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The Naked Ear

January 17, 2008

Two fully implantable hearing aids are now in clinical trials.

(Otologics/Peter Belanger)

The nanoelectronic road ahead

September 17, 2001

The semiconductor industry has the potential for at least 20 more years of exponential progress ahead of us,” said James D. Meindl, professor of electrical and computer engineering and director of the Microelectronics Research Center at the Georgia Institute of Technology in a paper published in the September 14 issue of the journal Science.Based on a comprehensive analysis of the fundamental, material, device, circuit and system limits on silicon semiconductors,… read more

The Nanoethics Group publishes nanotechnology anthology with Springer

April 29, 2008

The Nanoethics Group has released “Nanotechnology and Society: Current and Emerging Ethical Issues,” a collection of papers addressing a range of near-term issues related to nanotechnology’s ethical and social implications.

Published by Springer, the essays tackle such contentious issues as environmental impact, health dangers, medical benefits, intellectual property, professional code of ethics, privacy, and international governance.

The Nanomaterials Market Is Starting To Climb The Growth Curve

August 29, 2003

Nanomaterials are vying for new markets in electronics, food packaging, industrial processing and other areas.

Nanotechnology is now a $385 million-per-year business in the United States, a figure that is expected to reach $3.5 billion by 2008 and $20 billion by 2013,

The Nanotech Schism

March 9, 2004

The field of nanotechnology is divided between those who think it will simply improve our lives and those who think it will completely transform them.

The former group thinks of nanotechnology as essentially a new branch of materials science. The latter group, inspired by nanotechnologist Eric Drexler, hews to a more ambitious vision in which molecular manufacturing, nanomedicine, and even nanoweapons will radically reshape the world.

The Nanotechnology Revolution

September 5, 2003

From science fiction to the halls of Congress, the promise and perils of nanotechnology have become big news. But just what is nanotechnology, what are its prospects, and how should policymakers and citizens think about it? Adam Keiper explores the surprisingly varied meanings of nanotech, and the implications of our growing control over the very small.

The Nanotube Computer

February 14, 2002

The nano future is emerging through the haze of hype: the road to terabit memory and cheap flat-screen displays will be paved with carbon nanotubes.

Carbon nanotubes are, in theory at least, the ideal material for building tomorrow’s nanoelectronics. And now, a little more than 10 years after their discovery, nanotubes seem ready to make the transition from exotic laboratory wonders to materials useful in actual technologies. Prototypes of… read more

The Napster of Nano

October 7, 2003

Nanotech file sharing could bridge the “nano divide” by helping developing countries launch their own nanotech industries.

The Need for Speed on the Web

May 11, 2010

Aptimize, a startup based in Wellington, New Zealand, that launches its service for websites in the United States today, says its software can speed up website load times, bringing increases of 200 to 400 percent in some cases.

The software gets into the middle of the normally sluggish page-processing pipeline and makes it more efficient. It combines resources so they only have to be downloaded once. For example, it… read more

The Networked Pill

March 20, 2008

Proteus Biomedical has developed a system that monitors pill taking and its effects, using pills that report when they’ve been taken and sensors that monitor the body’s responses, allowing doctors to monitor compliance and side effects.

Each pill contains an “ingestible event marker” (IEM), a sand-grain-size microchip with a thin-film battery activated upon ingestion. Each IEM sends a unique high-frequency electrical current throughout the body’s tissues, logged by a… read more

The Neural Approach to Pattern Recognition

April 14, 2004

Artificial neural networks could surpass the capabilities of conventional computer-based pattern recognition systems.

The neural basis of ‘number sense’ in young infants

February 7, 2008

Research reported in PLoS Biology shows that very young infants are sensitive to both the number and identity of objects, and these pieces of information are processed by distinct neural pathways.

3-months-old infants were watching images of objects where the number or identity of objects occasionally changed. Electrical activity measured on the scalp showed that the infant brain responded to both changes, but in different brain regions, which map… read more

The Neural Correlates of Religious and Nonreligious Belief

October 2, 2009

Religious thinking is more associated with brain regions that govern emotion, self-representation, and cognitive conflict, while thinking about ordinary facts is more reliant upon memory retrieval networks, scientists at UCLA and other universities have found.

They used fMRI to measure signal changes in the brains of committed Christians and nonbelievers as they evaluated the truth and falsity of religious and nonreligious propositions. For both groups, belief (judgments of “true  read more

The neural mechanisms of insight

March 9, 2011

The amygdala plays a key role in the brain during the “ah ha!” moment (“perceptual insight”),  researchers at the Center for Neural Science at New York University have found.

Perceptual insight is where the sudden realization of a solution to a visual puzzle is triggered by an external cue. Specific brain activity that occurs during an “A-ha!” moment may help encode the new information in long-term memory.

Their… read more


January 23, 2007

Neuroscientist V.S. Ramachandran believes that “other awareness” may have evolved first and then, counterintutively, the same ability was exploited to model ones own mind–what one calls self awareness. He also suggests that a specific system of neurons called mirror neurons are involved in this ability.

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