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New nanocrystal alloys could lead to more powerful flash memory

September 20, 2010

This schematic shows enthalpy curves sketched for the liquid, crystalline and amorphous phases of a new class of nanomaterials called “BEANs” for Binary Eutectic-Alloy Nanostructures. (Daryl Chrzan)

A new class of phase-change materials (used in non-volatile or “flash” memory)  has been discovered by researchers with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the University of California (UC) Berkeley.

It could be applied to phase-change, random-access memory technologies and possibly optical data storage.  The new phase-change materials — nanocrystal alloys of a metal and semiconductor — are called “BEANs,” for binary eutectic-alloy nanostructures, such as quantum dots… read more

Robot wars

February 15, 2005

At the 24th Army Science Conference, held in Orlando, Florida last December, Ray Kurzweil gave a keynote address entitled “Warfighting in the 21st Century.” News@nature quizzed this renowned commentator on robotics about his views on future warfare.

Young people spend more than 7 hours a day using entertainment media: study

January 21, 2009

Young people (8-18) devote an average of 7 hours and 38 minutes (7:38) to using entertainment media across a typical day (more than 53 hours a week), increasing by one hour and seventeen minutes a day over the past five years, according to a new study, Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8- to 18-Year-Olds, designed and analyzed by the Kaiser Family Foundation and Stanford University… read more

Optical DSPs promise tera-ops performance

October 10, 2001

An optically based digital signal processing engine (ODSPE) that has the potential to take DSPs from the current giga-operations-per-second (Gops) limit to tera (trillion) operations per second (Tops) by 2005 has been demonstrated by Lenslet Labs of Israel.
The company has already demonstrated an 8-Tops, 20-watt device. Using conventional DSPs to get that performance would require 40 FPGAs, according to the company.

The technology uses high-speed optical processing –… read more

NASA plans ‘Armageddon’ spacecraft to blast asteroid

August 7, 2007

NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center has designed a nuclear-warhead-carrying spacecraft to deflect an asteroid that could threaten all life on Earth.

Mind Control

February 28, 2005

The BrainGate Neural Interface creates a direct link between a person’s brain and a computer, translating neural activity into action. Matthew Nagle, without use of his limbs but fitted with a BrainGate, can now play a videogame or change channels on TV using only his mind.

Family Dog Cloned Thanks to Dolly Patents

January 29, 2009

BioArts International has delivered the world’s first commercially cloned dog to a family in Florida.

First map of core white-matter connections of human brain developed at USC

May help better address clinical challenges such as traumatic brain injury
February 12, 2014

human_brain_connectivity

USC neuroscientists have systematically created the first map of the core white-matter “scaffold” (connections) of the human brain — the critical communications network that supports brain function.

Their work, published Feb. 11 in the open-access journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, has major implications for understanding brain injury and disease, the researchers say.

By detailing the connections that have the greatest influence over all other connections, the researchers offer… read more

World’s nuclear facilities vulnerable, warns UN agency

November 5, 2001

Nuclear plants are vulnerable to attacks by terrorists, according to a stark new warning by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
The world’s 1300 nuclear facilities are not hardened to withstand “acts of war” like a deliberate hit by a large, fully-fuelled passenger jet, warns the IAEA’s director general, Mohamed ElBaradei.

In the US on October 29, following intelligence reports received by the FBI, the air space around all… read more

The Beam of Light That Flips a Switch That Turns on the Brain

August 14, 2007

A new generation of genetic and optical technology can give researchers unprecedented power to turn on and off targeted sets of cells in the brain, and to do so by remote control.

Some day, the remote-control technology might even serve as a treatment for neurological and psychiatric disorders.

Microsoft’s new social network, so.cl: it’s like Google+ for wonks

May 21, 2012

microsoft_so_cl

Over the weekend, Microsoft quietly launched an experimental social network called So.cl — a mix between Google+ and Storify.

You can search for information about a particular topic, then compile the best results — textual content, images and videos — into a single document.

So.cl is initially targeted to students. It may end up being useful as an academic tool, but it’s unlikely to… read more

DoCoMo Shows Prototype Augmented Reality Display

October 8, 2010

(PC World)

NTT DoCoMo has developed a tiny display that clips onto a pair of eyeglasses and provides navigation services or information about local shops.

The prototype system, called AR Walker, includes a gyro sensor that can detect which way the wearer is facing to provide directions. It connects wirelessly to a mobile phone, which runs the software and provides the GPS data.

The research is being done with Olympus,… read more

Scanning with robots

March 15, 2005

Engineers at Imperial College’s mechatronics in medicine laboratory are developing a robot system to allow more accurate biopsies to be taken within the cramped conditions of an MRI chamber.

The extremely strong magnetic fields generated by MRI scanners rule out the use of motors to operate the robot. So the team is investigating the use of piezo-ceramic actuators, which deflect when a voltage is applied to them, allowing them… read more

Video: Revealing the technology of invisibility

February 4, 2009

A New Scientist video shows a device created at Duke University, North Carolina, that can make objects invisible to microwaves.

The team thinks its technology could be modified to work for infrared and visible light too, making it able to hide 3D objects from human eyes.

Also shown: using cameras and a projector, Japanese researchers beam the background video onto an obstacle’s highly reflective surface, causing it… read more

Don’t Fear Science You Can’t See

December 3, 2001

Some boosters of nanotechnology worry that fear unleashed by Bill Joy’s warnings of self-replicating nanobots could lead to an anti-nanotech movement that would stunt the growth of this nascent field. To put the public at ease, nanotechnology researchers and startups need to focus on education.

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