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Building Better Biofuels

June 6, 2007

LS9, of San Carlos, CA, is using the relatively new field of synthetic biology to engineer bacteria that can make hydrocarbons for gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel.

Hydrocarbon fuels are better suited than ethanol to existing delivery infrastructure and engines, and their manufacture would require less energy.

New transistors: An alternative to silicon and better than graphene

January 31, 2011

A model showing how molybdenite can be integrated into a transistor. (EPFL)

Smaller and more energy-efficient electronic chips could be made using molybdenite. In an article appearing online January 30 in the journalNature Nanotechnology, EPFL’s Laboratory of Nanoscale Electronics and Structures (LANES) publishes a study showing that this material has distinct advantages over traditional silicon or graphene for use in electronics applications.

A discovery made at EPFL could play an important role in electronics, allowing us to make transistors that are… read more

The smartest (or the nuttiest) futurist on Earth

May 3, 2007

Ray Kurzweil is a legendary inventor with a history of mind-blowing ideas. Now he’s onto something even bigger. If he’s right, the future will be a lot weirder and brighter than you think.

He is “an inventor whose work in artificial intelligence has dazzled technological sophisticates for four decades…. The magic that has enabled all his innovations has been the science of pattern recognition….

“By 2027, he predicts,… read more

Your amazing brain: Top 10 articles from 2008

December 8, 2008

Techniques for training your brain, a unified theory of the brain, and the outer limits of the human brain are among the ten top articles in 2008 recommended by New Scientist. is now making the last 12 months’ of articles free.

Silicon Graphics Wins Nod From NASA To Build Supercomputer

July 29, 2004

NASA has chosen Silicon Graphics Inc. to assemble a 500-terabyte supercomputer based on more than 10,000 Intel Itanium chips. The configuration, for applications in space exploration, global warming research, and aerospace engineering, will be one of the world’s largest Linux-based supercomputers.

The phenomena behind nanotechnology’s many promises

June 15, 2007

In a progress report on nanoscience concepts and applications, Dr. Gary Hodes from the Weizman Institute of Science has described some of the fundamental size-dependent properties that make materials change behavior at the nanoscale.

A Giant Takes On Physics’ Biggest Questions

May 15, 2007

Physicists hope the Large Hadron Collider giant particle accelerator at Cern will recreate conditions that last prevailed when the universe was less than a trillionth of a second old.

First Self-Healing Coatings

December 12, 2008

New protective coatings developed at the University of Illinois heal over their own scratches with no external intervention, protecting the underlying metal from corrosion.

The self-healing elements, in a paint additive, are enclosed in microcapsules that rip open when the coating is scratched.

Nature ‘mankind’s gravest threat’

August 10, 2004

Giant tsunamis, super volcanoes and earthquakes could pose a greater threat than terrorism, scientists claim.

Robotic cars could take pressure off nation’s highways

June 24, 2007

Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab researchers foresee high-occupancy vehicle lanes and eventually entire highways filled bumper-to-bumper with fast-moving robotic cars carrying commuters reading e-mails and newspapers, working on their laptops or snoozing.

Caution: Some soft drinks may seriously harm your health

May 28, 2007

Research from Sheffield University suggests a common preservative found in soft drinks can switch off vital parts of DNA in mitochondria, and eventually lead to cirrhosis of the liver and degenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s.

E211, known as sodium benzoate, is a preservative used for decades by the global carbonated drinks industry. It has already been the subject of concern about cancer because when mixed with the additive vitamin… read more

Blind, Yet Seeing: The Brain’s Subconscious Visual Sense

December 23, 2008

An international team of brain researchers have reported experiments with a patient with destroyed visual lobes who shows “blindsight” — unconscious perception of obstacles.

Galaxy cluster creating stars at a record pace

Researchers say Phoenix Cluster activity may cause scientists to rethink how galaxies evolve
August 16, 2012


A National Science Foundation-funded radio telescope in Antarctica has found an extraordinary galaxy cluster that may force astronomers to rethink how galaxy clusters and the galaxies that inhabit them evolve.

Observations made by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory in space, by the NSF-managed Gemini Observatory, and the Blanco 4-meter and Magellan telescopes in Chile corroborate the SPT discovery and show that stars are forming in this object… read more

Crisis Alert in Critical State

August 25, 2004

The Emergency Alert System (EAS) is a mess. “Unfortunately, I think it will take a major catastrophe where hundreds of thousands of people are killed for people to understand what (we) have been saying,” said Jim Gabbert, who oversees California’s Emergency Alert System.

The FCC plans to rebuild the EAS, sending warnings to computers, PDAs, cell phones, and is considering the idea of automatically turning on TVs and radios… read more

Organic food ‘better’ for heart

July 6, 2007

A ten-year study comparing organic tomatoes with standard produce found almost double the level of flavonoids, which have been shown to reduce high blood pressure, lowering the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Flavonoids have also been linked with reduced rates of some types of cancer and dementia.

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