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Mere immortals

August 22, 2003

Radical experts believe that, in the next 50 years, 90-year-olds could look like 30-year-olds and feel as fit as a 45-year-old, thanks to an explosion in regenerative medicine, genetic research and biotechnology.

University of Queensland development biologist, associate professor Victor Nurcombe predicts that most births will occur outside the body within a few decades and within 10 years, all babies will be scanned at birth for pre-disposition to disease… read more

Is synaesthesia a high-level brain power?

December 18, 2009

Synesthesia may be the result of a special ability in the “higher” brain areas used for language and attention, University of Sussex researchers suggest.

A Gentler Way to Jump-Start the Brain

May 19, 2008

An Israeli company called Brainsway has developed a transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) method using multiple coils that stimulates areas deeper areas in the brain associated with depression and other neurological disorders, providing a possible treatment for patients with major depression who fail to respond to antidepressants.

Brainsway is designing different coils to tackle brain regions associated with other conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, autism, and drug… read more

Engineers Make Like a Tree

July 10, 2006

Researchers are studying plant bionics, cherry-picking evolution’s best biological solutions and applying them to engineering problems.

Three new developments in creating better graphene

October 18, 2011

Vapor Deposition

Here are three new promising research developments in enhancing graphene — the thinnest and strongest material in the world (more than 100 times stronger than diamond). Graphene’s properties make it ideal for advancements in green electronics, superconductors, super-strong materials, flexible screens and electronic devices, ultra-efficient solar power cells, and computers with 1,000 GHz processors that run on virtually no energy.

Grow it in large sheetsread more

Scientists highlight fish ‘intelligence’

September 2, 2003

Fish are now seen as highly intelligent creatures, with social intelligence, exhibiting stable cultural traditions, cooperating to inspect predators and catch food, and pursuing Machiavellian strategies of manipulation, punishment and reconciliation.

They can even be favorably compared to non-human primates, say British scientists.

News tip: Walter Purvis

Scientists create world’s first molecular transistor

December 24, 2009


The first transistor made from a single molecule has been created by researchers from Yale University and the Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology in South Korea.

The researchers were able to manipulate a benzene molecule’s different energy states, depending on the voltage they applied to it through gold contacts, to control the current passing through the molecule.

More-Powerful Fuel Cells

May 22, 2008

MIT researchers have developed a cheap membrane material that increases the power output of methanol fuel cells by 50 percent.

It is made out of layers of polymers whose electrochemical properties can be precisely tuned to prevent fuel waste.

NaturallySpeaking Claims Voice Rec Breakthrough

July 18, 2006

Nuance Communications says the latest version of its speech-recognition software can achieve–with some speakers–99 percent accuracy out of the box, without a “training” session to familiarize the software with how a particular person talks.

Intel Says New Chips to Have Two Processors

September 17, 2003

Intel plans two new chips that will have two or more processors on a single piece of silicon, boosting the performance of corporate server computers: a 32-bit Xeon server processor MP, code-named “Tulsa,” its first dual-core chip, and a new 64-bit Itanium server chip, code-named “Tanglewood.”

Also planned:

  • An Itanium processor, code-named “Montecito,” the first chip with one billion transistors, targeted for production in 2005.
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    Rethinking artificial intelligence

    January 4, 2010

    MIT’s new Mind Machine Project (MMP) aims to create “intelligent machines” by “revisiting fundamental assumptions” in all of the areas encompassed by the field of AI, including the nature of the mind and of memory, and how intelligence can be manifested in physical form, says Neil Gershenfeld, professor of media arts and sciences.

    Key research areas: looking at a range of models, trying to integrate them and aggregate them;… read more

    Gene therapy increases survival for end-stage head and neck cancer

    May 29, 2008

    A gene therapy that restores tumor-suppressor gene expression, developed by University of Texas researchers, has become the first gene therapy to succeed in a U.S. phase III clinical trial.

    The therapy uses a modified adenovirus that expresses the tumor-suppressing gene p53 for end-stage head and neck cancer. The p53 gene is inactivated in many types of cancer. Its normal role is to halt the division of a defective cell… read more

    Newfound Blob is Biggest Thing in the Universe

    July 31, 2006

    An enormous amoeba-like structure 200 million light-years wide and made up of galaxies and large bubbles of gas is the largest known object in the universe.

    Some of the gas bubbles are up to 400,000 light years across. Scientists think they formed when massive stars born early in the history of the universe exploded as supernovas and blew out their surrounding gases. Another theory is that the bubbles are… read more

    50 companies team to create open source EV

    November 2, 2011

    The StreetScooter, a $7,000 electric vehicle (EV) with a 74 mph top speed and an 80-mile range, have been developed by a collaboration among more than 50 auto parts suppliers, tech companies and software developers, Autopia Wired reports.

    It’s a modular vehicle, with parts that can be added, removed, and reused depending on customer preference.

    StreetScooter will be available in Germany in the spring of 2013,… read more

    IBM serves up virtual computing

    October 1, 2003

    IBM is offering a “utility computing” scheme that lets customers use the Internet to access servers that run a variety of operating systems and pay only for the amount they consume.

    Businesses could cut their costs 30 percent by using the service rather than installing an in-house computing system, according to IBM.

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