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Don’t Fear Science You Can’t See

December 3, 2001

Some boosters of nanotechnology worry that fear unleashed by Bill Joy’s warnings of self-replicating nanobots could lead to an anti-nanotech movement that would stunt the growth of this nascent field. To put the public at ease, nanotechnology researchers and startups need to focus on education.

High-speed wireless video transfers 100X faster than WiFi on tap

October 22, 2007

IBM is today announcing microprocessor chipsets that can wirelessly transmit high-definition video between computers, televisions and handheld devices at 100 times higher data rates than current Wi-Fi standards, using 60 gigahertz, rather than 2.4 gigahertz.

A New Company to Focus on Artificial Intelligence

March 24, 2005

Palm Computing co-founders Jeff Hawkins and Donna Dubinsky will announce today the creation of Numenta, a technology development firm that will conduct research in an effort to extend Mr. Hawkins’s AI theories, described in his book “On Intelligence: How a New Understanding of the Brain Will Lead to the Creation of Truly Intelligent Machines.”

Hawkins is demonstrating a pattern-recognition application using a version of his software. It allows a… read more

Robot body language gives humans a clue

March 23, 2009

Robots that “leak” non-verbal information through eye movements when interacting with humans can help humans guess the machine’s intentions, Carnegie Mellon University researchers have found.

Obama Budget Includes $126 Million for Exascale Computing

February 22, 2011

The Obama Administration’s 2012 budget includes $126 million for the development of exascale supercomputing. The last budget marked out only $24 million for supercomputing.

Exascale computing systems are said to be capable of 1,000 times the processing power of the fastest computer currently operational, the Chinese Tianhe-1A supercomputer.

The ability to compute in exabytes seems increasingly necessary as the amount of data available increases cataclysmically. Eight years ago… read more

Solid stops light

January 8, 2002

A crystal that holds light could facilitate quantum computing.
Researchers in the United States and Korea have brought light to a complete standstill in a crystal. The pulse is effectively held within the solid, ready to be released at a later stage.

This trick could be used to store information in a quantum computer.

Normal computers store information in simple binary form (1′s and 0′s) in electronic and… read more

Black holes may harbour their own universes

November 1, 2007

When matter gets swallowed by a black hole, it could fall into another universe contained inside the black hole, or get trapped inside a wormhole-like connection to a second black hole, a new study suggests.

Sony patent takes first step towards real-life Matrix

April 7, 2005

Sony has patented a device that fires pulses of ultrasound at the head to modify firing patterns in targeted parts of the brain, creating “sensory experiences” ranging from moving images to tastes and sounds.

It could allow for movies and computer games in which you get to smell, taste and perhaps even feel things. And it could give blind or deaf people the chance to see or hear, the… read more

Space storm alert: 90 seconds from catastrophe

March 30, 2009

A severe coronal mass ejection (plasma balls from the sun) could induce ground currents that would knock out 300 key transformers within about 90 seconds, cutting off the power for more than 130 million people, costing tens of millions of lives, according to a National Academy of Sciences report.

Cloning, germ warfare and GM crops

February 6, 2002

The biotech industry is under siege. It is faced with campaigns against cloning and GM crops — while trying to tackle the potential disaster of germ warfare. Undaunted, the European Commission, which wants to make Europe a front-runner in this fast-moving sector, has just released a policy paper, Life Sciences and Biotechnology – A Strategy for Europe. The goal is an all-encompassing biotechnology framework, a hugely ambitious project that will… read more

Robot Consumers, Grow Up!

November 9, 2007

“Someday the robots will rise up and kill us all. They’ll record our lives, obliterate our privacy, set off nuclear war, and eventually turn on us and eat our brains. If any of this ever did happen, it would serve us right. We, at least American consumers, don’t deserve the future that robots really have to offer.”

Computer generates verifiable mathematics proof

April 20, 2005

Mathematicians have employed logic-checking software to help develop a proof of the Four Color Theorem. The method could be used to develop a similar system for checking the logic used in computer programs, which could pre-empt some unforeseen bugs that cause programs to crash.

The Four Color Theorem states that any four colors are the minimum needed to fill in a flat map without any two regions of the… read more

Aircraft could be brought down by DIY ‘E-bombs’

April 2, 2009

Electromagnetic pulse (EMP) weapons capable of frying the electronics in civil airliners can be built using information and components available on the net, warn counterterrorism analysts.

Senate to debate ban on cloning

February 21, 2002

The Senate is preparing to debate the Human Cloning Prohibition Act of 2001 (S.790), which would ban all forms of human cloning as well as the importation of therapies developed from cloned human embryos.”Such a ban could be passed without much public comment, so if you have strong views on this, get them in immediately,” Eric Drexler and Chris Peterson suggest in the Feb. 2002 Foresight Senior Associate Letter. “See… read more

First Direct Images of Carbon Nanotubes Entering Cells

November 16, 2007
Transmission electron microscope image shows carbon nanotubes (dark areas) within a cell nucleus

For the first time, scientists have directly imaged carbon nanotubes entering and migrating within human cells, determining as a result that whether the nanotubes cause cell death depends on the dose and exposure time.

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