science + technology news

Nanobiotech Makes the Diagnosis

April 19, 2002

Nanobiotechnology researchers are producing a variety of tools with important implications for medicine and biotechnology, including faster and easier diagnosis of complex diseases and genetic disorders.

This is a “new class of devices that combine the ability of biological molecules to selectively bind with other molecules with the ability of nanoelectronics to instantly detect the slight electrical changes caused by such binding.”

Could the net become self-aware?

May 1, 2009

“The Internet behaves a fair bit like a mind,” says Ben Goertzel, chair of the Artificial General Intelligence Research Institute. “It might already have a degree of consciousness…. The outlook for humanity is probably better in the case that an emergent, coherent and purposeful Internet mind develops.”

If the effort that has gone into developing social networking sites goes into developing Internet consciousness, it could happen within a decade,… read more

Storing light with sound

December 14, 2007

Duke University researchers have demonstrated a way to store the information in a beam of light by converting it into a sound signal, then reading it back out again as light.

The process could avoid the heat generated when buffering via electronic signals, which limits the top speed of fiber-optic-signals.

Why China is poised to streak ahead of the West

May 30, 2005

China’s doing things the rest of us don’t even know about, and unless we change quickly they will streak past us, futurist Frank Ogden, aka Dr. Tomorrow, says.

“They are speeding ahead in so many areas because they have the ability to get big things done very quickly. They’re very smart, they think differently from us, and they have no restrictions on anything.

We also have to learn… read more

Drug-carrying robot roams through eye

March 11, 2011

Image credit: ETH Zurich/IRIS

A tiny microbot that can deliver drugs more effectively for conditions like age-related macular degeneration has been designed by researchers at the Institute of Robotics and Intelligent Systems (IRIS) in Zurich.

The device would allow for prolonged and targeted drug release, since it can remain in the eye for months. It can also be used to position a biodegradable drug capsule in the eye and then be directly removed… read more

The Rise of the Answerbots

May 6, 2009

IBM’s new DeepQA project, aimed at creating a program that can beat humans at the question-answering game of Jeopardy, and the European Large Knowledge Collider project could mean that these projects are on the path to creating a human-level AI.

Researchers Train The Immune System To Deliver Virus That Destroys Cancer In Lab Models

December 19, 2007

Researchers led by Mayo Clinic have designed a technique that uses the body’s own cells and a virus to destroy cancer cells that spread from primary tumors to other parts of the body through the lymphatic system.

The technology combines infection-fighting T-cells with the vesicular stomatitis virus that targets and destroys cancer cells while leaving normal cells unharmed. The study, which has not yet been replicated in humans, is… read more

When Nanopants Attack

June 13, 2005

An Eddie Bauer store protest highlighted a growing movement aimed at probing the potential health risks of nanotechnology.

Signaling molecules allow for long-lasting brain plasticity

March 21, 2011

Memory Making

Researchers at Duke University Medical Center have found a cascade of signaling molecules in the brain that allows a usually very brief signal to last for tens of minutes. This provides the brain framework for stronger connections (synapses) that can summon a memory for a period of months or even years, says Ryohei Yasuda, Ph.D., assistant professor of neurobiology.

Long-term potentiation (LTP) — the long-lasting… read more

Impostor

June 14, 2002

“What if robots could be made to look like us? And what if they could be implanted with false memories so they think they are us? Am I human? Or am I just programmed to believe I am human?”

That’s the premise behind the movie Impostor, adapted from the story by scifi writer Philip K. Dick.

Searching for Value in Ludicrous Ideas

May 12, 2009
(Steven M. Johnson)

Inventor/author/cartoonist/former urban planner Steven M. Johnson’s visionary ideas include a Segway-like golf-cart-meets-treadmill contraption, dashboard toaster oven, skylight solar cooker, and pedaltrain.

2007: The Year in Energy

December 27, 2007

Advanced biofuels, more-efficient vehicles, and solar power (using quantum dots and mimicking photosynthesis) top the most notable energy stories covered by Technology Review in 2007.

Remembrance of Things Future: The Mystery of Time

June 27, 2005

Einstein-Rosen bridges or “wormholes” — tunnels through space connecting distant points — could allow for time travel, and microscopic holes in the quantum “space-time foam” might be cultivated to grow to macroscopic size, creating a traversable wormhole.

Optical imaging method shows brain multiplexing

March 25, 2011

Brain-Image

Researchers have developed a real-time optical imaging method that exploits a specific voltage-sensitive dye to demonstrate brain multiplexing in the visual cortex, says Dr. Dirk Jancke, neuroscientist at the Ruhr-University in Bochum, Germany.

Neurons synchronize with different partners at different frequencies.¬†Optical imaging allows fine grained resolution of cortical pattern activity maps in which local groups of active nerve cells represent grating orientation. A particular grating… read more

Art as a State of Mind

July 2, 2002

Artist Paras Kaul is creating art using a computer/brain-wave interface.

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