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A Business Out of Thin Air

August 4, 2003

HoloTouch has developed technology that allows users to operate equipment simply by passing a finger through a holographic image.

The system uses lasers and infrared sensors to create images that can be manipulated in the air.

Avatar’s gaze illuminates social brain

December 7, 2009

Guiding the gazes of others activates different brain areas than following, University of Cologne researchers have found.

The research could help unravel the brain activity underlying the process of “joint attention,” thought to be key to complex, human social interactions. It could also offer insights into why social interactions can break down for people with autism.

Do antidepressants enhance immune function?

May 9, 2008

University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia researchers found that taking the SSRI antidepressant citalopram improves natural killer (NK) immune cell activity in both depressed and non-depressed women with HIV.

NK cells, a type of white blood cell, are part of the body’s first line of defense against infections such as HIV. The researchers had previously found that stress and depression impair NK cell function and accelerate the course of HIV/AIDS.

Artificial Intelligence Turns 50

June 20, 2006

AI@50, a conference commemorating the golden anniversary of the field of artificial intelligence, will be held on July 13-15 at Dartmouth University.

Source: Dartmouth University news release

Electronic ‘Etch A Sketch’ may boost quantum design

August 15, 2003

Erasable electrostatic lithography (EEL), uses an atomic force microscope to draw, modify, or erase a circuit by depositing spots of charge directly on to the surface of a semiconductor. It could significantly speed the design of quantum electronic devices.

Motion-sensing phones that predict your every move

December 14, 2009

A system that learns users’ behavior patterns to provide them with an enhanced cellphone service has been developed by Technical University of Delft communications engineers.

The system uses telltale sequences and timings from the phone’s accelerometer and other devices to create an electronic signature of “mobility events.” A neural network software app running on the phone is then trained to predict what happens next and act accordingly.

New material may be step towards 3D invisibility cloak

May 14, 2008

A researcher at the University of California at Berkeley claims to have made a 3D metamaterial with a negative refractive index, the first 3D material of this kind.

Physicists have in recent years made it possible to bend, or refract, light in the opposite direction to any natural materials. These metamaterials make it possible to create invisibility cloaks that hide an object by steering light around it. The materials… read more

Killer tomatoes attack human diseases

June 30, 2006

Genetically modified tomatoes containing edible vaccine are to be used to challenge two of the world’s most lethal viruses, HIV and the hepatitis B virus, by manufacturing proteins to prompt the body to create antibodies against the viruses.

Ocean Sponge May Be Best for Fiber Optics

August 25, 2003

Scientists have identified an ocean sponge living in the deep sea that grows thin glass fibers capable of transmitting light at least as well as industrial fiber optic cables.

Materials scientists hope to duplicate the growth process to avoid problems with current fiber optic manufacturing methods that require high temperatures and produce relatively brittle cable.

Other recent biomimetics discoveries include an enzyme that improves laundry detergent, a glowing… read more

Engage the x drive: Ten ways to traverse deep space

December 21, 2009

Ion thrusters, magnetoplasma rockets, and fusion rockets are among the proposed new technologies for instellar travel.

Engineers demonstrate first room-temperature semiconductor source of coherent Terahertz radiation

May 19, 2008

Engineers and applied physicists from Harvard University have demonstrated the first room-temperature electrically-pumped semiconductor source of coherent Terahertz (THz) radiation, also known as T-rays.

The breakthrough in laser technology, based upon commercially available nanotechnology, has the potential to become a standard Terahertz source to support applications ranging from security screening to chemical sensing.

The ability of Terahertz rays to penetrate efficiently through paper, clothing, cardboard, plastic and many… read more

A Tissue Engineer Sows Cells and Grows Organs

July 11, 2006

Tissue-engineering researchers are working on tissue replacement projects for practically every body part — blood vessels and nerves, muscles, cartilage and bones, esophagus and trachea, pancreas, kidneys, liver, heart and even uterus.

A more immediate goal is to improve upon a multitude of smaller therapies: transplantable valves for ailing hearts, cell-and-gel preparations for crushed nerves, injections of skeletal muscle cells for urinary continence or new salivary gland tissue to… read more

Power from the people

October 18, 2011

Biofuel cell (credit: Joseph Fourier University)

Scientists at Joseph Fourier University of Grenoble have built a biofuel cell that uses glucose and oxygen at concentrations found in the body to generate electricity.

They are the first group in the world to demonstrate their device working while implanted in a living animal. Within a decade or two, biofuel cells may be used to power a range of medical implants, from sensors and drug delivery devices to… read more

Researchers Measure The Electrical Resistance Of Single Molecules

September 2, 2003

Researchers at Arizona State University have developed a relatively straightforward method for measuring the electrical resistance of single molecules. The advance promises to have a huge impact on the burgeoning field of molecular electronics.

Do computers understand art?

December 24, 2009

Certain artificial-vision algorithms can differentiate between artistic styles and periods based on low-level pictorial information, such as pixel and color distribution, diversity of the color palette, and entropy (degree of disorder), researchers at the University of Girona and the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics have found.

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