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Landmark study unlocks stem cell, DNA secrets to speed therapies

October 13, 2008

Florida State University researchers have discovered that as embryonic stem cells turn into different cell types, there are dramatic corresponding changes to the order in which DNA is replicated and reorganized.

“Understanding how replication works during embryonic stem cell differentiation gives us a molecular handle on how information is packaged in different types of cells in manners characteristic to each cell type,” said David M. Gilbert, the study’s principal… read more

Augmented Fluid Intelligence

April 2, 2007

We’ll soon be moving from a world of Continuous Partial Attention (an “artificial sense of constant crisis” due to multitasking) to one of Continuous Augmented Attention (a bot could learn what kinds of messages you pay attention to and filter them, allowing for increased “fluid intelligence” — the ability to find meaning in confusion and to solve new problems).

Case in point: “Twitter,” a cross between blog… read more

In search for alien life, researchers enlist human minds

March 21, 2012

Kepler 22b Comparison with Solar System

With new Web-based software by Zooniverse called SETILive, an army of independent citizen-scientists are being enlisted to help with the hunt for unusual signals. In two weeks, more than 40,000 volunteers have signed up, and more than one million radio samples have been analyzed.

Thanks to the remarkable revelations of the Kepler satellite mission, the searchers have a target list… read more

The Ultimate Remote Control

June 2, 2004

Imagine what it would be like if we could turn our brains into remote controls, sending wireless commands to computers, robots and other machines.

Researchers hope ultimately to eavesdrop on the brain’s signals with electrodes, transmit them to a computer that can read the brain’s code and then use those signals to control a machine either locally or remotely via wireless or even the Internet.

Imagine a quadriplegic… read more

Moving the Earth: a planetary survival guide

October 21, 2008

When the Sun expands into a red giant about 5 billion years from now, the Earth will be dragged into its atmosphere.

Three astronomers suggest moving Earth to the orbit of Mars, allowing Earth to receive about as much sunlight as it receives today. That could be accomplished by changing the orbits of icy bodies in the distant solar system so they would pass close to the Earth, transferring… read more

Taming data overload with AI and grid computing

April 9, 2007

Researchers at the University of Southern California’s Information Sciences Institute are building a prototype of a system that will address the problem of data overload by automating scientific workflows.

The $13.8 million Windward project aims at “Scaleable Knowledge Discovery through Grid Workflows,” using AI and grid computing.

Inventor plans ‘invisible walls’

June 15, 2004

The inventor of an “invisibility” cloak has said that his next project will be to develop the technology to allow people to see through walls.

The cloak works by projecting an image onto itself of what is behind the wearer, using a new material called “retro-reflectum” that allows you to see a three-dimensional image.

Talking to Your Phone

July 16, 2010

A new wave of smartphone apps combines speech recognition and artificial intelligence to help people carry out simple tasks on their mobile devices.

The latest such service, “SuperDialer” from Vlingo,  combines a user’s spoken commands with personal data (such as address book) and information online. The forthcoming Vlingo Answers will attempt to answer a user’s question, using search engines and other Web sources.

Nuclear-powered passenger aircraft ‘to transport millions’ says expert

October 28, 2008

Nuclear-powered aircraft will be transporting millions of passengers around the world beyond 2050, says Ian Poll, Professor of Aerospace Engineering at Cranfield university, and head of technology for the U.K. government-funded Omega project.

Poll is calling for a big research program to help the aviation industry convert from fossil fuels to nuclear energy without hindrance from environmental concerns.

Sound-system spots early Alzheimer’s in brain waves

April 18, 2007

A computer system that can rival some doctors’ ability to diagnose early-stage Alzheimer’s is being trialled in the US. It analyses a person’s the P300 brain waves response to a number of simple sound-based tests.

I, Robocop

June 30, 2004

In the forthcoming film “I, Robot,” Actor Will Smith plays a police detective investigating a murder allegedly committed by a robot.

Q: I understand Proyas asked the entire cast to read Ray Kurzweil’s The Age of Spiritual Machines. What did you think of the book?

A: Actually, the Wachowski brothers turned me onto it first. Kurzweil has an interesting, kind of twisted look at the potentiality of the… read more

App Lets You Know When Friends Are Nearby

July 26, 2010


A new location-based application for mobile phones called face2face lets users see if any of their connections on Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, and Twitter are nearby, but for security, does not give out that contact’s exact location.

The application also comes with privacy settings that let users decide if they want to be invisible to others, and who they want to share their information with. Once users know they’re near… read more

Whole Body Muscle Gene Therapy Progress

November 3, 2008

University of Missouri researchers have found a delivery method for gene therapy that can reach every muscle of the body in large animals and could eventually cure human diseases like muscular dystrophy.

Whole body muscle gene therapy could also create the ultimate in human running speed and strength.

‘Junk’ DNA now looks like powerful regulator

April 25, 2007

Large swaths of garbled human DNA once dismissed as junk appear to contain some valuable sections, according to a new study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine and the University of California-Santa Cruz.

The scientists propose that this redeemed DNA plays a role in controlling when genes turn on and off.

It turns out that most of the segments described in the research paper cluster… read more

Study: Chip-Tools Spending To Double

July 13, 2004

The semiconductor-tools industry is poised for dramatic growth in 2004, according to a new report from research firm Gartner. Demand is being driven by a seemingly insatiable consumer appetite for electronics devices, such as cell phones.

Worldwide semiconductor capital spending is on pace to reach US$44.8 billion this year, growing 50.9 percent from 2003, according to Gartner. Capital equipment spending is forecast to grow 63.5 percent in 2004.… read more

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