science + technology news

Desktop device generates and traps rare ultracold molecules

December 13, 2007

University of Rochester physicists have combined an atom-chiller with a molecule trap, creating for the first time a device that can generate and trap huge numbers of elusive-yet-valuable ultracold polar molecules.

Scientists believe ultracold polar molecules will allow them to create exotic artificial crystals and stable quantum computers. Quantum computer scientists are attracted to ultracold particles because their temperatures reduce decoherence, a phenomenon where a system decays from the… read more

Physicists control the flip of electron spin

May 30, 2005

Physicists have found a way to change the direction of the spin of an electron with an applied voltage.

They were able to manipulate how long it would take for the electron to flip its spin and emit a photon – from one to 20 nanoseconds.

The ability to control the spin of the electron help determine the properties of the photon, which in turn could have implications… read more

Expensive lawyers replaced by cheaper software

March 10, 2011

Artificial intelligence “e-discovery” software can analyze documents in a fraction of the time for a fraction of the cost of the traditional platoon of lawyers and paralegals who work for months at high hourly rates.

E-discovery technologies generally fall into two broad categories that can be described as “linguistic” and “sociological.”  The most basic linguistic approach uses specific search words to find and sort relevant documents. More advanced programs… read more

The Man Who Cracked The Code to Everything …

May 20, 2002

The inside story of how Stephen Wolfram went from boy genius to recluse to science renegade.

Related news:

Kurzweil reviews Wolfram’s book, ‘A New Kind of Science’

Cosmologists ponder the puzzle of black rings

May 6, 2009

Masashi Kimura at Osaka City University in Japan has looked at the possibility of black rings — a variant of black holes — or other shapes forming in higher dimensional space.

Ripping graphene nanoribbon edges converts the material from conductive to semiconducting

January 26, 2015

Graphene nanoribbons can be enticed to form favorable “reconstructed” edges by pulling them apart with the right force and at the right temperature, according to researchers at Rice University. The illustration shows the crack at the edge that begins the formation of five- and seven-atom pair under the right conditions. (credit: ZiAng Zhang/Rice University)

Theoretical physicists at Rice University have figured out how to custom-design graphene nanoribbons by controlling the conditions under which the nanoribbons are pulled apart to get the edges they need for specific mechanical and electrical properties, such as metallic (for chip interconnects, for example) or semiconducting (for chips).

The new research by Rice physicist Boris Yakobson and his colleagues appeared this month in the… read more

Stem Cells Reshape Breasts After Cancer

December 19, 2007

Kyushu Central Hospital researchers have used fat-derived stem cells to help reshape the breasts of women who have undergone a lumpectomy to remove a breast tumor.

While the research is still early, it is thought that the stem cells develop into the cells needed to form new blood vessels.

Nanotubes route signals at up to 10 GHz

June 10, 2005

UC Irvine scientists have demonstrated for the first time that carbon nanotubes can route electrical signals on a chip faster than traditional copper or aluminum wires, at speeds of up to 10 GHz.

The research integrates high-speed nanotube-interconnect technology and high-speed nanotube-transistor technology into an ultra-high-speed all-nanotube electronic circuit that could be faster than any existing semiconductor technology.

UC Irvine news release

Brain Fingerprinting on CBS ’48 Hours’

June 11, 2002

Dr. Lawrence Farwell and Brain Fingerprinting will be featured on CBS “48 Hours” Friday, June 14 at 10 PM ET/PT, 9 PM CT.

The show will highlight the case of Dan and Brad Harris, two Iowa brothers convicted and imprisoned 17 years ago for the murder of a young woman. Dr. Farwell’s Brain Fingerprinting tests showed that the record stored in the
Harris brothers’ brains does not… read more

Darpa: Heat + Energy = Brains. Now Make Us Some.

May 11, 2009

Darpa’s latest venture, called “Physical Intelligence” (PI) intends to prove mathematically that all brain activities — reasoning, emoting, processing sights and smells — derive from physical mechanisms, acting according to the principles of “thermodynamics in open systems.”

They’re asking for “abiotic, self-organizing electronic and chemical systems” that display the PI principles. Darpa wants to re-envision how thought works — and then design computers whose thought processes are governed by… read more

The Top 10 New Organisms of 2007

December 27, 2007

Organisms invented in 2007 include insulin-producing lettuce, yeast with poison-sensing rat genes, cancer-fighting Clostridium bacteria, artful fluorescent tadpoles and butanol-producing E. coli.

Space station gets HAL-like computer

June 27, 2005

Clarissa, a voice-operated computer assistant, will be used in space for the first time on Monday.

The program will initially talk astronauts on the International Space Station through tests of onboard water supplies. But its developers hope it will eventually be used for all computer-related work on the station.

The program “listens” to everything astronauts say and analyzes how to respond, using a “command grammar” of 75 commands… read more

First eyes inside nuclear plant may be a robot’s

March 24, 2011

iRobot Nuclear

Intense radiation has been too dangerous for Japanese workers inside the troubled reactors at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, but it won’t stop robots, says Tim Trainer, a vice president at iRobot.

iRobot has sent four of its robots to the company that owns Fukushima Dai-ichi. The robots were designed to investigate bombs for the military, and come equipped with cameras and chemical and radiation sensors. One type has… read more

Nanoparticles Cut Tumors’ Supply Lines

July 1, 2002

Cancer researchers packed a tiny particle with a gene that forces blood vessel cells to self-destruct, then “mailed” the particle to blood vessels feeding tumors in mice. A single treatment erased large tumors in mice in about 6 days.

Flat universe may be the new flat Earth

May 19, 2009

The probability that the universe it flat may only be 67 percent because WMAP observations of the density of matter and dark energy in the early universe may have been misinterpreted, says Joseph Silk at the University of Oxford and colleagues, based on a new study.

The universe could also be positively curved (like the surface of a sphere) or negatively curved (saddle-shaped).

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