May 22, 2001
Extraterrestrial acoustics and a “smart violin” attempt to clone the Stradivarius will be among the topics presented at the annual Acoustical Society of America conference, June 4-8, Palmer House Hilton Hotel, Chicago, Illinois.
Scientists can generate imitations of real-life sounds significantly more convincing than actual recordings of the events they are intended to mimic.Experimental psychologists Laurie Heller and Lauren Wolf at Brown University found that listeners rated some artificially generated sounds — simulating “walking in leaves” by running fingers through cornflakes, for example — as more convincing than the real ones.
Enhancing the sound envelope (slower changing component) results in better perception… read more
Using fMRI brain scans, New York University researchers have discovered two regions of the brain linked to optimism: the amygdala and the rostral anterior cingulated cortex.
The identification of the sites could shed light on the causes of depression.
The Pentagon is planning to create a new military command to focus on cyberspace and protect its computer networks from cyberattacks, U.S. officials said Wednesday.
Medical University of South Carolina scientist Vladimir Mironov, M.D., Ph.D. has been working for a decade to grow meat. He has taken myoblasts — embryonic cells that develop into muscle tissue — from turkey and bathed them in a nutrient bath of bovine serum on a scaffold made of chitosan (a common polymer found in nature) to grow animal skeletal muscle tissue.
Cultured meat could eventually become cheaper than… read more
Team IHMC Robotics of Pensacola, Fla., with its Running Man (Atlas) robot came in at second place ($1 million prize), followed by Tartan Rescue of Pittsburgh with its CHIMP robot ($500,000 prize).… read more
Researchers at Northeastern University and the University of California, Irvine say that scientists might soon have evidence for extra dimensions and other exotic predictions of string theory. Early results from a neutrino detector at the South Pole, called AMANDA, show that ghostlike particles from space could serve as probes to a world beyond our familiar three dimensions, the research team says.
The machine, named “Iridis-Pi” after the University’s Iridis supercomputer, runs off a single 13 Amp mains socket and uses MPI (Message Passing Interface) to communicate between nodes using Ethernet.
The whole system cost under £2,500 (excluding switches) and… read more
Scientists at the University of Southampton have discovered a new process that controls the ability of arteries to constrict, which could lead to a better understanding of the causes of cardiovascular disease and the development of new treatments.
In a study funded by the British Heart Foundation, researchers showed that polyunsaturated fats, which are converted into fat-like molecules called eicosanoids in order to make arteries constrict, are… read more
Nanyang Technological University (NTU) is establishing the new $60 million Nanomedicine Institute@NTU to focus on applications of nanotechnology for diabetes, cardiovascular, ophthalmology, and skin therapeutics.
Set to be Southeast Asia’s first research institute in nanomedicine, the new institute will be headed by Professor Subbu Venkatraman, Chair of NTU’s School of Materials Science and Engineering, with Professor Chad Mirkin from Northwestern University as the chairman of its advisory committee.… read more
Shimafuji Corporation has developed the Space Cube, a 2×2 inches PC designed for use in space to control various electronics and manage an “interstellar computer network.”
Running on just 5 Watts, the PC has a 300 MHz CPU, 16 MB of on-board flash memory, 64MB SDRAM card, LAN port, USB port, Ethernet port, and VGA monitor connector.
Obayashi Corp., headquartered in Tokyo, has unveiled a project to build a space elevator by the year 2050 that would transport passengers to a station 36,000 kilometers above the Earth and transmit power to the ground.
A cable, made of carbon nanotubes, would be stretched up to 96,000 kilometers, or about one-fourth of the distance between the Earth and the moon. One end of… read more
A Czech Academy of Sciences study suggests that building and maintaining a space elevator would be an bigger challenge than previously thought, because it would need to include built-in thrusters to stabilize itself against dangerous vibrations.
The NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts (NIAC) commissioned a study of the construction and operation of a space elevator and Phase I of the report was published in late 2002.
The elevator would start as a 1-micron thick piece of tape made of carbon nanotubes 91,000km long, tapering from 5cm wide at the Earth’s surface to 11.5cm wide near the middle….
Early prototypes for space elevators will compete in two NASA competitions at the Wirefly X Prize Cup in Las Cruces, New Mexico on October 20 and 21.
The hope is that one day a space elevator, comprised of a robot that will climb a strong tether about 100,000 kilometers (60,000 miles) long, will be able to send humans or other cargo cheaply into space.