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IBM plans self-aware computers

May 1, 2001

IBM has unveiled eLiza, an ambitious program to create computers that can maintain and update themselves automatically.

The name eLiza stands for “electronic lizard,” from the statement by futurist Ray Kurzweil that the IBM supercomputer Deep Blue (the chess computer that took on Gary Kasparov) was as smart as the average lizard.

A version of eLiza is being implemented on Blue Gene, the world’s fastest computer.

Chaos filter helps robots make sense of the world

February 26, 2009

University of Oxford researchers have come up with a way for map-building robots to accurately recognize places they have been before, even when objects have moved or are approached from a new angle.

Their FabMap software tackles those problems by having a robot assign a visual “vocabulary” of up to a thousand individual “words” for each scene, every two seconds. That means when the robot revisits a scene that… read more

Why aging reduces immune system function

December 7, 2004

Oregon Health & Science University scientists have found that human T cell diversity fades with age, potentially resulting in a higher susceptibility to disease.

In old age the population of CD8 T cells — cells that recognize and destroy abnormal or infected cells and suppress the activity of other white blood cells to protect normal tissue — is dominated by less effective T cells. This results in an immune… read more

Robot reproduces human mouth movements for speech

September 25, 2007

Researchers at the Tokyo University of Science and the Musashino Red Cross Hospital are developing a robot capable of reproducing oral movements necessary to produce human speech, for use in speech therapy and teaching foreign languages.

The prototype robot, an artificial mouth with a tongue made of silicone and a lower jaw driven by artificial muscles, can mimic tongue and lower jaw movements for reproducing Japanese vowel sounds. The… read more

Sounds Of The Universe

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.

Design-a-kid clinic puts offer on hold

March 4, 2009

A fertility doctor who offered to customize traits like eye and hair color is backing down and says he will mess with Mother Nature only for medical reasons — for now.

UAlbany College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering Awards First Ph.D. Degrees in Nanoscale Science

December 17, 2004

The world’s first Ph.D. degrees in nanoscience from a college devoted exclusively to the study of nanoscale scientific concepts were awarded to Drs. Spyridon Skordas and Wanxue Zeng at College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) of the University at Albany – State University of New York.

Skordas’s Ph.D. dissertation examined metal organic chemical vapor deposition of aluminum oxide ultra-thin films for advanced transistor applications. Zeng explored plasma- assisted… read more

Its Creators Call Internet Outdated, Offer Remedies

October 3, 2007

There’s a growing debate over whether the Internet’s current infrastructure is sufficient to handle the explosion of bandwidth-hungry services such as Internet telephony and video.

In a recent report, Cisco calculated that monthly Internet traffic in North America will increase 264 percent by 2011 to more than 7.8 million terabytes, or the equivalent of 40 trillion email messages. If such Internet traffic continues increasing, many believe networks could crash… read more

NASA research shows DNA building blocks can be made in space

August 9, 2011

DNA Meteorite

Scientists at  GNASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center have found trace amounts of three molecules related to DNA nucleobases adenine and guanine in samples of 12 carbon-rich meteorites, nine of which were recovered from Antarctica.

These nucleobase-related molecules, called nucleobase analogs, provide the first evidence that the compounds in the meteorites came from space and not terrestrial contamination.

The team analyzed an eight-kilogram (21.4-pound) sample of… read more

Molecular computer memory developed

June 11, 2001

A RAM memory prototype using organic molecular switches has been developed by researchers at Yale University. An array of molecules between two gold electrodes is used to store a 1 or 0 by applying a voltage pulse to the electrodes, causing the molecules to be kicked into another state in which their electrons are arranged differently, resulting in higher or lower conductivity.

Currently, 1000 molecules are used… read more

High time to act on armed robots

March 10, 2009
MAARS robot (Qinetiq)

Robot sentries patrol the borders of South Korea and Israel. Remote-controlled aircraft mount missile attacks on enemy positions. Other military robots are already in service, and not just for defusing bombs or detecting landmines.

A coming generation of autonomous combat robots capable of deep penetration into enemy territory raises questions about whether they will be able to discriminate between soldiers and innocent civilians.

Ultrafast Supercomputer to Simulate Nuke Explosion

December 31, 2004

Leading nuclear scientists will witness next summer the results of the greatest effort ever in supercomputing: a 3-D simulation of the explosion of an aging nuclear bomb, produced by the world’s fastest computer, BlueGene/L, running at 360 teraflops.

Researcher: Humans will wed robots

October 12, 2007

The University of Maastricht in the Netherlands is awarding a doctorate to a researcher who wrote a paper on marriages between humans and robots.

David Levy, a British artificial intelligence researcher at the college, wrote in his thesis, “Intimate Relationships with Artificial Partners,” that trends in robotics and shifting attitudes on marriage are likely to result in sophisticated robots that will eventually be seen as suitable marriage partners.

New tool may yield smaller, faster optoelectronics

August 15, 2011

This figure shows how to excite and dynamically control plasmonic Airy beams on a thin gold film. Through a grating coupler [see Inset (a)], an Airy beam in free space [see Inset (b)] generated with a computer addressed spatial light modulator (SLM) is directly coupled into surface plasmon polaritons, which is monitored via leakage radiation microscopy. The on-the-fly adjustment of the created plasmonic Airy beam is achieved by displaying an animation of specially designed patterns in SLM (credit: Optics Letters/Peng Zhang, UC Berkeley & SFSU)

Steering a beam of  ”virtual particles” has enabled a team of scientists at the National Science Foundation (NSF) Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center of the University of California, Berkeley, to manipulate ultra-small-scale particles in real time.

The researchers manipulated a blended stream of light and plasma, known as a plasmonic Airy beam. When the beam first strikes a metal surface (typically a grating structure),… read more

Atoms perform a quantum flip

July 5, 2001

Quantum dynamical tunnelling — in which atoms can jump back and forth between two stable states of motion without passing through the zero momentum state — has been demonstrated by researchers.

The phenomenon could form the basis of a quantum computer.

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