science + technology news

How a Computer Knows What Many Managers Don’t

July 9, 2006

Many mutual funds that make their trades based on the recommendations of a proprietary computer model, known as quantitative or quant funds, have outperformed their benchmarks in the last three years.

Researchers do precise gene therapy without a needle

October 17, 2011

Uncoiling DNA strands form precise patterns, a prelude to biologically based electronics and medical devices (credit: Ohio State University)

L. James Lee and his colleagues at Ohio State University have successfully inserted specific doses of an anti-cancer gene into individual leukemia cells to kill them without a needle. The technique uses electricity to “shoot” bits of therapeutic biomolecules through a tiny channel and into a cell in a fraction of a second.

They have dubbed the method “nanochannel electroporation” (NEP).… read more

Electricity grids wide open to hackers on Internet

August 28, 2003

The revelation that a computer worm disabled a safety system in a US nuclear power station in January has led to fresh calls for security on electricity grids to be overhauled, according to New Scientist.

Experts say much of the grid’s critical infrastructure is too accessible to the virus-ridden public Internet.

When the Davis-Besse nuclear power plant in Ohio was hit by the Slammer worm this… read more

How Intelligent Vehicles Will Increase the Capacity of Our Roads

December 23, 2009

As the percentage of computer-controlled cars on the road increases, traffic should flow smoothly for longer, says a new study by the Technical University of Dresden.

Cat brain could provide bionic eye firmware

May 22, 2008

Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute researchers hope one day to develop implants that make it possible for people to see without an optic nerve, by stimulating a part of the brain called the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN), which receives and processes visual information from the retina, via the optic nerve, before sending it on to the cerebral cortex.

The team recorded the responses of 49 individual neurons in a cat’s… read more

Desire Controls What We See, Study Finds

July 17, 2006

Cornell University psychologists found that participants in an experiment interpreted figures in a way that would lead them to a reward, by tracking automatic, unconscious eye movements.

Real-life inception: Army looks to ‘counteract nightmares’ with digital dreams

October 26, 2011
Power dreaming

In an Army-backed experiment called “Power Dreaming,” Naval Hospital Bremerton in Washington State will help traumatized troops battle their nightmares — with soothing, digitally-made dreams crafted in virtual worlds, Wired Danger Room reports.

The project is a form of biofeedback therapy, in which a PTSD sufferer is fed real-time data on his physical stress levels so that he can be cued to calm down. If he successfully… read more

Nano China

September 11, 2003

China is now one of the world leaders in newly registered nanotechnology firms, with more than 600 over the past three years, according to Helmut Kaiser Consultancy, which is conducting a study, “Nanotechnology in China State 2003 and Development 2006-2010-2015.”

China has the advantage of high flexibility, low labor costs, no barriers for new technologies, young and vibrant society, venture capital, underestimated currency (today about 40 percent… read more

Multitouch Screens Could Enliven New Devices

December 31, 2009

New York University Media Research Lab’s Touchco spinoff has developed a new kind of multitouch based on interpolating force-sensitive resistance (IFSR)–using force-sensitive resistors, which become more conductive as you apply different levels of pressure.

This allows for very low power, low cost, unlimited simultaneous touch inputs and the possibility of fully flexible multitouch devices.

Microfiltering Sepsis

May 28, 2008

Children’s Hospital Boston researchers are developing a microfluidic filtration device to rapidly pump blood out of the body and clear it of sepsis-causing pathogens before sending the blood back to the body.

Severe sepsis happens when the immune system overreacts to bacterial or fungal infections. As sepsis sets in, inflammation rapidly spreads through the body, often shutting down organs and potentially leading to death. Each year, intensive care units… read more

Coming soon: Google on your brain

July 28, 2006

Our software and data is moving to giant remote servers connected to the Internet while other trends are taking us toward ultimate mobility.

The cellphone is becoming more like a PC while the PC is becoming more like a cellphone. In short, the next great era of computing — succeeding the PC one — will likely be about smaller, cheaper, more-powerful portable devices.

Extreme-ultraviolet microscope to create next generation of microchips

November 2, 2011

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An extreme-ultraviolet (EUV) microscope for creating the next generation of chips has been created by scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) in collaboration with leading semiconductor manufacturers.

Called SHARP (Semiconductor High-NA Actinic Reticle Review Project), the new microscope will be dedicated to photolithography, the central process in the creation of microchips.

Within the coming years, semiconductor devices… read more

5 Technologies That Will Change the World

September 30, 2003

Five technologies that could change the world are three-D printing to allow designers and engineers to get new products to market faster, biosimulation to speed development of more effective new drugs, autonomic computing (computers smart enough to configure themselves), Internet-like “distributed generation” power networks placed closer to where the power is actually being used, and smart tags to allow products to be tracked through the distribution network.

Most beautiful math structure appears in lab for first time

January 8, 2010

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A complex form of mathematical symmetry linked to string theory has been glimpsed in the real world for the first time, in laboratory experiments on exotic crystals.

The structure is also the basis for another proposed theory of everything advanced in 2007 by surfer-physicist Garrett Lisi, who refers to E8 as “perhaps the most beautiful structure in mathematics”.

Dark, Perhaps Forever

June 3, 2008

Although cosmologists have adopted a cute name, dark energy, for whatever is driving this apparently antigravitational behavior on the part of the universe, nobody claims to understand why it is happening, or its implications for the future of the universe and of the life within it, despite thousands of learned papers, scores of conferences and millions of dollars’ worth of telescope time.

It has led some cosmologists to the… read more

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