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‘Nano’ Suddenly a Gigantic Label

June 17, 2003

Nanotechnology has become one of the hottest areas in scientific research, pulling in billions of dollars in government, corporate and foundation cash.

But Eric Drexler, the scientist who coined the term “nanotechnology,” says a lot of what passes for nano is just plain ol’ science, gussied up with a fancy name to rake in the bucks.

Nanoimaging in 3-D

December 2, 2009

(Alexander Govyadinov)

A new nondestructive near-field method for subwavelength optical imaging of nanoscale objects in three dimensions has been demonstrated by University of Pennsylvania scientists.

Eye-tracking allows for more creative computer-aided design

October 24, 2011

Designing with Vision, a system using eye-tracking technology, has been developed by researchers at The Open University and the University of Leeds to give computer-aided design users a more fluid human-machine interface.

The software can identify and select shapes of interest automatically within a drawn sketch. The combination of eye-tracking technology and conventional mouse-based input allows initial design sketches to be manipulated and… read more

Startup called Webaroo touts ‘Web on a hard drive’

April 9, 2006

Webaroo has developed a set of proprietary search algorithms that whittle the estimated one million gigabytes on the Web down to more manageable chunks that will fit on a hard drive.

They include up to 256 megabytes for a growing menu of “Web packs” on specific topics — your favorite Web sites, city guides, news summaries, Wikipedia and the like — that make up the service’s initial offerings; and… read more

Piecing Together The Next Generation Of Cognitive Robots

May 7, 2008

The European Cognitive Systems for Cognitive Assistants artificial cognitive systems (CoSy ACS) project incorporates a range of technologies, including a design for cognitive architecture, spatial cognition, human-robot interaction and situated dialogue processing, and developmental models of visual processing.

It integrates multiple cognitive functions to create robots that are more self-aware, understand their environment and can better interact with humans.

Saving Lives with Living Machines

July 1, 2003

Hybrid devices that are part machine, part living cells offer new hope to patients with kidney problems for whom purely artificial treatments like dialysis aren’t good enough.

A “bioartificial kidney,” being developed by Nephros Therapeutics, is based on a plastic cartridge containing one billion human kidney cells thriving inside 4,000 translucent, hollow, plastic fibers. It is based on a decade of research by University of Michigan internist David Humes.… read more

Boom! Hok! A Monkey Language Is Deciphered

December 8, 2009

The Campbell’s monkey of Tai Forest, Ivory Coast appear to exhibit the most complex example of “proto-syntax” in animal communication known to date, say researchers writing in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The monkeys can both vary the meaning of specific calls by adding suffixes and combine calls to generate a different meaning.

How to see out from under an invisibility cloak

October 31, 2011

Invisibility cloak designs make it impossible for anyone hiding under the cloak to see what’s going on in the outside world. Now Nanjing University researchers have come up with a solution: make a tiny tear in the cloak, then stitch the hole with two types of materials chosen to effectively cancel each other out when seen from the outside, while still allowing light to enter —… read more

Blank Slate

April 24, 2006

What if you could pick one thing and start over from scratch? What would you change if you didn’t have to accept the status quo, if you could reinvent things without regard for cost, politics or practicality?

That’s the question Forbes posed to contributors to its Blank Slate special report.

Closer encounter: Nasa plans landing on 40m-wide asteroid travelling at 28,000mph

May 9, 2008

NASA plans to use Orion, the Space Shuttle replacement, for a three to six month round-trip to an asteroid, with astronauts spending a week or two on the rock’s surface.

The mission will give space officials a taste of more complex missions, and samples taken from the rock could help scientists understand more about the birth of the solar system and how best to defend against asteroids that veer… read more

Red-hot growth seen in wireless Internet hotspots

July 11, 2003

The number of worldwide “hotspots” for high-speed wireless Internet is expected to grow to at least 160,000 in 2007 from 28,000 this year, according to market research firm
Allied Business Intelligence.

Discovery of wound-healing genes in flies could mitigate human skin ailments

April 26, 2013

Puncturing a Drosophila embryo with the enzyme trypsin activates genes throughout the epidermis that help in wound healing, shown in green. Credit: Rachel Patterson, UC San Diego

Biologists at UC San Diego have identified eight genes never before suspected to play a role in wound healing that are called into action near the areas where wounds occur.

Their discovery, detailed this week in the open-access journal PLOS ONE (open access), was made in the laboratory fruit fly¬†Drosophila. But the biologists say many of the same genes that regulate biological processes in the… read more

Nanoprobes hit targets in tumors, could lessen chemo side effects

December 15, 2009

The number and distribution of nanoprobes coated with the breast cancer drug Herceptin and inserted into live human tumor cells in the lab have been measured by Purdue University researchers.

Targeting only tumor cells with nanoprobes would require less drugs and mitigate the side effects of cancer chemotherapy drugs, they suggest. Cancer treatments often use high drug concentrations that damage healthy cells near a tumor.

Japanese supercomputer blisters 10 quadrillion calculations per second

November 7, 2011

The Japanese supercomputer “K” broke its own record this week by hitting 10 quadrillion calculations per second (10.51 petaflops), exceeding its previous speed of 8.162 petaflops, which had placed the system in first place on the TOP500 supercomputer list published June 2011, Network World Layer 8 reports.

The supercomputer¬† consists of 864 racks, comprising a total of 88,128 interconnected CPUs and has a theoretical calculation speed of… read more

Singularity Summit reports

May 14, 2006

Reports on the lively Singularity Summit on Stanford University Saturday are coming in from several blogs, including Renee Blodgett’s Down The Avenue, ZDNet’s Between The Lines, and Responsible Nanotechnology, filed live by Mike Treder during the event.

Also see “Smarter than thou? Stanford conference ponders a brave new world with machines more powerful than their creators,” San… read more

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