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Graphene gazing gives glimpse of foundations of universe

April 4, 2008

University of Manchester researchers have found that graphene, the world’s thinnest material (a one-atom-thick gauze of carbon atoms), absorbs a well-defined fraction of visible light, which allows the direct determination of the fine structure constant (approximately 1/137), which defines the interaction between very fast moving electrical charges and electromagnetic waves.

The researchers found the carbon monolayer absorbs 2.3 percent of visible light. The experiments supported by theory show this… read more

Grape Seed May Protect Brain

December 23, 2004

University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers have reported the first direct evidence that a grape-seed extract affects specific proteins in healthy brains in ways that may protect against future age-related dementia.

Grape-seed-extract supplements are thought to have health benefits due to their high content of polyphenolic compounds, which have been shown to have high antioxidant activity

Singularity Summit media page launched

October 5, 2009

The Singularity Summit has launched a media page for uploading videos (including some SS09 sessions), photos, and tweets (#SS09).

Uploading Life: Send Your Personality to Space

June 28, 2001

The gradual merging of human beings with their computers over the next century gives rise to the prospect of interstellar immortality, said William Sims Bainbridge at a recent George Washington University Space Policy Institute symposium.

Cognitive neural science, genetic engineering, nanotechnology and information systems may allow the founding of a cosmic civilization, a possibility that does not require flying living human bodies and all the necessities of life to… read more

Limited nuclear war would decimate ozone layer

April 8, 2008

Apart from the human devastation, a small-scale nuclear war between India and Pakistan with 100 Hiroshima-sized bombs would destroy much of the ozone layer, leaving the DNA of humans and other organisms at risk of damage from the Sun’s rays, say University of Colorado at Boulder researchers.

Smart bombs to blast tumors

January 6, 2005

Exploding capsules could one day be used to deliver cancer drugs with pinpoint accuracy, New Scientist reports in its January 8 issue.

The capsules, being developed by University of Melbourne researchers, would rupture when heated by a low-energy laser pulse. Anti-cancer drugs would be more effective, and the side effects less severe, if they could home in on a tumor and be delivered in a single burst. This would… read more

Google Wave 101

October 12, 2009

The revolutionary new Google Wave communication platform attempts to bring together your favorite online communication options, combining the features of instant messaging, e-mail programs, the viral aspects of social media, Twitter, maps, and document sharing into one program.

New map shows where tastes are coded in the brain

September 6, 2011

Bitter hot spot in the mouse insular cortex (credit: Xiaoke Chen et al./Science)

Howard Hughes Medical Institute and NIH scientists have discovered that our four basic tastes — sweet, bitter, salty, and “umami,” or savory —- are processed by neurons arranged discretely in a “gustotopic map” in the brain.

In the past, researchers measured the electrical activity of small clusters of neurons to see which areas of a mouse’s brain were activated by different tastes. In… read more

Atom laser-beam microscope

July 17, 2001

An atom laser-beam microscope that could have sharper vision while causing less damage to a sample than an electron microscope is being developed by physicists at the Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich.

The development of lenses and mirrors to sharpen atom laser beams might also improve technologies to build atomic-scale structures, similar to how an ink-jet printer writes text.
Just as an optical laser beam is better than a light… read more

Using nanotechnology to improve Li-ion battery performance

April 11, 2008

Chinese scientists have developed 500-nanometer lithium-ion-battery electrode materials using tin nanoparticles encapsulated in elastic hollow carbon-nanotube-based spheres, replacing conventional graphite.

The scientists have found that the new materials provide higher initial and long-term ampere-hours capacity, prolonging battery life.

Micromachine grows its own muscles

January 18, 2005

UCLA scientists ahve developed a micromachine that walks using muscles that it grows for itself. The device could lead to nanobots that clear away plaque from inside the walls of a human coronary artery or to muscle-based nerve stimulators that let paralyzed patients breathe without a ventilator.

They built the micromachine by etching the silicon structure using photolithography before coating the frame with a polymer and selectively depositing gold… read more

Placebo effect caught in the act in spinal nerves

October 19, 2009

Using fMRI scanning of a section of the spinal cord, researchers at University Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf have found that pain-related activity in the spinal cord is strongly reduced under placebo.

They speculate that higher brain areas affected by the placebo belief trigger the release of endogenous opioids that may reduce spinal cord activity.

Singularity university founder runs a school for startups

September 11, 2011
Peter Diamandis

After reading Ray Kurzweil’s book, The Singularity Is Near, Peter Diamandis decided to convene some of the world’s most brilliant young minds in the heart of Silicon Valley, give them a crash course on the fastest-changing technologies of our time, and then unleash them like smart missiles to solve the world’s biggest problems.

SGI Reality Center wows SIGGRAPH attendees

August 15, 2001

LOS ANGELES, August 14 — SGI is wowing SIGGRAPH attendees with its 35 by 10 foot wraparound immersive Reality Center visualization facility here.The display seamlessly combines images from three projectors driven by SGI Onyx 3400 computers, generating 3.5 million pixel images in real time.

Demonstrations include a breathtaking journey through the sixth-century Buddhist kingdom of Silla, from the SGI Reality Center in Seoul, Korea; an urban drive-around simulation of… read more

A Bang, a Whimper, and Another Bang?

April 16, 2008

The relatively quiet black hole at the center of our Milky Way galaxy could one day reignite, spewing forth so much radiation that the sky would never darken.

That grim scenario has become more likely based on a new survey by Liverpool John Moores University astronomers. They used data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey to survey spectral lines from 360,000 relatively nearby galaxies. Nearly 20% showed active galactic… read more

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