science + technology news

Cool or fool? Which of these news stories are fake?

April 1, 2012


OK, we admit it may not always be obvious, but KurzweilAI does not make up its news items. Really. Well … except this time. Your mission: figure out which of these stories are fake or real. (No fair Googling, or clicking “REVEAL” until you answer in Comments below!) — Ed.

1. Bonobos to communicate with humans via robots and the Internet 

Using large touchscreen… read more

Cool New Ideas to Save Brains

February 10, 2004

A “cool helmet” and a corkscrew device that removes clots in blood vessels are among radical new technologies for stroke treatment.

Cool electrons enable transistors with low energy consumption

September 12, 2014

A chip, which contains nanoscale structures that enable electron cooling at room temperature, is pictured (credit: UT Arlington)

UT Arlington researchers have discovered a way to cool electrons to -228 °C at room temperature, which could lead to a new type of transistor that can operate at extremely low energy consumption levels.

The process involves passing electrons through a quantum well to cool them and keep them from heating. The team detailed its research in Nature Communications (open access) on Wednesday, Sept. 10.

“We… read more

Cooking nanomaterials in a microwave oven to make tomorrow’s solid-state air conditioners and refrigerators

January 11, 2012

cooking nanomaterials

Here’s how to make highly efficient refrigerators and cooling systems requiring no refrigerants and no moving parts: simply cook nanoscale thermoelectric materials with sulfur in a standard microwave oven, according to engineering researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI).

Thermoelectric refrigerators using solid-state cooling systems have been available for more than 20 years, but they are still small and highly inefficient because the materials are expensive… read more

‘Cooking’ carbon nanotubes like spaghetti

May 1, 2006

Scientists from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have developed a technique to force a variety of enzymes to self-assemble layer-by-layer on carbon nanotubes with the help of noodle-like polymer molecules.

In “A biosensor layered like lasagna,” the researchers say that this technique can be applied to a wide range of applications. In particular, it will be possible to build other biosensors “that react specifically with other biological chemicals,… read more

Cooking and Cognition: How Humans Got So Smart

August 14, 2008

A spurt in human intelligence about 150,000 years ago was caused by eating (mostly) cooked meals, which would have lessened the energy needs of our digestion systems, thereby freeing up calories for our brains, says researcher Philipp Khaitovich of the Partner Institute for Computational Biology in Shanghai.

But some of our most common mental health problems, ranging from depression and bipolar disorder to autism and schizophrenia, may be by-products… read more

Cook affirms Apple wearable-computing scenario

May 30, 2013


Speaking at the D11 Conference on Tuesday night in the opening tête-à-tête, Apple CEO Tim Cook offered muted praise for Google Glass but dismissed its mainstream appeal while calling wearable computing on your wrist “interesting” and “natural,” Jason Hiner writes on ZDNet.

Cook also predicted that the next generation of wearable computing will do more than just one thing such as activity tracking.

That kind… read more

Convincing Computer Animation Recreates Hudson Plane Landing

March 11, 2009

The breathtaking computer animation in this video vividly and precisely recreates the flight path and Hudson river landing of US Airways Flight 1549 — and the high-speed realtime decision to land in the river, saving the lives of everyone on board.

Converting skin cells to neurons more efficiently

April 12, 2012


Researchers at the University of Bonn Institute of Reconstructive Neurobiology have converted skin and umbilical cord cells directly into nerve cells for disease research, cell replacement, and development of active substances.


There was much excitement surrounding cell reprogramming with the breakthrough of Shinya Yamanaka. In 2006, the Japanese scientist was able to reprogram skin cells for the first time with the aid of a few control factors… read more

Converting images into music helps blind identify, reach for object

Musical tones encodes vertical and horizontal location, brightness, and colors
July 9, 2012



Scientists have trained blindfolded sighted participants to perform fast and accurate movements using a new Sensory substitution devices (SSD) called EyeMusic.

SSDs use sound or touch to help the visually impaired perceive the visual scene surrounding them. EyeMusic, developed by Hebrew University of Jerusalem researchers, uses pleasant musical tones and scales to help the visually impaired “see.”

It scans an image and represents… read more

Converting fat cells from liposection to liver cells in nine days — a regenerative medicine breakthrough

New method would replace costly, highly invasive liver transplantation, could be available for clinical testing in two to three years
October 23, 2013

Liver regeneration2

A fast, efficient way to turn cells extracted from routine liposuction into liver cells — a feat with huge potential for regenerative medicine — has been developed by Stanford University School of Medicine scientists

The scientists performed their experiments in mice, but the adipose (fat) stem cells they used came from human liposuction and actually became human, liver-like cells that flourished inside the mice’s bodies.… read more

Converting DVD into HD DVD

June 26, 2007

Researchers at Intel have developed an algorithm, “super resolution,” that, by leveraging the power of multiple microprocessors, can boost the resolution of a video as it plays in real time.

Converting blood stem cells to sensory neural cells to predict and treat pain

Allows for discovering new pain drugs and predicting effects for individual patients
May 25, 2015

stem cell to neuron

Stem-cell scientists at McMaster University have developed a way to directly convert adult human blood cells to sensory neurons, providing the first objective measure of how patients may feel things like pain, temperature, and pressure, the researchers reveal in an open-access paper in the journal Cell Reports.

Currently, scientists and physicians have a limited understanding of the complex issue of pain and how to treat it. “The problem is that… read more

Converting atmospheric carbon dioxide into carbon nanotubes for use in batteries

March 4, 2016

CO2 to CNTs ft

The electric vehicle of the future will be carbon negative (reducing the amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide) not just carbon neutral (not adding CO2 to the atmosphere), say researchers at Vanderbilt University and George Washington University (GWU).

The trick: replace graphite electrodes in lithium-ion batteries (used in electric vehicles) with carbon nanotubes and carbon nanofibers recovered from carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The new technology… read more

Converting algae to crude oil — a million-year natural process — in minutes

December 20, 2013

Algae slurry

Engineers at the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have created a continuous chemical process that produces useful crude oil from harvested algae in minutes, described in the journal Algae Research.

Utah-based Genifuel Corp. has licensed the technology and is working with an industrial partner to build a pilot plant using the technology.

How to create ‘instant oil’

A slurry of… read more

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