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Mobile phone users top 3.3 billion

May 28, 2008

The International Telecommunications Union reports that the number of mobile phone users worldwide soared to over 3.3 billion by the end of 2007, equivalent to a penetration rate of 49 per cent.

Star supply dwindling

August 12, 2003

Star formation is now 30 times slower than it was 6 billion years ago, a University of Edinburgh team has found. More stars are fizzling out than are being born.

NASA experiment to examine the beginnings of the universe

May 23, 2013

The entrance of the CIBER optics, showing two near-infrared wide-field cameras (top), an absolute spectrometer (lower left) and a Fraunhofer line spectrometer (lower right) (credit: Jamie Bock/Caltech)

When did the first stars and galaxies form in the universe? How brightly did they burn their nuclear fuel?

Scientists will seek to gain answers to these questions with the launch of the Cosmic Infrared Background ExpeRIment (CIBER) on a Black Brant XII suborbital sounding rocket between 11 and 11:59 p.m. EDT, June 4 from the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

Jamie Bock, CIBER principal investigator… read more

You won’t find consciousness in the brain

January 8, 2010

“We cannot conclude that when we see what seem to be neural correlates of consciousness that we are seeing consciousness itself”, says Ray Tallis, professor of geriatric medicine at the University of Manchester.

“While neural activity of a certain kind is a necessary condition for every manifestation of consciousness, from the lightest sensation to the most exquisitely constructed sense of self, it is neither a sufficient condition of it,… read more

Coming soon — mind-reading computers

June 26, 2006

An “emotionally aware” computer being developed by University of Cambridge and MIT scientists will be able to read an individual’s thoughts by analyzing a combination of facial movements that represent underlying feelings.

Applications could include improving people’s driving skills, helping companies tailor advertising to people’s moods, and online teaching.

Scientists find new ‘quasiparticles’

June 3, 2008

Weizmann Institute physicists have demonstrated, for the first time, the existence of “quasiparticles” with one quarter the charge of an electron. This finding could be a first step toward creating exotic types of quantum computers that might be powerful, yet highly stable.

Quarter-charge quasiparticles have been sought as the basis of the theoretical “topographical quantum computer.” When particles such as electrons, photons, or even those with odd fractional charges… read more

Molecular Manufacturing: Start Planning

August 20, 2003

“There is very little doubt that molecular nanotechnology manufacturing will be developed within the next three decades,” says Chris Phoenix, Director of Research for the Center for Responsible Nanotechnology, and it may be as soon as ten years because of the immense utility and the increasing ease of development.

But there are risks: an unstable arms race, criminal and terrorist activity, invasion of privacy from microscopic devices, gray goo,… read more

Game-changing nanodiamond discovery for MRI

January 15, 2010

A Northwestern University study shows that coupling a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agent to a nanodiamond* results in dramatically enhanced signal intensity and vivid image contrast.

The ability to image nanodiamonds in vivo would be useful in biological studies where long-term cellular fate mapping is critical, such as tracking beta islet cells or tracking stem cells.

* Carbon-based materials approximately four to six nanometers in diameter. Each… read more

Catching Seizures Before They Occur

July 7, 2006

Researchers at MIT and Harvard are preparing to carry out trials of a new device for treating epilepsy.

It involves implanting a pacemaker-like device in the patient’s chest. Connected to the device is an electrode that wraps around the vagus nerve. It uses powerful electrical stimulations and can be activated by the patient when a seizure occurs to try to stop it.

Laptops could betray users in the developing world

June 6, 2008

Rolling out Internet-ready laptops to inexperienced users across the developing world poses a huge security problem by potentially allowing repressive governments to track the Internet activity of their citizens directly, some computer security researchers suggest.

Michigan orders Cryonics Institute to close

August 27, 2003

The Cryonics Institute has been ordered to stop operating its business by the Michigan Department of Consumer and Industry Services.

CIS said the institute is operating as an unlicensed mortuary science establishment and a nonregistered cemetery.

The governmental agency said it was made aware of the Michigan cryonics facility after the death of Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Ted Williams, whose remains are frozen in an Arizona cryonics… read more

Conductive ‘Energy Textiles’ enable new wearable electronics with better energy storage

January 21, 2010

A new process for making stretchable, porous, and conductive “Energy Textiles” using “ink” made from single-walled carbon nanotubes has been developed by Stanford University scientists, according to the American Chemical Society’s Nano Letters.

These highly conductive textiles can provide new design opportunities for wearable electronics, including energy storage applications using supercapacitors.

Rebooting Your Doctor

July 14, 2006

It’s time for silicon to do for medicine what it’s done for so many other fields, says Andy Kessler in his new book, The End of Medicine: How Silicon Valley (and Naked Mice) Will Reboot Your Doctor.

Have we underestimated total oil reserves?

June 12, 2008

The record $139 per barrel price of oil this week may partly be because the amount of available oil in known reserves has been significantly underestimated, due to a statistical error (failure to combine bell curves for multiple reservoirs), says Richard Pike, a former oil-industry adviser and chief executive of the UK Royal Society of Chemistry

According to published estimates, there are 1200 billion barrels still to be extracted,… read more

Black Hole Sound Waves

September 10, 2003

Sound waves 57 octaves lower than middle-C are rumbling away from a supermassive black hole in the Perseus cluster. The “note” is the deepest ever detected from any object in our Universe. The tremendous amounts of energy carried by these sound waves may solve a longstanding problem in astrophysics: how galaxy clusters, the largest structures in the Universe, grow.

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