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Study Is Setback for Some RNA-Based Drugs

April 8, 2008

University of Kentucky researchers have found that RNA-interference-activating drugs now being tested in clinical trials do not work by silencing genes but by activating the immune system.

That could mean these drugs are not really precise tools and could have unexpected side effects.

The drugs aim to inactivate a gene contributing to leaky blood vessels in the back of the eye, the hallmark of the severe form of… read more

Arabic In, English Out

March 24, 2003

A new device being tested at the Office of Naval Research promises simultaneous machine translation and interpretation, using a blend of voice recognition, speech synthesis and translation technologies.

Big Asteroid Less Likely to Hit Earth

October 8, 2009

The probability of an Earth encounter on April 13, 2036 for the Apophis asteroid has dropped from one-in-45,000 to about four-in-a million, new data from observations made with the University of Hawaii’s 88-inch telescope suggest.

Taiwan breeds green-glowing pigs

January 13, 2006

Scientists in Taiwan say they have bred three pigs that glow in the dark.

The pigs are transgenic, created by adding genetic material from jellyfish into a normal pig embryo. The scientists will use the transgenic pigs to study human disease.

Because the pig’s genetic material is green, it is easy to spot. So if, for instance, some of its stem cells are injected into another animal, scientists… read more

Bacteria designed to search out pesticides

April 10, 2008

Emory University researchers have hacked into the navigation system of the bacterium Escherichia coli, causing it to hunt down a widely used herbicide called atrazine.

The finding could help improve efforts to clean up the environment using biological tricks.

Measuring the Risks of Nanotechnology

April 8, 2003

Do breakthroughs in nanotechnology present unique health and environmental dangers that need to be studied?

Leading Book Distributor and K-NFB Reading Technology Team Up to Deliver Immersive, Next-Generation Reading Experience

October 16, 2009

Baker & Taylor, Inc., the world’s leading distributor of physical and digital books, has announced a partnership to provide digital media content for K-NFB Reading Technology, Inc.’s forthcoming e-reader.

“For every technology, there comes a tipping point when adoption starts to spread like wildfire,” said Ray Kurzweil, CEO of K-NFB Reading Technology. “For digital books, that time is now. With Baker & Taylor’s market leadership along with our cutting-edge… read more

Intel shows test chips made on future processes

January 26, 2006

Intel has created test chips made on the 45-nanometer process and will likely begin shipping processors, flash, and other chips based on that process in the second half of 2007, according to Mark Bohr, director of process architecture and integration at Intel.

Although these are just test chips, the milestone is an important indication that Intel’s overall manufacturing strategy remains on track and in sync with Moore’s law. However,… read more

Making the World A Billion Times Better

April 15, 2008

As powerful as information technology is today, we will make another billion-fold increase in capability (for the same cost) over the next 25 years, says Ray Kurzweil.

“Only technology possesses the scale to address the major challenges — such as energy and the environment, disease and poverty — confronting society. That, at least, is the major conclusion of a panel, organized by the National Science Foundation and the National… read more

Augmented reality app overlays designs on a landscape

April 8, 2011

Walkabout Mobile

A new app called Walkabout3d Mobile allows Google SketchUp users to generate and view panoramas of their designs directly on an iPhone or iPad.

Visitors to a building site can view a 3D model for a future design created with SketchUp, overlaid on the landscape. They can check if the design will overlook their property, block out sunlight, or become an eyesore.

Unlike some augmented… read more

Dealing with future nanotech dangers

April 22, 2003

New York — The Center for Responsible Nanotechnology (CRN) issued a report today identifying 11 significant risks of molecular nanotechnology (MNT) along with possible solutions.

MNT has “the potential to disrupt many aspects of society and politics,” the report says. “The power of the technology may cause two competing nations to enter a disruptive and unstable arms race. The flexibility and small size of molecular manufacturing systems and their… read more

Nanowire Biocompatibility In The Brain: So Far So Good

October 23, 2009

Brain “clean-up cells” (microglia) take care of nanowires injected in rat brains but that break away from their contact points, Lund University researchers have found.

One advantage of nanoscale electrodes is that they can register and stimulate the tiniest components of the brain.

Low-Fat Diet Does Not Cut Health Risks, Study Finds

February 7, 2006

The largest study ever to ask whether a low-fat diet reduces the risk of getting cancer or heart disease has found that the diet has no effect.

The $415 million federal study involved nearly 49,000 women ages 50 to 79 who were followed for eight years. In the end, those assigned to a low-fat diet had the same rates of breast cancer, colon cancer, heart attacks and strokes as… read more

Music Builds Bridges in the Brain

April 18, 2008

Harvard Medical School and Boston College researchers have found that taking music lessons can strengthen connections between the two hemispheres of the brain in children, but only if they practice diligently.

For the children who practiced at least 2.5 hours a week, a region of the corpus callosum that connects movement-planning regions on the two sides of the brain grew about 25% relative to the size of the brain.… read more

Charles fears science could kill life on earth

May 5, 2003

Prince Charles fears that nanotech molecular assembly research could lead to the gray goo scenario. He’s organizing a crisis summit of leading scientists to address this concern.

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