science + technology news

Another clue in the case for dark matter

May 5, 2009

the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has found indirect signs of dark matter: a puzzling excess of energetic positrons.

Mind Controlled Bionic Limbs

December 18, 2007

One of the next challenges in the field of brain-machine interfaces (BMIs) is making prosthetics feel like normal limbs by generating feedback pulses to the brain or nerve endings.

These will result in their bearers having an almost natural feel to their bionic limb.

A future type of BMI for patients with paralyzed limbs or spinal cord injuries will send efferent motor impulses directly to the muscles of… read more

Mission to build a simulated brain begins

June 6, 2005

The “Blue Brain” project, an effort to create the first computer simulation of the entire human brain, right down to the molecular level, has been launched by IBM and the Brain and Mind Institute at the Ecole Polytecnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland.

Calling on a database of the neural architecture of the neocortex, they will map and model the behavior of neocortical columns.

In the second phase,… read more

Robots Find a Muse Other Than Mayhem

May 31, 2002

“ArtBots,” held at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn on Saturday, featured ten robot-created art projects.

The robots’ art included Japanese brush painting, kinetic sculptures, art created with speaker-driven brushes, music, and sampled sounds.

Scientists create large-area graphene on copper: Faster computers, electronics possible

May 8, 2009

The creation of large-area graphene using thin copper films may enable the manufacture of new graphene-based devices that meet the scaling requirements of the semiconductor industry, leading to faster computers and electronics, according to researchers at the University of Texas at Austin.

IBM virtual world defies laws of physics

December 21, 2007

IBM is building a virtual world called the Metaverse to help its employees collaborate, including a waterfall, amphitheater and underground cave.

Livermore supercomputer ranked as world’s fastest

June 23, 2005

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory now has the world’s most powerful computer, IBM’s BlueGene/L, according to this year’s Top 500 list, announced Wednesday at the International Supercomputer Conference in Heidelberg, Germany.

The BlueGene/L installed there contains 62,000 microprocessors that can handle 136.8 trillion calculations, or teraflops, per second.

Discovery may lead to cure for drug addiction

March 22, 2011


Biologists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have deciphered a molecular code that regulates availability of a brain channel that modulates neuronal excitability, a discovery that might aid efforts to treat drug addiction and mental disorders, says Paul Slesinger, Ph.D and colleagues.

The study showed that a regulatory factor called SNX27 targets a brain channel protein called GIRK (G-protein-coupled inwardly rectifying potassium channels) for destruction.… read more

3D maps show brain gene activity

June 25, 2002

A 3D map of the brain’s genetic activity should help researchers pinpoint the neurological underpinnings of autism, schizophrenia and other brain disorders.

Tiny Machine Commands a Swarm of Bacteria

May 18, 2009

A solar-powered micro-machine that can carry out basic sensing tasks and indirectly control the movement of a swarm of magnetically sensitive bacteria, using an external MRI machine, has been developed by researchers at the Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal.

Micro-machines could one day be used for medical purposes.

The Year in Software

January 2, 2008

New search technologies (such as speech recognition), cloud (web-based)computing, virtual worlds, self-expression, new social-networks features, and expanded mobile-phone services were Technology Review’s key software developments of 2007.

Researcher sees huge growth in podcast audience

July 7, 2005

Researchers at the Diffusion Group predict that the U.S. podcast audience will climb from 840,000 last year to 56 million by 2010. By that time, three-quarters of all people who own portable digital music players will listen to podcasts, they predict.

Evolution of cognition might be down to brain chemistry

March 29, 2011

Researchers at the Partner Institute for Computational Biology in Shanghai, China have provided evidence that the evolution of metabolism in the thinking and learning parts of our brains has gone much further than in our “primitive” cerebellum, says researcher Philipp Khaitovich.

Khaitovich and colleagues analyzed brain tissue from deceased humans, chimpanzees, and rhesus macaques to study the concentrations of 100 chemicals linked with metabolism. In the human prefrontal cortex,… read more

Next Dimension in Baby Watching

July 17, 2002

Clinicians and parents can watch real-time live-action ultrasound images of a fetus, thanks to GE Medical Systems’ Voluson 730 ultrasound system.

Some neurological defects may be apparent in the movement of the fingers.

Healing the Heart with Bone-Marrow Cells

May 22, 2009

Injecting the hearts of angina sufferers with cells extracted from their own bone marrow can reverse the condition and relieve its symptoms, a new study led by Douwe Atsma, a cardiologist at Leiden University Medical Center, suggests.

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