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Algae: Biofuel of the future?

August 19, 2008

University of Virginia researchers have a plan to greatly increase algae oil yields by feeding the algae extra carbon dioxide (the main greenhouse gas) and organic material like sewage, meaning the algae could simultaneously produce biofuel and clean up environmental problems.

Folic acid boosts minds of over-50s, study finds

January 18, 2007

Absent-mindedness in the over-50s is significantly improved when people take folic acid supplements, according to a large study reported in today’s Lancet.

Short-term memory, mental agility and verbal fluency tests were all better among people who took high doses of the supplement for three years, compared with a group given a placebo.

No Riders: Desert Crossing Is for the Robots Only

March 9, 2004

Competing teams will be racing their robotic vehicles across the Mojave desert this Saturday, attracted by a Pentagon promise to pay $1 million to the creators of the first self-guided vehicle to find its way along a programmed course from Barstow, Calif. to near Las Vegas.

Digital information will grow to 1.2 zettabytes this year: IDC study

May 5, 2010

Last year, the Digital Universe (the amount of digital information created and replicated in the world) grew by 62% to nearly 800,000 petabytes (a petabyte is a million gigabytes, or a quintillion bytes), and this year, the Digital Universe will grow almost as fast to 1.2 million petabytes, or 1.2 zettabytes, according to IDC’s annual report, “The Digital Universe Decade – Are You Ready?” May 2010, which monitors… read more

Wireless sensors learn from life

August 26, 2008

In the WINSOC project, European and Indian researchers are applying principles learned from living organisms to design self-organizing networks of wireless sensors suitable for a wide range of environmental monitoring purposes,robust against node failures and capable of being implemented on large scales.

They developed mathematical models of biological systems and translated them into algorithms to determine how the sensor nodes should interact with each other, using self-organization. The sensor… read more

Nanowires that glow under mechanical pressure

Could be used for collecting signatures and fingerprints, in biological imaging and micro-electromechanical (MEMS) systems, and ultimately for new human-machine interfaces
August 13, 2013

glowing nanowires

Georgia Institute of Technology researchers have developed a sensor device using nanowires that glow under mechanical pressure.

The sensor device could provide an artificial sense of touch, offering sensitivity comparable to that of the human skin. It could be used for collecting signatures and fingerprints and in biological imaging and micro-electromechanical (MEMS) systems. Ultimately, it could provide a new approach for human-machine interfaces.

“You… read more

Gates: Internet to revolutionize TV in 5 years

January 29, 2007

The Internet is set to revolutionize television within five years, due to an explosion of online video content and the merging of PCs and TV sets, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates said on Saturday.

In the years ahead, more and more viewers will hanker after the flexibility offered by online video and abandon conventional broadcast television, with its fixed program slots and advertisements that interrupt shows, Gates said.

Magnetic breakthrough processes data 100 times faster than current hard-drive technology

February 8, 2012

Magnetic Reversal

revolutionary new magnetic recording technology that will allow information to be processed hundreds of times faster than by current hard drive technology has been developed by an international team of scientists led by the University of York’s Department of Physics.

The method uses an ultrashort heat pulse to switch magnetic polarity, eliminating the need to apply an external magnetic field.

York physicist Thomas Ostler said:… read more

Rocket fuel boosts speed of transistors

March 18, 2004

The rocket fuel hydrazine has turned out to be ideal in helping to make faster thin-film transistors, a crucial component of liquid crystal displays.

The key was the discovery that the semiconductor tin disulphide, which is insoluble in most liquids, can be dissolved in hydrazine if sulphur is added to the mix. By applying the solution to a silicon substrate and spinning it they were able to create a… read more

DNA could be scaffolding for self-assembling chips

May 12, 2010

(Chris Dwyer)

By simply mixing customized snippets of DNA and other molecules, one can create billions of identical self-assembling nanostructures, Chris Dwyer, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at Duke University, has demonstrated.

When different light-sensitive molecules are added to the mixture of nanostructures, they exhibit unique programmable properties that can be readily tapped. Using light to excite these molecules, known as chromophores, he can create simple logic… read more

Lines and Bubbles and Bars, Oh My! New Ways to Sift Data

September 1, 2008

At an experimental IBM Web site, Many Eyes, users can upload the data they want to visualize, then try sophisticated tools to generate interactive displays and collaborate with other users.

Orbiting Junk, Once a Nuisance, Is Now a Threat

February 7, 2007

Space experts have worried that a speeding bit of orbital debris might one day smash a large spacecraft into hundreds of pieces and start a chain reaction, a slow cascade of collisions that would expand for centuries, spreading chaos through the heavens.

China’s test on Jan. 11 of an antisatellite rocket that shattered an old satellite into hundreds of large fragments added about 1000 more detectable objects to the… read more

Cancer drug shows promise in reversing Alzheimer’s symptoms in mice

February 12, 2012

Reduction of beta-Amyloid plaque in hippocampus of mice treated with in 14 days

Neuroscientists at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine have found that bexarotene, a drug currently prescribed to treat cancer, appears to reverse Alzheimer’s symptoms in mice.

The results suggest that bexarotene has a significant potential to help the 5.4 million Americans with the progressive brain disease.

“When used in mice, the drug was successful in removing the buildup of amyloid plaque in the brain… read more

Why the feds fear nanobots

March 26, 2004

The $3.7 billion 21st-Century Nanotech Research and Development Act excludes funding for molecular manufacturing.

One theory holds that government and business fret that any talk of nanobots would conjure up the Magician’s Apprentice scenario (in which tiny, replicating machines get out of control and cover the Earth). That could raise the odds that environmental groups would attack nanotechnology just as they have attacked genetically modified plants and foods.

Software that Learns by Watching

May 19, 2010

KarDo, new software designed by MIT researchers to watch and learn as IT support staff carry out common tasks, could automatically perform the same jobs across different computers.

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