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Swarm Intelligence: An Interview with Eric Bonabeau

February 26, 2003

Dr. Eric Bonabeau takes us from his childhood nightmares of carnivorous wasps to applying the theories of swarm intelligence to solving real problems in the business world.

“It’s no longer possible to use traditional, centralized, hierarchical command and control techniques to deal with systems that have thousands or even millions of dynamically changing, communicating, heterogeneous entities,” he says. “I think that the type of solution swarm intelligence offers is… read more

Creating Faster Integrated Circuits by Slowing Light

April 25, 2008

UC San Diego researchers have shown that slowing down light can enable the efficient transport of information optically rather than with wires, a breakthrough that could significantly enhance computer performance and lower the power required by future computer systems.

However, slow-light-based systems are also very susceptible to the effects of disorder, which can be used in optical waveguides to localize photons for optical buffering (temporary storage, similar to RAM… read more

2005: The year in technology

December 28, 2005

Many weird and wonderful new gadgets, gizmos and inventions were revealed in 2005. Autonomous cars, robotic assistants and nano-circuitry provided a bright view of the future, while cellphone viruses, virtual crime sprees and “non-lethal” crowd control weapons hinted at technological troubles ahead.

The busiest inventor of the year was almost certainly Google, which continues to grow from a search engine into a many-tentacled technological titan, with a service for… read more

Supercomputers with 100 million cores coming by 2018

November 17, 2009

The U.S. Department of Energy has begun holding workshops on building a system that’s 1,000 times more powerful than today’s top supercomputer (Jaquar’s 2.3 petaflops): an exascale (10^18 calculations per second) system, which would likely arrive around the year 2018.

Exascale systems will be needed for high-resolution climate models, bio energy products and smart grid development as well as fusion energy design.

The Energy Department, which is responsible… read more

SETI to target most tantalising radio transmissions

March 12, 2003

Astronomers searching for signs of extraterrestrial intelligence are about to zoom in on 150 of the more tantalizing radio transmissions that have reached Earth.

Nano RNA Delivery

April 29, 2008

An experimental and potentially powerful way to fight disease, called RNA interference (RNAi), could now be closer to reality, as researchers at MIT and Alnylam, a biotech company based in Cambridge, MA, have addressed a key obstacle to effectively delivering the treatment to targeted cells.

The researchers report a method for quickly synthesizing more than a thousand different lipid-like molecules and screening them for their ability to deliver short… read more

Dogs as good as screening for cancer detection

January 9, 2006

Dogs do as well as state-of-the-art screening tests at sniffing out people with lung or breast cancer. The research raises the possibility that trained dogs could detect cancers even earlier and might some day supplement or even replace mammograms and CT scans in the laboratory.

The dogs correctly detected 99% of the lung cancer samples, and made a mistake with only 1% of the healthy controls. With breast cancer,… read more

Origami Solar Cells

November 25, 2009

(PNAS)

Researchers at the University of Illinois have developed self-assembling spherical solar cells capable of capturing more sunlight than flat ones.

If they prove practical, the devices could be wired up into large arrays that have the same power output as conventional cells, but that save on materials costs by using less silicon.

New media bypassing TV channels, book publishers

October 18, 2011

YouTube has been striking deals with several content providers (such as Warner Bros., BermanBraun, FremantleMedia and Shine Group) to add about two dozen channels offering original shows, with TV-style entertainment and news, says Hollywood Reporter. Sources indicated Google would spend as much as $150 million on the effort.

Meanwhile, Amazon is signing up new authors, bypassing book publishers and agents, says The New York Times. … read more

Sony Seeks Homes for Robots

March 28, 2003

Sony’s humanoid SDR robot can entertain and converse with humans but it’s still in search of a market.

Supercomputer-discovered drug could lead to new blood pressure medicines

May 5, 2008

University of Florida researchers used a supercomputer to compare the shapes of 140,000 molecules with the structure of the ACE2 enzyme, which protects against high blood pressure.

They found a drug that lowers blood pressure, improves heart function, and prevents damage to the heart.

University of Florida News Release

Police, Army Robots to Debut in 5 Years

January 18, 2006

By the 2010s, Korea expects to see robots assisting police and the military, patrolling neighborhoods and going on recon missions on the battlefield.

The outdoor security robots will be able to make their night watch rounds and even chase criminals, directed by a remote control system via an Internet connection or moving autonomously via their own artificial intelligence systems.

The government also seeks to build combat robots. They… read more

How our brains build social worlds

December 3, 2009

The Interacting Minds project at the Danish Neuroscience Centre in Aarhus aims to develop a new kind of psychological experiment focused on interactions.

The Internet has dramatically increased both the possibilities for interactions and the size of the interacting groups. But there are also greater possibilities for false models, in the shape of deception, propaganda, or genuinely held but dangerously wrong-headed ideas.

NASA Improves Computers With Tiny Carbon Tubes On Silicon Chips

April 16, 2003
Vertically aligned carbon nanotubes about 100 nanometers in diameter. Photo credit: NASA Ames Research Center.

NASA has developed a chip manufacturing method that uses carbon nanotubes instead of copper interconnects for integrated circuits. This will allow manufacturers to add more layers of components to silicon chips to increase performance and maintain Moore’s law longer for silicon-based computer chips.

Nanoworms target tumors

May 8, 2008

Scientists at UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara and MIT have developed nanometer-sized “nanoworms” that can cruise through the bloodstream without significant interference from the body’s immune defense system and home in on tumors, reminiscent of the science fiction movie, Fantastic Voyage.

The scientists constructed their nanoworms from spherical iron oxide nanoparticles that join together, like segments of an earthworm, to produce tiny gummy worm-like structures about 30 nanometers… read more

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