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Controlling Robots with the Mind

September 19, 2002

People with nerve or limb injuries may one day be able to command wheelchairs, prosthetics and even paralyzed arms and legs by “thinking them through” the motions.

Scientists have developed implantable microchips that will embed the neuronal pattern recognition now done with software, thereby eventually freeing the brain-machine interface devices from a computer. These microchips will send wireless control data to robotic actuators.

IPCC’s Himalayan glacier ‘mistake’ not an accident

January 25, 2010

The unsubstantiated Himalayan-glacier melt figures contained in a supposedly authoritative 2007 IPCC report on climate warming were used intentionally — despite the report’s lead author, Murari Lal, knowing there were no data to back them up.

“Lal last night admitted [the scary figure] was included purely to put political pressure on world leaders,” The Sunday Mail article reported.

See Climate Change Authority Admits Mistake

The… read more

Cornell researchers create DNA buckyballs for drug delivery

August 29, 2005

Cornell University researchers have made DNA buckyballs that could be used for drug delivery and as containers for chemical reactions.

The buckyballs are made from a specially prepared, branched DNA-polystyrene hybrid. The hybrid molecules spontaneously self-assemble into hollow balls about 400 nanometers in diameter.

Source: Cornell University news release

Before the beginning

June 13, 2008

Caltech scientists have developed new models of the universe that account for the recent finding that temperature variations in the cosmic microwave background radiation over half the sky appear to be about 10 percent greater than the variations in the other half.

In one scenario, the universe existed before inflation — the short-lived but enormous growth spurt associated with the Big Bang. In the other scenario, the universe is… read more

China poised to take over world’s manufacturing

October 13, 2002

China is poised to take over the world’s manufacturing; individuals outside of China will be displaced on a large scale, according to the Oct. 11 Gilder Friday Letter from Gilder Publishing.

Reasons: some 18 million people enter the work force each year, typical wages are 60 cents a day, 700,000 engineers a year are trained and paid $4,800 to $8,800 a year, and there’s a “high-pitched level… read more

Roll-to-Roll Printed Plastic Displays

February 1, 2010


A company called Phicot has adapted a technique for printing amorphous silicon electronics onto plastic that could make flexible, lightweight, and rugged plastic-based displays practical.

Polymer breakthrough to boost smart drugs

September 12, 2005

Smart plastic films programmed to release a precise sequence of treatments are poised to revolutionize drug delivery, thanks to a breakthrough in polymer chemistry at MIT.

The films could be used to coat implants such as artificial hips and tissue scaffolds to deliver phased release over a period of hours or weeks.

The method calls for depositing very thin polymer films on objects of any shape. The scientists… read more

Micromagnet ‘RFID tags’ enhance MRI images

June 19, 2008
Magnetic microtags (NIST/NIH)

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and National Institutes of Health have shown that injectable microscopic magnets could act as “RFID tags” for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), enhancing sensitivity, the amount of information provided by images, and imaging speed, while reducing the amount of toxic contrast agent required.

The materials or shape of the micromagnets could be precisely tuned for unique multispectral signatures, frequency-shifting… read more

DNA as Destiny

October 31, 2002

DNA is not only the book of life; it’s also the book of death. In the future we may be able to read it cover to cover. Here’s a first-hand account of what it’s like to take the world’s first top-to-bottom gene scan. “Everyone has errors in his or her DNA, glitches that may trigger a heart spasm or cause a brain tumor. I’m here to learn mine.” It may… read more

Scientists identify first genetic variant linked to biological aging in humans

February 8, 2010

The risk of age-associated diseases including heart disease and some types of cancers are more closely related to biological rather than chronological age, European researchers have found, showing that telomere lengths depend on the presence of gene variants near a gene called TERC.

Quantum-dot syntheses developed

September 23, 2005

New synthesis methods by University at Buffalo researchers allow for scalable, rapid creation of large quantities of non-toxic, robust, water-dispersible quantum dots for bioimaging.

The quantum dots also emit light in longer wavelengths, in the red region of the spectrum, making them capable of imaging processes deeper in the body, and they exhibit two-photon excitation, which is necessary for high-contrast imaging.

Source: University at Buffalo newsread more

Time reversal allows wireless broadband under the sea

June 26, 2008

Researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography and NATO Undersea Research Center have developed an “acoustic time reversal” technique that boosts underwater wireless broadband speed by up to three times, or extends the range up to 3500 km.

The system compensates for reduced signal/noise ratio due to phase-delay artifacts from surface and sea-bottom echoes. A receiver first transmits an acoustic carrier signal. The sender then time-reverses what they receive, and… read more

Man: 0 Machine: 1

November 15, 2002

Feng-Hsiung Hsu, who worked tirelessly for almost two decades to build IBM’s Deep Blue chess computer, demonstrates in “Behind Deep Blue” that the computer’s victory was not a matter of machine defeating man, but rather the advancement of a powerful tool assembled by human beings.

Five billion people to use mobile phones in 2010: UN

February 17, 2010

The number of cell phone subscribers will reach five billion people this year, and the number of mobile broadband subscriptions will exceed one billion this year, up from 600 million in 2009, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has said.

Micro-organisms may be turned into nano-circuitry

October 7, 2005

Single-celled algae, called diatoms, found floating in oceans might someday be reborn as components in 3D circuits much more complex and powerful than existing electronics.

Georgia Institute of Technology researchers think it might be possible to fabricate diatom structures to order, by exploiting a growing understanding of their genetic properties. They could then be converted chemically into useful nano-components.

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