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Artificial chromosome for corn developed

October 22, 2007

Chromatin Inc. researchers have developed an artificial chromosome for corn plants.

The “maize mini-chromosomes” (MMCs) are constructed from small rings of naturally occurring plant DNA and can be used to transport multiple genes at once into embryonic plants, where they are expressed, duplicated as plant cells divide, and passed on to the next generation — a long-term goal for those interested in improving agricultural productivity.

“This technology could… read more

Nanoscale ion microtrap array for quantum information processing

Possible basis of a future quantum processor chip
July 25, 2012

scalabledevice_quantum

A groundbreaking new device from the UK’s National Physical Laboratory (NPL) could help to usher in the long-awaited era of quantum computers.

Researchers at NPL have demonstrated for the first time a monolithic 3D ion microtrap array that could be scaled up to handle several tens of ion-based quantum bits (qubits).

An ion trap is a combination of electric or magnetic fields that captures… read more

The Bleeding Edge of Computing

March 7, 2005

Tomorrow’s computing landscape may include trinary rather than binary coding, DNA computers, and wearable computers that act as a virtual assistant who helps us on a second-by-second basis.

Taiwan develops face-recognition vending machine

January 17, 2011

Researchers in Taiwan have developed a vending machine that recommends purchases based on people’s faces, attempts to detect any smartphones, e-readers or tablets the buyer might be carrying, to indicate whether the shopper was equipped to download books, music or films.

Robots: It’s an Art Thing

November 13, 2001

Thanks to genetics, the Internet and art, the line between robots and humans continues to shrink. Ken Goldberg, an associate professor of robotics at the University of California at Berkeley, is currently working on the Tele-Actor, a human being wired with Webcams and connected to the Internet so that other people can control where the actor moves.

Crawling the Web to Foretell Ecosystem Collapse

March 23, 2009

Humans can make huge changes to ecosystems faster than the standard methods of data collection can keep up, but by trawling scientific list-serves, websites, and local news sources, ecologists think they can use human beings as sensors by mining their communications.

Much of the pioneering work in this type of Internet surveillance has come in the public health field, tracking disease.

Tiny sensor detects a mouse heart’s magnetic pulse

November 2, 2007

An atomic magnetometer not much bigger than a grain of rice can detect magnetic fields as weak as 70 femtoteslas — about a billionth of the Earth’s magnetic field, using optical magnetometry.

The detectors are even sensitive enough to detect alpha waves from the human brain and generate magnetocardiograms that provide information similar to an electrocardiogram (ECG), without requiring electrodes on the patient’s body.

Quantum computing: No turning back

March 16, 2005

The first realizations of “cluster states” and cluster-state quantum computation are reported in Nature this week (10 March issue, pp169-176).

This is the first experimental demonstration of the “one-way quantum computer,” representing a significant move from theory to reality for an alternative approach to quantum computing first proposed in 2001.

The experiment demonstrates that modifications to the entangled photons in such a state allow the system to encode… read more

Jiminy Glick interviews Ray Kurzweil

December 10, 2001

Hollywood celebrity television reporter Jiminy Glick interviewed Ray Kurzweil at BusinessWeek’s Digital Economy conference during a special evening performance featuring Martin Short and the “Second City” Comedy Improv Group Thursday night.
Glick expressed a strong interest in Kurzweil’s research. “Forget AI, I need a Heimlich!” he said, apparently choking from munching nonstop jujus.

He was also fascinated with virtual reality. “Could a computer bring back Robbie Benson?” he asked,… read more

Alarm raised about religion defamation ban

March 30, 2009

The U.N.’s top human rights body has approved a “defamation of religion” proposal by Muslim nations urging the passage of laws protecting religion from criticism.

Christian, Jewish, and secular groups say the non-binding resolution restricts freedom of speech and will worsen relations between faiths.

From Molecules To The Milky Way: Dealing With The Data Deluge

November 9, 2007

CSIRO Australia has a new research program aimed at helping science and business cope with masses of data from areas like astronomy, gene sequencing, surveillance, image analysis and climate modelling.

The research program, which began this year, is called “Terabyte Science” and is named for the data sets that start at terabytes (thousands of gigabytes) in size, which are now commonplace.

Nanotech Gadgets to Be Built by Algae?

March 30, 2005
Marine diatom silica exoskeletons

Oregon State University researchers hope to use the diatom algaie’s shell-building process to manufacture nanotech materials, incorporating elements such as silicon, germanium, titanium, and gallium into the diatoms’ silica shells.

Products may include flexible computer screens, cheap and efficient solar cells, filtration devices, and drug delivery vehicles that can target, for example, a single cancer cell.

Carbon nanotubes to improve solar cells

January 17, 2002

Researchers from Cambridge University’s engineering department have developed photovoltaic devices that, when doped with single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWNTs), perform better than undoped devices.The nanotube diodes were made by depositing organic films containing SWNTs on to glass substrates coated with indium-tin oxide (ITO). Aluminium electrodes were then thermally evaporated under a vacuum to form a sandwich configuration, EE Times reports.

The interaction of the carbon nanotubes with the polymer poly(3-octylthiophene)… read more

A Catalyst for Cheaper Fuel Cells

April 3, 2009

Researchers at the Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique (INRS) in Quebec have dramatically increased the performance of an iron-based catalyst.

Their material produces 99 amps per cubic centimeter at 0.8 volts, a key measurement of catalytic activity. That is 35 times better than the best nonprecious metal catalyst so far, and close to the Department of Energy’s goal for fuel-cell catalysts: 130 amps per cubic centimeter.

UN meeting gives telcos access to terrestrial TV spectrum

November 16, 2007

A UN telecoms meeting has decided to give mobile service providers access to bandwidth currently reserved for terrestrial UHF television broadcasts, offering the promise of high-speed Internet access on-the-move anywhere in the world by 2015, at lower cost.

A U.S. government auction scheduled for February is expected to fetch up to US$15 billion from the sale of bandwidth in the 698 to 806 megahertz range.

The same frequencies… read more

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