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Nanotube antennas boost signal reception

December 31, 2003

Antennas in the form of carbon nanotube transistors can dramatically enhance the reception of RF signals, according to a study by USC scientist Bart Kosko, a professor in the school’s Electrical Engineering Department.

The finding is based on a theory called “stochastic resonance” that claims noise, or unwanted signals, can actually improve the detection of faint electrical signals. Kosko’s graduate student, Ian Lee, generated a sequence of faint electrical… read more

Honda’s U3-X Personal Mobility Device is the Segway of unicycles

September 25, 2009


The experimental new U3-X from Honda, a spinoff of the company’s ASIMO robot research, can go forward, backward, side-to-side and diagonally, all controlled with a simple lean.

Microsoft Surface Finally Surfaces

April 3, 2008

Microsoft Surface will debut as a shopping kiosk at six AT&T cellular phone stores on April 17.

Surface is a 30-inch diagonal screen that that can read thousands of touch inputs at once, allowing multiple people to interact with items at once. It tracks taps using a set of cameras mounted underneath the rear-projection screen. Cameras can also identify objects festooned with stickers containing patterns of dots.

The Future of War

November 29, 2006

Technology will increasingly allow the most sophisticated and best equipped militaries — primarily that of the US — to fight battles using robots rather than soldiers.

Ideas on the drawing board or in development include killer satellites that could destroy an enemy’s satellites, a Common Aero Vehicle (CAV) that could swoop with hypersonic speed up to 3,000 miles to attack a target, Hyper-Velocity Rod Bundles that would fire tungsten… read more

Ultimate Parasites Threaten Man

January 13, 2004

Viruses and bacteria are the ultimate parasites — and our only true predators. With the advent of international jet travel, these parasites can escape from their remote lairs to every corner of the world in just a few hours. The greatest threat humanity is facing is that one day a virus will emerge that can spread as efficiently as tuberculosis and that is as deadly as Ebola.

Step forward for nanotechnology: Controlled movement of molecules

October 1, 2009

Scientists in the United Kingdom have found a way to get molecules to move quickly in a desired direction without help from outside forces, raising the possibility of coaxing cells to move and grow in specific directions to treat diseases.

The scientists used a special surface with hydrophobic (water repelling) and hydrophilic (water-attracting) sections. The region between the two sections produced an “energy gradient” that can move nanoscale objects… read more

More free online Stanford computer science courses

August 22, 2011


Two other Stanford Computer Science courses are joining Stanford University’s “bold experiment in distributed education”: Professor Andrew Ng’s Machine Learning Course and Professor Jennifer Widom’s Introduction to Databases.

More than 100,000 prospective participants have signed up for Stanford’s Introduction to Artificial Intelligence and a study group has formed at reddit , according to I Programmer.

The Stanford Engineering Everywhereread more

Single virus gene may cause obesity

April 7, 2008

Louisiana State University researchers have shown that a single viral gene from adenovirus-36 can cause obesity by triggering fat precursor cells to differentiate into fat cells.

30 per cent of obese people and 11 per cent of people of average weight already have antibodies against the virus, suggesting prior infection by adenovirus-36.

Bio-ink printer makes stem cells differentiate

December 11, 2006

An inkjet device that prints tiny “bio-ink” patterns has been used to simultaneously grow both muscle and bone tissue from the stem cells of adult mice.

Surgeons could one day use the technology to repair various damaged tissues at the same time.

E-Mail Worm Snarls Computers Around Globe

January 28, 2004

A new malicious computer program (Mydoom or Norvag) is spreading rapidly throughout the Internet today, swamping e-mail in-boxes and crashing corporate computer servers in what some computer security analysts are predicting will become the largest ever outbreak of viral e-mail. It may eventually involve millions of machines, according to experts.

Plasma Rocket Could Travel to Mars in 39 Days

October 7, 2009

(Ad Astra Rocket Company)

A 10- to 20-megawatt plasma rocket could propel human missions to Mars in just 39 days, whereas conventional rockets would take six months or more, according to Ad Astra Rocket Company.

The company’s VASIMR technology uses radio waves to heat gases such as hydrogen, argon, and neon, creating hot plasma. Magnetic fields force the charged plasma out the back of the engine, producing thrust in the opposite direction. Due… read more

Researchers report new understanding of role of telomeres in tumor growth

September 1, 2011

Researchers at The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine have reported the first observation of the presence of “alternative lengthening of telomeres” (ALT) in cancers arising from the bladder, cervix, endometrium, esophagus, gallbladder, liver, and lung.

The presence of ALT in carcinomas can be used as a diagnostic marker and has implications for the development of anti-cancer drug therapies.

Telomeres are nucleoprotein complexes located at… read more

Harnessing Biology, and Avoiding Oil, for Chemical Goods

April 9, 2008

As petroleum prices go up, the chemical industry is beginning to make a transition to a chemical base derived from plant materials such as vegetable oils and corn sugar.

The effort to tap biomass for chemicals runs parallel to the higher-stakes research aimed at developing biofuels. Researchers hope that the two will come together soon to help replace petroleum refineries with biorefineries.

How Plug-In Hybrids Will Save the Grid

December 21, 2006

A new concept, “vehicle-to-grid,” would allow plug-in hybrids to help stabilize the power grid.

Millions of cars, each with several kilowatt hours of storage capacity, would act as an enormous buffer, taking on charge when the system temporarily generates too much power, and giving it back when there are short peaks in demand.

Cool New Ideas to Save Brains

February 10, 2004

A “cool helmet” and a corkscrew device that removes clots in blood vessels are among radical new technologies for stroke treatment.

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