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FDA clears first implantable telescope for vision

July 8, 2010

The FDA has approved an implantable miniature telescope to help in the end stages of incurable age-related macular degeneration.

The idea: surgically insert the Implantable Miniature Telescope into one eye for better central vision, while leaving the other eye alone to provide peripheral vision.

In a 219-patient study, the FDA said 90 percent of telescope recipients had their vision improve by at least two lines on an eye… read more

New Memory That Doesn’t Forget

July 9, 2003

With both Motorola and IBM firmly lined up behind a single contender, the five-year search for a “universal RAM” technology offering a combination of non-volatility and high-speed random access appears to be all but over.

MRAM (magnetoresistive random access memory) uses magnetism instead of electrical charges to store data, unlike conventional high-speed memory devices. Benefits could include reduced data loss, shorter waits for data to load, increased… read more

Experiments support alternative theory of information processing in the cortex

October 17, 2008

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory neuroscientists have demonstrated that “spike timing” in cortical neurons can influence behavior even at minuscule time intervals, more precisely than previously imagined.

Experiments focusing on the auditory cortex revealed that animals in the midst of decision-making have the ability to distinguish incoming signals separated by as little as three milliseconds.

The new data suggest that the neural code might actually be a timing code,… read more

MRI scans show brain’s response to actions of others

August 12, 2010


Affter studying the gray matter of 38 people in a Stanford experiment, psychologists concluded it is the perceived intentions — not the actions — of others that lead us to cherish the charitable and spurn the selfish.

The finding comes from the work of Jeff Cooper, who spent his time as a Stanford doctoral candidate studying a part of the brain called the ventromedial prefrontal cortex. Scientists already… read more

Mapping a path for the 3D Web

May 9, 2006

With the spread of online games, virtual worlds and services like Google Earth and, people may soon be spending more time, communicating more and shopping more in complex 3D Web environments.

Ralph Merkle Named Director of Georgia Tech Information Security Center

July 20, 2003

The Georgia Institute of Technology announced today that it has named Ralph Merkle, a co-inventor of public-key cryptography, which allows secure transactions over the Internet, as director of the Georgia Tech Information Security Center (GTISC) and as Professor of Computing.

Merkle is known for his seminal contributions to information security and nanotechnology.

He was formerly principal fellow at Zyvex and before that, a research scientist at the Xerox… read more

Denser computer chips possible with plasmonic lenses

October 27, 2008
 (Liang Pan and Cheng Sun, UC Berkeley)

Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley have developed a new way to make computer chips by combining metal lenses that focus light through the excitation of plasmons (surface electrons) on the lens to create line patterns 80 nanometers wide, and theoretically as small as 5 to 10 nanometers.

The technology could lead to microprocessors more than 10 times smaller and ultra-high density disks that can hold… read more

From a Poet’s Failing Sight, a Novel ‘Seeing Machine’ Emerges

May 25, 2006

A poet and artist has enlisted the help of scientists and engineering students to create a “seeing machine” that may eventually help people like her, with severely impaired vision, to read, look at pictures and explore landscapes and buildings.

The $4000 system consists of a projector, computer, monitor, eyepiece and a joystick for zooming in and out, and light-emitting diodes, and uses a “visual language” that combines letters and… read more

Computer, Heal Thyself

July 25, 2003

Researchers from Australia’s Cooperative Research Centre for Satellite Systems have succeeded in building a computer that can repair itself in space.

The scientists used a combination of smart software and field programmable gate arrays.

In what Australian researchers believe to be a world first, FedSat’s High Performance Computing Experiment has detected a fault caused by stray space radiation, analysed the problem, and restored itself to full capability –-… read more

How to eavesdrop on alien chat

October 31, 2008

An advanced alien civilization would likely use spread-spectrum transmission coding (used in cellphones), which is more efficient than a single carrier wave because chunks of information are essentially carried on multiple low-powered carrier waves.

Claudio Maccone, co-chair of the SETI Permanent Study Group based in Paris, France, argues that SETI should use an algorithm known as the Karhunen-Loève Transform (KLT), which could find a buried conversation using spread-spectrum coding… read more

Gmail Priority Inbox lets you get through your email faster

September 1, 2010

“Gmail Priority Inbox” video on YouTube is self-explanatory.

Chatting With Your Search Engine

June 7, 2006

Cell phone and instant messaging users can now search the web using “Byoms” IM chat software rather than a web browser.

Robot sensing and smartphones help blind navigate

May 2, 2012


University in Paris engineers have developed a 3D navigation system for the blind using a pair of glasses equipped with cameras and sensors like those used in robot exploration.

It produces a 3D map of the wearer’s environment and their position within it that is constantly updated and displayed in a simplified form on a handheld electronic Braille device.

Two cameras on either side of the glasses generate a… read more

Most Notebooks Go Wireless by 2008

August 1, 2003

By 2008, mobile workers will be largely unhooked when they’re on the road, according to a new study. Only 24 percent of notebooks PCs sold worldwide this year have embedded wireless connectivity, but that number is expected to jump to 90 percent by 2008.

First complete cancer genome sequenced

November 6, 2008
Acute myeloid leukemia cells from the bone marrow of the female patient whose complete genome was sequenced (Timothy Ley)

For the first time, a complete cancer genome, and incidentally a complete female genome, has been decoded, scientists report online Nov. 5 in Nature. In a study made possible by faster, cheaper and more sensitive methods for sequencing DNA, the researchers pinpoint eight new genes that may cause a cell to turn cancerous.

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