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Carbon molecule with a charge could be tomorrow’s semiconductor

September 9, 2008

Virginia Tech chemistry Professor Harry Dorn has developed a new area of fullerene chemistry that may be the backbone for development of molecular semiconductors and quantum computing applications, taking advantage of spin properties of two yttrium ions inside an 80-atom carbon molecule.

‘Chemical origami’ shrinks 2D discs into 3D objects

February 26, 2007

Physicists in Israel have invented a neat method of making elaborate 3D structures from flat 2D discs.

The trick is to pre-treat a gel disc half the size of a beer coaster with a monomer solution “blueprint” that selectively shrinks when heated. The technique, which cleverly demonstrates the link between 2D and 3D geometry, could be used by engineers to create self-assembling prototypes.

Steve Jobs at D8: Post-PC era is nigh

June 2, 2010

The day is coming when only one out of every few people will need a traditional computer, said Steve Jobs at the D8 conference.

“When we were an agrarian nation, all cars were trucks because that’s what you needed on the farms.” Cars became more popular as cities rose, and things like power steering and automatic transmission became popular.

“PCs are going to be like trucks,” Jobs said.… read more

Software links chatbots to OpenCyc inference engine

April 19, 2004

New software called CyN allows you to talk to the OpenCyc commonsense inference engine from AIML chatbots.

A chatbot is a program with human-like personality that allows for natural-language conversations with computers. OpenCyc is the open-source version of Cyc technology, the world’s largest and most complete general knowledge base and commonsense reasoning engine. AIML (Artificial Intelligence Markup Language) is an XML type… read more

A Face-Finding Search Engine

September 18, 2008

Carnegie Mellon University researchers are developing software that could identify a person’s face in a low-resolution video and could be used to identify criminals or missing persons, or could be integrated into next-generation video search engines.

The ‘new age’ of super materials

March 6, 2007

Levitating high-speed trains, super-efficient power generators and ultra-powerful supercomputers would become commonplace thanks to a new breed of materials known as high temperature superconductors (HTSC).

H+ Summit @ Harvard this weekend to be streamed live, free

June 9, 2010

The H+ Summit at Harvard this coming weekend will be streamed live, starting June 12 at 9 AM, according to David Orban, Chairman of Humanity+.

“Anybody can connect free, and ask questions using the #hplussummit hashtag. Moderators will monitor the Twitter firehose and choose the best questions for speakers during Q&A sessions,” he said.

It will stream at 24 fps in H.264 MPEG-4 for… read more

New Drug Delivery Technique Avoids Needles

April 27, 2004

Microscission, a new technique of administering medication developed by MIT researchers, uses a stream of gas to deliver drugs through the skin. It uses minuscule inert crystals of aluminum oxide to remove the rough outer layer of skin and create tiny holes called microconduits that medication can move through. It could provide a less painful alternative for many patients, including those suffering from Diabetes, who frequently prick their fingers to… read more

New hope for tapping vast domestic reserves of oil shale

September 23, 2008

Researchers in Canada and Turkey have developed a new process — adding inexpensive iron powder to oil shale and heating with electric heating coils — for economically tapping vast resources of crude oil in the United States, Canada, and other countries now locked away in oil shale.

Neuron Control

March 13, 2007

A coalition of big technology companies wants to bring high-speed Internet access to consumers by allowing idle TV channels, known as white space, to be used to beam the Internet into homes and offices.

Implantable Electrodes Target Pancreatic Cancer

June 17, 2010

Implantable electrode (front and side view) (DeSimone lab, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)

Researchers at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill have designed an implant that precisely supplies chemotherapy drugs to hard-to-reach pancreatic tumors, using an electric field.

When a second electrode is pinned to the side of the body or implanted inside, an electric field can be generated, driving the drugs out of the reservoir and into the tumor.

A potential application of this device will be to… read more

Living human gut-on-a-chip may help treat intestinal disorders

March 28, 2012

The gut-on-a-chip mimics complex 3D features of the intestine in a miniaturized form. Here, blue and red liquid is pumped through the device to help visualize the upper and lower microchannels (credit: Harvard University)

A gut-on-a-chip microdevice lined by living human cells that mimics the structure, physiology, and mechanics of the human intestine — including actual gut bacteria — has been developed by researchers at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University.

As a more accurate alternative to conventional cell culture and animal models, the microdevice could help researchers gain new insights into intestinal disorders, such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative… read more

NextFest: The Shape of Things to Come: Dream Machines

May 6, 2004

Five design giants build the imaginary supergadgets of 2014:

  • The Charm Bracelet is a flexible, foldable gizmo that includes a screen, a microphone, a multipurpose camera, a biometric thumbprint scanner, and a tactile control panel, letting you access data from any convenient device.
  • [EYE]D is a workout tool that analyzes everything from vital signs to body movement and makes adjustment suggestions in real time. This information
  • read more

    NREL Solar Cell Sets World Efficiency Record at 40.8 Percent

    September 30, 2008

    Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have set a world record in solar cell efficiency with a photovoltaic device that converts 40.8 percent of the light that hits it into electricity.

    The new design uses compositions of gallium indium phosphide and gallium indium arsenide to split the solar spectrum into three equal parts that are absorbed by each of the cell’s three junctions… read more

    Robot Code of Ethics to Prevent Android Abuse, Protect Humans

    March 19, 2007

    The government of South Korea is drawing up a code of ethics to prevent human abuse of robots and vice versa.

    The Robot Ethics Charter will cover standards for robotics users and manufacturers, as well as guidelines on ethical standards to be programmed into robots.

    The document will also deal with legal issues, such as the protection of data acquired by robots and establishing clear identification and traceability… read more

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