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The Fight to End Aging Gains Legitimacy, Funding

June 26, 2008

Some scientists are beginning to view biogerontologist Aubrey de Grey’s approach — looking at aging as a disease and bringing in more disciplines into gerontology — as worthwhile.

His Methuselah Foundation now has an annual research funding budget of several million dollars, de Grey says, and it’s beginning to show lab results that he thinks will turn scientists’ heads.

Starting Friday, the Methuselah Foundation, is sponsoring its first… read more

The Fingerprints of Embryos

May 27, 2008

Researchers at Monash University, in Australia, led by in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and stem-cell pioneer Alan Trounson, have harnessed DNA fingerprinting (used to settle paternity suits and implicate criminals) to match an embryo to the baby it ultimately becomes.

The technique may help researchers develop tests to more reliably discriminate between viable embryos and their nonviable siblings.

When multiple embryos are transferred into a woman’s uterus during IVF and… read more

The first all-carbon solar cell

Imagine low-cost solar cells painted on buildings, windows, and cars to provide electricity
November 1, 2012

All-carbon solar cell consists of a photoactive layer, which absorbs sunlight, sandwiched between two electrodes (credit: Bao group, Stanford University)

Stanford University scientists have built the first solar cell made entirely of carbon, a promising alternative to the expensive materials used in photovoltaic devices today.

“Carbon has the potential to deliver high performance at a low cost,” said study senior author Zhenan Bao, a professor of chemical engineering at Stanford.

“To the best of our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of… read more

The First Church of Robotics

August 10, 2010

“By allowing artificial intelligence to reshape our concept of personhood, we are leaving ourselves open to the flipside: we think of people more and more as computers, just as we think of computers as people,” says author and computer scientist Jeron Lanier. “The constant stream of stories about AI suggests that machines are becoming smart and autonomous, a new form of life, and that we should think of them as… read more

The first flexible, transparent, and conductive material

Could finally lead to a fully foldable cell phone or television screen
February 6, 2014

UH Au nanomesh

University of Houston researchers have developed a new stretchable and transparent electrical conductor, bringing the potential for a fully foldable cell phone, or a flat-screen television that can be folded and carried under your arm, closer to reality.

Such a material has to be transparent, flexible, and conductive. Some materials have two of the components, but until now, finding one with all three has remained difficult.

Zhifeng Ren,… read more

The First Full-Color Display with Quantum Dots

February 22, 2011

Color quantum dots and oxide thin-film transistors work together in this new active matrix display prototype. (Byoung Lyong Choi, Samsung Electronics)

Researchers at Samsung Electronics have made the first full-color display that uses quantum dots, promising to lead to brighter, cheaper, and more energy-efficient displays than those found in today’s cell phones and MP3 players.

Samsung’s four-inch diagonal display is controlled using an active matrix, which means each of its color quantum-dot pixels is turned on and off with a thin-film transistor. The researchers have made the prototype on glass… read more

The first plastic computer chip

March 28, 2011

Microprocessor made from organic materials  (credit: IMEC)

Researchers at the IMEC nanotechnology center in Leuven, Belgium have used 4,000 plastic, organic transistors to create a microprocessor that measures roughly two centimeters square, built on top of flexible plastic foil.

Plastic processors could be useful in places where silicon is barred by its cost or physical inflexibility, and the lower cost of the organic materials compared to conventional silicon should make the plastic approach around 10 times… read more

The First Three Days of Singularity University

July 7, 2009

The first three days of Singularity University featured lectures on AI and Robotics, the Internet Infrastructure, the Singularity, Nanotech, the future of energy, and the Internet (with Vint Cerf).

More to follow.

The first virtual reality technology to let you see, hear, smell, taste and touch

March 5, 2009
Concept design of a mobile Virtual Cocoon

U.K. scientists are creating the “Virtual Cocoon,” a new “Real Virtuality” (all senses stimulated to create a fully immersive perceptual experience) device that can stimulate all five senses much more realistically than any other current or prospective device.

The Flaw at the Heart of the Internet

October 22, 2008

Security researcher Dan Kaminsky first spotted a basic vulnerability in the Domain Name Service (DNS) for the Internet last winter.

Despite fixes, the vulnerability is still there for companies with unpatched servers.

The Flight of Dragonfly Robots

June 11, 2008

Studies of wing motion and air forces that reveal how dragonflies achieve their agility may enable roboticists to eventually build capable, swift biomimetic micro air vehicles that use four wings.

The food you eat may change your genes for life

November 18, 2005

Normal rats have been made to behave differently just by injecting them with L-methionine, a common amino acid and food supplement. The change to their behavior was permanent. The amino acid altered the way the rat’s genes were expressed, raising the idea that drugs or dietary supplements might permanently halt the genetic effects that predispose people to mental or physical illness.

The Fountain of Health

April 5, 2006

Calorie restriction delays the onset of a broad swath of age-related diseases, so some biologists hope that a drug that mimics the molecular effects of calorie restriction might also delay the onset of some or all of these diseases.

Part 2 of the article

The free ride is over for streaming video

May 21, 2012


Comcast’s plans to do away with its 250 GB data cap and charge users based upon usage marks the end of an era for cable TV providers, and for the online video industry, TechCrunch reports.


The Future — According to nVidia

May 26, 2008

According to nVidia, the role of the CPU will dramatically decrease in the future, with more GPGPU usage (the use of the graphics chip to process regular programs) and co-existence of “competing” technologies like ray tracing and rasterization.

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