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Using ant-based swarm intelligence for materials handling

March 26, 2012

Swarming and transporting

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics IML in Dortmund, Germany plan to use “swarm intelligence” for materials handling. Their Multishuttle Moves — swarms of autonomous transport shuttles — could provide an alternative to traditional systems.

The scientists have assembled a testing facility with a swarm of 50 autonomous devices. “In the future, transport systems should be able to perform all of these tasks autonomously,… read more

Gene doping

June 15, 2004

Gene therapy for restoring muscle lost to age or disease is poised to enter the clinic. But elite athletes
are eyeing it to enhance performance.

Treatments that regenerate muscle, increase its strength, and protect it from degradation, degradation will soon be entering human clinical trials for musclewasting disorders.

Among these are therapies that give patients a synthetic gene, which can last for years, producing high amounts of indetectable,… read more

Virtual touchpad lets you scroll in thin air

October 28, 2008

Microsoft researchers have developed SideSight, a system using infrared sensors to allow you to control a phone by movement of fingers in the space around it to select, scroll, drag, rotate, and change the size of images on the display.

The artificial bones created from an inkjet

April 19, 2007

Scientists are creating artificial bones using a modified version of an inkjet printer.

The technology creates perfect replicas of bones that have been damaged and these can then be inserted in the body to help it to heal.

The process will revolutionize bone graft surgery, which currently relies on either bits of bone taken from other parts of the body or ceramic-like substitutes.

LG begins mass production of first flexible, plastic e-ink displays

March 30, 2012


LG has begun mass production of the world’s first flexible, plastic e-ink display, ExtremeTech reports.

The display has a resolution of 1024 x 768 and is six inches across the diagonal, which is comparable to the Kindle and Nook.

Because it’s made of plastic and not glass, though, the LG display is half the weight (14g) and 30% thinner (0.7mm) than a comparable, glass e-ink panel.… read more

Hybrid nano-wires provide link to silicon

July 1, 2004

Nanowires that could be plugged into conventional computer circuits have been developed by Charles Lieber and colleagues at Harvard University.

The nanowires were made highly conductive by blending silicon and nickel together.

The researchers have also shown that the method can be used to create simple nanoscale electronic components, e.g., field-effect transistors. “By extending our approach to crossed nanowires it should become possible to assemble large and dense… read more

In-Depth: Stanford Conference Explores The State Of AI

November 4, 2008

Games continued to show AI as a core part of the industry’s future in the annual Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Digital Entertainment Conference at Stanford University, which brought AI game programmers together with AI academics to share findings and discuss future collaborations.

Does Moore’s Law Help or Hinder the PC Industry?

April 26, 2007

Moore’s Law is, and has been, an undeniable driving force in the computer industry for close to four decades now. But it is also plagued by misunderstanding.

We, Robots

July 14, 2004

“In 2035, sleek humanoid robots that walk, talk and think will be as common as iPods. At least they are in ‘I, Robot.’

“When the big-budget thriller hits movie screens Friday, it will be hard not to notice the gap between the clunky robots of today and those doing battle with Will Smith’s Detective Del Spooner.”

“Yet the future is arriving, one bot at a time. Robots today… read more

US report pins down future biosecurity

August 4, 2010

Is it possible to develop a biosecurity system capable of detecting bioweapons in the making by screening the genetic sequences routinely ordered from commercial suppliers of synthetic DNA? No, says a National Research Council (NRC) committee commissioned by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in a report: Sequence-Based Classification of Select Agents: A Brighter Line (downloadable free).

The publication by Craig Venter and colleagues of  the manufacture… read more

Mini nuclear plants to power 20,000 homes

November 10, 2008

Miniature nuclear power plants smaller than a garden shed and able to power 20,000 homes will be on sale within five years, say scientists at Los Alamos National Labs.

The US government has licensed the technology to Hyperion. Their goal: 10 cents a watt anywhere in the world at a cost of approximately $25 million each. For a community with 10,000 households, that’s $250 per home.

A biocompatible shape-changing material controlled by patterns and heat

Can be used as cell-culture substrates or implantable materials that contract and expand
December 12, 2013

A two-layer material designed to morph into a specific shape when heated to a specific temperature range.

The materials created by Rice University polymer scientist Rafael Verduzco and his colleagues start as flat slabs, but morph magically into shapes that can be controlled by patterns that were formed into their layers.

Materials that can change their shape based on environmental conditions are useful for optics, three-dimensional biological scaffolds, and controlled encapsulation and release of drugs, among other applications, according to the researchers.… read more

Gene malfunctions cause schizophrenia, depression symptoms

May 3, 2007

Researchers have demonstrated that malfunction of a gene (DISC1 associated with schizophrenia and depression does indeed cause symptoms of those disorders.

They said their findings in mice offer a possible animal model for developing treatments for schizophrenia and depression, and also support the theory that the two disorders share common genetic mechanisms.

Amplified Intelligence

July 28, 2004

Will machines make humans smarter or just more dependent on our calculators, car navigators, and kitchen conveniences? Dr. Ken Ford of the Institute of Human and Machine Cognition reclassifies several key problems in developing smarter machines into a category called “Amplified Intelligence.”

His Institute for the Interdisciplinary Study of Human & Machine Cognition is involved in “building cognitive prostheses, computational systems that leverage and extend human intellectual capacities, just… read more

‘Elixir of youth’ drug could fight HIV and ageing

November 14, 2008

TAT2, a drug that boosts telomerase and that is extracted from the Astragalus plant (used in Chinese medicine), has helped immune cells fight HIV and raises the possibility of slowing the aging process in other parts of our bodies, UCLA scientists have found.

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