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New process allows for creation of complex silicon nanostructures

Salt absorbs heat to prevent collapse
August 14, 2013

This silicon nanostructure was created using a new process developed at Oregon State University (credit: Oregon State University)

Chemists at Oregon State University have identified a compound that could significantly reduce the cost and potentially enable mass commercial production of silicon nanostructures — materials that have huge potential in everything from electronics to biomedicine and energy storage: sodium chloride (table salt).

By melting and absorbing heat at a critical moment during a “magnesiothermic reaction” (one using magnesium at an elevated temperature), the… read more

Is our universe located inside a wormhole?

April 7, 2010

Einstein-Rosen bridges like the one visualized above have never been observed in nature, but they provide theoretical physicists and cosmologists with solutions in general relativity by combining models of black holes and white holes

Could our universe be located within the interior of a wormhole that itself is part of a black hole that lies within a much larger universe?

Such a scenario in which the universe is born from inside a wormhole (also called an Einstein-Rosen Bridge) is suggested in a paper from Indiana University theoretical physicist Nikodem Poplawski in Physics Letters B.

A white hole is connected to… read more

Biological computer encrypts and deciphers images

February 8, 2012


Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute in California and the Technion — Israel Institute of Technology — have developed a “biological computer” made entirely from biomolecules that is capable of deciphering images encrypted on DNA chips.

This is the first experimental demonstration of a molecular cryptosystem for images based on DNA computing.

When suitable software was applied to the biological computer, it… read more

Researchers recover typed text using audio recording of keystrokes

September 15, 2005

UC Berkeley esearchers were able to take several 10-minute sound recordings of users typing at a keyboard, feed the audio into a computer, and use an algorithm to recover up to 96 percent of the characters entered.
The researchers used spectrum analysis, statistical learning theory, spelling and grammar checks, and learning trials to obtain recovery rates of 88 percent for words and 96 percent for characters.

The computer algorithm… read more

The Brain Unmasked

August 6, 2008

A variation on MRI called diffusion sensor imaging allows scientists to map the neural fibers that relay signals in the brain.

In this example, each fiber in the image represents hundreds to thousands of fibers in the brain, each traveling along the same path. (George Day, Ruopeng Wang, Jeremy Schmahmann, Van Wedeen, MGH)

HP, MIT delve deep with digital library

November 5, 2002

MIT and Hewlett-Packard have unveiled DSpace, a system for electronically archiving books, lecture notes and scientific data. It currently can hold two terabytes of data; eventually more than a petabyte (1000 terabytes). The software will be licensed freely.

10 Smart Clothes You’ll Be Wearing Soon

April 20, 2010

BLU Jacket

Motion-detecting pants, a proximity sensing shirt, a heart-sensing bra, biosensor underwear, and a “thought helmet” are among everyday objects that are becoming networked.

Lunar design’s BLU Jacket displays your moods through signs and colors

Evolution Lawsuit Opens in Pennsylvania

September 27, 2005

Intelligent design is not science, has no support from any major American scientific organization and does not belong in a public school science classroom, a prominent biologist testified on the opening day of the nation’s first legal battle over whether it is permissible to teach the fledgling “design” theory as an alternative to evolution.

Rise of the rat-brained robots

August 14, 2008

Researchers at the University of Reading, Georgia Tech, and elsewhere are experimenting with “animats” created by culturing rat neurons in a vat and plugging them into simulations and robots.

By stimulating the neurons with signals from sensors on the robot and using the neurons’ response to get the robots to respond, they hope to gain insights into how brains function. Such insights might help in the treatment of conditions… read more

Fossil unveils wrist-worn Palm OS PDA

November 19, 2002

Fossil will introduce the world’s first Palm-powered wristwatch in mid-2003, with 33 MHz processor, 2 MB RAM, 160 x 160 pixel/16-level grayscale display, IrDA 1.2-compatible infrared port, miniature stylus, and USB interface to PCs.

Gene silencing may be responsible for induced pluripotent stem cells’ limitations

April 26, 2010

An important cluster of genes in a segment of chromosome 12 is inactivated in induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), which do not have the full development potential of embryonic stem cells, suggesting the need for new reprogramming strategies.

More info: Massachusetts General Hospital news

Graphene-based chips a step closer

February 20, 2012


Researchers at Northwestern University have developed a new method for chemically altering graphene, a development that could be a step toward the creation of faster, thinner, flexible electronics.

Graphene is a one-atom-thick, honeycomb-shaped lattice of carbon atoms with exceptional strength and conductivity. Many experts believe it could rival silicon, transforming integrated circuits and leading to ultra-fast computers, cellphones and related portable electronic devices.

But… read more

Driverless robots reach milestone in DARPA race

October 11, 2005

Stanford University’s Racing Team has accomplished a historic feat of robotics, finishing first in the DARPA Grand Challenge, a 131.6-mile driverless car race that no artificially intelligent machine has ever conquered before.

Stanford’s “Stanley,” a modified Volkswagen Touareg with sensors and radar mountings, crossed the finish line within eight hours and 14 minutes, beating the 10-hour requirement, according to times posted on the DARPA race Web site.

New Speed Record for Magnetic Memories

August 19, 2008

An experiment carried out at the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) has realized spin-torque switching of a nanomagnet as fast as the fundamental speed limit allows.

Using this “ballistic switching,” future MRAMs (Magnetic Random Access Memory) magnetic memories could be programmed by current pulses shorter than 1 nanosecond (compared to 10 nanoseconds with current MRAM prototypes), corresponding to write clock rates well above 1 GHz, thus allowing it to operate as… read more

Immobots Take Control

December 3, 2002

Immobots (immobile robots), a new breed of cost-effective intelligent machines, are beginning to crop up in situations where autonomy is important, such as distant space probes, copiers, and cars.

Using “model-based programming,” these systems “have a commonsense model of the physics of their internal components and can reason from that model to determine what is wrong and to know how to act,” said Brian Williams, a professor at MIT’s… read more

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