science + technology news

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

Foresight Institute Conference Tackles Nanotechnology Applications And Public Policy

October 7, 2004

The Foresight Institute announced today that its 1st Conference on Advanced Nanotechnology: Research, Applications, and Policy, October 22-24 in the Washington, DC area, will focus on what molecular nanotechnology means for national security, the environment, water purification, clean energy, medicine, space exploration, international competitiveness, zero-waste manufacturing, and societal impacts.

“We have assembled over 30 nanotechnology experts, researchers, and leaders who will present their work on important applications… read more

DNA Mobius self-assembling nano-architectures could lead to new nanobiooelectronics

October 5, 2010

This is the design for the DNA Möbius strip. Single-stranded viral DNA is used as scaffolding and 164 short segments of DNA are used as staple strands, to create the nanostructure. The Möbius form is composed of eleven double helices, assembled in parallel (left). Each double-helical length contains a twist of 180 degrees along its central axis, before it seamlessly reconnects with itself. The central helix, (seen in red) circles around the length of the strip once. The other helices circle twice, while also twisting around the core helix by 180 degrees before reconnecting to close the Möbius loop. (Center) A small segment of the strip with the details of the helices shown. Scaffold strands are seen in blue and staple strands are different colors. To create the Möbius, 20.5 units like this were used, with the precise folding pattern pre-programmed through the design of appropriate nucleotide base-pairing. (Right) Atomic Force Microscopy image. (Nature Nanotechnology)

Scientists at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University’s and Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry have reproduced the shape of a Mobius strip on a remarkably tiny scale, joining up braid-like segments of DNA to create Mobius structures measuring just 50 nanometers across.

The researchers hope to eventually apply these nano-architectures to the development of biological and chemical sensing devices, nanolithography, drug delivery mechanisms and a new breed of… read more

The Year Online

December 26, 2008

The business of social networking, cloud computing, and a flaw in the fabric of the Internet top the most notable stories of 2008.

Credit card-sized device could analyze biopsy, help diagnose pancreatic cancer in minutes

Use in diagnosis of other cancers also planned
March 6, 2014

uw-microfluidic-device

University of Washington scientists and engineers are developing a low-cost device that could help pathologists diagnose pancreatic cancer* earlier and faster.

The prototype can perform the basic steps for processing a biopsy, relying on fluid transport instead of human hands to process the tissue.

“This new process is expected to help the pathologist make a more rapid diagnosis and be able to determine more accurately how… read more

Researchers Reinvent the Wheel

July 9, 2007

Scientists have developed an artificial intelligence system to allow the wheels of a car to think and act for themselves.

The “smart” wheel allows the wheels on a car to communicate with one another while performing thousands of calculations per second. As a result, the wheels think and learn as the car is being driven, making calculations and adjustments according to travelling speed and road conditions.

The AI… read more

Power on a Chip

October 19, 2004

MIT researchers have built a turbine engine with blades that span an area smaller than a dime and spin at more than a million revolutions per minute.

The engine is designed to produce enough electricity to power handheld electronics. In the future, a micro gas turbine engine could run for ten or more hours on a container of diesel fuel slightly larger than a D battery; when the fuel… read more

Spinning Silk into Sensors

January 5, 2009

Tufts University researchers have developed a simple process that turns silk cocoons into nanoscale optical devices with biological applications such as oxygen and tumor sensors.

Back From the Dead

July 17, 2007

Doctors are reinventing how they treat sudden cardiac arrest, which is fatal 95 percent of the time.

Sean Quinn, Died Nov. 13, 2005. It was not a heart attack; his heart just stopped. Doctors chilled Quinn for 24 hours. He now suffers from short-term memory loss, but without the induced hypothermia he might not have lived.

Smart Fabrics Make for Enhanced Living

October 26, 2004

Imagine a handbag that warns you if you are about to forget your umbrella or wallet, and which you can later turn into a scarf that displays today’s pollution levels.

A variety of information-providing or environment-sensing objects like these could be possible using a system of computerized fabric patches developed by MIT engineers.

Each patch contains a functional unit of the system — a microprocessor and memory plus… read more

Implant raises cellular army to attack cancer

January 12, 2009

Implants with an FDA-approved biodegradable polymer that sit in the body and reprogram a person’s immune cells to self-destruct could be used to treat a range of infectious diseases and even cancer.

Novel gel soaks up heavy metal pollution

July 27, 2007

A new foam-like material that could be used to soak up heavy metals in run-off water from polluted industrial sites has been demonstrated by Northwestern University scientists.

Possible Source of Cosmic Rays Found

November 4, 2004

Astronomers have discovered that a supernova is acting like a giant particle accelerator in space, and is thus a likely source of the cosmic rays in our galaxy.

Without driver or map, vans go from Italy to China

November 1, 2010

Four driverless electric vans successfully ended a 13,000-kilometer test drive from Italy to China — a modern-day version of Marco Polo’s journey around the world.

The vehicles, each with a passenger and equipped with four solar-powered laser scanners and seven video cameras that work together to detect and avoid obstacles, are part of an experiment aimed at improving road safety and advancing automotive technology. The sensors on the vehicles… read more

Faster ‘Net growth rate raises fears about routers

April 2, 2001

Network engineers are concerned that the Internet is growing — in size and complexity — at a faster rate than today’s routers (the traffic-cop devices that route Internet data) can handle.

Frequent updates are causing instability in the Internet’s backbone routing infrastructure, which could face a router processing-power crunch in as soon as 18 months.

Note: you can track global Internet performance at Internet Traffic Report.

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