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Ultrasound may provide safer procedure for brain diagnosis and treatment

June 10, 2010

Artistic rendition of an ultrasound pulse being transmitted into intact brain circuits (William "Jamie" Tyler)

Pulsed ultrasound could be used for non-invasive diagnosis and stimulation of the brain, replacing implanted electrodes, transcranial magnetic stimulation, electroconvulsive shock therapy and other techniques, an Arizona State University study has found.

The findings also suggests it use for enhancing cognitive performance, perhaps even in the treatment of cognitive disabilities such as mental retardation or Alzheimer’s disease.

More info: Arizona State University news

Breakthrough in nanodevice synthesis revolutionizes biological sensors

February 1, 2007
Schematic of nanowire sensors operating in solution

Yale Institute for Nanoscience and Quantum Engineering engineers have developed a novel approach to synthesizing nanowires using wet-etch lithography on commercially available silicon-on-insulator wafers.

This allows for direct integration of nanowires with microelectronic systems for the first time.

It also allows for them to act as highly sensitive biomolecule detectors that could revolutionize biological diagnostic applications, according to a report in Nature.

Water, water everywhere, and now it’s safe to drink

September 24, 2008

A $30 test that takes just half an hour has been developed at Australia’s Environmental Biotechnology Cooperative Research Centre.

Silicon-based magnets boost spintronics

March 23, 2004

A family of silicon-based semiconductors that exhibit magnetic properties has been discovered, paving the way for “spintronic” computer chips that are compatible with existing silicon manufacturing technology.

Robot pool player

June 18, 2010

Willow Garage has programmed its PR2 robot to play pool.

Technical challenges included engineering a special grip and bridge so the PR2 could hold the cue, a ball detector, table localization, visualizations, input tools, and shot selector.

More info: The PR2 Plays Pool, Willow Garage Blog

$25 million prize for greenhouse gas removal

February 12, 2007

A prize of $25 million for anyone who can come up with a system for removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere was launched on Friday.

It calls for devises a system to remove a “significant amount” of greenhouse gases — equivalent to 1 billion tons of carbon dioxide or more — every year from the atmosphere for at least a decade.

It is the biggest prize in history,… read more

A New Type of Atomic Microscope Getting Closer

October 1, 2008

Researchers at the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid have created an ultrasmooth mirror that reflects a beam of helium atoms instead of electrons and could provide the same resolution as existing electron microscopes without damaging or destroying delicate biological samples.

Moore’s Law Limits Pushed Back Again

April 5, 2004

Rochester Institute of Technology researchers have figured out how to make silicon chips with 38 nanometer rules — an order of magnitude better than what is standard at present.

The process is called liquid-immersion nanolithography, based on the phenomenon that things look bigger under water. They submerge the silicon wafer.

FutureGrid project workshop seeks development in experimental computer science

March 14, 2012


The future development of computer science depends on researchers’ ability to conduct consistent, controlled, and repeatable large-scale experiments in large-scale, distributed computing and networking.

To tackle this challenge, the FutureGrid project helped host the Workshop on Experimental Support for Computer Science during the SC11 conference in November 2011.

The workshop brought together many scientists involved in building and operating infrastructures dedicated to supporting computer science experiments.… read more

Mountain View’s global teacher of 1,516 lessons and counting

June 28, 2010

Sal Khan is educating the globe for free.
His 1,516 videotaped mini-lectures are transforming the former hedge fund analyst into a YouTube sensation, reaping praise from even reluctant students across the world.

Making the right robot for the right job

February 20, 2007

Within a decade cars could start driving themselves on highways and in less than 25 years automakers may be producing vehicles “smart” enough to chauffeur passengers through city streets, Stanford computer scientist Sebastian Thrun predicted at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

The convergence of key technologies hint that, within decades, robots may be able to perform tasks that were hitherto only fiction.… read more

DNA could reveal your surname

October 8, 2008

Scientists at the Department of Genetics at the University of Leicester are developing techniques that may one day allow police to work out someone’s surname from the DNA alone.

Nutritional supplement may improve vision

April 14, 2004

The vision of patients with age-related macular degeneration improved to the point where they were able to read the next smallest line on their doctors’ eye charts after taking a nutritional supplement called lutein for a year, according to a study led by a Chicago area doctor.

Imitating a distracted human, blind robot with human gait learns to walk on rough terrain

July 6, 2010

A robot named MABEL that can walk over rough terrain with a human-like gait has been developed by University of Michigan electrical engineering professor Jessy Grizzle and students.
First attempt at walking over rough ground for Bipedal Robot MABEL

Grizzle was surprised that she was able to perform as well as she did. What a robot can step over usually depends on what it can see, but… read more

Let Robots Sweat the Boring Stuff

February 28, 2007

In advanced nations like Japan, populations are aging and shrinking. Combine that with ultrastrict immigration control and you get a situation in which “robomediation” makes a lot of sense.

“Personally, I wouldn’t mind living in a world in which all my routine interactions were with robots, and I kept my quality time for human beings.”

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