science + technology news

The Hulk vs. nanobots

June 23, 2003

The just-released movie “The Hulk” features scientists “studying the effects of gamma radiation on nanomeds,” a.k.a. “nanobots,” according to the Official site.

Predictably, à la the novel Prey, the experiment gets out of control and a scientist is exposed to gamma radiation from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Gamma Sphere that activates a “dormant genetic mutation” and gives a whole new meaning to “Green Goo.” (The actual… read more

Nanoscale Drug Delivery Developed For Chemotherapy

November 2, 2009

Duke University bioengineers have developed a simple, inexpensive method for loading cancer drug payloads into nanoscale delivery vehicles and demonstrated in animal models that this delivery system can eliminate tumors after a single treatment.

The system uses an E. coli bacterium that have been genetically altered to produce a chimeric polypeptide. When that molecule combines with a drug in a container, they self-assemble into a water-soluble nanoparticle of about… read more

Stephen Hawking calls for Moon and Mars colonies

April 22, 2008

Stephen Hawking has called for a massive investment in establishing colonies on the Moon and Mars, arguing that the world should devote about 10 times as much as NASA’s current budget — or 0.25% of the world’s financial resources — to space.

“A goal of a base on the Moon by 2020 and of a manned landing on Mars by 2025 would reignite the space program and give it… read more

The new breed of soldier: Robots with guns

April 17, 2006

Spurred by the risks from roadside bombs and terrorist ambushes, the military is aggressively seeking to replace troops with battlefield robots, including new versions armed with machine guns.

Unexpected adhesion properties of graphene may lead to new nanotechnology devices

August 29, 2011

This is an artist's rendering of an array of pressurized graphene membranes. A CU-Boulder team recently discovered that graphene has surprisingly high adhesion properties, findings that may help lead to the development of new graphene-based mechanical devices like gas separation membranes (credit: Illustration courtesy Victor Tzen and Rex Tzen)

Graphene has surprisingly powerful adhesion qualities that could make possible graphene-based mechanical devices such as gas separation membranes, researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder have found.

The team measured the adhesion energy of graphene sheets, ranging from one to five atomic layers, with a glass substrate, using a pressurized “blister test” to quantify the adhesion between graphene and glass plates. The… read more

‘Google Pocket Guide’ released

July 3, 2003

O’Reilly has released the “Google Pocket Guide” to help Google users learn the fundamentals of a Google search.

The book includes making the most of Google’s special syntaxes, hidden options, and powerful combinations; consulting the Google dictionary; looking up individuals and businesses in the Google phonebook; finding related web sites and pages; and restricting or expanding a Google search by subject, web site, domain, time, title, etc.

Words, Gestures Are Translated By Same Brain Regions

November 10, 2009

Brain regions where spoken or written words are decoded are also important in interpreting wordless gestures, research funded by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders has found.

The findings suggest that these brain regions may play a much broader role in the interpretation of symbols than researchers have thought, so they could be the evolutionary starting point from which language originated.

These regions include the… read more

Science fiction inspires DARPA weapon

April 24, 2008

DARPA is working on a weapon called MAHEM (Magneto Hydrodynamic Explosive Munition) that uses a principle similar to Arthur C. Clarke’s fictional Stiletto, “a jet of molten metal, hurled through space at several hundred kilometers per second by the most powerful electromagnets ever built.”

MAHEM uses magnetic fields to propel either a narrow jet of molten metal or a chunk of molten metal that morphs into an aerodynamic slug… read more

Nanowires and water are a memorable mix

May 1, 2006

Adding water to nanowires could create computer memory devices capable of storing 10 million times more information in the same physical space as existing drives.

Researchers estimate that the wires could theoretically be used to make computer memory drives with a data density of 10,000 terabits per cubic centimeter. By contrast, current flash memory drives store about five gigabits per cubic centimeter.

Google patents a glove for ‘seeing with your hand’

September 6, 2011

Patent Image

Google co-founder Sergey Brin is among the inventors listed on a patent issued this week for “Seeing With Your Hand”: a glove with sensors for viewing a room.

Fat Pipe Dream

July 16, 2003

A new gigabit Ethernet network provides Internet access to Japanese homes at 12 megabits per second — eight times faster than what Americans are used to — for about $21 a month.

The “Yahoo! BB” brand service includes voice-over-IP (less than 3 cents a minute for a call from Tokyo to New York), which could eventually put Japan’s NTT telephone company out of business.

A video-on-demand service that… read more

Reality Bytes

November 16, 2009

The action figures in toy stores for James Cameron’s forthcoming Avatar film add an an “augmented reality” feature to toys, the first to add artificial reality to a product.

Rumor: Apple to add tactile feedback to iPhone

April 28, 2008

Apple may be planning to license haptic technology from Immersion for use in the iPhone.

Haptic technology gives people sensory feedback–in the form of a vibration or pressure–when they use a touchscreen. Immersion’s VibeTonz feedback technology is already in use in more than 10 million mobile phones.

Last chromosome in human genome sequenced

May 18, 2006

Scientists have reached a landmark point in one of the world’s most important scientific projects by sequencing the last chromosome in the Human Genome.

Ferroelectrics may lead to ultra-low-power computing

September 13, 2011

Negative Capacitance

Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley, have shown that it is possible to reduce the minimum voltage necessary to store charge in a capacitor, an achievement that could reduce the power draw and heat generation of today’s electronics.

“Just like a Formula One car, the faster you run your computer, the hotter it gets. So the key to having a fast microprocessor is to… read more

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