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Ray Kurzweil and David Chalmers to Headline Singularity Summit 2009 in New York

July 15, 2009

Singularity Summit 2009 moves to New York on October 3-4, the Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence (SIAI) plans to announce Thursday. The event will feature leading experts on accelerating technological change and the future of humanity, such as inventor/futurist Ray Kurzweil, speaking on “The Ubiquity and Predictability of the Exponential Growth of Information Technology” and “Critics of the Singularity”; David Chalmers, director of the Centre for Consciousness at… read more

Neurons return in damaged brains

July 16, 2006

A drug that triggers the birth of neurons in rat brains has opened up the possibility of a new treatment for Parkinson’s disease.

Animals given the drug generated dopamine-producing neurons in the substantia nigra, the area of the brain where cells are lost in people with Parkinson’s.

Researchers make first direct observation of 3-D molecule folding in real time

February 15, 2008

Stanford University researchers have observed a molecule folding in real time and three dimensions for the first time.

They used an optical trap to grab and hold the ends of the RNA molecule with laser beams, then pulled it straight and let it loop up again, allowing them to determine for the first time how a three-dimensional molecular structure folds, step by step.

Getting More From a PC’s Spare Time

September 11, 2003

A new program, Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (Boinc), will eventually allow the SETI@home project to join forces with other distributed computing initiatives so volunteers can take part in multiple projects instead of just one.

David P. Anderson, a scientist at the University of California’s Space Sciences Laboratory who directs SETI@home, said the program would increase efficiency.

Airborne prions are infectious; precautionary measures advised

January 14, 2011

Histoblot analysis of brains from mice exposed to prion aerosols (PLoS Pathogens)

Airborne prions are also infectious and can induce mad cow disease or Creutzfeldt-Jakob disorder. This is the surprising conclusion of researchers at the University of Zurich, the University Hospital Zurich and the University of Tübingen. They recommend precautionary measures for scientific labs, slaughterhouses and animal feed plants.

The prion is the infectious agent that caused the epidemic of mad cow disease, also termed bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), and claimed… read more

YouTube in 3D?

July 24, 2009

One of Google’s developers has been working on a “20% project” to create a 3D effect for videos.

‘Friendship Solar Array Project’ proposed on Mexican Border

July 27, 2006

Instead of building a wall on the USA-Mexico border just for security purposes, why not build a solar array structure that also provides electric power to border states on both sides and provides economic benefits as well?

That’s what engineer/inventor Ken Clements is proposing with his “Friendship Solar Array Project,” which could “generate about 1,500 megawatts (assuming a 1000 mile array of solar panels 30 feet wide),… read more

How to synthesize structurally pure carbon nanotubes using molecular ‘seeds’

By smoothing nanotube irregularities, a new process could lead to smaller, faster-switching next-generation electronic and electro-optical components
August 11, 2014

Scanning tunneling microscopy images the precursor, the «folded» end cap, and the resulting carbon nanotube, together with the corresponding structural models. (Credit: Empa/Juan Ramon Sanchez Valencia)

Researchers at Empa and the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research have succeeded in “growing” single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) with a single predefined structure, with identical electronic properties.

The CNTs self-assembled out of tailor-made organic precursor molecules on a platinum surface, as reported by the researchers in the journal Nature.

With a diameter of roughly one nanometer, SWCNTs should be considered as quantum… read more

Genetic pathway critical to disease, aging found

February 21, 2008

University of Wisconsin-Madison scientists have discovered a gene expression pathway and specific enzymes that exert a sweeping influence over the process of oxidative stress, the process that contributes to many diseases and conditions ranging from Alzheimer’s, heart disease and stroke to cancer and the process of aging.

The finding is important because it represents a master pressure point for a host of medical conditions. One key enzyme in the… read more

How to Find That Needle Hopelessly Lost in the Haystack

September 29, 2003

Tags equipped with microchips and tiny antennas should make it cheaper and more efficient to track goods but they raise privacy issues.

Cyborg-walkers stride toward Japan’s robotics future

August 4, 2009

Japan has launched a five-year project of putting “people-assisting robots” into widespread practical use, such as Cyberdyne’s HAL (Hybrid Assistive Limb) exoskeletons, designed to give mobility to the injured and disabled.

Debate rages over animal-human chimeras

August 14, 2006

In its August 8 report, the Scottish Council on Human Bioethics advocates banning embryos containing human and animal genetic material and cloned embryos created by combining human cells with cow or rabbit oocytes.

Ian Wilmut of the University of Edinburgh, creator of Dolly the cloned sheep, wants to attempt this to study motor neuron disease.

A fully transparent solar concentrator for windows

August 26, 2014

Solar power with a view: MSU doctoral student Yimu Zhao holds up a transparent luminescent solar concentrator module. (Credit: Yimu Zhao)

Michigan State University researchers have developed a new type of solar concentrator that when placed over a window creates solar energy while allowing people to see through the window.

It is called a transparent luminescent solar concentrator (TLSC) and can be used on buildings, cell phones, and any other device that has a clear surface.

Research in the production of energy from solar cells placed around… read more

Future Blogger community launched

February 28, 2008

MemeBox has announced the public beta release of Future Blogger, a blogging community dedicated to exploring the future.

Visitors can post their thoughts, predictions and scenarios. Community ratings then determine page ranking for posts. The site’s Future Scanner also aggregates and organizes information about the future by year and category.

Free science journal hits press

October 10, 2003

The Public Library of Science has launched a free magazine for scientists, PLoS Biology.

The magazine charges researchers $1,500 to publish a paper, rather than readers.

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