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Genetic Engineers Who Don’t Just Tinker

July 9, 2007

Synthetic biology is an effort by engineers to rewire the genetic circuitry of living organisms.

The ambitious undertaking includes genetic engineering, the now routine insertion of one or two genes into a bacterium or crop plant. But synthetic biologists aim to rearrange genes on a much wider scale, that of a genome, or an organism’s entire genetic code. Their plans include microbes modified to generate cheap petroleum out of… read more

Robots Find a Muse Other Than Mayhem

May 31, 2002

“ArtBots,” held at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn on Saturday, featured ten robot-created art projects.

The robots’ art included Japanese brush painting, kinetic sculptures, art created with speaker-driven brushes, music, and sampled sounds.

Repetitive error correction in a quantum processor

May 27, 2011

Quantum Error

A more efficient algorithm for error correction in quantum computers has been demonstrated experimentally by physicists at the Institute for Experimental Physics of the University of Innsbruck and the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (IQOQI).

The physicists demonstrated the mechanism by storing three calcium ions in an ion trap. All three particles were used as… read more

A New Web of Trust

January 6, 2009

Many experts are now looking to DNSSEC to solve the problem of web visitors being sent to malicious Web pages.

DNSSEC is a protocol that verifies DNS messages with digital signatures. It will be implemented in the .org and .gov domains initially.

Livermore supercomputer ranked as world’s fastest

June 23, 2005

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory now has the world’s most powerful computer, IBM’s BlueGene/L, according to this year’s Top 500 list, announced Wednesday at the International Supercomputer Conference in Heidelberg, Germany.

The BlueGene/L installed there contains 62,000 microprocessors that can handle 136.8 trillion calculations, or teraflops, per second.


July 18, 2007

There’s a sudden upswing in international awareness that the pace of progress in robotics is rapidly propelling these fields into uncharted ethical realms.

3D maps show brain gene activity

June 25, 2002

A 3D map of the brain’s genetic activity should help researchers pinpoint the neurological underpinnings of autism, schizophrenia and other brain disorders.

If a primordial black hole hits the sun…

June 6, 2011

Black hole hits Sun

The effect of a primordial black hole hitting the Sun ought to be easily observable, say physicists at New York University and Princeton University.

Such an event wouldn’t be as catastrophic as it sounds, they suggest. The likelihood is that a primordial black hole with mass of an asteroid or comet would pass straight through the Sun, generating a small puff of X-rays in the process.

However,… read more

Scientists ‘Write’ With Atoms Using An Atomic Force Microscope

January 12, 2009

An international team of scientists has discovered a new method to manipulate atoms using an atomic force microscope (AFM) that makes it possible to build stable atomic structures at room temperature and on various semiconductor surfaces.

For example, placing specific dopant elements in the best position on semiconductor surfaces could increase the efficiency of nanoscale transistors.

Researcher sees huge growth in podcast audience

July 7, 2005

Researchers at the Diffusion Group predict that the U.S. podcast audience will climb from 840,000 last year to 56 million by 2010. By that time, three-quarters of all people who own portable digital music players will listen to podcasts, they predict.

Emotional recall is in your genes

July 30, 2007

Your ability to recall emotional events is governed by a common variation in a single gene, ADRA2B, which codes for the noradrenaline receptor in the amygdala, says Dominique de Quervain, a neuroscientist at the University of Zurich.

Next Dimension in Baby Watching

July 17, 2002

Clinicians and parents can watch real-time live-action ultrasound images of a fetus, thanks to GE Medical Systems’ Voluson 730 ultrasound system.

Some neurological defects may be apparent in the movement of the fingers.

Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo Team Up to Advance Semantic Web

June 10, 2011

Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo have teamed up to encourage Web page operators to make the meaning of their pages understandable to search engines.

The three big Web companies launched the semantic-Web-technology initiative, known as, last week. It defines an interconnected vocabulary of terms that can be added to the HTML markup of a Web page to communicate the meaning of concepts on the page. This data… read more

Better Thermal Photovoltaics

January 21, 2009

A new approach to converting heat into electricity using solar cells could make a technology called thermal photovoltaics (TPVs) more practical and make it possible to use one-tenth as much solar-cell material.

Thermal photovoltaics use solar cells to convert the light (in this case, sunlight) that radiates from a hot surface into electricity.

‘Stealth’: A.I. out of control

July 25, 2005

An AI-based unmanned stealth fighter jet, after being hit by lightning, decides to execute a top-secret mission that could result in global thermonuclear war. That’s the theme of the movie “Stealth,” opening this week.

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