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IBM Building Next Generation of BlueGene Supercomputers

February 3, 2009

IBM and the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have signed a new contract to build the next generation of IBM’s BlueGene supercomputers in 2012. Its “Sequoia” system will offer 20 petaflops of performance — nearly 20 times faster than the current fastest supercomputer, the 1.105 petaflop/s IBM Roadrunner.

The DOE is planning to use Sequoia and another new (500 teraflops) system called “Dawn” to connect the compute… read more

Bug-popping nanotubes promise clean surfaces

August 22, 2007

A Yale University study found that soating surfaces with carbon nanotubes could keep them microbe-free.

The nanotubes punctured bacteria cells, causing the genetic material to float out.

The Yale researchers envisage materials covered with carbon nanotubes to keep them microbe-free. The nanotubes could either be applied to the surface or incorporated during the manufacturing process.

Snapshot of an electron orbital

December 16, 2004

Researchers have announced a technique to record a three-dimensional image of the orbitals of electrons in molecules.

The imaging technique uses extremely short laser pulses to briefly ionize an electron away from a molecule of nitrogen. As they spring back, the electrons emit light that can interfere with the laser pulse in different ways depending on the electron’s position and where the laser pulse hit the molecule.

The… read more

Genome Rivals’ Genteel Soiree

June 8, 2001

Genome researchers find software tools for analyzing genomic data are inadequate and there’s no format available to effectively exchange data.

Wireless drug control

February 9, 2009

Electronic implants that dispense medicines automatically or via a wireless medical network are on the horizon, but researchers warn of security risks.

Teaching computers to read minds

August 30, 2007

Microsoft researchers are developing a mass-market EEG system with a small number of electrodes affixed to a person’s head.

It will communicate wirelessly with software on a PC, in hopes of turning electrodes into meaningful input devices for computers.

Coated nanotubes make biosensors

December 30, 2004

Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are using carbon nanotubes to sense single molecules, and are tapping the way carbon nanotubes give off near-infrared light in order to read what the sensors have detected.

The sensors could eventually be used to monitor biochemical changes in biological fluids and tissue in real time.

Reproductive scientists create mice from 2 fathers

December 9, 2010

Using stem cell technology, reproductive scientists in Texas have produced male and female mice from two fathers — a new form of mammalian reproduction.

They manipulated fibroblasts from a male (XY) mouse fetus to produce an induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell line. About one percent of iPS cell colonies grown from this XY cell line spontaneously lost the Y chromosome, resulting in XO cells. The XO iPS cells were… read more

Wireless artificial heart implanted

July 3, 2001

University of Louisville surgeons made medical history yesterday, cutting a damaged heart out of the chest of a terminally ill patient and replacing it with an artificial pump that has no wires to the outside world, according to a unconfirmed report.

The plastic-and-metal heart, called the AbioCor, uses an implanted battery that powers the motor. It recharges from a coil that transfers energy through the skin.

Previous devices… read more

Subliminal messages really do affect your decisions

February 16, 2009

Subliminal messages do inform people’s decision-making, Northwestern University researchers have found.

Reshaping the Architecture of Memory

September 11, 2007

IBM’s “racetrack memory” could outpace both solid-state flash memory chips and computer hard disks, making it a technology that could transform not only the storage business but the entire computing industry, increasing the amount of data stored on a chip or a hard drive by a factor of a hundred.

It would use billions of ultrafine wire loops around the edge of a silicon chip — hence the name… read more

Devastating Attack In The Net’s Near Future, Experts Say

January 11, 2005

Count on at least one devastating attack on the Internet in the next 10 years, an overwhelming majority of technology experts polled by a major research group says.

The experts’ second-most agreed upon prediction was that as computing devices become embedded in everything from clothes and cars to phones and pharmaceutical packaging, governments and businesses will use them to snoop on citizens and consumers.

Nurses get bionic ‘power suit’

July 30, 2001

A robotic exoskeleton has been created by Japanese researchers to allow nurses to lift patients effortlessly and without damaging their backs.
How it works:

Sensor pads taped to the major muscle groups calculate how much force you need to pick up a patient. As you lift, the sensors send data to a microcomputer that triggers a bunch of concertina-like limb and body actuators powered by compressed air.

These… read more

Researchers develop ‘wireless’ activation of brain circuits

February 24, 2009

Case Western Reserve researchers are developing nanostructured semiconductor photoelectrodes to trigger neurons in single cells or groups of cells with infrared light, replacing electrodes, which have potential damaging side effects.

Did the big bang spawn trillions of black holes?

September 20, 2007

Were vast numbers of black holes spawned during our universe’s earliest moments?

So far, there is no hard evidence that such primordial black holes (PBHs) ever existed, but new observations just around the corner could change that. The black holes emit X-rays that can escape the vicinity of the black holes to ionize hydrogen atoms. This would subtly affect how matter distributes itself into regions of high and low… read more

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