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Fun and profit with obsolete computers

April 16, 2007

Even as the power and speed of today’s computers make their forerunners look ever punier, a growing band of collectors are gathering retro computers, considering them important relics and even good investments.

In an old barn in Northern California that also houses pigs, Bruce Damer, 45, keeps a collection that includes a Cray-1 supercomputer, a Xerox Alto (an early microcomputer introduced in 1973) and early Apple prototypes.

“For… read more

Safer, personalized cancer therapy by linking cancer genes with effective anticancer drugs

March 29, 2012


In the largest study of its kind, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute researchers have uncovered hundreds of associations between mutations in cancer genes with sensitivity to anticancer drugs in order to develop a personalized approach to cancer treatments.

One of the key responses the team found was that cells from a childhood bone cancer, Ewing’s sarcoma, respond to a drug that is currently used in the treatment of breast and… read more

What We Don’t Know Can Hurt Us

June 28, 2004

Privacy advocates are hindering development of sophisticated pattern-analysis and data mining tools for detecting terrorist networks, say some experts.

Buckyballs Found in Space

July 23, 2010


Astronomers using NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope have discovered carbon molecules known as “buckyballs” in space for the first time.

“We found what are now the largest molecules known to exist in space,” said astronomer Jan Cami of the University of Western Ontario, Canada, and the SETI Institute in Mountain View, Calif. “We are particularly excited because they have unique properties that make them important players for all… read more

Singularity Summit 2008 Reviewed

November 3, 2008

Keith Kleiner has written a comprehensive review and analysis of Singularity Summit 2008.

Major Discovery: New Planet Could Harbor Water and Life

April 25, 2007

An Earth-like planet spotted outside our solar system is the first found that could support liquid water and harbor life.

The new “super-Earth” is called Gliese 581 C. Because it lies within its star’s habitable zone and is relatively close to Earth, Gliese 581 C could be a very important target for future space missions dedicated to the search for extraterrestrial life, said study team member Xavier Delfosse of… read more

Raver Wearable Displays

July 9, 2004

France Telecom has done some fun R&D to display pixelated images from your cellphone on your shirt or sleeve.

These raver garments can even be used as a standalone device that can animate based on sounds and gestures. The technology uses a flexible circuit board with LEDs and other electronic bits like sensors layered in a fabric layered sandwich.

Scientists create tiny backpacks for cells

November 6, 2008

MIT engineers have outfitted cells with tiny “backpacks” that could allow them to deliver chemotherapy agents, diagnose tumors or become building blocks for tissue engineering.

Joost TV Open for Business

May 1, 2007

Joost, described as the world’s first broadcast-quality Internet television service, commercially launched Tuesday.

Over 150 channels are available and more than 30 global advertisers have signed up to help fund the project.

Faster, cheaper, better

July 26, 2004

The ability to build powerful computers cheaply, combined with growing commercial demand for high-end computing power, is creating a renaissance in the field of supercomputing.

Taiwanese Researchers Introduce Blink of the Eye Transmission Speed System On A Chip

November 12, 2008

A system on a chip (SOC) with transmission speeds 100 times faster than WiFi and 350 times faster than 3.5G cell phones has been created by Professor Jri Lee of National Taiwan University.

It is about 1/10th the size and cost of existing chips and an be massed-produced for less than $1 per unit.

‘Exercise pill’ switches on gene that tells cells to burn fat

May 9, 2007

By giving ordinary adult mice a drug — a synthetic designed to mimic fat — Salk Institute scientist Dr. Ronald M. Evans is now able to chemically switch on PPAR-d, the master regulator that controls the ability of cells to burn fat.

Even when the mice are not active, turning on the chemical switch activates the same fat-burning process that occurs during exercise. The resulting shift in… read more

Start-up to use genes to build better chips

August 5, 2004

Start-up company Cambrios plans to create films or crystals that can be used in semiconductors and other components by combining various types of metals with a virus that attacks the E. coli bacteria.

Broken nerves can be fixed in a flash

November 18, 2008

Rats with breathing problems caused by damage to their nerves have had normal breathing restored by bursts of visible light aimed onto the spinal cord.

This achievement raises hopes that a miniature light source implanted near the spine might one day allow people with similar injuries to breathe normally.

A similar device might be used to relieve constriction of the bladder caused by nerve damage.

Making silicon devices responsive to infrared light

January 6, 2014


A new system developed by researchers at five institutions, including MIT, could eliminate many limitations in methods to develop detectors that are responsive to a broad range of infrared light. Such detectors could form sensitive imaging arrays for security systems, for example.

The new system works at room temperature and provides a broad infrared response, says associate professor of mechanical engineering Tonio Buonassisi.

It… read more

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