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Stanford announces $100 million energy institute

January 14, 2009

Stanford University has received $100 million to create a new energy institute where scholars can study everything from solar cells to energy markets and economics.

Who’s Minding the Mind?

July 31, 2007

New studies reveal a subconscious brain that is far more active, purposeful and independent than previously known.

Goals are like neural software programs that can only be run one at a time, and the unconscious is perfectly capable of running the program it chooses.

In several studies, researchers have also shown that, once covertly activated, an unconscious goal persists with the same determination that is evident in our… read more

NASA Studying ‘Rain Man’s’ Brain

November 10, 2004

NASA scientists are studying autistic savant Kim Peek, hoping that technology used to study the effects of space travel on the brain will help explain his mental capabilities.

Transparent Conductive Material Could Lead to Power-Generating Windows

November 4, 2010

Top: Scanning electron microscopy image and zoom of conjugated polymer (PPV) honeycomb. Bottom (left-to-right): Confocal fluorescence lifetime images of conjugated honeycomb, of polymer/fullerene honeycomb double layer and of polymer/fullerene honeycomb blend. Efficient charge transfer within the whole framework is observed in the case of polymer/fullerene honeycomb blend as a dramatic reduction in the fluorescence lifetime. (Brookhaven National Laboratory)

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory and Los Alamos National Laboratory have fabricated transparent thin films capable of absorbing light and generating electric charge over a relatively large area.

The material, described in the journal Chemistry of Materials, could be used to develop transparent solar panels or even windows that absorb solar energy to generate electricity.

The material consists of a semiconducting polymer doped… read more

5 Patents to Watch

April 12, 2001

Growing human organs to ease the deadly shortages facing patients desperate for transplants. Deploying organic molecules to store a million times more data than silicon can. Harnessing the unused processing power on your desktop to attack gigantic computational problems, from genetic analysis to spotting hidden customer trends. Massively expanding the data capacity of optical networks to turbocharge the information superhighway. Modifying plants to grow cheap, lifesaving vaccines.

The editors… read more

A Quantum Memory Leap

January 23, 2009

University of Maryland and University of Michigan researchers have announced the ghostly transfer of the quantum state of a single ion to another one a meter away for several seconds.

Unlike current experiments, this scheme for “quantum teleportation” could buy enough time for manipulations that allow long-distance communications that are immune to eavesdropping, or for computations that exploit the quantum mechanics to perform blazing fast calculations.

Court Rejects the Right to Use Drugs Being Tested

August 8, 2007

A federal appeals court ruled yesterday that patients with terminal illnesses do not have a constitutional right to use medicines that have not yet won regulatory approval.

In a dissent, Judge Judith W. Rogers wrote that it was “startling” that the “right to try to save one’s life is left out in the cold,” not protected by the due process clause of the Constitution, “despite its textual anchor in… read more

iOS 6 unveiled with Siri enhancements, Passbook, new Maps

June 12, 2012

New iOS maps (credit: Apple Inc.)

iOS 6, a new version of Apple’s mobile operating system, was unveiled at the company’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference on Monday.

It will feature “significant enhancements” to Siri, Apple’s own Maps app, a new app called Passbook, Facebook integration, changes to phone calls and FaceTime, and improvements to Mail, Safari, and Photo Stream.

Third-party apps can now be launched with a command to Siri—for example, “Play Temple… read more

Smallest ‘test tube’ scoops world record

November 24, 2004

Scientists at the University of Oxford and the University of Nottingham created the world’s smallest test tubes out of carbon nanotubes: each nanotube has an inner diameter of 1.2 nm and is roughly 2000 nm long

They used the tubes to polymerize fullerene oxide molecules in an ordered way as a result of the tube’s shape. However, there is not yet a way to extract the polymerized material from… read more

Atari co-founder Nolan Bushnell on the future of software

November 13, 2010

“The biggest thing for the near future is auto-cars, which will change everything,” said video game pioneer Nolan Bushnell. “The costs are there right now. The Google car actually was cost-effective. Think of no traffic congestion, highways that can hold 30 times as much traffic. Half the energy costs. Insurance will drop to a fraction of what it costs now. People don’t understand how horrible the average driver is. The… read more

Brain cells grown after death

May 3, 2001

Salk Institute scientists have isolated cells from the brains of human cadavers that can grow, divide and form specialized classes of brain cells.

The recovered cells had the ability to differentiate into neurons, astrocytes (nourish and protect neurons), and oligodendrocytes, which insulate neurons with a myelin sheath.

“I find it remarkable that we all have pockets of cells in our brains that can grow and differentiate… read more

Organic computing takes a step closer

January 30, 2009
(Science)

University of Manchester scientists have shown that by adding hydrogen atoms to the surface of graphene, it can be tuned to be conductor, insulator, or anything in between, paving the way for a sheet of graphene to be transformed into a working chip with conductive interconnections and semiconducting transistors simply by changing its chemistry in different areas.

Using a single material could simplify construction and allow near-seamless… read more

Translation Tools: New Approaches to an Old Discipline

August 16, 2007

Hybrid translation systems, which combine translation memories and machine translation based on rules or statistics or both, are the wave of the future, researchers say, and they are becoming more sophisticated and complex.

Protein ‘key’ could aid search for cancer drugs

December 8, 2004

New research at Rice University is allowing biochemists to understand a key hierarchy of protein interactions that occurs in DNA replication.

It shows for the first time how a key cell regulatory protein called p21 “trumps” its rivals and shuts down cell division while DNA repairs take place.

In healthy cells, p21 binds strongly with Human Proliferating Cellular Nuclear Antigen (PCNA) to prevent the cells from making copies… read more

TSA Backscatter X-ray Backlash

November 22, 2010

The head of the Allied Pilots Association is telling its members to avoid both the full body scanners and the patdowns, a survey of horror stories, and more in this informative post on the current intrusive TSA airport inspections, by security expert Bruce Schneier.

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