science + technology news

Intel Smashes Transistor Limitations

November 5, 2003

Intel is trumpeting a technology breakthrough it says will lead to billion-transistor processors by 2007.

The new technology should enable Intel to keep creating smaller, faster transistors for future chips, and keep pace with Moore’s Law well into the next decade, said Ken David, director of components research for Intel’s Technology and Manufacturing Group.

The development would overcome power and heat problems that would eventually limit Intel’s capability… read more

Smart grid could reduce emissions by 12 percent

February 1, 2010

A smart electrical power grid could decrease annual electric energy use and utility-sector carbon emissions at least 12 percent by 2030, according to a new report from the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

A Display That Tracks Your Movements

June 20, 2008

Samsung and interactive advertising company Reactrix Systems plan to bring 57-inch interactive displays to Hilton hotel lobbies by the end of the year.

These displays can “see” people in 3D standing up to 15 feet away from the screen as they wave their hands to play games, navigate menus, use maps –and interact with ads.

Worm ‘EEG’ tests neural effects of drugs

May 24, 2013

C. elegans nematode worm (credit: The Goldstein Lab)

Scientists from the University of Southampton have developed a microfluidic electrophysiological device called a NeuroChip that records the neural activity in the microscopic worm Caenorhadbitis elegans  (C. elegans) — the worm equivalent of an EEG —.to help test the effects of drugs.

How to record a worm’s ‘EEG’

With the NeuroChip, you feed the  worm into a narrow, fluid-filled channel that tapers at… read more

Attack of the killer prototype robots

October 2, 2006

Intel and Carnegie Mellon University are trying to see if millions of tiny robots can work together to create a shape-shifting intelligent fabric that could model any 3-D object and would change shape under software control.

The “Dynamic Physical Rendering” project would create a fabric composed of millions of independent silicon spheres covered in electronic actuators–half-capacitors or electromagnets. By applying charges to different actuators, different points on the sphere… read more

UK moves to ban human sex selection

November 12, 2003

Britain’s fertility regulator tells the government parents should not be able to choose the sex of their children, based on potential health dangers of selecting sperm by the available methods and for social reasons.

Millimeter-scale, energy-harvesting sensor system developed

February 9, 2010

A 9-cubic millimeter solar-powered sensor system developed at the University of Michigan could enable new biomedical implants, home-building and bridge-monitoring devices, and environmental sensor networks, with average power consumption less than 1 nanowatt.

Laser headband brings Alzheimer’s out of the shadows

June 26, 2008

Researchers at a Massachusetts VA Medical Center have begun human trials of a new non-invasive diagnostic tool to detect plaques and tangles indicative of Alzheimer’s: near-infrared lasers, flashed into the brain through the skull.

Proof-of-principle experiments using small chunks of normal and plaque-ridden brain tissue supported the possibility that these plaques and tangles might scatter light differently than healthy brain tissue.

A new material for 3D-printing electrodes

New resin for making electrodes uses lasers for molding into almost any 3-D shape
May 31, 2013

Two microstructures made with the new material, containing the highest concentration of RDGE. Left: Pre-charring. These pyramid and bunny models did not respond to the preferred method of 3-D shaping, so they were created using an alternative process. Right: Post-charring. Notice that the pyramid and bunny shrink significantly less than those made from the material with a lower concentration of RDGE. Credit: Optical Materials Express.

A new resin material that can be molded into complex, highly conductive 3-D structures with features just a few microns across has been developed by Tokyo Institute of Technology and C-MET, Inc.

Combined with state-of-the-art micro-sculpting techniques, the new resin holds promise for making customized electrodes for fuel cells or batteries, or biosensor interfaces for medical uses.

The research team, which includes physicists and chemists from Yokohama… read more

Earth’s orbit linked to extinctions

October 12, 2006

A tiny change to the Earth’s orbit can affect the climate on Earth by altering the amount of sunlight received by different regions of the globe.

Utrecht University researchers mapped out which species lived in which time periods. With this information, they found evidence for two different cycles of die-offs, each taking up to 30% of the species alive at the time. Every 2.4-2.5 million years there was a… read more

How to foster innovation

November 24, 2003

With the pace of innovation doubling every decade, inventors should “target the world when the product is launched, not when the project is launched,” said Ray Kurzweil in a keynote speech at the recent 8th Annual Independent Inventors Conference in Philadelphia, presented by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Kurzweil offered several other tips to inventors. For example:

  • Watch for”false pretenders”: an upstart threatens to
  • read more

    A gene for Alzheimer’s makes you smarter

    February 17, 2010

    Young people with a apolipoprotein E gene variant that increases the risk of developing Alzheimer’s tend to be smarter, more educated and have better memories than their peers, Rush University Medical Center researchers have found.

    A ‘smart contact lens’ for diabetes and glaucoma diagnosis

    May 10, 2017

    Smart contact lens on mannequin eye

    Korean researchers have designed a “smart contact lens” that may one day allow patients with diabetes and glaucoma to self-monitor blood glucose levels and internal eye pressure.*

    The study was conducted by researchers at Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) and Kyungpook National University School of Medicine, both of South Korea.

    Most previously reported contact lens sensors can only monitor a single analyte (such as glucose)… read more

    Wall-E

    July 4, 2008

    Pixar’s “WALL-E” succeeds at being three things at once: an enthralling animated film, a visual wonderment and a decent science-fiction story, says film critic Roger Ebert.

    Seven hundred years in the future, a rusty trash-compacting droid appears to be the last ‘bot on earth…

    See also:

    WALL-E : Official Site

    Firefighting robot creates 3D thermal imaging picture for rescuers

    June 6, 2013

    FFR is a robotic scout for firefighters developed by the Coordinated Robotics Lab at UC San Diego.

    Engineers in the Coordinated Robotics Lab at the University of California, San Diego have developed new image processing techniques for rapid exploration and characterization of structural fires by small Segway-like robotic vehicles.

    A sophisticated on-board software system takes the thermal data recorded by the robot’s small infrared camera and maps it onto a 3D scene constructed from the images taken by a pair of stereo… read more

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