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Computer chips get tough

August 26, 2004

A method to make virtually perfect crystals of silicon carbide could revolutionize the electronics industry.

Silicon carbide (SiC) is much better than silicon at carrying current in an electronic circuit, so it could potentially reduce the amount of energy wasted in every electronic device in the home or office. It can also operate at much higher temperatures, so it could be used in devices that would precisely control the… read more

Computer chip noise may betray code

May 12, 2004

The noise emitted by computer chips could help code breakers decipher encrypted messages.

The high-frequency audio produced by CPUs allows for distinguishing between different cryptographic keys being processed by the chip, based on the frequency of the sound emitted, and the length of a string of characters by measuring the duration of certain sounds.

Other code-breaking techniques include power-supply fluctuations exhibited by chips, electromagnetic emanations from a monitor,… read more

Computer beats human at Japanese chess for first time

October 13, 2010

A computer called Akara 2010 has beaten a human at shogi, otherwise known as Japanese chess, for the first time, in six hours , over the course of 86 moves.

IBM’s Deep Blue beat Gary Kasparov in 1997, but western chess is a relatively simple game, with only about 10123 possible games existing that can be played out. Shogi is far more complex, offering about… read more

Computer art changes to suit mood

August 7, 2006

Computer scientists have helped develop electronic artwork that changes to match the mood of the person who is looking at it.

Using images collected through a web cam, special software recognises eight key facial features that characterize the emotional state of the viewer.

It then adapts the colors and brush strokes of the digital artwork to suit the changing mood of the viewer.

Computer analysis predicted rises, ebbs in Afghanistan violence

July 24, 2012


Researchers at Bitly Inc. have used WikiLeaks data from incident reports to predict which which areas of Afghanistan would experience more violence in 2010 and which would have less, and how much the level of violence went up or down, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The project is part of a growing movement to understand and predict episodes of political and military conflict using automated computational techniques.

The availability of huge amounts of… read more

Computer Animation Techniques

January 13, 2003

Some companies have developed a newer type of animation that requires less processing power.

Computational method predicts new uses for existing medicines

August 18, 2011

(Credit: copyright Marina Sirota)

Researchers at Stanford University are using computers and genomic information to predict new uses for existing medicines by analyzing genomic and drug data.

The scientists drew their data from the NIH National Center for Biotechnology Information Gene Expression Omnibus, a publicly available database that contains the results of thousands of genomic studies on a wide range of topics, submitted by researchers across the globe.… read more

Computational limits of spacetime

April 3, 2001

Forget Moore’s Law. Forget quantum computing. The real limits to computational growth may be the “foaminess” (noise) of spacetime itself at the level of 10-35 meters, says Jack Ng of the University of North Carolina, as reported in Physics News 532, March 28, 2001.

“The foaminess of spacetime leads to an uncertainty in timekeeping (the more accurate the clock, the shorter its lifetime), which in turn… read more

Computational feat speeds finding of genes to milliseconds instead of years

March 16, 2010

Computational analysis of existing data bases can dramatically shorten the time required to discover the specific combination of new genes involved in certain biological processes, Stanford University researchers have found.

The analytic methods can provide clues about where researchers should look next, such as finding new genes that play a role in developing cancers.

More info: Stanford School of Medicine

Computational biomarkers can identify at-risk heart attack victims

September 29, 2011

EKG electrocardiogram (credit: iStockphoto)

Subtle markers of heart damage hidden in plain sight among hours of EKG recordings could help doctors identify which heart attack patients are at high risk of dying soon, researchers from the University of Michigan, MIT, Harvard Medical School, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston have discovered,

The findings could help match tens of thousands of cardiac patients with life-saving treatment in time. Approximately… read more

Compression algorithms harnessed to fight HIV

February 25, 2005

Microsoft algorithms used to compress digital images and recognize patterns in email spam are being used to help scientists identify key genetic features across many different strains of HIV.

This could enable them to engineer an HIV vaccine that is effective against several strains at once.

Comprehensive model is first to map protein folding at atomic level

November 12, 2006

Scientists at Harvard University have developed a computer model that can fully map and predict protein folding for some 10 microseconds — about as long as some proteins take to assume their biologically stable configuration, and at least a thousand times longer than previous methods.

“This appears to have achieved a holy grail: simulating and predicting protein folding from a linear amino acid sequence,” said Ray Kurzweil. “It is… read more

Compounds that stimulate stem cell growth in the brain identified

September 1, 2006

Harvard University scientists have identified key compounds that stimulate stem cell growth in the brain, which may one day lead to restored function for people affected by Parkinson’s disease, strokes, multiple sclerosis, and a wide range of neurological disorders.

The research study focused on two compounds–LTB4 and LXA4. Both play a role in inflammation and are regulators of proliferation of several cell types. When stem cells isolated from the… read more

Compound blocks neurodegeneration in mice

October 30, 2013


An orally administered compound that prevents neurodegeneration in mice has been developed by researchers at the Medical Research Council (MRC) Toxicology Unit at the University of Leicester.

The team had found previously (Nature) that the build up of misfolded proteins in the brains of mice with prion disease over-activates a natural defense mechanism in cells, which switches off the production of new proteins.… read more

Complexity science: next big thing

September 4, 2001

The next big thing will be complexity science, the study of how order inevitability emerges from chaos, says Internet pioneer Jim Rutt. Rutt is interested in applying the theories of complexity science to develop computers, systems and software that will independently think and learn.

“When Ray Kurzweil wrote ‘Spiritual Age of Machines,’ I thought he was nuts,” Rutt said. “But now, I’m convinced that he is definitely onto something.… read more

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