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This Is a Computer on Your Brain

July 13, 2006

Researchers at Columbia University are combining the processing power of the human brain with computer vision to develop a novel device that will allow people to search through images ten times faster than they can on their own.

The “cortically coupled computer vision system,” known as C3 Vision, harnesses the brain’s well-known ability to recognize an image much faster than the person can identify it.

Can Facebook solve the unemployment problem?

October 21, 2011

Facebook and the U.S. Labor department announced Thursday a new program to help unemployed workers find jobs. The program, called The Social Jobs Partnership, will seek to leverage the power of social media to connect unemployed workers with jobs.

The program will include a central page on Facebook providing resources and content to help both employers and job seekers. In the states with the highest unemployment rates, Facebook will… read more

Molecules of life come in waves

September 8, 2003

Scientists at the University of Vienna have observed an interference pattern for molecules of tetraphenylporphyrin, the key component of light-absorbing chlorophyll in plants and oxygen-binding haemoglobin in blood.

This quantum behavior was thought to be limited to subatomic particles and individual atoms. The finding raises questions about larger biological molecules and may have implications for the Penrose-Hameroff proposal that consciousness might arise from wave-like quantum-mechanical effects involving protein filaments… read more

How Calorie-Restricted Diets Fight Obesity and Extend Life Span

December 29, 2009

European scientists have identified changes in the levels of 6 proteins, including proteins that tell the body to store fat, that could serve as important markers for improving or tracking the effectiveness of therapies involving calorie-restricted diets.

Cell ‘organs’ get plastic upgrades

May 26, 2008

University of Basel researchers have built artificial polymer organelles (internal compartments in cells that carry out specialized metabolic functions) and added them to live human cells in a lab dish.

The 200-nanometers-wide capsule contained enzymes, just like natural organelles. The artificial organelle’s membrane can be chemically tuned to control which chemicals can pass through it and regulate the reactions inside.

Applications of an artificial organelle could include boosting… read more

AI set to exceed human brain power

July 25, 2006

AI is already in more common usage than many of us might imagine. AI-inspired systems are already integral to many everyday technologies such as internet search engines, bank software for processing transactions and in medical diagnosis, said Nick Bostrom, Director of Oxford University’s Future of Humanity Institute.

Ray Kurzweil believes the development of artificial superintelligence will herald a singularity, in which human cognitive abilities are enhanced by brain implants.

Applied Nanotech To Demonstrate Nanotube TV

September 24, 2003

Applied Nanotech Inc. will unveil a 14-inch black-and-white television based on nanotubes in December at a conference in Japan.

New year, new vitamin C discovery: It ‘cures’ mice with accelerated aging disease

January 5, 2010

A team of Canadian scientists have found that vitamin C stops and even reverses accelerated aging in a mouse model of Werner’s syndrome, but the discovery may also be applicable to other age-related diseases,.

Intelligent Computers See Your Human Traits

May 30, 2008

By combining audio and visual data, Yongjin Wang from the University of Toronto and Ling Guan from Ryerson University in Toronto have developed a system that recognizes six human emotional states: happiness, sadness, anger, fear, surprise, and disgust.

Their system can recognize emotions in people from different cultures and who speak different languages with a success rate of 82%.

Emotion recognition systems help the computer to understand the… read more

Big bang pushed back two billion years

August 7, 2006

Our universe may be 15% larger and older than we thought, according to new measurements of the distance to a nearby galaxy.

Human gene on/off switches to be mapped

October 7, 2003

The Human Epigenome Project, the world’s first project to map key chemical changes that switch human genes on and off, has begun. It could provide a crucial link between human genetics and health.

A solid case of entanglement

January 12, 2010

For the first time, physicists have convincingly demonstrated that physically separated particles in solid-state devices can be quantum-mechanically entangled.

The experiment, which used electrons in a superconductor in place of photons in an optical system, forming entangled “Cooper pairs” over a micron or so, was conducted by a team of physicists from France, Germany and Spain.

Mobile Robotic Arm Taught To Manipulate Objects Such As Scissors And Shears

June 5, 2008

University of Massachusetts Amherst researchers built a robotic arm that can approach unfamiliar objects such as scissors, garden shears, and jointed wooden toys, and learn how they work by pushing on them and observing how they change.

The arm can “see” its environment through a digital camera. After testing the new object, the arm stores how the objects move as a kinematic model, which can be used to perform… read more

Your Brain Boots Up Like a Computer

August 21, 2006

As we yawn and open our eyes in the morning, the brain stem sends little puffs of nitric oxide to another part of the brain, the thalamus, which then directs it elsewhere.

Like a computer booting up its operating system before running more complicated programs, the nitric oxide triggers certain functions that set the stage for more complex brain operations, according to a new study.

Mission Possible: Asteroid Tugboat Backed for Trial Run

October 17, 2003

An expert team of astronauts and space scientists has blueprinted a safety strategy for Earth — an asteroid tugboat — and they propose a mission to demonstrate the concept by 2015.

Details are in the November 2003 issue of Scientific American.

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