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Side-to-side shaking of nanoresonators throws off impurities

August 8, 2007

Tiny vibrating silicon resonators are of intense interest in nanotechnology circles for their potential ability to detect bacteria, viruses, DNA and other biological molecules.

Cornell researchers have demonstrated a new way to make these resonators vibrate side to side and have shown that this can serve a vital function: shaking off extraneous stuff that isn’t supposed to be detected.

Shaking up system of quake predictions

May 6, 2003

“A seismologist in Wisconsin and a geophysicist in California have developed an alarm system that promises to offer at least a few crucial seconds of warning that a major quake is about to strike. Simulations so far suggest that the technique can signal a quake’s magnitude and where the most dangerous ground motion might threaten people and buildings.”

Amazon Kindle E-Book Reader To Get Facelift

January 29, 2009

Amazon is expected to unveil a new version of its Kindle e-book reader in less than two weeks.

Is our universe about to be mangled?

February 23, 2006

Our universe may one day be obliterated or assimilated by a larger universe, according to a controversial new analysis. The work suggests the parallel universes proposed by some quantum theorists may not actually be parallel but could interact — and with disastrous consequences.

Did Life Begin In Space? New Evidence From Comets

August 15, 2007

Recent probes inside comets show it is overwhelmingly likely that life began in space, according to a new paper by Cardiff University Centre for Astrobiology scientists.

They suggest that radioactive elements can keep water in liquid form in comet interiors for millions of years, making them potentially ideal “incubators” for early life. They also point out that the billions of comets in our solar system and across the galaxy… read more

Telescopes of the World, Unite! A Cosmic Database Emerges

May 20, 2003

In the past 25 years, the number of CCD pixels (each acting as a miniature astronomical instrument) in all the world’s telescopes has exponentially increased by a factor of 3,000, a beneficiary of Moore’s Law.

The resulting total amount of astronomical data collected every year is doubling; surveys of millions of astronomical objects now contain about 100 terabytes of distributed data in the “National Virtual Observatory.”

Densest array of carbon nanotubes grown to date

New technique could one day help improve the performance of microelectronics devices
September 27, 2013


Cambridge University researchers have devised a simple technique to increase the density of carbon nanotube forests grown on conductive supports by about five times over previous methods.

Such high-density nanotubes might one day replace some metal electronic components, such as interconnects, leading to faster devices.

Carbon nanotubes’ outstanding mechanical, electrical and thermal properties make them an alluring material to electronics manufacturers. However, until recently scientists believed… read more

How to turn artwork and crafts into robots

July 11, 2012

Hummingbird controller

Almost anything that can be made with paper, paint and cardboard can be animated with an educational robotics kit developed at Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute.

No technical experience is necessary to use the kit, but classroom teachers say it fosters interest in technology among students ages 11 and up.

The kit, called Hummingbird, consists of a customized control board along with a variety of lights,… read more

Why do the majority of people never get cancer?

February 4, 2009

George Klein, Professor Emeritus at the Microbiology and Tumor Biology Center at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, has presented evidence of several biological cancer resistance mechanisms that some individuals have that seem to prevent them from developing cancer.

Facebook, PayPal tycoon embraces sci-fi future

December 27, 2010

As venture capital in Silicon Valley chases the next big mobile app or group discount service, Peter Thiel is asking for them to fund technological breakthroughs that some believe in fervently and others see as sheer fantasy.

He even has a name for it: Breakthrough philanthropy.

Instead of just giving to help the less fortunate here and now, Thiel encouraged his fellow moguls to put their money toward… read more

How to discover asteroid impacts

March 12, 2006

An amateur geologist has demonstrated the power of the Internet with his discovery of two impact craters, using free distributed software (Google Earth, NASA World Wind).

Sleights of Mind

August 22, 2007

Some magicians have intuitively mastered some of the lessons being learned in the laboratory about the limits of cognition and attention.

In Las Vegas, cognitive scientists such as Daniel Dennett and magicians like The Amazing Randi compare notes.

CIA Developing Software to Scour Photos

June 2, 2003

The CIA is bankrolling efforts to improve technology designed to scour millions of digital photos or video clips for particular cars or street signs or even, some day, human faces.

The innovative software promises
to help analysts make better use of the CIA’s enormous electronic archives. Analysts also could be alerted whenever a helicopter or other targeted item appeared in a live video broadcast.

Cutting Coal Use with Sunshine

February 10, 2009
These parabolic mirrors gather heat energy for a 150-megawatt hybrid solar/natural-gas power plant under construction south of Cairo. During the day, solar heat will displace a fraction of the natural gas required to drive the plant

Feeding heat from the sun into coal-fired power stations could turn out to be the cheapest way to simultaneously expand the use of solar energy and trim coal plants’ oversize carbon footprints, says the Electric Power Research Institute.

(Solar Millennium)

Facebook to Live Stream US Congress Opening

January 5, 2011

For the first time in history, the 112th US Congress will be broadcast live on a social network, Facebook (the first day, at least) with swearing in today (Wednesday Jan. 5) at noon EST.

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