbs 2.3 percent of visible light. The experiments supported by theory show this… read more

Nanotubes break superconducting record

February 15, 2006

Physicists in Japan have shown that “entirely end-bonded” multi-walled carbon nanotubes can superconduct at temperatures as high as 12 K, which is 30 times greater than for single-walled carbon nanotubes.

The superconducting nanotubes could be used to study fundamental 1D quantum effects and also find practical applications in molecular quantum computing.

Stelarc: Pushing the body’s boundaries

July 26, 2011

Stelarc is a performance artist who explores the capabilities of the human body.

“All of my projects explore alternate anatomical architectures — a body with a third hand, or an extra ear, or an artwork inside a bodily space instead of a public space,” he says. “We are biological bodies, but we are often accelerated, augmented, and enhanced by technology. There may be a time soon when… read more

Shifting Into Overdrive: What happens when mass storage leaves microchips in the dust

May 9, 2003

In mass storage, we have seen a 60,000-fold fall in price — more than a dozen times the force of Moore’s law.

Implications of lower-cost mass storage: the cheaper the disk space, the more dead the traditional business models of the entertainment industry; we will save copies of everything; and your memory will improve — there will be space to store whatever you wish to recall from your day.

Singularity Summit media page launched

October 5, 2009

The Singularity Summit has launched a media page for uploading videos (including some SS09 sessions), photos, and tweets (#SS09).

Limited nuclear war would decimate ozone layer

April 8, 2008

Apart from the human devastation, a small-scale nuclear war between India and Pakistan with 100 Hiroshima-sized bombs would destroy much of the ozone layer, leaving the DNA of humans and other organisms at risk of damage from the Sun’s rays, say University of Colorado at Boulder researchers.

Nanotube networks conjured on crystals

March 2, 2006

The key to instantly assembling intricate networks of nanotubes has been discovered by scientists armed with some of the most sophisticated microscopes in the world.

The phenomenon may some day help material scientists manufacture nano-circuits that channel electrons through tiny tunnels instead of along silicon wires, which have to be etched lithographically. Such circuits would be many times smaller than today’s, allowing greater computer power to be packed into… read more

Sorenstam’s Got Game, in Reality and Virtually

May 25, 2003

A virtual golf course has been created with the strengths of male and female golfers. It rewards precision, while penalizing shots that are too long or too short, leveling the playing field between men and women.

In a simulated four rounds of golf, golfer Annika Sorenstam was the winner.

Google Wave 101

October 12, 2009

The revolutionary new Google Wave communication platform attempts to bring together your favorite online communication options, combining the features of instant messaging, e-mail programs, the viral aspects of social media, Twitter, maps, and document sharing into one program.

Using nanotechnology to improve Li-ion battery performance

April 11, 2008

Chinese scientists have developed 500-nanometer lithium-ion-battery electrode materials using tin nanoparticles encapsulated in elastic hollow carbon-nanotube-based spheres, replacing conventional graphite.

The scientists have found that the new materials provide higher initial and long-term ampere-hours capacity, prolonging battery life.

Most clinical studies on vitamins flawed by poor methodology, analysis finds

January 31, 2013

(credit: Linus Pauling Institute)

Most large, clinical trials of vitamin supplements, including some that have concluded they are of no value or even harmful, have a flawed methodology that renders them largely useless in determining the real value of these micronutrients, a new analysis suggests.

Many projects have tried to study nutrients that are naturally available in the human diet the same way they would a powerful prescription drug.

This leads to… read more

Supercomputer builds a virus

March 14, 2006

One of the world’s most powerful supercomputers has built a computer model of the satellite tobacco mosaic virus.

The researchers say the simulation is the first to capture a whole biological organism in such intricate molecular detail.

Running on a machine at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, Urbana, the program calculated how each of the million or so atoms in the virus and a surrounding drop of… read more

Shocking Cells Into Submission

June 6, 2003

A new treatment called electroporation uses pulses of electric current to force cells to accept DNA, which is designed to fight HIV, cardiovascular disease and other maladies.

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