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Britain Grants License to Make Human Embryos for Stem Cells

August 12, 2004

British regulators have issued the country’s first license to use cloning techniques to generate a human embryo to produce stem cells that might be used for the treatment of disease.

Britain Gives Go-Ahead for First GM Crop

March 16, 2004

Britain has approved its first genetically modified crop for commercial growing: a kind of maize engineered to be resistant to the weed killer glufosinate ammonium.

In the British government’s three-year “farm-scale evaluations,” the GM maize turned out to be better for farmland wildlife than conventional maize treated with the power weed killer atrazine.

Bringing Second Life To Life: Researchers Create Character With Reasoning Abilities of a Child

March 11, 2008

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute researchers unveiled “Eddie,” a 4-year-old virtual child in Second Life who can reason about his own beliefs to draw conclusions in a manner that matches human children his age.

“Our aim is not to construct a computational theory that explains and predicts actual human behavior, but rather to build artificial agents made more interesting and useful by their ability to ascribe mental states to other agents,… read more

Bringing power to the people — and heat as well

Sun-powered system developed by MIT students could provide electricity, heat, and cooling to rural schools and clinics
August 7, 2012

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In some isolated clinics in parts of Africa, the electricity needed to power lights and medical devices is generated by expensive imported diesel fuel; the water supply can be so cold in winter that health workers can’t even wash their hands properly.

A startup company established by a team of MIT students and alumni aims to change that.

The patented technology they developed uses a mirrored… read more

Bringing people back from the dead

April 25, 2013

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A doctor says people can be revived several hours after they have seemingly died, BBC News reports. Should this change the way we think about death?

“While 45 minutes is absolutely remarkable and a lot of people would have written her off, we now know there are people who have been brought back, three, four, five hours after they’ve died and have led remarkably good quality lives,”… read more

Bringing Invisibility Cloaks Closer

August 12, 2008
A new fishnet metamaterial that can bend near-infrared light (Jason Valentine et al.)

Science and Nature posted papers on the new UC Berkeley metamaterials on Monday, revealing details of the research.

However, it will require significant engineering developments before the new materials can be used for practical cloaking.

Meanwhile, these metamaterials are likely to be useful in telecommunications and microscopy. Nanoscale waveguides and other devices made from the materials might overcome one of the major challenges of… read more

Bringing Efficiency to the Infrastructure

April 30, 2009

The “smart infrastructure” — more efficient and environmentally friendlier systems for managing, among other things, commuter traffic, food distribution, electric grids and waterways — will use low-cost wireless sensors and clever software for analytics and visualization, as well as computing firepower.

Benefits: big reductions in energy used, greenhouse gases emitted, and natural resources consumed.

Bringing down the cost of fuel cells

June 25, 2012

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Engineers at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) have identified a catalyst that provides the same level of efficiency in microbial fuel cells (MFCs) as the currently used platinum catalyst, but at 5% of the cost.

Since more than 60% of the investment in making microbial fuel cells is the cost of platinum, the discovery may lead to much more affordable energy conversion and storage devices.… read more

Bringing Color to E-Readers

January 8, 2010

One of the hot topics at the Consumer Electronics Show this week in Las Vegas is color e-readers, with several companies showcasing new products.

Bringing a virtual brain to life

March 20, 2013

(Credit: Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne)

In 2009, Dr. Henry Markram conceived of the Human Brain Project, a sprawling and controversial initiative of more than 150 institutions around the world that he hopes will bring scientists together to realize his dream, as The New York Times notes.

In January, the European Union raised the stakes by awarding the project a 10-year grant of up to $1.3 billion — an unheard-of sum… read more

Bringing 3-D Home

January 9, 2009

Mitsubishi, Samsung, Panasonic, Sony, and JVC will all be showing off 3-D products at CES.

Companies including RealD and Dolby have developed technology that provides the correct visual information to the left and right eye using polarizing lenses that filter two differently polarized versions of video footage to their respective eyes.

Philips has offered a display that bypassing the glasses altogether. Its 3-D television plays specially created videos… read more

Brilliantly bright light source is one step closer to reality, says scientist

October 6, 2008

The European X-ray Laser Project (XFEL) will harness a high energy x-ray light that is one billion times more brilliant than most modern x-rays to provide detailed images of molecules and atoms.

To see these images, electrons are shot down a 3.3 km long tube at very high speeds and are stimulated to emit x-ray light. These can analyze molecules and atoms in unprecedented detail because the x-ray light… read more

Brilliant Minds Forecast the Next 50 Years

November 20, 2006

What will be the biggest breakthrough of the next 50 years?

As part of New Scientist’s 50th anniversary celebrations, they asked over 70 of the world’s most brilliant scientists for their ideas.

In coming decades will we: discover that we are not alone in the universe? Unravel the physiological basis for consciousness? Routinely have false memories implanted in our minds? Begin to evolve in new directions? And will… read more

Brightest gamma-ray burst was aimed at Earth

September 11, 2008

Astronomers think they know what caused the brightest ever gamma-ray burst, which was observed in March: a tightly beamed jet of matter that happened to be aimed almost directly at Earth, coming from 7.5 billion light years away, more than halfway across the universe.

This animation shows how astronomers think light from a gamma-ray burst called 080319B was released. A narrow jet punched though the outer layers of… read more

Brighter Nanotubes

November 29, 2005

IBM researchers have fabricated nanotube devices around 1,000 times more efficient than previous ones at emitting light.

Such light-emitting nanotubes could find applications in creating faster transistor interconnections and in telecommunications. The tubes emit light in the wavelengths used by the telecom industry to send information through optical fibers.

The nanotubes, which produce tightly focused light, could also be used for optical probing, manipulation, and spectroscopic analysis at… read more

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