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Beyond the Biopsy: A Tiny Monitor for Cancer

August 31, 2009

Cancer monitoring devices the size of a grain of rice that can be deposited at the site of a tumor have been developed by MIT and Harvard researchers.

The devices use magnetic nanoparticles coated with a chemical that can bind with cancer biomarker molecules, creating minuscule clumps that can be detected by a non-invasive scan like an MRI (or by a hand-held magnetic resonance detector in the future).… read more

Is Anti-Virus Software Obsolete?

July 22, 2002

Traditional desktop anti-virus software, based on the signature-based reactive approach, is no longer an adequate defense, say analysts. The new direction is “digital watchtowers”: scanning engines with artificial intelligence that look at patterns and unusual characteristics within e-mails before they come into a customer’s network.

AI researchers think ‘Rascals’ can pass Turing test

March 14, 2008

Passing the Turing test–the holy grail of AI (a human conversing with a computer can’t tell it’s not human)–may now be possible in a limited way with the world’s fastest supercomputer (IBM’s Blue Gene) and mimicking the behavior of a human-controlled avatar in a virtual world, according to AI experts at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

“We are building a knowledge base that corresponds to all of the relevant background for… read more

Turning the concept of search on its head

July 26, 2005

Watson, a tool from Intellext that turns the concept of search on its head, does the searching for you. It runs in the background as you work, analyzing your documents and looking for relevant information.

Welcome to the library. Say goodbye to the books.

September 7, 2009

Electronic readers made by and Sony and Internet-connected laptops are replacing books at the Cushing Academy prep school in New England.

Stelarc: Pushing the body’s boundaries

July 26, 2011

Stelarc is a performance artist who explores the capabilities of the human body.

“All of my projects explore alternate anatomical architectures — a body with a third hand, or an extra ear, or an artwork inside a bodily space instead of a public space,” he says. “We are biological bodies, but we are often accelerated, augmented, and enhanced by technology. There may be a time soon when… read more

Genome Pioneer Will Start Center of His Own

August 15, 2002

J. Craig Venter plans to build what he believes will be the nation’s largest genome sequencing center to introduce new technology that vastly decreases the time and cost required to determine the DNA code of people, animals and microbes.

One goal, he said, is to get the cost down to $2,000 to $3,000 to analyze a person’s entire genome, compared with the hundreds of millions of dollars it took… read more

Findings Could Improve Fuel Cell Efficiency

March 19, 2008

Researchers at Duke University’s Pratt School of Engineering have developed a membrane using iron nanoparticles that allows fuel cells to operate at a lower humidity and potentially at higher temperatures and greater efficiencies than today’s membranes.

Remote-Controlled Humans

August 7, 2005

Nippon Telegraph and Telephone researchers have developed a device based on galvanic vestibular stimulation (a weak DC current is delivered to the mastoid behind your ear) that allows the wearer to be steered by remote control.

Possible applications include gaming and flight simulators.

First Solar To Build 2-Gigawatt Solar Power Plant in China

September 14, 2009

First Solar has signed a deal with Chinese officials to build a nuclear-plant-size 2,000 megawatt solar-power plant in Inner Mongolia by 2019, at an estimated cost of $5 billion to $6 billion (based on costs in the U.S., but less in China).

Radio emerges from the electronic soup

September 2, 2002

A self-organising electronic circuit with evolutionary computer program to “breed” an oscillator circuit has stunned engineers by turning itself into a radio receiver. Researchers discovered that the evolving circuit had used the computer’s circuit board itself as an antenna, picking up a signal from a nearby computer and delivering it as an output.

Avatar Mimics You in Real Time

March 26, 2008

An international team has built vision- and speech-driven avatar technology that imitates 66 facial expressions and basic hand gestures in real time.

Most clinical studies on vitamins flawed by poor methodology, analysis finds

January 31, 2013

(credit: Linus Pauling Institute)

Most large, clinical trials of vitamin supplements, including some that have concluded they are of no value or even harmful, have a flawed methodology that renders them largely useless in determining the real value of these micronutrients, a new analysis suggests.

Many projects have tried to study nutrients that are naturally available in the human diet the same way they would a powerful prescription drug.

This leads to… read more

Nanotube sheets come of age

August 19, 2005

Large, transparent sheets of carbon nanotubes can now be produced at lightning speed. The new technique should allow the nanotubes to be used in commercial devices from heated car windows to flexible television screens.

At team led by Ray Baughman, a chemist from the University of Texas at Dallas, can churn out up to ten meters of nanoribbon every minute. This ribbon can be up to five centimeters wide… read more

Missing Limb? Salamander May Have Answer

September 23, 2002

Salamanders are the superstars of regeneration. They can grow back not only limbs but also tails, parts of their hearts and the retinas and lenses in their eyes. Humans cannot do any of that. So scientists hope that the salamander’s tricks may one day be applied to people. Natural regeneration, which might be accomplished with drugs or genes, would be easier than transplanting, researchers say. And the tissue would be… read more

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