science + technology news

TED: MIT Students Turn Internet Into a Sixth Human Sense — Video

February 9, 2009

Students at the MIT Media Lab have developed a wearable computing system that turns any surface into an interactive display screen.

The wearer can summon virtual gadgets and Internet data at will.

Pattie Maes of the lab’s Fluid Interfaces group said the research is aimed at creating a new digital “sixth sense” for humans that comes from computers and the Internet.

New sensor could lead to low-cost medical imaging and night vision using smartphones and cameras

May 26, 2014

SEM image showing C60 fullerene nanorod photoconductor fabricated by depositing C60 nanorod film onto pre-patterned gold electrodes. Inset: SEM image showing C60 nanorods bridging 10-micron-wide electrodes. (Credit: Rinku Saran et al./Scientific Reports)

Low-cost medical and security cameras could be possible in the future thanks to a new multispectral light sensor developed by University of Surrey researchers. The sensor can detect the full spectrum of light, from ultraviolet (UV) to visible and near-infrared light.

“Until now … multiple sensors were required to measure different ranges of the light spectrum, significantly increasing cost,” said lead researcher Richard Curry, PhD. from the… read more

EU project builds artificial brain for robots

August 29, 2007

University of Granada scientists have built Sensopac, the first artificial cerebellum to help robots manipulate and interact with humans.

One possible use for the robots would be as home-helpers for disabled people. The next step for the Sensopac project will be to develop an artificial skin for the robots, making them look more human-like, and making them information-sensitive in the same way as human skin is.

Antibiotic Resistant Bacterium Uses Sonar-Like Strategy to ‘See’ Enemies Or Prey

December 28, 2004

Scientists have found that bacteria can use a Sonar-like system to spot other cells (either normal body cells or other bacteria) and target them for destruction.

Reported in the December 24 issue of Science, this finding explains how some bacteria know when to produce a toxin that makes infection more severe. It may lead to the design of new toxin inhibitors.

Schepens Eye Research Institute newsread more

In historic shift, smartphones, tablets to overtake PCs

December 8, 2010

Shipments of smartphones, tablets and other app-enabled devices will overtake PC shipments in the next 18 months, an event that may signify the end of the PC-centric era, market research firm IDC said.

Cloud computing will also expand. Public cloud services will grow by 30% in 2011, rising to $28.7 billion worldwide.

Artificial Intelligence for the New Millennium

June 30, 2001

For those wondering when artificial intelligence will truly take root, here’s a bulletin: it already has.

The “A.I.” movie might awaken venture capitalists to the commercial potential of research projects in controversial areas like the emotional dimensions of machine intelligence. The film asks what would become of a childlike robot programmed to love a human mother. Researchers said “A.I.” could build support for today’s more mundane goals of using… read more

Mathematics: The only true universal language

February 16, 2009

“Maybe in the far future… post-human intelligence will develop hypercomputers with the processing power to simulate living things — even entire worlds,” says Martin Rees, professor of cosmology and astrophysics at the University of Cambridge.

“Perhaps advanced beings could even simulate a ‘universe’ that goes far beyond mere patterns on a chequer-board and the best movie special effects. Their simulated universe could be as complex as the one we… read more

A self-assembling protein nanocage

Could be used for targeted delivery of drugs, vaccine development, and electronic devices
June 10, 2014

This is a computational model of a successfully designed two-component protein nanocage with tetrahedral symmetry (credit: Dr. Vikram Mulligan)

University of Washington (UW) scientists have developed a new computational method for building new customized proteins that self-assemble (like biological systems) to revolutionize things like targeted delivery of drugs, vaccine development, and even electronic devices.

The work is based in the Rosetta macromolecular modeling package, which was developed by David Baker’s laboratory at the UW Institute for Protein Design, in collaboration… read more

Drawing nanoscale features the fast and easy way

September 11, 2007

Scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a new technique for nanolithography that is extremely fast and capable of being used in a range of environments including air and liquids.

The technique, known as thermochemical nanolithography, may allow industry to produce a variety of nanopatterned structures, including nanocircuits, at a speed and scale that could make their manufacture commercially viable. Using an atomic force microscope (AFM), researchers… read more

Fuel cell artificial muscles being developed

January 10, 2005

Researchers at the NanoTech Institute at The University of Texas at Dallas are developing artificial muscles that convert chemical energy to mechanical energy.

The proposed artificial muscles are at the same time fuel cells, supercapacitors and mechanical actuators; the same elements convert a high energy density fuel to electrical energy, store this energy and use it to do mechanical work. The artificial muscles will also use strong, tough carbon… read more

Taiwan scientists claim microchip ‘breakthrough’

December 14, 2010

Taiwanese scientists at the National Nano Device Laboratory have succeeded in producing a circuit measuring just nine nanometers across, with about 20 times the storage capacity of memory units now available on the market and consuming just one 200th of the electricity.

Scientists rewriting the genetic code

July 24, 2001

Scientists are taking the first steps toward creating alternative life forms — organisms that use a genetic code different from the one used by all other creatures on earth.
Scientists hope that such organisms can be used to study biochemical processes in new ways and to produce new medical or electronic materials that cannot now be made by living things.

The research goes well beyond current genetic engineering, which… read more

Road Map for Financial Recovery: Radical Transparency Now!

February 24, 2009

“We need to rethink our entire philosophy of regulation,” says Wired writer David Roth. “Instead of assigning oversight responsibility to a finite group of bureaucrats, we should enable every investor to act as a citizen-regulator.

“We should tap into the massive parallel processing power of people around the world by giving everyone the tools to track, analyze, and publicize financial machinations. The result would be a wave of decentralized… read more

Surface plasmons enhance nanostructure possibilities

September 19, 2007

Scientists from University College London and at the Queen’s University of Belfast have demonstrated a method of achieving ultrahigh light dispersion that makes use of surface plasmon polaritons on nanostructures.

Uses would be in such areas as quantum information processing, lab-on-chip applications for spectral analysis, chemistry and electronic engineering, and optical communications as signal processing devices.

Skin and bones ‘made to measure’

January 19, 2005

University of Manchester scientists are developing an inkjet printer that can create “made to measure” skin and bones to treat people with severe burns or disfigurements.

Human cells are suspended in a nutrient-rich liquid before being printed out in several thin layers. The printers create 3-D structures, known as tissue scaffolds.

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