science + technology news

Ice Age DNA may now be sequenced

August 15, 2006

We might now be able to sequence the genomes of mammoths and even Neanderthals, thanks to a new way to correct the errors in sequencing ancient DNA that are made because it degrades over time.

Join the dots

October 10, 2003

A network of quantum dots that pass electrons between them one at a time can be used to carry out logic operations at very high device integration densities.

Video: Artificial intelligence: Noel Sharkey on the inexorable rise of robots

January 15, 2010

In a video interview, Noel Sharkey, professor of robotics and AI at the University of Sheffield, discusses developments in robotics and ethical issues: which robots are most interesting, what are their limitations, what countries have the most robots, and which robots will have the most serious impact?

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    IBM Cools 3-D Chips with Water

    June 6, 2008

    Researchers at IBM and the Fraunhofer Institute in Berlin have demonstrated a prototype that integrates a water-based cooling system into 3-D chips by piping water directly between each layer in the stack.

    The method is one of the most promising approaches to enhancing chip performance in “3-D chip stacks” beyond its predicted limits, which are partially due to heat buildup.

    Chip-stacking technology shortens the distance information on a… read more

    Military robo-surgeon prepares for battle

    August 25, 2006

    Life-saving operations on soldiers in combat zones could become possible thanks to a remotely operating portable robotic surgeon that allows doctors to perform surgery on the battlefield without endangering themselves.

    Regrow Your Own

    October 21, 2003

    Researchers have succeeded in making mouse stem cells mature again to resemble muscle, bone, or fat cells, similar to what happens with newt tissue.

    The research could lead to humans regrowing cells in damaged organs.

    Climate Change Authority Admits Mistake

    January 21, 2010

    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has admitted that its alarming conclusions — that glaciers in the Himalayas could be gone 25 years from now, eliminating a primary source of water for hundreds of millions of people — is largely unsubstantiated, based on news reports rather than published, peer-reviewed scientific studies.

    The mistake has called into question the credibility of the IPCC, which has been considered an authoritative… read more

    Scientists Close to Reconstructing First Living Cell

    June 12, 2008
    (Janet Iwasa)

    Harvard Medical School researchers have built a model of what they believe in the first living cell on Earth (3.5 to 4 billion years ago), containing a strip of genetic material surrounded by a fatty membrane and capable of replicating.

    Hydrogel biomaterial shows promise for Type 1 diabetes treatment

    May 14, 2013

    Immunostained image of engrafted islet in hydrogel in diabetic mouse. (Red areas are insulin-producing cells. Green areas are blood vessels, and blue areas are DNA nuclei in cells.) (Credit: Georgia Tech)

    Georgia Tech engineers and Emory University clinicians have successfully transplanted insulin-producing cells into a diabetic mouse model, reversing diabetic symptoms in the animal in as little as 10 days.

    It could help lead to a possible cure for Type 1 diabetes.

    The research team engineered a biomaterial to protect the cluster of insulin-producing cells — donor pancreatic islets — during injection. To foster blood… read more

    Fastest supercomputer to be built

    September 8, 2006

    IBM will build the world’s most powerful supercomputer at Los Alamos National Laboratory by 2008.

    The machine, codenamed Roadrunner, will be able to achieve 1.5 petaflops.

    The new computer is a hybrid design, using both conventional supercomputer processors and the new “cell” chip designed for Sony’s PlayStation 3.

    Nine eyes help robots to navigate

    October 31, 2003

    Researchers at the University of Maryland say a robot’s navigation skills could be vastly improved by giving it omnidirectional vision, using cameras in the back of their heads as well the front.

    They have developd software that processes images from a set of cameras arranged on the surface of a sphere to give such omnidirectional vision.

    Energy-harvesting rubber sheets could power pacemakers, mobile phones

    January 28, 2010

    (Michael McAlpine/Princeton University)

    Piezoelectric ceramic nanoribbons embedded onto silicone rubber sheets that harness natural body movements such as breathing and walking to power pacemakers, mobile phones and other electronic devices, have been developed by Princeton University engineers.

    The devices are biocompatible, so they could also be implanted in the body to perpetually power medical devices.

    Genetic-testing start-ups asked to stop selling in Calif.

    June 18, 2008

    Genetic-testing start-up 23andMe and a dozen of its California-based peers were ordered by state health officials last week to stop selling DNA tests to consumers until their operations could be investigated for compliance with state standards.

    Virtual bees help robots see in 3D

    September 22, 2006

    Software that mimics the way honeybees work together to search for food could help robots explore and navigate.

    Explorer bees report the location of a new food source by dancing. A new type of stereoscopic computer vision system takes inspiration from this trick. It uses virtual honeybees to home in on potential points of interest, which can then be rendered in 3D, based on all the simulated bees’ movements.… read more

    Europe Exceeds U.S. in Refining Grid Computing

    November 10, 2003

    Europe may have as much as an 18-month lead over the U.S. in deploying the advances in grid computing. It is preparing to start two major initiatives in early 2004.

    Enabling Grids for E-science in Europe aims to build the largest international grid infrastructure to date, operating in more than 70 institutions throughout Europe, providing a 24-hour computing capacity comparable to 20,000 of today’s most powerful personal computers.… read more

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