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Following a Bright Light to a Calmer Tomorrow

April 15, 2004

People who have had “near-death experiences” (such as out-of-body travel) are far better at handling stress than researchers had expected.

Psychological tests showed that the participants’ physiological differences were associated with what the researchers called active coping, a tendency to “take the bull by the horns” in stressful situations.

Dr. C. Bruce Greyson, a psychiatrist at the University of Virginia, theorizes that the experience may be a protective… read more

How to cool electronic devices more efficiently

April 10, 2012

(credit: iStockphoto)

A North Carolina State University researcher has developed a more efficient, less expensive way of cooling electronic devices: use a “heat spreader” made of a copper-graphene composite, attached to the electronic device using an indium-graphene interface film.

“Both the copper-graphene and indium-graphene have higher thermal conductivity, allowing the device to cool efficiently,” says Dr. Jag Kasichainula, an associate professor of materials science and engineering at NC State. Thermal conductivity is… read more

Scientists: Data-storing bacteria could last thousands of years

March 1, 2007

Two Japanese universities have announced scientists there have developed a new technology that uses bacteria DNA as a medium for storing data long-term, even for thousands of years.

They have successfully encoded “e=mc2 1905!” on the common soil bacteria, Bacillius subtilis.

“While the technology would most likely first be used to track medication, it could also be used to store text and images for many millennia, thwarting the… read more

RealityV: Revolutionary Virtual Reality Training Originally Designed For The Army

October 15, 2008

Intelligence Gaming and EffectiveUI have developed a new kind of game technology called RealityV that is part virtual reality, part movie.

At the core of each RealityV experience is a full-motion movie shot in 360 degrees and projected into a special VR-type headset. As the user rotates, their perspective in the video rotates as well. Users are forced to make quick decisions that affect the scene’s outcome.

The… read more

In Push to Detect Early Alzheimer’s Markers, Hopes for Prevention

August 9, 2010

New diagnostic guidelines for research purposes being proposed by the National Institute on Aging and the Alzheimer’s Association call for early biomarkers of risk, analogous to high cholesterol levels) that predict who is likely to get it. These include scans for amyloid plaque in the brain, a unique feature of Alzheimer’s, and tests of cerebrospinal fluid.

Researchers agree that Alzheimer’s smolders… read more

Optical quantum memory designed

April 22, 2004

Researchers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory have designed an optical quantum memory device capable of storing photonic qubits for use in all-optical quantum computers and quantum communications networks.

The researchers’ quantum transponder could be used to make quantum repeaters that would extend the distances covered by emerging quantum cryptography systems.

The scheme calls for encoding pairs of quantum bits in sets of four photons in such a way… read more

Scientists create nanoparticles that image brain tumors, increasing accuracy of surgical removal

April 17, 2012


Nanoparticles that can be imaged three different ways at once have enabled Stanford University School of Medicine scientists to remove brain tumors from mice with unprecedented accuracy.

A team led by Sam Gambhir, MD, PhD, professor and chair of radiology, showed that the nanoparticles engineered in his lab homed in on and highlighted brain tumors, precisely delineating their boundaries and greatly easing their… read more

AI Cited for Unlicensed Practice of Law

March 9, 2007

A web-based “expert system” that helped users prepare bankruptcy filings for a fee made too many decisions to be considered a clerical tool, a California appeals court said last week, ruling that the software was effectively practicing law without a license.

Geoengineering: How to Cool Earth–At a Price

October 23, 2008

Some climate experts are now willing to consider schemes for partly shielding the planet from the sun’s rays, such as putting sulfer dioxide in the stratosphere to scatter sunlight; using 1,500 ships, each spraying eight gallons of sea water a second to whiten existing marine clouds (and reflect more light); and a space-based sunshade at L1, the inner Lagrangian point, using solar sails with tiny mirrors to deflect light.

How to build a better hand

May 4, 2004

Megan Strysio will be the first child in the world to be fitted with an entirely new prosthetic hand that responds to the low rumbling noises her arm muscles make.

A tiny computer chip embedded in the new prosthesis is trained to interpret the sounds and perform the movement Megan wants, such as opening and closing her artificial hand.

Artificial cells communicate and cooperate like biological cells, ants

July 20, 2010

Inspired by the social interactions of ants and slime molds, University of Pittsburgh engineers have designed computational models of artificial cells capable of self-organizing into independent groups that can communicate and cooperate to transport chemicals and drugs.

The Pitt group’s microcapsules interact by secreting nanoparticles in a way similar to how biological cells signal to communicate and assemble into groups. And with a nod to ants, the cells leave… read more

Wearable muscle suit makes heavy lifting a cinch

April 23, 2012


Hiroshi Kobayashi’s team at the Tokyo University of Science in Japan has developed a series of cybernetic exoskeletons.

Scheduled for commercial release early next year, a wearable robot takes two forms: one augmenting the arms and back that is aimed at areas of commerce where heavy lifting is required; and a lighter, 5 kg version that will target the nursing industry to assist in lifting people in and… read more

Digital Imaging, Reimagined

March 15, 2007

Rice University engineers have developed a camera that uses a single image sensor to collect just enough information to let a novel algorithm reconstruct a high-resolution image.

Future applications include MRI systems that capture images up to 10 times as quickly as today’s scanners and tiny mobile-phone cameras that produce high-quality, poster-size images.

NSA and Army on quest for quantum physics jackpot

October 29, 2008

The US Army Research Office and the National Security Agency (NSA) are together looking for answers to their quantum physics questions and is soliciting proposals for these broad goals: developing new quantum computing algorithms for hard computational problems, characterizing the efficiency of candidate quantum algorithms, and developing insights into the power of quantum computation, considering issues of quantum complexity and computability.

Nano Weapons Join the Fight Against Cancer

May 10, 2004

Researchers plan to use “nanoshells” to diagnose and treat cancer.

Nanoshells are microscopic concentric spheres with silica cores and gold shells. In the lab, nanoshells are injected into an animal’s bloodstream, where “targeting” agents applied to them seek out and attach to the surface receptors of cancerous cells.

In one method, illumination with infrared light raises the cells’ temperature to 55 degrees Celsius and burns away the tumor.… read more

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