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Lithium in water ‘curbs suicide’

May 4, 2009

The suicide rate is significantly lower in areas in Japan with the highest levels of lithium, scientists at the universities of Oita and Hiroshima have found.

Touching Molecules With Your Bare Hands

April 11, 2005

Scripps Research Institute scientists are develping new technology that combines hand-held objects with sophisticated computer displays, called Tangible Interfaces for Structural Molecular Biology.

It uses 3-D fabricating printers that “print” solid objects out of thousands of layers of plaster or plastic, allowing for construction of models of proteins, DNA, and other biological molecules. These models can be touched, twisted, tweaked, and tossed from person to person.

Then, using… read more

Synthetic DNA on the Brink of Yielding New Life Forms

December 18, 2007

Researchers are poised to cross a dramatic barrier: the creation of life forms driven by completely artificial DNA.

Scientists in Maryland have already built the world’s first entirely handcrafted chromosome, containing all the instructions a microbe needs to live and reproduce.

Some experts are worried that a few maverick companies are already gaining monopoly control over the core “operating system” for artificial life and are poised to become… read more

Imaging and astronomy share new wave

February 11, 2002

The next big wave in imaging technology is terahertz radiation, now probing everything from cells to stars. Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule scientists have used terahertz radiation to spot particular sequences of DNA in a sample. This technique is quicker and more accurate than current fluorescent-labelling methods.

To detect changes in the tiny amounts of material that are typically involved in gene-chip analysis, the researchers built guide channels, just a few… read more

Ray Kurzweil: A singular view of the future

May 7, 2009

“The power of ideas to change the world is accelerating and few people grasp the implications of that fully,” says futurist Ray Kurzweil.

“People don’t think exponentially, yet exponential change applies to anything that involves measuring information content. Take genetic sequencing. When the human genome project was announced in 1990, sceptics said: ‘No way you’re going to do this in 15 years.’ Halfway through the project the sceptics were… read more

IBM shows smallest, fastest graphene processor

April 12, 2011

IBM has demonstrated a graphene transistor that can execute 155 billion cycles per second, about 50% faster than previous experimental transistors.

The graphene transistor benefited from the use of a new and improved substrate IBM called “diamond-like carbon.” It exhibited excellent temperature stability from room temperature down to minus 268 degrees Celsius, or “helium temperature.”

It is also IBM’s smallest transistor to date. The gate length was scaled down… read more

Gene discovered that plays a key role in brain wiring

April 21, 2005

A team headed by Drs. Robin Hiesinger and Hugo J. Bellen at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston has found a gene, named sec15, that plays a key role in brain wiring.

Baylor College of Medicine news release

Human Embryonic Stem Cell Lines Created That Avoid Immune Rejection

December 21, 2007

International Stem Cell scientists have derived four unique embryonic stem cell lines that open the door for the creation of therapeutic cells that will not provoke an immune reaction in large segments of the population.

When Will AI Get Down to Business?

March 6, 2002

AI has quietly become embedded in a wide variety of businesses, including medical labs, financial services, airports, online job banks, and construction companies.
Examples of current AI applications include:

  • Web avatars used for “relationship modeling” in customer service systems
  • Detection of credit and debit card fraud
  • Extraction of medical and occupational data from life insurance applications
  • Personalized, Internet-based TV listings based on
  • read more

    Ultra-Efficient Organic LEDs

    May 15, 2009

    An organic light-emitting diode (OLED) with the potential to produce the same quality of white light as incandescent bulbs, but with power efficiencies much better than even fluorescent lighting, has been developed at the Institute for Applied Photophysics, in Dresden, Germany.

    The OLED exhibits efficiencies of 90 lumens per watt and shows potential to go up to 124 lumens per watt, compared to 10 to 17 lumens per watt… read more

    Willow Garage introduces TurtleBot robot

    April 19, 2011

    Turtle Bot

    Willow Garage has announced TurtleBot robot kits, intended to put a low-cost, personal robot kit in the hands of hobbyists and developers.

    The TurtleBot uses a number of off-the-shelf components, including an Xbox Kinect controller that allows the robot to visually navigate its surroundings. The robot also uses free open-source software that can be adapted to make it perform a number of tasks.

    The… read more

    Memory mimic aids reading

    May 4, 2005

    Researchers from the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) have devised ScentHighlights, software that leverages the way the brain models words to help speed the process of reading or skimming through digitized text.

    The software highlights portions of text in a way that makes it cognitively easier for the user to find what she is looking for.

    ScentHighlights expands on a set of topics of interest supplied by a… read more

    Popular Science’s Best of What’s New 2007

    December 30, 2007

    The first five-finger bionic grip, the world’s most efficient solar panels, and a home 3-D printer are in the “Best of What’s New 2007″ list from Popular Science.

    3-D nanotubes grown

    April 5, 2002
    3-D nanotubes

    Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have grown the first three-dimensional nanotubes, which are essential for next-generation computer chips and integrated circuits.

    The method is based on a selective growth process that allows the nanotubes to grow perpendicular to the silica-coated substrate. By chiseling the silica into predetermined shapes, researchers can precisely control and direct the nanotube growth.

    Nanotubes have properties that make them attractive as active nanoscale electronic… read more

    Modeling Sneaky Robots

    May 21, 2009

    An algorithm that models stealthy robot behavior has been developed by . Seoul National University professors.

    They designed simulations in which a robot waits in the shadows and moves quickly between obstacles to intercept a target.

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