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New image search engine

April 4, 2007

Electrical engineers from UC San Diego are making progress on a new image search engine.

The system calculates the probability that various objects or classes it has been trained to recognize are present and labels the images accordingly. After labeling, images can be retrieved via keyword searches.

Nanotechnology pioneer slays ‘grey goo’ myths

June 9, 2004

Eric Drexler, known as the father of nanotechnology, today publishes a paper that admits that self-replicating machines are not vital for large-scale molecular manufacture, and that nanotechnology-based fabrication can be thoroughly non-biological and inherently safe.

“Runaway replicators, while theoretically possible according to the laws of physics, cannot be built with today’s nanotechnology toolset,” says Dr. Drexler, writing in the Institute of Physics journal Nanotechnology. “Self-replicating machines aren’t necessary for… read more

Decoding motion detection in the fly’s brain

July 13, 2010

Neurobiologists use state-of-the-art methods to observe the activity of nerve cells while the fly sees moving stripe patterns on a LED screen (left). This technique allows for observing the response of single cells in the brain area that processes motion information (right, scale = 20 micrometer).  (Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology)

Neurobiologists at the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology have used state-of-the-art methods to decode the basics of motion detection in a fly’s brain.

While the number of nerve cells in the fly is comparatively small, they are highly specialized and process images with great precision while in flight. Flies can process a vast amount of information about motion and movement in their environment in real time. One… read more

‘Eternal Sunshine’ drug selectively erases memories

October 24, 2008

By boosting levels of alpha-CaMKII protein, involved in memory storage and retrieval, Medical College of Georgia neuroscientists have wiped away a month-old memory in genetically engineered laboratory mice while leaving other memories unchanged.

Propellers for Microrobots

April 12, 2007

Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Researchers have developed a novel form of propulsion for microrobots that mimics the way bacteria zip about using corkscrew-like appendages called flagella.

Tests show that the tiny rotating nanocoils–just 27 nanometers thick and 40 micrometers long–are capable of spinning at 60 revolutions per minute and that it is possible to propel an object at nearly 5 micrometers per second.

Such propulsion could be… read more

The Future of Business Intelligence

June 22, 2004

Within three years, companies and governmental agencies will be able to successfully run analytics within a centralized data warehouse containing 1 petabyte or more of data — without performance limitations.

Over the next five years, automated banking systems will become increasingly complex by considering customer financial status and wealth, transactional history, and even family and business relationships, to produce complex man/machine interactions that resemble artificial intelligence.

The Lifeboat Foundation: Battling Asteroids, Nanobots and A.I.

July 21, 2010

The Lifeboat Foundation is a nonprofit that seeks to protect people from some seriously catastrophic technology-related events. It funds research that would prevent a situation where technology has run amok, sort of like a pre-Fringe Unit.

The organization has a ton of areas that it’s looking into, ranging from artificial intelligence to asteroids. A particular interest for the group revolves around building shields and lots of them, such… read more

Smart amoebas reveal origins of primitive intelligence

October 30, 2008

University of California, San Diego researchers have developed a simple circuit based on a memristor (a resistor that remembers earlier voltages or currents and adjust its resistance) that models an amoeba’s “learning,” based on its predictive response to temperature changes.

Plastic solar cell efficiency breaks record

April 23, 2007

Wake Forest researchers have achieved record efficiency for organic or flexible, plastic solar cells by creating “nano-filaments” within light absorbing plastic, similar to the veins in tree leaves.

This allows for the use of thicker absorbing layers in the devices, which capture more of the sun’s light, reaching more than 6 percent efficiency.

Carbon nanotubes rewrite memory rulebook

July 6, 2004

Carbon nanotube memory could be a panacea to all existing memory issues, start-up Nantero said, because it was cheap and did not lose its contents if turned off.

It’s faster than SRAM, it should be cheap and it doesn’t lose its contents when switched off. It should have an almost unlimited life, it should eventually be denser than DRAM, needs less power than DRAM and is resistant to radiation.… read more

The Science Of ‘Inception’

July 30, 2010

Real-life technologies can perform some of the mind-reading tricks shown in the new film Inception, in which people are able to observe and participate in someone’s dreams.

Jack Gallant, a neuroscientist at the University of California, Berkeley shows people images and movies while taking a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scan of their brains. He uses brain-pattern analysis and computer algorithms to analyze the fMRI scans and build a… read more

Cheap, Self-Assembling Optics

November 5, 2008

University of California, Berkeley researchers have created nanoscale silver particles that can self-assemble in solution cheaply and on a large scale into various optical devices, including metamaterials, color-changing paints and cloaking materials, components for optical computers, and ultrasensitive chemical sensors.

Reversing cancer cells to normal cells

April 30, 2007

Northwestern University scientists have described new research that suggests how to change human metastatic melanoma cells back to normal-like skin cells — by exposing the tumor cells to the embryonic microenvironment of human embryonic stem cells, the zebra fish and the chick embryo.

Functional magnetic resonance imaging is growing from showy adolescence into a workhorse of brain imaging

April 10, 2012

MRI Head

Neuroscientists are seeking ways to improve the spatial and temporal resolution of brain signals so they can build more detailed models of the brain’s organization, networks and function.

New functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) methods include sophisticated statistical techniques to pick out detailed patterns from fMRI scans, use of stronger magnets, and injecting molecules that are easier to detect than oxygenated blood, in a method more akin to PET.

Los Alamos… read more

As Gene Test Menu Grows, Who Gets to Choose?

July 21, 2004

Too many health care providers, critics say, have not educated themselves about the genetic tests that could benefit their patients.

Others, pressed for time, simply do not communicate what can be complex information. And some choose not to inform their patients of certain tests they have deemed inappropriate, in effect making a value judgment about abortion, disabilities and risk that patients say they have a right to make for… read more

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