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Can cloud computing boost GDP?

November 15, 2012

Cloud_Computing

Gross domestic product (GDP) can be boosted by cloud computing, the system in which remote computers on the Internet are used to store, manage and process data rather than the users’ local machines, according to a report to be published in the International Journal of Technology, Policy and Management. 

The report suggests that governments should collaborate to boost the adoptionread more

New metamaterial lens focuses radio waves

Device could improve satellite and molecular imaging
November 15, 2012

The orientation of 4,000 S-shaped units forms a metamaterial lens that focuses radio waves with extreme precision, and very little energy lost (credit: Dylan Erb/MIT)

MIT researchers have fabricated a three-dimensional, lightweight metamaterial lens that focuses radio waves with extreme precision.

The concave lens exhibits a property called negative refraction, bending electromagnetic waves — in this case, radio waves — in exactly the opposite sense from which a normal concave lens would work.

Concave lenses typically radiate radio waves… read more

Hovering moon base may be on NASA’s horizon

November 16, 2012

orion-earth-moon-telerobotics-astronauts

NASA is considering plans for a hovering moon base parked in orbit about 60,000 kilometers from the moon’s far side, at Lagrange point 2 (EML-2)New Scientist reports.

There, the combined gravity of Earth and the moon would tug on a spacecraft with exactly the force needed for it to hover near the moon without spending fuel. This might assist human missions to an asteroid or to Mars… read more

Lost in space: rogue planet spotted?

November 16, 2012

rogue_planet_eso

Astronomers have identified an object that could be a planet wandering through space without a parent star at a distance of about 100 light-years. Its closeness and the absence of a nearby bright star have allowed the team to study its atmosphere in great detail.

Free-floating planets are planetary-mass objects that roam through space without any ties to a star. Possible… read more

Google has officially eaten the newspaper industry

November 16, 2012

google_ad_revenue

Newspapers have continued to churn out the same content while watching their advertisers steadily flee for sites like Craigslist, Yahoo, the Huffington Post/AOL, Facebook, and Google, says writer Will Oremus in Slate Future Tense.  

The chart above, from Statista’s Felix Richter, plots Google’s digital advertising revenue against the print advertising revenue of all U.S.… read more

Carbon nanotubes may protect DNA from oxidation

November 16, 2012

Scanning electron microscope image of a typical sample of the NIST single-wall carbon nanotube soot standard reference material. Recent NIST research suggests that, at least in the laboratory, carbon nanotubes may help protect DNA molecules from damage by oxidation. The image shows an area just over a micrometer wide. (Color added for clarity.) (Credit: Credit: Vladar/NIST)

Single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) may help protect DNA molecules from damage by oxidation, researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have found.

In nature, oxidation is a common chemical process in which a reactive chemical removes electrons from DNA and may increase the chance for mutations in cells.

More studies are needed to see if the in vitro protective effect of… read more

‘Cloning’ could make structurally pure nanotubes for nanoelectronics

May be key to separating electrical conductors and semiconductors
November 16, 2012

Cloning nanotubes: In this computer model, small, pre-selected nanotube "seeds" (yellow) are grown to long nanotubes of the same twist or "chirality" in a high-temperature gas of small carbon compounds (Credit: Jia Liu et al./USC)

A technique for growing virtually pure samples of single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) with identical structures has been demonstrated by researchers from the University of Southern California (USC) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

They liken this process to “cloning” the nanotubes. If it can be suitably scaled up, their approach could solve an important materials problem in nanoelectronics: producing carbon nanotubesread more

Internet activists on red alert ahead of United Nations conference

How the ITU could put the Internet behind closed doors
November 16, 2012

R.I.P._Internet

Internet activists are warning that next month’s meeting of the International Telecommunications Union, a United Nations body charged with overseeing global communications, may have significant and potentially disastrous consequences for everyday Internet users, Mashable reports.

Called the World Conference on International Telecommunications, the meeting is intended to update some of the aging international law that governs the flow of information online. The meeting is mostly closed to… read more

Nanotech yarn behaves like super-strong muscle

Could one day power robots, micromotors, intelligent textiles
November 16, 2012

ut_nanotube_muscles

New artificial muscles made from nanotech yarns and infused with paraffin wax can lift more than 100,000 times their own weight and generate 85 times more mechanical power than the same size natural muscle, according to scientists at The University of Texas at Dallas and their international team from Australia, China, South Korea, Canada and Brazil.

The… read more

New injectable gels toughen up after entering the body

November 16, 2012

mit_injectable_gel

MIT chemical engineers have designed an injectable gel that responds to the body’s high temperature by forming a reinforcing network that makes the gel much more durable, allowing it to function over a longer period of time.

Gels that can be injected into the body, carrying drugs or cells that regenerate damaged tissue, hold promise for treating… read more

IBM simulates 530 billion neurons, 100 trillion synapses on supercomputer

November 19, 2012

A Network of Neurosynaptic Cores Derived from Long-distance Wiring in the Monkey Brain: Neuro-synaptic cores are locally clustered into brain-inspired regions, and each core is represented as an individual point along the ring. Arcs are drawn from a source core to a destination core with an edge color defined by the color assigned to the source core. (Credit: IBM)

IBM Research – Almaden presented at Supercomputing 2012 last week the next milestone toward fulfilling the ultimate vision of the DARPA’s cognitive computing program, called Systems of Neuromorphic Adaptive Plastic Scalable Electronics (SyNAPSE), according to Dr. Dharmendra S. Modha, Manager, Cognitive Computing, IBM Research – Almaden.

Announced in 2008, DARPA’s SyNAPSE program calls for developing electronic neuromorphic (brain-simulation) machine technology that scales… read more

Roaming robot may explore mysterious Moon caverns

November 19, 2012

cave_robot_whittaker

William ‘Red’ Whittaker often spends his Sundays lowering a robot into a recently blown up coal mine pit near his cattle ranch in Pennsylvania (see video below). By 2015, he hopes that his robot, or something like it, will be rappelling down a much deeper hole, on the Moon, Nature News reports.

“This is authentic exploration, this is the real deal,”read more

Inside Ingress, Google’s new augmented-reality game

Google reveals a strange new game from its Niantic Labs project
November 19, 2012

ingress_on_android

“What is the Niantic Project?” asked a teaser video. Now we know the answer: the Niantic Project is a game called Ingress, CNET reports.

Ingress is a world in which two shadowy sides are vying for dominance: the Enlightened, who are trying to establish portals around the world that will let them control people’s… read more

Google Fiber installations kick off

November 19, 2012

google_fiber_installation

After months of building a brand new Fiber infrastructure, Google is starting to connect homes in Kansas City, Google Fiber Blog reports, offering some tips on what to expect.

 

These bots were made for walking: cells power biological machines

November 19, 2012

Fabricating bio-bots (credit: Vincent Chan et al./Scientific Reports)

They’re soft, biocompatible, about 7 millimeters long — and, incredibly, able to walk by themselves. Miniature “bio-bots” developed at the University of Illinois are making tracks in synthetic biology.

Designing non-electronic biological machines has been a riddle that scientists at the interface of biology and engineering have struggled to solve. The walking bio-bots demonstrate the Illinois team’s ability to forward-engineer functional machines using only hydrogel,… read more

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