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vCJD may lurk in more people than realised

May 22, 2006

The deadly human form of mad cow disease, vCJD, may have infected far more people than previously thought, suggests a new study in the British Medical Journal.

Variant Creutzfelt-Jakob disease is linked to eating meat infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), also known as mad-cow disease. A rogue version of a prion protein proliferates in the brain, leading to distressing mental deterioration, loss of motor control, and eventually death.

Most Business-Launched Virtual Worlds Fail, Gartner Says

May 19, 2008

The vast majority of virtual world projects launched by businesses fail within 18 months, because of a lack of clear objectives and a limited understanding of the demographics, attitudes, and expectations of virtual-world communities, market research firm Gartner said.

However, Gartner estimates that by 2012, 70% of organizations will have established their own private virtual worlds, because of lower expectations, clearer objectives, and better constraints. Gartner believes virtual world… read more

Training molecules to draw chips

July 24, 2003

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin have developed a way to organize molecules through lithography in “top-down meets bottom-up” system.

The team managed to draw two different types of alternating 24 nanometers long lines into silicon wafers through extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography, far smaller than transistors manufactured today.

In the future, this technique could be used to grow longer lines that could be used to retain data inside… read more

We now know that the brain controls the formation of bone

December 23, 2009

The neurotransmitter Neuropeptide Y (NPY) directly controls osteoblasts, the cells that make bone in mice, a neuroscientist from Sydney’s Garvan Institute of Medical Research, has demonstrated.

When we are starving, our brains don’t allow us to waste energy by reproducing, making fat or creating new bone. When we are eating too much, on the other hand, our brains make it easier to reproduce, store fat and create bone.

Drinking coffee makes you more open-minded

June 6, 2006

Caffeine can make you more easily convinced by arguments that go against your beliefs because it improves your ability to understand the reasoning behind statements, suggests experiments at University of Queensland.

Artificial Cornea Mimics Natural Counterpart

May 22, 2008
Stanford University)

Researchers at Stanford University have created an artificial cornea based on a soft hydrogel that is not prone to infection and other complications found with current corneal transplants.

Book Questions The Necessity Of Some Technological Marvels

August 1, 2003

Bill McKibben questions the necessity of many technological marvels and believes robotics, genetic engineering and nanotechnology present the risk of humans losing their humanity.

Best & Worst 2009

January 4, 2010

The best: Nanotech is coming on strong, cognitive liberty is on the rise, Dollhouse Rocks 2 Hour episodes, Obama sets our stem cells free, and the film Transcendent Man “kinda makes you think.”

The worst: the economy, broken promises by Obama administration, draconian action against sharing music, Terminator Salvation, and tensions between the transhumanist left and the transhumanist libertarians.

He can build them better, faster, sexier

June 14, 2006

MIT’s Media Lab researchers have developed a prosthetic “Rheo Knee” that uses AI to replicate the workings of a biological human joint and “bio-hybrids,” surgical implants that allow an amputee to control an artificial leg by thinking.

Telstra chief hosts conference as hologram

May 28, 2008

In an Australian first, Telstra’s high definition “holographic” video projection system projected a life-sized, real-time hologram of an executive, who interacted with business executives at an Adelaide conference while he stood in front of cameras in Telstra’s Melbourne office.

Visionaries Outline Space Exploration Advances at Telluride TechFest

August 12, 2003

New technological advances will bring about great change in both robotic and human exploration throughout the 21st century, according to visionary thinkers and futurists in science, technology, and the arts gathered at the annual Telluride Tech Festival.

Apple Patent Application Could Presage Thinner Devices

January 8, 2010


A new Apple patent application describes a way of integrating a touch-sensitive panel into a display, rather than layering it on top, potentially allowing for thinner and less expensive touch screens.

Molecular switch could allow for nanoelectronic devices

February 21, 2011

A single molecule attached at either end to a pair of gold electrodes forms an electrical circuit whose current can be measured. (The Biodesign Institute Arizona State University)

Nongjian “NJ” Tao, a researcher at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University, has demonstrated a clever way of controlling electrical conductance of a single molecule, by exploiting the molecule’s mechanical properties.

Such control may eventually play a role in the design of ultra-tiny electrical gadgets created to perform myriad useful tasks, from biological and chemical sensing to improving telecommunications and computer memory.

Tao leads a research team… read more

National Institute of Nanotechnology Officially Opened

June 26, 2006

The new National Institute for Nanotechnology (NINT) at the University of Alberta in Edmonton is officially open.

The $52.2-million facility is designed to provide the optimal conditions for nano-scale research and to foster collaboration between researchers. It includes a suite of characterization labs that are located in “Canada’s quietest space,” with ultra-low vibration and minimal acoustical noise or electro-magnetic interference, which is essential for research at the nanoscale.… read more

Microrobots dance on something smaller than a pin’s head

June 3, 2008

Duke University scientists have developed the first implementation of an untethered, multi-microrobotic system.

The microrobots are almost 100 times smaller than any previous robotic designs of their kind, measuring about 60 microns wide, 250 microns long and 10 microns high, and run off power scavenged from an electrified surface.

Built with microchip fabrication techniques, they are each designed to respond differently to the same single “global control signal”… read more

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