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Bizarre matter could find use in quantum computers

April 22, 2010

“5/2 quantum Hall liquids” — ultracold mixes of electrons caught in magnetic traps — could have the necessary properties for constructing fault-tolerant quantum computers, Rice University and Princeton University physicists have discovered.

The bizarre state of matter acts like a particle with one-quarter electron charge and has a “quantum registry” that is immune to information loss from external perturbations.

More info: Rice University News

The rational aspect of empathy

July 18, 2011

According to a new study from the University of Southern California, even failing to possess a full complement of limbs will not stop your brain from understanding what it is like for someone else to experience pain in one of them. It may, however, change the way your brain does so, the researchers have found.

They showed videos of tasks being performed by hands, feet,… read more

Cheats of Strength: 10 Next-Gen Olympic Doping Methods

August 15, 2008

The future of doping could include manipulating genes to block naturally occurring muscle-growth inhibitors, pills to stimulate red blood cell production, vascular endothelial growth factor to grow new blood vessels, and injecting the beta-endorphin gene into spinal fluid to release painkilling endorphins.

Nanotechnology could lead to radical improvements for space exploration

August 9, 2005

Constantinos Mavroidis, director of the Computational Bionanorobotics Laboratory at Northeastern University in Boston, visualizes a kind of “spider’s web” of hair-thin tubes packed with bio-nanotech sensors across dozens of miles of terrain as a way to map the environment of some alien planet in great detail.

Another concept he proposes is a “second skin” for astronauts to wear under their spacesuits that would use bio-nanotech to sense and respond… read more

A Theory of Evolution, for Robots

September 6, 2002

Scientists have designed a winged robot capable of learning flight techniques automatically with genetic algorithms. Its small motors allow it to manipulate its meter-long, balsa-wood wings in different directions. A computer program feeds the robot random instructions, which let it develop the concept of liftoff on its own.

Japan sees moonwalking humanoids by 2015

April 30, 2010


The Space Oriented Higashiosaka Leading Association (SOHLA), a satellite-manufacturing consortium in the Osaka area, has vowed to put bipedal humanoid bots on the moon in the next five years.

Wolfram launches Computable Document Format (CDF) user-created interactive documents

July 25, 2011

Interctive demonstrationof insulin molecule (credit: Wolfram Research)

Interactive demonstration of insulin molecule (credit: Wolfram Research)

Wolfram Research has announced the Computable Document Format (CDF), a new standard to put interactivity at the core of everyday documents and empower readers with live content they can drive.

CDF is a computation-powered knowledge container. Its… read more

Free Will vs. the Programmed Brain

August 21, 2008

A recent experiment by University of Minnesota and University of California at Santa Barbara psychologists suggests that people may behave less responsibly if they regard their actions as beyond their control.

But a survey by City Univeristy of New York philosopheres found that free-will skeptics were also much more likely to say that people are responsible, even if determinism is true.

Researchers creating life from scratch

August 21, 2005

A new breed of biologists is attempting to bring order to the hit-and-miss chaos of genetic engineering by bringing to biotechnology the same engineering strategies used to build computers, bridges and buildings.

Redmond center previews Microsoft’s vision for future office

September 27, 2002

Microsoft Corp. has unveiled the Center for Information Work, a permanent exhibit of office products and software that are at least five years away.

The future concepts include surround sound, copying or moving material between the computers by just pointing at them, and multimedia email, but Microsoft failed to address important security issues in the center. The future concepts include surround sound, copying or moving material between the computers… read more

Neandertal Genome Points to Human-Neandertal Interbreeding

May 7, 2010

One to four percent of non-African human genomes are comprised of Neandertal sequence, an international research team has found.

The researchers found evidence suggesting modern humans interbred with Neandertals an estimated 50,000 to 80,000 years ago, with Neandertal DNA apparently entering the human population after modern humans left sub-Saharan Africa.

Evidence of Neandertals has been detected in Europe and parts of Asia from about 400,000 years ago up… read more

New high-speed 3-D imaging system holds potential for improved cancer screening

August 1, 2011

This is a 3-D OCT volumetric data set from an excised human colon specimen. (A) En face view showing regular organization of normal colon. (B and C) Cross-sectional views along two different directions showing sub-surface features. Two cross-sections are shown as examples, however multiple cross-sectional views can be extracted from the 3-D OCT data. Scale bar: 500um (credit: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Researchers at MIT have developed a new imaging system that enables high-speed, 3-D imaging of microscopic pre-cancerous changes in the esophagus or colon.

The new endoscopic optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging system works at record speeds, capturing data at a rate of 980 frames (equivalent to 480,000 axial scans) per second — nearly 10 times faster than previous devices — while imaging microscopic features… read more

Milestone reached in search for deafness cure

August 28, 2008

John Brigande of Oregon Health and Science University has developed an experimental gene therapy that generates hair cells that are damaged or missing in deaf animals.

His team injected mice embryos with a gene called Atoh1, apparently a hair- cell master switch that activates genes that turn developing cells into hair cells. The cells grew hair cells in precisely the right location in their cochleas, and the cells made… read more

Dark matter highlights extra dimensions

September 5, 2005

University of Oxford scientists say extra spatial dimensions can be inferred from the perplexing behavior of dark matter, which behaves differently in small galaxies and large clusters of galaxies.

Three extra dimensions are altering the effects of gravity over very short distances of about a nanometer, they speculate, implying that the Universe is only about a nanometer wide in these three “directions.”

ID Chip’s Controversial Approval

October 23, 2002

The Food and Drug Administration has decided to permit the use of implantable VeriChip ID chips in humans if it is used for “security, financial and personal identification or safety applications.”

Chip manufacturer Applied Digital Solutions said the FDA has not determined whether the controversial chip can be used for medical purposes, including linking to medical databases. The company now plans to aggressively market the chip for security and… read more

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