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Geoengineering: How to Cool Earth–At a Price

October 23, 2008

Some climate experts are now willing to consider schemes for partly shielding the planet from the sun’s rays, such as putting sulfer dioxide in the stratosphere to scatter sunlight; using 1,500 ships, each spraying eight gallons of sea water a second to whiten existing marine clouds (and reflect more light); and a space-based sunshade at L1, the inner Lagrangian point, using solar sails with tiny mirrors to deflect light.

Veteran’s new artificial leg has artificial intelligence

April 11, 2007

Ossur’s “Power Knee” prosthetic leg allows amputees to walk longer while experiencing less physical toll.

It uses sensors located on the artificial knee and on the insole of the other leg, which sends information about their position at high speed. Gyroscopes on the artificial knee and on the ankle also send information about the tilt of the limbs. All of this information flows to a microprocessor in the knee,… read more

I.B.M. Decides to Market a Blue Streak of a Computer

June 21, 2004

I.B.M. intends to announce this week its plans for a commercial version of the Blue Gene/L supercomputer, intended to study protein-folding.

Two new Blue Gene/L prototype supercomputers are ranked in the top 10, as the fourth fastest and the eighth fastest.

A Blue Gene/L machine that I.B.M. is building for the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory should be up and running next year. According to I.B.M. and… read more

Artificial cells communicate and cooperate like biological cells, ants

July 20, 2010

Inspired by the social interactions of ants and slime molds, University of Pittsburgh engineers have designed computational models of artificial cells capable of self-organizing into independent groups that can communicate and cooperate to transport chemicals and drugs.

The Pitt group’s microcapsules interact by secreting nanoparticles in a way similar to how biological cells signal to communicate and assemble into groups. And with a nod to ants, the cells leave… read more

NSA and Army on quest for quantum physics jackpot

October 29, 2008

The US Army Research Office and the National Security Agency (NSA) are together looking for answers to their quantum physics questions and is soliciting proposals for these broad goals: developing new quantum computing algorithms for hard computational problems, characterizing the efficiency of candidate quantum algorithms, and developing insights into the power of quantum computation, considering issues of quantum complexity and computability.

Mind-altering media

April 20, 2007

Modern media such as TV and computer games are changing our minds, and the more we are exposed to them the greater the changes.

They are making us smarter and better at some tasks, but worse at others. And there is no getting away from the fact that on-screen violence fosters off-screen violence.

Brain imaging and other physiological measures also reveal changes in emotional responses to violent images… read more

Japan heading for energy death spiral?

March 31, 2012


Post-Fukushima Japan may be approaching an energy death spiral, says Nobuo Tanaka, past executive director of the International Energy Agency.

He argues that if Japan does not find a way to “turn on” its now shuttered nuclear energy reactors, not only will Japan’s already sluggish economic condition be crushed with much larger oil and gas imports from Russia, Southeast Asia and the Middle East — but because… read more

The next big thing is actually ultrawide

July 2, 2004

The Freescale Semiconductor division of Motorola has developed ultrawideband (UWB) technology for sending data wirelessly at 110Mbps and plans for 1Gbps transmission in 2005.

UWB technology is currently hobbled by regulatory challenges and a long-running clash between two incompatible systems.

Ultrawideband works by broadcasting over a much larger chunk of the radio spectrum, so even a low-powered ultrawideband radio signal can carry huge amounts of data.

The… read more

Multifunctional nanoparticle enables new type of biological imaging

July 28, 2010

30-nanometer particle combines a magnetic core with a thin gold shell (Xiaohu Gao, University of Washington)

University of Washington researchers have developed a multifunctional nanoparticle that enables a more precise form of medical imaging.

Nanoparticles are promising contrast agents for ultrasensitive medical imaging. But in all techniques that do not use radioactive tracers, the surrounding tissues tend to overwhelm weak signals, preventing researchers from detecting just one or a few cells.

The new nanoparticle solves this problem by for the first time… read more

Battlefield Medic on a Chip

November 4, 2008

UCSD and Clarkson scientists are developing an electronic sensor containing enzymes that detect the presence or absence of four biomarkers for battlefield injuries, such as brain trauma or shock, and treat them almost instantly by activating membranes to release the appropriate medication.

Lengthy nanotube crop may mean super-strong fibres

April 29, 2007

University of Cincinnati researchers have grown have grown aligned nanotubes a record-breaking 18 millimeters tall.

Long CNT arrays can be spun into fibers that are in theory significantly stronger and lighter than any existing fibers and are electrically conductive.

Nanotube fibers are expected to engender revolutionary advances in the development of lightweight, high-strength materials and could potentially replace copper wire.

Using Carbon Nanotubes For Quantum Computing

July 16, 2004

Academics at the University of Oxford have developed a design protocol for inserting filled molecules of Buckminsterfullerene (“Buckyballs”) into carbon, and other types of nanotubes.

The Buckyballs are themselves filled with molecules that have either an electronic or structural property that can be used to represent a quantum bit (Qubit) of information and can be associated with other adjacent Qubits. The improved stability of the system now allows several… read more

Future Phones to Read Your Voice, Gestures

November 10, 2008

Five years from now, it is likely that the mobile phone you will be holding will be a smooth, sleek brick — a piece of metal and plastic with a few grooves in it and little more.

That means speaking to your phone rather than typing, pointing with your finger instead of clicking on buttons, and gesturing instead of touching. You could listen to music, access the Internet, use… read more

A bio-inspired method to attach graphene to silicon wafers for electronic devices

December 16, 2013

capillary bridges

Drawing inspiration from how beetles and tree frogs keep their feet attached to submerged leaves, National University of Singapore (NUS) researchers have developed the first effective process, called “face-to-face transfer,” to grow and transfer high-quality graphene on silicon and other stiff substrates.

Graphene has outstanding electronic, optical and mechanical properties, but there has been no practical way to grow and transfer graphene for use in semiconductors with minimal… read more

“Ending Aging” Available For Pre-order at Amazon

May 4, 2007

The Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence (SENS) book by Aubrey de Grey and Michael Rae is now listed at Amazon, entitled Ending Aging: The Rejuvenation Biotechnologies That Could Reverse Human Aging in Our Lifetime.

It is due to be published by St. Martin’s Press on September 4, 2007.

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