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The Future of War

November 29, 2006

Technology will increasingly allow the most sophisticated and best equipped militaries — primarily that of the US — to fight battles using robots rather than soldiers.

Ideas on the drawing board or in development include killer satellites that could destroy an enemy’s satellites, a Common Aero Vehicle (CAV) that could swoop with hypersonic speed up to 3,000 miles to attack a target, Hyper-Velocity Rod Bundles that would fire tungsten… read more

Ultimate Parasites Threaten Man

January 13, 2004

Viruses and bacteria are the ultimate parasites — and our only true predators. With the advent of international jet travel, these parasites can escape from their remote lairs to every corner of the world in just a few hours. The greatest threat humanity is facing is that one day a virus will emerge that can spread as efficiently as tuberculosis and that is as deadly as Ebola.

IMEC team shows wireless ‘thought-to-text’ cap

March 24, 2010

Belgium and Netherlands researchers have developed a “thought-to-text” device that, it is claimed, could enable people suffering from paralysis or speech or language disorders to communicate.

The “Mind Speller” device detects and interprets P300 event-related potentials in the EEG signals of a person that is selecting characters from a display presenting alternate rows and columns of characters.

Unlike available P300 devices, which are large, expensive and uncomfortable in… read more

Lithium-Ion Batteries for Less

July 29, 2008

A University of Texas at Austin materials engineering professor has demonstrated a microwave-based method for making lithium iron phosphate that takes less time and uses lower temperatures than conventional methods.

That could translate into a lower cost and safer alternative to the lithium cobalt oxide used in most lithium-ion batteries in laptop computers.

Bio-ink printer makes stem cells differentiate

December 11, 2006

An inkjet device that prints tiny “bio-ink” patterns has been used to simultaneously grow both muscle and bone tissue from the stem cells of adult mice.

Surgeons could one day use the technology to repair various damaged tissues at the same time.

E-Mail Worm Snarls Computers Around Globe

January 28, 2004

A new malicious computer program (Mydoom or Norvag) is spreading rapidly throughout the Internet today, swamping e-mail in-boxes and crashing corporate computer servers in what some computer security analysts are predicting will become the largest ever outbreak of viral e-mail. It may eventually involve millions of machines, according to experts.

Life-drawing robot could teach us about art

April 2, 2010

Hawking by Aikon

University of London computer scientists have developed an algorithm that attempts to recreate the thought process used by a portrait artist by drawing lines (based on a digital photo).

The team hopes to reveal the fundamental components of creativity and have Aikon develop its own critical sense and decide whether to keep or erase its own pen strokes.

Pneumatic robot arranges limbs for MRI ‘sweet spot’

August 4, 2008

A pneumatic robot that positions patients’ limbs inside an MRI scanner allows physicians to exploit a bizarre phenomenon where hard-to-see tendons jump into sharp focus when held at the right angle.

Silicon oxide chip design could replace flash memory

July 15, 2013

Rice University has built crossbar memory chips based on silicon oxide that show potential for next-generation 3-D memories for computers and consumer devices. (credit: Tour Group/Rice University)

Rice University team led by chemist James Tour has built a 1-kilobit rewritable silicon oxide chip that could surpass the limitations of flash memory in packing density, energy consumption per bit, and switching speed.

Normal operating voltages can repeatedly break and “heal” the channel, which can be read as either a “1” or “0” depending on whether it is broken or intact.… read more

How Plug-In Hybrids Will Save the Grid

December 21, 2006

A new concept, “vehicle-to-grid,” would allow plug-in hybrids to help stabilize the power grid.

Millions of cars, each with several kilowatt hours of storage capacity, would act as an enormous buffer, taking on charge when the system temporarily generates too much power, and giving it back when there are short peaks in demand.

Particle-free silver ink prints small, high-performance electronics

January 17, 2012

Silver Ink

University of Illinois materials scientists have developed a new silver ink for printing high-performance electronics on ubiquitous, low-cost materials such as flexible plastic, paper or fabric substrates.

Electronics printed on low-cost, flexible materials hold promise for antennas, batteries, sensors, solar energy, wearable devices and more. Most conductive inks rely on tiny metal particles suspended in the ink. The new ink is a transparent solution of… read more

Cool New Ideas to Save Brains

February 10, 2004

A “cool helmet” and a corkscrew device that removes clots in blood vessels are among radical new technologies for stroke treatment.

Printed cells to treat burn victims

April 13, 2010

Science US Wounds Printer

A new “bioprinter” medical device that works like an inkjet printer is being developed by Wake Forest Institute of Regenerative Medicine to heal burns and other wounds by “printing” skin cells directly onto the wound, reducing the need for skin grafts.

Handle With Care

August 12, 2008

A growing number of experts say it is time for a broad discussion of environmental effects of emerging geoengineering projects.

Examples of such projects include “fertilizing” parts of the ocean with iron, in hopes of encouraging carbon-absorbing blooms of plankton; and injecting chemicals into the atmosphere, launching sun-reflecting mirrors into stationary orbit above the earth, or taking other steps to reset the thermostat of a warming planet.

Similar… read more

Free Will: Now You Have It, Now You Don’t

January 2, 2007

In making decisions, the conscious brain is only playing catch-up to what the unconscious brain was already doing, Benjamin Libet, a physiologist at the University of California, San Francisco, has found from his research.

Daniel C. Dennett, a philosopher and cognitive scientist at Tufts University, is one of many who have tried to redefine free will in a way that involves no escape from the materialist world while still… read more

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