science + technology news

‘Electronic nose’ could detect small quantities of harmful airborne substances

August 22, 2012

nosang-sensor

Researchers have developed an “electronic nose” prototype that can detect small quantities of harmful airborne substances.

Based on research by Nosang Myung, a professor at the University of California, RiversideBourns College of Engineering, the device has potential applications in agriculture (detecting pesticide levels), industrial sites (detecting gas leaks, combustion emissions), homeland security (warning systems for bio-terrorism) and the military (detecting chemical warfare agents).

At present, it’s… read more

The Next Wave of Disruptive Technologies

April 26, 2005

The semantic Web, autonomous agents, sensor networks, and RFID are among the emerging technologies that will radically change the future of manufacturing.

3-D Med School, Hold the Cadavers

March 11, 2002

A new virtual reality room at the University of Calgary lets researchers and medical students visualize body structures instead of requiring dissection. Four projectors display representations of the body on the walls of a 2.5-cubic-meter room, allowing scientists to view the images via stereoscopic lenses. They can also program the simulations remotely, using Java3D technology on a PC.

The University of Calgary plans to add the image set of… read more

Ultrasound imaging in the palm of your hand

April 22, 2009

Computer engineers at Washington University have coupled USB-based ultrasound probe technology with a smartphone, enabling a compact, mobile computational platform and telemedical imaging device.

The system could be used to provide diagnosis at home, by emergency medical technicians, and in remote areas of the developing world, using the phone to send data to a centralized unit many miles, or half a world away, where specialists analyze the… read more

Researchers develop better membranes for water treatment, drug delivery

December 6, 2007

Researchers at the University of Illinois have developed a new generation of biomimetic membranes for water treatment and drug delivery.

The highly permeable and selective membranes are based on the incorporation of the functional water channel protein Aquaporin Z into a novel A-B-A triblock copolymer.

The experimental membranes, currently in the form of vesicles, show significantly higher water transport than existing reverse-osmosis membranes used in water purification and… read more

Matrix claims 1-Gbit memory is world’s smallest

May 11, 2005

Matrix Semiconductor Inc. said Tuesday (May 10) it had developed the world’s smallest 1-Gbit memory, with a die area of 31 square millimeters.

Smartphone app that helps doctors detect cancer

March 1, 2011

(Image: C. Min/H. Lee/R. Weissleder)

Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston have developed a system that can detect tumors by analysing a few thousands cells, sparing patients from the larger biopsies currently used.

The palm-sized device sits on the patient’s bedside table, operated through a simple smartphone app. At the core is a micro nuclear magnetic resonance (microNMR) chip, a scaled-down version of the technology found in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners. It… read more

Jumping genes make ‘designer’ animals easy

April 11, 2002

Biotech company Tosk says it can add genes to mammalian cells with unprecedented efficiency with the help of fruit fly DNA that can jump in and out of chromosomes.
Introducing genes into mammals is laborious and expensive at present. The new method promises to make genetically modified mammals cheap and easy and could even be used to correct genetic faults in people.

GM mammals are usually made by injecting… read more

Carpet cloaks bring invisibility to the optical world

April 29, 2009

Cornell University and UC Berkeley scientists have built cloaks that are essentially mirrors with a tiny bump in which an object can hide.

The bump is hidden by a pattern of tiny silicon nanopillars on the mirror surface that steers reflected light in a way that makes any bump look flat. So anything can be hidden beneath the bump without an observer realizing it is there.

Spreading the load

December 12, 2007

A new wave of science projects on the web is harnessing volunteers’ computers in novel ways — and their brains, too.

Light gun fires photons one by one

May 25, 2005

The first photon gun capable of firing single particles of light over optical fibers was unveiled on Tuesday.

Since quantum encryption works only if the key is sent using individual photons, the breakthrough may remove one of the final obstacles keeping perfectly secure messages from being sent over standard telephone fibers.

Researchers at Toshiba’s Cambridge Research Laboratory in the UK have developed a light-emitting diode that produces up… read more

Social intelligence for robots

March 9, 2011

Simon Robot

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have found that they can program a robot to understand when it gains a human’s attention and when it falls short.

With close to 80 percent accuracy, the socially expressive Simon robot was able to tell, using only his cameras as a guide, whether someone was paying attention to him or ignoring him.

“We would like to bring robots into the… read more

Startup Uses Light, Not Electrons, For New Chip

May 7, 2002

Digital signal processing startup Lenslet Labs of Israel has developed a way to use properties of light as computational elements rather than electrons, eliminating problems from waste heat and allowing for more parallelism.

The EnLight 256, a specialized processor, is designed to be used in applications like cellular basestations, software-defined radio, and ADSL transceivers.

News tip: Sander Olson

Lab-on-Chip Detects, Identifies Specific Malarial Strains

May 5, 2009

University of Glasgow have developed a lab-on-chip device that takes one hour to identify what strain of malaria a patient has, allowing doctors to know if the particular infection can be treated with available medications.

Currently it can take up to 48 hours to determine whether a patient has Malaria and even then, doctors are unable to tell whether the parasite is drug-resistant.

Giving Avatars Real Bodies

December 18, 2007

Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology scientists have developed a system for controlling physical robots using software robots, displayed as virtual-reality avatars.

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