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Learning to love to hate robots

December 15, 2009

Recent studies illuminate the skills robots need if they are to get along with humans.

When a box-like robot called TUG went to work in hospitals carrying drugs between wards, the robot’s inability to tell if it was a good time to interrupt and announce its presence was a big problem for some staff members, who lashed out and kicked TUG in frustration.

“If you are going to… read more

Discovery of stem cell linked to learning and memory

May 15, 2008

University of Queensland researchers have identified resident stem cells in the hippocampus and discovered how they can be activated to produce new neurons.

Understanding the activation process should enable development of medicines that can stimulate the production of new neurons and reverse or prevent the cognitive decline that occurs in people with stroke or dementia.

Research Australia News Release

Asteroid Spotting: Skywatchers to Glimpse Close Flyby

July 3, 2006

A large asteroid made an exceptionally close approach to our planet early on July 3, passing just beyond the Moon’s average distance from Earth.

An another object is destined to pass much closer to Earth and possibly could pose a threat to our planet. On April 13, 2029, the asteroid 99942 Apophis is expected to pass a mere 18,600 miles (30,000 km.) above Earth’s surface.

Printers Produce Copies in 3D

August 25, 2003

Several companies are developing low-cost three-dimensional printers that could eventually find their way into the home. The machines work by placing layers of a powdery material on top of each other to create a real-life model of a digital image.

Faster, cheaper DNA sequencing method developed

December 21, 2009

Boston University biomedical engineers have devised a method for making future genome sequencing faster and cheaper by dramatically reducing the amount of DNA required, thus eliminating the expensive, time-consuming and error-prone step of DNA amplification.

The technique uses electrical fields to feed long strands of DNA through four-nanometer-wide pores, using sensitive electrical current measurements to detect single DNA molecules as they pass through the nanopores.

Older Brain Really May Be a Wiser Brain

May 20, 2008

When older people can no longer remember names at a cocktail party, they tend to think that their brainpower is declining.

Instead, new research, cited in a new edition of Progress in Brain Research, finds that the aging brain is simply taking in more data and trying to sift through a clutter of information, often to its long-term benefit.

The distractibility may increase the total amount of information… read more

A Peek Into the Remarkable Mind Behind the Genetic Code

July 12, 2006

The first biography of Francis Crick has now appeared. In “Francis Crick, Discoverer of the Genetic Code,” Matt Ridley has created a vivid portrait that explains Crick’s scientific work with clarity, deftly outlines his career and provides sharp insights into the nature of Crick’s remarkable creativity.

Computer modelling future of medicine

September 4, 2003

By finding new ways to harness huge amounts of computing power, the costs and time of drug testing can be reduced.

Mapping the human genome has given researchers a massive amount of data which can be used to study reactions to disease and therapeutic interventions at a molecular level.

The DNA of the animals commonly used for testing had also been mapped, meaning it should be possible to… read more

Technology predictions for 2010

December 28, 2009

The rise of the tablet computer (led by Apple), broadband-enabled on-demand TV, real-time social websites, 3D TV, and augmented reality in information and location-based games are the hot consumer electronics trends for 2010 predicted by the Telegraph’s technology team.

Dutch robot Flame walks like a human

May 23, 2008
(TU Delft)

Researcher Daan Hobbelen of TU Delft has developed a new, highly-advanced walking robot: Flame.

This type of research provides insight into how people walk, which can help people with walking difficulties through improved diagnoses, training and rehabilitation equipment.

Europe plans giant eye on the sky

July 21, 2006

A giant telescope with a mirror up to 60 meters wide is being planned by the European Southern Observatory to detect Earth-like planets around other stars and spot the universe’s first galaxies.

Microsoft HoloDesk lets users handle virtual 3D objects

October 27, 2011

Microsoft HoloDesk

Microsoft Research has developed a new system called HoloDesk that allows users to pick up, move, and even shoot virtual 3D objects.

An overhead screen projects a 2D image through a half-silvered beam splitter into a viewing area beneath. A Kinect camera keeps tabs on a user’s hand position, a webcam tracks the user’s face to help with placement accuracy, and custom algorithms bring everything together in real time.… read more

Money for old mice

September 22, 2003

A contest to produce the oldest laboratory mouse and thus help unravel the mysteries of human ageing has been launched by Aubrey de Grey of the University of Cambridge.

The competition aims to encourage research and funding for anti-ageing interventions. Cash is awarded for each day that their animal survives after breaking the record.

Carbon nanotubes show promise for high-speed genetic sequencing

January 4, 2010

A new method for DNA sequencing in which a single-stranded ribbon of DNA is threaded through a carbon nanotube could be carried out thousands of times faster than existing methods at a fraction of the cost, if perfected, Arizona State University scientists say.

Word/Logic Bank to Help Build ‘Thinking’ Machines

May 29, 2008

Information scientists have announced an agreement on a “concept bank” programmers could use to build an Internet facility called the Open Ontology Repository (OOR).

The OOR would comprise diverse collections of concepts (ontologies) such as dictionaries, compendiums of medical terminology, and classifications of products, that could be stored, retrieved, and connected to various bodies of information.

OOR users, tasked with creating a computer program for manufacturing machines, for… read more

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