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How to build a supercomputer from Playstation 3s

December 18, 2008

Two UMass Dartmouth sceientists have created a step-by-step guide to building a home-brew supercomputer from Sony Playstation 3s for $4,000–the cost of 5,000 hours at $1 per hour on the National Science Foundation’s TeraGrid computing infrastructure.

‘Morse code’ signal switches genes

January 13, 2005

Cells use a morse code-like signal to switch genes on and off, researchers have found.

According to Professor Douglas Kell, who sits on the UK’s Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and is a member of the research team, “This raises new challenges for drug designers. It appears that simply aiming to knock down signalling molecules with drugs, as many people are trying to do, may have weak or… read more

Ultrathin ‘diagnostic skin’ allows continuous patient monitoring

January 2, 2014

Gorbach array laminated on skin

An entirely new approach to measuring body temperature — an ”electronic skin” that adheres non-invasively to human skin, conforms well to contours, and provides a detailed temperature map of any surface of the body — has been developed by an international multidisciplinary team including researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign and the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB).

Subtle variations in temperature can… read more

A crime-fighting armored glove

June 1, 2011

(Credit: John B. Carnett)

The BodyGuard is an armored glove equipped with a high voltage stun gun, laser pointer for aiming, video camera and flashlight.
A robber is cornered in a dead-end alley. He turns to face the police officer pursuing him, ready to fight. He pauses. The officer’s left forearm is encased in ballistic nylon, and half a million volts arc menacingly between electrodes on his wrist. A green laser target lands… read more

Tangible display makes 3D images touchable

July 2, 2007

A system that makes three dimensional images solid enough to grasp has been unveiled by Japanese firm NTT. It could let businesspeople shake hands from across the globe or allow museum visitors to feel precious exhibits that are normally out of reach, the company says.

The prototype Tangible 3D system combines a 3D display with a “haptic glove.” The display creates lifelike images that appear in just in front… read more

Challenge to create program that can win a game without knowing rules

August 5, 2001

Artificial Intelligence NV (Ai) has announced a challenge to promote original AI research. The companuy invites participants to create a computer program that can win at a game without knowing either the game’s rules or the identity of its opponent.
The creator of the winning program will win a $2000 prize and the representatives of the top three winning programs will be invited to an AI workshop at… read more

Potentially Disruptive Antibody Sequencing Technology Developed

December 29, 2008

Bioinformatics researchers at the University of California, San Diego and Genentech have developed a new shotgun protein sequencing method based on mass spectrometry that reduces the time required to sequence an unknown antibody to under 36 hours — a “dramatic reduction” compared to the most widely used technique today, which can take weeks or even months.

The process also reveals unexpected changes that go undetected using traditional sequencing methods.… read more

DNA molecules used to assemble nanoparticles

January 24, 2005

University of Michigan researchers have developed a faster, more efficient way to produce a wide variety of nanoparticle drug delivery systems, using DNA molecules to bind the particles together.

Nanoparticle complexes can be specifically targeted to cancer cells and are small enough to enter a diseased cell, either killing it from within or sending out a signal to identify it. But making the particles is notoriously difficult and time-consuming.… read more

After delay, hacker to show flaws in Siemens industrial gear

June 8, 2011

(Credit: Black Hat)

NSS Labs Researcher Dillon Beresford expects to go public at the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas on Aug. 2–3 with his research showing problems with Siemens computers used in power plants, heavy industry, and chemical plants.

In May, Beresford was pulled out of a Dallas hacking conference at the last minute when Siemens was unable to fix problems he’d found in the firmware of its S7… read more

In Latest Robotics, New Hope for Stroke Patients

July 10, 2007

A new robotic device called the Myomo e100 is designed to help stroke patients regain motion in their arms.

Worn as an arm brace, it works by sensing weak electrical activity in patients’ arm muscles and providing just enough assistance that they can complete simple exercises. By practicing such tasks, patients may begin to relearn how to extend and flex the arm, rebuilding and strengthening neurological pathways in the… read more

Denial and the Ravaging of Cyberspace

August 30, 2001

While some view it as an expansive bastion of decentralized communication and democratic discourse, the World Wide Web is scarcely more civic-minded than your local bank, says media critic Norman Solomon.
Solomon sees these trends:

  • Online media consolidation. Websites operated by just four corporations account for 50.4 percent of the time that U.S. users of the Web are now spending online.
  • Web browsers will become outdated
  • read more

    A Better Way to Make Nanotubes

    January 6, 2009

    The newly synthesized cycloparaphenylene “nanohoop” molecule, the shortest segment of a carbon nanotube, could help grow much longer carbon nanotubes in a controlled way and in large batches, with each nanotube identical to the next.

    This combination of precision and high yield will be needed if carbon nanotubes are to make the jump from the lab to the commercial sector. To replace silicon wafers in electronics, for example, they’ll… read more

    Group aims to drastically up disc storage

    February 4, 2005

    One terabyte (TB) of data onto a single optical disc is the goal of the Holographic Versatile Disc (HVD) Alliance, a consortium to promote HVD technology.

    The consortium said a 1 TB HVD disc could hold as much data as 200 standard DVDs and transfer data at over 1 gigabit per second, or 40 times faster than a DVD.

    However, the initial assignments of the technical committee involve… read more

    Transhumanism: Evolution’s Next Big Move?

    July 19, 2007

    A special roundtable discussion–”Transhumanism: Evolution’s Next Big Move?“–on the international Coast To Coast AM radio show will feature presenters from the upcoming TransVision 2007 conference in Chicago, including James Gardner, Ray Kurzweil, Charlie Kam, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Philippe Van Nedervelde, and James Hughes.


    September 24, 2001

    In the blink of an eye, electromagnetic bombs could throw civilization back 200 years. And terrorists can build them for $400.
    An airborne “e-bomb” based on a Flux Compression Generator could generate an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) that could knock out electric power, computers and telecommunications.

    The device consists of an explosives-packed tube placed inside a slightly larger copper coil energized by a bank of capacitors, creating a magnetic field… read more

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