science + technology news

Protocols needed to deal with health effects from disasters

April 7, 2011

Researchers at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans School of Medicine have called for the urgent development of protocols to deal with the health effects of disasters.

They point out that the magnitude of the impact of the Deepwater Horizon Gulf Oil Spill on human health, the environment, and the economy remains unknown. Their study assesses the known toxicologic consequences of oil spill exposures, but… read more

Students tackle rescue robot ‘war game’

August 14, 2002

Students gathered Monday around a cardboard mockup of Washington’s train station to try their hand at using robots to search for and assist terrorism victims in the aftermath of an explosion.

Portable Device Can Detect Viruses In Minutes

May 29, 2009
When a micro-organism such as a virus is present in the sample being analyzed, it binds to the relevant antibody on the chip, creating an interference pattern that provides information about the quantity of virus particles present (University of Twente)

A portable device that can show in five minutes is a person is infected with a particular virus or bacterium has been developed by Ostendum, a University of Twente spinoff.

Team Creates Rat Heart Using Cells of Baby Rats

January 14, 2008

University of Minnesota researchers created a beating rat heart in a laboratory by using the valves and outer structure of a dead rat’s heart as scaffolding for new heart cells injected from newborn rats.

Scientists should be able to grow a human heart by taking stem cells from a patient’s bone marrow and placing them in a cadaver heart prepared as a scaffold.

Hidden Black Holes Finally Found

August 7, 2005

A host of hidden black holes have been revealed in a narrow region of the sky, confirming astronomers’ suspicions that the universe is loaded with many undetected gravity wells.

Black holes cannot be seen directly, because they trap light and anything else that gets too close. But astronomers infer their presence by noting the behavior of material nearby: gas is superheated and accelerated to a significant fraction of light-speed… read more

Non-invasive direct current stimulation of the brain

April 13, 2011

Researchers at the National Institutes of Health have developed a way to cognitively enhance the brain’s activity by placing electrodes directly on the surface of the scalp, using transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS).

The electrodes are damp sponges about 4 square centimeters in area that deliver a current of a few milliamps. Neurons underneath the positively charged electrode are stimulated to fire more frequently in response to normal incoming… read more

Mind Catcher: A Boy and his Exo-Brain

August 31, 2002

Scientists have perfected a machine that downloads brain waves in this new novel by John Darnton. When surgeons have to shut down the brain stem so the organ can be repaired, a computer supplies the necessary neural transmissions to keep the rest of the body alive.

US shells out $10M for unmanned aircraft that can perch like a bird

June 4, 2009

AeroVironment has received n additional $5.4 million from DARPA to further develop a tiny aircraft that can fly into tight spaces undetected, perch, and send live surveillance information to its handlers.

Robot to Mix Chemotherapy Drugs at U.S. Hospital

January 17, 2008

The University of Colorado Hospital is about to start using a robot to mix chemotherapy drugs for patients, which its developers say will eliminate human error and protect technicians from potentially dangerous drugs.

Violent or erotic images cause momentary periods of ‘emotion-induced blindness’

August 17, 2005

A new psychological study finds that when people are shown violent or erotic images they frequently fail to process what they see immediately afterwards.

An emotion-induced blindness test is available for readers to take.

Polarized microscopy technique shows new details of how proteins are arranged

April 19, 2011

SimonModelsYComplex

Scientists at Rockefeller University have developed a new polarized microscopy technique that measures how components of large protein complexes are arranged in relation to one another.

“Our new technique allows us to measure how components of large protein complexes are arranged in relation to one another,” says Sandy Simon, head of the Laboratory of Cellular Biophysics. “This has the potential to give us important new information… read more

Earth’s magnetic field ‘boosts gravity’

September 23, 2002

Hidden extra dimensions are causing measurements of the strength of gravity at different locations on Earth to be affected by the planet’s magnetic field, French researchers say.

Record-breaking superlens smashes diffraction limit

June 11, 2009

A new superlens that could make it possible to film molecules in action in real time with visible light has been developed by HP Labs researchers.

The lens takes advantage of subwavelength details in evanescent components of light, which can propagate in a material with a negative refractive index. To achieve a record-breaking resolution of 1/12th of the wavelength of light, the researchers grew smooth silver film just a… read more

The Coming Wave of Gadgets That Listen and Obey

January 27, 2008

Devices that incorporate speech recognition are starting to hit the mass market in cellphone and other non-desktop-computer locations.

Accelerating Change 2005 focuses on AI and IA

August 31, 2005

This year’s Accelerating Change 2005 conference (AC2005), Sept. 16-18 at Stanford, promises to be “outstanding,” organizer John Smart tells Accelerating Intelligence news, with 51 top speakers and emcees.

The conference focuses on “artificial intelligence and intelligence amplification transforming technology, empowering humanity.” Consistent with that theme, Ray Kurzweil will keynote the event and will distribute pre-publication signed copies of his The Singularity is Near to the first 250… read more

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