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Regenerating Nerves

January 2, 2008

Georgia Institute of Technology researchers have triggered the regrowth of neurites (neurons’ information-carrying projections), using a polymer coated with chemical structures that resemble acetylcholine, a common neurotransmitter.

The research could one day lead to treatments for neurodegenerative diseases and spinal-cord injuries.

A crime-fighting armored glove

June 1, 2011

(Credit: John B. Carnett)

The BodyGuard is an armored glove equipped with a high voltage stun gun, laser pointer for aiming, video camera and flashlight.
A robber is cornered in a dead-end alley. He turns to face the police officer pursuing him, ready to fight. He pauses. The officer’s left forearm is encased in ballistic nylon, and half a million volts arc menacingly between electrodes on his wrist. A green laser target lands… read more

Retinal Displays Add Data Layer

April 26, 2001

Computer displays that project images directly onto the viewer’s retina, Terminator-style, are expected to be available this fall.

Microvision Inc., based in Bothell, Wash., plans to market Nomad, a single-color version of that kind of display. A tiny laser projector inside a head-mounted display beams light through the pupil and onto the nerve cells in the retina at 800 x 600 pixels resolution.

Uses include data for surgeons… read more

Coming soon: First pictures of a black hole

May 21, 2009

Astronomers are working to tie together a network of microwave telescopes across the planet to make a single instrument with the most acute vision yet in an attempt to image the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy, code name Sagittarius A.

Human eggs divide without sperm

December 3, 2004

Researchers have developed a method to make human eggs divide as if they have been fertilized, creating a potential source of embryonic stem cells that sidesteps ethical objections to existing techniques.

The University of Wales researchers made the eggs devide by injecting phospholipase C-zeta (PLC-zeta), an enzyme produced by sperm. The eggs divided for four or five days until they reached 50 to 100 cells — the blastocyst stage.… read more

GM Envisions Driverless Cars on Horizon

January 7, 2008

Cars that drive themselve–even parking at their destination–could be ready for sale within a decade, General Motors Corp. executives say.

GM plans to use an inexpensive computer chip and an antenna to link vehicles equipped with driverless technologies.

The first use likely would be on highways; people would have the option to choose a driverless mode while they still would control the vehicle on local streets, Burns said.… read more

After delay, hacker to show flaws in Siemens industrial gear

June 8, 2011

(Credit: Black Hat)

NSS Labs Researcher Dillon Beresford expects to go public at the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas on Aug. 2–3 with his research showing problems with Siemens computers used in power plants, heavy industry, and chemical plants.

In May, Beresford was pulled out of a Dallas hacking conference at the last minute when Siemens was unable to fix problems he’d found in the firmware of its S7… read more

Project JXTA

May 16, 2001

Sun’s new Project JXTA, using P2P networking, could benefit the AI community by combining the processing power of thousands of networked personal computers to create worldwide virtual supercomputers.

Headed by Bill Joy, Project JXTA (juxtapose) encourages “open source” development, with executable and source code for the initial implementation available in Java and C.

How to Use Pulsars for Interstellar Navigation

May 28, 2009

Any interplanetary spacecraft could use signals from four pulsars to determine its position at any location in the galaxy to within a meter.

Wow! That’s fast TCP!

December 14, 2004

Data has been sent across a wide-area optical network at 101Gbit/sec., the fastest-ever sustained data transmission speed, equivalent to downloading three full DVD movies per second, or transmitting all of the content of the Library of
Congress in 15 minutes.

It was demonstrated by a High Energy Physics research team that included the California Institute of Technology, Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) and the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratories (FNAL).… read more

Former OLPC CTO Aims to Create $75 Laptop

January 11, 2008

Pixel Qi, a company spun off from the One Laptop Per Child project, aims to create a $75 laptop.

Technology advances planned by Pixel Qi include a sunlight-readable display system optimized for low-power operation.

AI game programming book articles solicited

June 1, 2001

Charles River Media is launching the “AI Game Programming Wisdom” book series. The book publisher of Game Programming Gems 1 & 2 is soliciting articles for the first book in the series, covering topics such as designing agent personalities, expert systems, genetic algorithms, and fuzzy state machines. Article proposals are due June 15.

U.S. Releases Secret List of Nuclear Sites Accidentally

June 3, 2009

The federal government mistakenly made public a 266-page report, its pages marked “highly confidential,” that gives detailed information about hundreds of the nation’s civilian nuclear sites and programs, including maps showing the precise locations of stockpiles of fuel for nuclear weapons.

What We Can Learn from Robots

December 28, 2004

Mitsuo Kawato, director of the ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories in Kyoto, Japan, believes that experiments on humanoid robots can provide simplified models of what certain groups of neurons in the brain are doing.

Then, using advanced imaging techniques, he looks at whether brain cells in monkeys and humans accord with the models.

By combining magnetic-resonance imaging, which offers millimeter-level resolution, with electrical and magnetic recording techniques, which resolve… read more

Killing Skin-Cancer Stem Cells

January 17, 2008

Harvard Medical School researchers have identified a class of cells that initiates skin-cancer melanomas; they are also developing a therapy that specifically targets these cells.

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