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Software generates video news bulletins

October 25, 2006

Software that automatically generates timely video news bulletins, presented by computer-animated characters, could revolutionize news broadcasting.

The system, called News at Seven, can produce reports tailored to a person’s particular interests.

Using keywords entered by the user, the program selects news site RSS feeds and specific stories to focus on. The next step is to extract further key terms from these reports and use these to search for… read more

RNA interference by Nature Video

December 20, 2011


An amazing animation fromĀ  Nature Reviews Genetics, based on the latest research, explains how RNAi works and introduces the two main players: small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) and microRNAs (miRNAs).

RNA interference (RNAi) is an important process used by many different organisms to regulate the activity of genes.

The animation takes you on an audio-visual journey through the steps of gene expression and shows you an up-to-date… read more

Humanity? Maybe It’s in the Wiring

December 10, 2003

The conscience or sense of free will may be located in spindle cells in the frontoinsular cortex of the brain, according to California Institute of Technology neuroscientist Dr. John M. Allman.

This is a region closely connected to the insula and part of the same elaborate circuitry in which emotions are generated and experienced.

IBM Invents Short-Cut to Assessing Data Quality

March 1, 2010

IBM researchers have developed a “breakthrough” algorithm that cuts the computational costs of assessing data quality by two orders of magnitude.

The impetus behind this work is the flood of data that is fed to computers to solve real-world problems — everything from stock portfolio management to computational fluid dynamics.

Nanotubes bring artificial photosynthesis a step nearer

July 11, 2008

Carbon nanotubes are the crucial chemical ingredient that could make artificial photosynthesis possible, say Chinese researchers.

Artificial photosynthesis could efficiently produce hydrogen that could be used as a clean fuel and also mop up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

By covalently bonding a large number of phthalocyanine molecules to a carbon nanotube, they could create a multiple electron system activated by visible light. The extra electrons stored in… read more

3D maps let travellers take virtual city tours

November 7, 2006

Microsoft’s updated Virtual Earth mapping software includes photo-realistic three-dimensional models of real buildings and other structures.

PDA translates speech

December 18, 2003

Researchers have put together a two-way speech-to-speech system that translates medical information from Arabic to English and English to Arabic and runs on an iPaq handheld computer.

How to see through opaque materials

March 9, 2010

A new experiment conducted by researchers at the City of Paris Industrial Physics and Chemistry Higher Educational Institution (ESPCI) has shown that it’s possible to focus light through opaque materials and detect objects hidden behind them, provided you know enough about the material.

They produced a numerical model called a transmission matrix, which includes over 65,000 numbers describing the way that a material scatters light in a layer of… read more

Losing the lasers turns CDs into memory sticks

July 18, 2008

A future generation of ultra-dense flash memory chips could be based on a new Phase Change Memory (PCM) technology, according to Numonyx, an Intel spinoff.

Flash memory transistors (currently 65 nanometers wide) will face limited lifetime (write/erase cycles) when dimensions get below 20 nanometers, due to the retention of electric charge in the flash transistor.

PCM would use use GST (an alloy of tellurium, antimony and germanium), switching… read more

‘Grey goo’ engulfs virtual world

November 21, 2006

Virtual world Second Life was overwhelmed by a flood of “self-replicating” objects dubbed “grey goo” on Sunday.

The coming war on general computation

January 2, 2012

Cory Doctorow's talk

The coming century will be dominated by war against the general-purpose computer, and the stakes are the freedom, fortune and privacy of the entire human race, said Cory Doctorow in “The coming war on general computation” keynote talk at the Chaos Computer Congress in Berlin.

“The last 20 years of Internet policy have been dominated by the copyright war, but the war turns out only… read more

First integrated circuit with nanotube transistors created

January 6, 2004

UC Berkeley and Stanford Researchers have created the first working integrated circuit that successfully incorporates carbon nanotubes.

They developed the integrated circuit to speed the analysis of thousands of synthesized carbon nanotubes, sorting them into metallic and semiconducting nanotubes. To do that, they grew carbon nanotubes directly onto “islands” on the circuit platform that contained the necessary catalyst for nanotube synthesis.

By turning certain switches on and off,… read more

Computational feat speeds finding of genes to milliseconds instead of years

March 16, 2010

Computational analysis of existing data bases can dramatically shorten the time required to discover the specific combination of new genes involved in certain biological processes, Stanford University researchers have found.

The analytic methods can provide clues about where researchers should look next, such as finding new genes that play a role in developing cancers.

More info: Stanford School of Medicine

Enzyme structure reveals key ingredients for making hydrogen

July 25, 2008

Max Planck Institute researchers have figured out the detailed structure of[Fe] hydrogenase, an enzyme used by hydrothermal vent microbes to process hydrogen.

By knowing the structure of this enzyme’s active site, chemists will have new clues on how to build inexpensive synthetic catalysts for hydrogen-based energy.

Currently, the best synthetic catalysts use platinum to make and release hydrogen’s stored energy. Natural organisms use iron.

Online world as important to Internet users as real world?

November 30, 2006

The 2007 Digital Future Project found that 43 percent of Internet users who are members of online communities say that they “feel as strongly” about their virtual community as they do about their real-world communities.

The 2007 Digital Future Project found that Internet use is growing and evolving as an instrument for personal engagement — through blogs, personal Web sites, and online communities.

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