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Penrose: The Answer’s Not 42

March 3, 2005

Roger Penrose’s newly published The Road to Reality: A Complete Guide to the Laws of the Universe is a rigorous and exhaustive map to the “theory of nearly everything.”

Among his controversial ideas: Penrose proposes that the missing link between macroscopic and submicroscopic is gravity. Aggregations of particles exist in their blurry quantum mechanical states until so many particles are both here and there that space-time itself — which… read more

Half of social networkers post risky information, study finds

May 4, 2010

More than half of all users of social networks in the U.S. are posting information — like full birth date, phone number, full address, and trip dates — that could put them at risk from cybercriminals, according to a Consumer Reports study.

IBM scientists image the charge distribution within a single molecule

February 27, 2012

ibmmolecule2

IBM scientists were able to measure for the first time how charge is distributed within a single molecule.

This achievement promises to enable fundamental scientific insights into single-molecule switching and bond formation between atoms and molecules for future applications such as solar photoconversion, energy storage, or molecular scale computing devices, says IBM.

They directly imaged the charge distribution within a single naphthalocyanine molecule using a special kind… read more

Nanowires May Lead to Superfast Computer Chips

November 9, 2001

Scientists at Harvard University have grown tiny crystal rods of silicon and other semiconductors, then sluiced them onto chips to form rudimentary circuits that perform basic logic operations.
Nanowires are easier to make and manipulate and they may be easier to miniaturize to the sizes needed for superfast computer chips.

They might also make good sensors for proteins, DNA and other biological molecules. Among other things, that could aid… read more

Flat-panel ion thrusters

August 25, 2008

University of Michigan researchers propose that tiny “nano thrusters” could be made into flat sheets mounted on the side of spacecraft.

Nanoparticles just tens of nanometers across are ionized by electrodes in a chamber. Those charged ions are accelerated by the electric field and ejected from a vent, producing thrust.

Intermittent fasting may reduce cancer risk

March 16, 2005

Healthy mice given only 5 percent fewer calories than mice allowed to eat freely experienced a significant reduction in cell proliferation in several tissues, an indicator for cancer risk, UC Berkeley researchers found.

The key was that the mice eating 5 percent fewer calories were fed intermittently, or three days a week.

Cutting just a few calories overall but feeding intermittently may be a more feasible eating pattern… read more

Quantum entanglement in a real biological system found

May 11, 2010

Quantum Entanglement

Scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and UC Berkeley have made the first observations of quantum entanglement in a real biological system.

The results of this study hold implications for the development of artificial photosynthesis systems as a renewable non-polluting source of electrical energy, and for the future development of quantum-based technologies in areas such as computing.

Contrary to the popular scientific notion that entanglement is a fragile… read more

Kurzweil to address Business Week conference

December 5, 2001

Ray Kurzweil will give the Special Address — “Accelerating Intelligence: Where Will Technology Lead Us?” — at BusinessWeek’s The Digital Economy New Priorities: Building A Collaborative Enterprise In Uncertain Times conference on December 6 in San Francisco. The address will introduce business CEOs to the Singularity — the moment when distinctions between human and machine intelligence disappear.

New brain cells are essential for learning

September 1, 2008

Neurogenesis — creation of new brain cells — is essential for learning and memory, Kyoto University researchers have found.

Oil and water mix for better drugs

March 29, 2005

Oil and water will mix — providing all the gas dissolved in the liquids is removed first — and the technique can be used to mix fat-soluble drugs with water.

That could do away with additives and their adverse reactions, as well as simplifying drug production.

Meet QB, Your New Robotic Coworker

May 19, 2010

Anybots

Anybots’ QB, a $15,000 “remote presence robot,” allows a telecommuting worker to remotely attend meetings, drop into the offices of colleagues, and otherwise collaborate with people in an office.

Cameras in its eyes capture video; speakers and microphones let it relay sound back and forth; an LCD in its forehead can display a still image or video of the remote colleague; and a laser… read more

Tiny Bots to Scour Big Blue Ocean

January 15, 2002

University of Southern California scientists have received a $1.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation to test the feasibility of using microscopic robots to ferret out harmful algae that propagate in coastal waters.
Initially, researchers plan to conduct experiments using a scanning probe microscope, a device containing a sharp tip of nanometer-scope proportions that can be used to create images of and interact with organisms at the atomic level.… read more

Microbes for Off-the-Grid Electricity

September 4, 2008

Lebone Solutions aims to use microbial fuel cells to provide power to Africans who are off the grid.

In some parts of Africa, only a small amount of energy is enough for a few hours of lamp light in the evening, or for powering the ubiquitous cell phones–something that some residents will walk five hours to a generator to do.

Touching Molecules With Your Bare Hands

April 11, 2005

Scripps Research Institute scientists are develping new technology that combines hand-held objects with sophisticated computer displays, called Tangible Interfaces for Structural Molecular Biology.

It uses 3-D fabricating printers that “print” solid objects out of thousands of layers of plaster or plastic, allowing for construction of models of proteins, DNA, and other biological molecules. These models can be touched, twisted, tweaked, and tossed from person to person.

Then, using… read more

Self-Assembling Gold Nanoparticles Use Light to Kill Tumor Cells

May 27, 2010

Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, have developed a method for creating supramolecular assemblies of gold nanoparticles that function as highly efficient photothermal agents for delivery to tumors, using a laser beam to heat the nanoparticles above 374 degrees C, the temperature at which explosive microbubbles form.

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