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Bots on The Ground

May 9, 2007

Battle bots are teaching us how easily we identify our own creations as animate.

Google Drive detailed: 5 GB for free, launching next week for Mac, Windows, Android and iOS

April 18, 2012


Taking on  Dropbox, Google’s upcoming Google Drive service will offer 5 GB of free storage, launching next week, likely on Tuesday at

Google Drive will work “in desktop folders” on both Mac and Windows machines.


Decoders target 18 new genomes

August 5, 2004

The National Human Genome Research Institute plans to sequence genomes for 18 species to shed light on both the human genome and the evolution of the entire tree of life.

Among the diverse organisms selected are the African savannah elephant, the domestic cat, the nine-banded armadillo and a cadre of moulds, snails and worms.

Exploring virtual copies of objects

August 20, 2010


Researchers at the Computer Vision Lab at ETH Zurich have developed a method to produce virtual copies of real objects that can be touched and sent via the Internet.

A 3D scanner records an image of the object.  A sensor arm with force, acceleration, and slip sensors then collects information about shape and solidity, and  a virtual copy is created on the computer. A user senses the object using… read more

Tunnelling nanotubes: Life’s secret network

November 18, 2008

Recently discovered tunneling nanotubes may be responsible for the spread of HIV and prion infectivity from cell to cell, scientists have found.

At 50 to 200 nanometers thick, they are wide enough to allow proteins to pass through, and can span distances of several cell diameters, wiggling around obstacles to connect the insides of two cells some distance apart. Nanotubes may also play a role in tumors becoming resistant… read more

Alpha Lipoic acid explored as an anti-aging compound

May 22, 2007

Researchers have identified the mechanism of action of lipoic acid, a remarkable compound that in animal experiments appears to slow down the process of aging, improve blood flow, enhance immune function and perform many other functions.

New Technique That Improves The Power Of Atomic Force Microscopy

August 18, 2004

Researchers have developed a method that could vastly improve the ability of atomic force microscopes (AFM) to “see” the chemical composition of a sample on a nanometer scale, follow variations of the sample, and map its topographic structure.

To use the AFM in its new mode, the researchers attached antibodies keyed to individual proteins to the tip of an AFM’s probe. When an antibody reacts with the protein it… read more

Advances Offer Path to Shrink Computer Chips Again

August 31, 2010

Scientists at Rice University and Hewlett-Packard are reporting this week that they can overcome a fundamental barrier to the continued rapid miniaturization of computer memory by using memristors, or memory resistors, switches that retain information without a source of power.

Giant Camera Tracks Asteroids

November 24, 2008

The Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS), the first of four new asteroid-tracking telescopes, will come online next month in Hawaii, promising to quickly scan large swaths of the sky, using the world’s largest digital camera.

Russia bans human tissue export in bioweapon alert

May 31, 2007

Russia has banned the shipment of medical specimens abroad, threatening hundreds of patients and complicating drug trials by major companies, the national Kommersant newspaper reported.

Kommersant attributed the ban to fears in the secret service that Russian genetic material could be used abroad to make biochemical weapons targeting Russians.

First practical plastic magnets created

September 1, 2004

The world’s first plastic magnet to work at room temperature has passed the elementary test of magnetism.

One of the most likely applications is magnetic coating of computer hard disks, which could lead to a new generation of high-capacity disks.

Plastic magnets could also have important medical applications, for example in dentistry or the transducers used in cochlear implants. Organic magnetic materials are less likely to be rejected… read more

‘Laser tweezers’ move nanoparticles a record 1.5 meters

September 9, 2010

Researchers from Australian National University have developed the ability to move particles  over distances of up to 1.5 meters, using a hollow laser beam to trap light-absorbing particles in a “dark core.” The particles are then moved up and down the beam of light, which acts like an optical “pipeline.”

“When the small particles are trapped in this dark core very interesting things start to happen,” said Professor… read more

Standing in Someone Else’s Shoes, Almost for Real

December 2, 2008

Neuroscientists have presented evidence that they can create a “body swapping” illusion by using VR helmets, showing that the brain, when tricked by optical and sensory illusions, can quickly adopt any other human form, no matter how different, as its own.

Based on virtual-reality experiments, the technique could have a profound effect on a range of therapeutic techniques. In these studies, researchers create avatars that mimic a person’s every… read more

A Step Toward a Living, Learning Memory Chip

June 8, 2007

Researchers at Tel Aviv University in Israel have demonstrated that neurons cultured outside the brain can be imprinted with multiple rudimentary memories that persist for days without interfering with or wiping out others.

According to Eshel Ben-Jacob, previous attempts to trigger the cells to create a repeating pattern of signals sent from neuron to neuron in a population–which neuroscientists believe constitutes the formation of a memory in the context… read more

3D-printed circuit boards for solder-free printable electronics

May 7, 2012


Given the schematic for a simple circuit, here’s how to make it a real circuit with the base components, some conductive thread, and a 3D printer — no solder, no etching chemicals, no sending away for anything, Instructables explains in a how-to tutorial.

“We are entering an age where physical goods increasingly have a digital representation (e.g., — and the means of production of such goods are… read more

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