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DARPA picks Urban Challenge semifinalists

August 10, 2007

DARPA has selected 36 development teams as semifinalists in its Urban Challenge competition to develop autonomous vehicles that can function in common traffic situations.

Bacteria Enlisted for New Trials on Dental Health

December 1, 2004

The FDA has approved the first clinical trial in which genetically modified bacteria will be put into people’s mouths to test if the bacteria prevent tooth decay.

The new bacteria, which are genetically neutered so they do not make the acid that eats away at teeth, would replace the acid-producing bacteria already present in most mouths.

Douglas Adams, 1952 — 2001

May 14, 2001

Lament for Douglas by Richard Dawkins.

GPS for Forest Creatures on the Move

February 3, 2009

Scientists at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute on Barro Colorado Island in Panama have installed a new system for tracking their subjects that could help revolutionize the labor-intensive business of field biology.

The Automated Radio Telemetry System relies on seven radio towers scattered across the island that can monitor and triangulate data from many radio-tagged individuals simultaneously, year-long: whether it’s moving or at rest, and what other radio-endowed individuals… read more

Cosmic ‘train wreck’ defies dark matter theories

August 20, 2007

Disturbing evidence has emerged from the wreckage of an intergalactic pile-up suggesting that the already mysterious substance known as dark matter may be even less well understood than astronomers thought.

The observations come from a massive galaxy cluster called Abell 520 that lies 3 billion light years away. Abell 520 turns out to hold a massive dark core, empty of bright galaxies.

The observation may rule out the… read more

Nanotube suppliers accused of selling shoddy goods

December 13, 2004

Researchers who buy products such as carbon nanotubes are frequently being sold defective materials, according to a survey of nanotechnology companies.

The survey suggests that the surge in nanotechnology projects has outpaced the ability of companies to reliably supply the basic materials needed by researchers.

Using touchscreen interactive tabletop displays via the Internet

November 24, 2010

tabletop-touch-display

Researchers have developed software that enables people to use large visual displays and touch screens interactively over the Internet for business and homeland security applications.

Tabletop touch-operated displays are becoming popular with professionals in various fields, said Niklas Elmqvist, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at Purdue University.

“These displays are like large iPhones, and because they are large they invite collaboration,”… read more

How the brain ‘sees’

May 30, 2001

Neurons in the human visual cortex can detect patterns that are too fine to be consciously perceived, based on research by Sheng He, assistant professor of psychology, University of Minnesota.

Inability to see the too-fine lines is due to a blurring that occurs after the visual cortex receives input.

That gut feeling may actually reflect a reliable memory

February 8, 2009

A new study from Northwestern University offers precise electrophysiological evidence that gut decisions may sometimes not be guesswork after all.

During a special recognition test, guesses turned out to be as accurate or more accurate than when study participants thought they consciously remembered.

Mempile — Terabyte on a CD

August 28, 2007

New optical-storage technology promises to allow the equivalent of more than 115 DVD-quality movies and about 40 HD movies on a single CD-size medium.

At 200 layers a disc, future versions of the technology will make it possible to store up to 5TB of data on one disc.

Using a special variant of the polymer polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), Israel-based company Mempile developed discs that it claims are almost… read more

Grape Seed May Protect Brain

December 23, 2004

University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers have reported the first direct evidence that a grape-seed extract affects specific proteins in healthy brains in ways that may protect against future age-related dementia.

Grape-seed-extract supplements are thought to have health benefits due to their high content of polyphenolic compounds, which have been shown to have high antioxidant activity

Bruce Schneier: We need ‘cyberwar hotlines’ to match nuclear hotlines

December 6, 2010

Security expert Bruce Schneier has called for governments to establish “hotlines” between their cyber commands, much like the those between nuclear commands, to help them battle against cyber attacks.

Schneier, writing in the Financial Times, said that a hotline between the world’s cyber commands would “at least allow governments to talk to each other, rather than guess where an attack came from.” He also said that more importantly, governments need… read more

Uploading Life: Send Your Personality to Space

June 28, 2001

The gradual merging of human beings with their computers over the next century gives rise to the prospect of interstellar immortality, said William Sims Bainbridge at a recent George Washington University Space Policy Institute symposium.

Cognitive neural science, genetic engineering, nanotechnology and information systems may allow the founding of a cosmic civilization, a possibility that does not require flying living human bodies and all the necessities of life to… read more

Chemical drink breathes life into damaged hearts

February 12, 2009

Myo-inositol trispyrophosphate (ITPP) dissolved in water boosted exercise levels in mice with damaged hearts by 35%, University of Strasbourg researchers say.

The finding raises hopes that the same substance can invigorate patients weakened from heart attacks by increasing the supply of oxygen to damaged cardiac muscle.

Detecting cancer by scanning surface veins

September 7, 2007

A new technology for cancer detection that eliminates the need for drawing blood has been developed by Purdue University researchers.

By shining a laser on surface veins, such as those on the wrist and inside the cheek, researchers are able to reveal and count circulating tumor cells. In addition to being less invasive, the new detection method is able to evaluate a much larger volume of blood… read more

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