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Star survey reaches 70 sextillion

July 22, 2003

The total number of stars in the known universe visible with modern telescopes is 7 x 10^22, according to a study by Australian astronomers.

The actual number of stars could be infinite, said Dr. Simon Driver, speaking at the General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union meeting in Sydney. The universe is so big, light from the other side of the universe “hasn’t reached us yet.”

Star Trek HoloDeck 1.0 — HoloVizio 3D Makes Its Debut

June 10, 2008

Researchers with the EU-funded COHERENT project have developed the HoloVizio, a 3-D screen that can present realistic, animated 3-D images simultaneously to an unlimited number of freely moving viewers.

Viewers can walk around the screen in a wide field of view, seeing the objects and shadows moving continuously as in the normal perspective. It is even possible to look behind the objects; hidden details appear, while others disappear.… read more

Star Trek-like invisible shield discovered 7200 miles above Earth that blocks ‘killer electrons’

December 1, 2014

Scientists have discovered an invisible shield about 7,200 miles above Earth (credit: Andy Kale/University of Alberta)

A team led by the University of Colorado Boulder has discovered an invisible shield some 7,200 miles above Earth that blocks “killer electrons,” which whip around the planet at near-light speed and have been known to threaten astronauts, fry satellites, and degrade space systems during intense solar storms.

The barrier to the particle motion was discovered in the Van Allen radiation belts, two doughnut-shaped rings above Earth — an inner… read more

Star Trek-like ‘Phraselateor’ device helps police communicate

January 17, 2008

VoxTec’s Phraselator PDA-like device, developed through DARPA for use by soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq, is now being used by police in California, Florida, and Nevada.

Star Trek-like ‘Tricorder’ becomes science fact

February 28, 2007

Purdue University researchers have developed a portable sensing system to analyze chemical components, with “numerous promising uses for detecting everything from cancer in the liver to explosives residues on luggage and biomarkers in urine that provide an early warning for diseases.”

The device miniaturizes a mass spectrometer combined with a technique called desorption electrospray ionization.

“We like to compare it to the tricorder because it is truly a… read more

Star Trek’s Warp Drive: Not Impossible

May 7, 2009

The faster-than-light warp drive, one of Star Trek’s hallmark inventions, is not strictly impossible, according to some researchers.

“The idea is that you take a chunk of space-time and move it,” said Marc Millis, former head of NASA’s Breakthrough Propulsion Physics Project.

Star-shaped Cells In Brain Help With Learning

September 14, 2009

(Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology / Schorner, Klein & Paixao)

Astrocytes (star-shaped cells in the brain) play an essential role in communication between nerve cells by removing the transmitter molecule glutamate (to prevent it spilling over to another synapse), which enhances a synapse’s ability to strengthen connections, and thus improve learning and memory, Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology scientists have found.

The new findings could also aid in the basic research of diseases such as epilepsy and amyotrophic lateral… read more

Start-Up Fervor Shifts to Energy in Silicon Valley

March 14, 2007

Silicon Valley’s dot-com era may be giving way to the watt-com era. Out of the ashes of the Internet bust, many technology veterans have regrouped and found a new mission in alternative energy: developing wind power, solar panels, ethanol plants and hydrogen-powered cars.

Start-up to use genes to build better chips

August 5, 2004

Start-up company Cambrios plans to create films or crystals that can be used in semiconductors and other components by combining various types of metals with a virus that attacks the E. coli bacteria.

Startling Scientists, Plant Fixes Its Flawed Gene

March 25, 2005

In a startling discovery, Purdue University geneticists have found plants that possess a corrected version of a defective gene inherited from both their parents.

The finding implies that some organisms may contain a cryptic backup copy of their genome that bypasses the usual mechanisms of heredity.

Equally surprising, the cryptic genome appears not to be made of DNA, but of RNA, set in motion when the plant is… read more

Startram — maglev train to low earth orbit

March 13, 2012

startram-leo-0

The present cost of inserting a kilogram (2.2 lb) of cargo by rocket into low earth orbit (LEO) is about US$10,000. A manned launch to LEO costs about $100,000 per kilogram of passenger.

Instead, imagine sitting back in a comfortable magnetic levitation (maglev) train and taking a train ride into orbit.

That’s the concept for Startram, a superconducting maglev launch system.

The system would see a spacecraft… read more

Startup called Webaroo touts ‘Web on a hard drive’

April 9, 2006

Webaroo has developed a set of proprietary search algorithms that whittle the estimated one million gigabytes on the Web down to more manageable chunks that will fit on a hard drive.

They include up to 256 megabytes for a growing menu of “Web packs” on specific topics — your favorite Web sites, city guides, news summaries, Wikipedia and the like — that make up the service’s initial offerings; and… read more

Startup can detect tiny traces of cancer markers in blood samples

May 13, 2008
(Quanterix)

Cambridge (MA) startup Quanterix is developing a protein-detection technology that can count single molecules in blood samples.

The technology uses “microwells” etched into an optical fiber and coated with protein-capturing antibodies. Each well is 2.5 micrometers wide and sits at the tip of an individual thread of the fiber. If the antibodies capture a protein from a blood sample, a chemical reaction will be triggered and fluoresce… read more

Startup debuts ‘nanoimprint’ litho tool for 20-nm designs

December 4, 2002

Molecular Imprints Inc. plans to unveil next week “the world’s first step and flash imprint lithography” tool for use in processing a range of emerging devices at the 100-nm (0.10-micron) node, down to a few nanometers and at about one-tenth the cost of traditional projection systems.

The tool is geared for the emerging nanotechnology field.

Startup ducks immigration law with ‘Googleplex of the sea’

December 29, 2011

Blueseed

Blueseed has released detailed mockups of its floating incubator, intended to increase the flow of “bold and creative” foreign entrepreneurs into Silicon Valley, with seed capital from PayPal founder Peter Thiel, Wired Enterprise reports.

To get around the government’s immigration choke-hold, the startup plans to sail foreign innovators 12 miles off the Northern California shore, into international waters, without worrying about worker visas or… read more

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