science + technology news

U. makes a healing ‘bio-paper’

November 8, 2005

An emerging branch of medicine called “organ printing” takes a patient’s own healthy cells and uses a printer, cell-based “bio-ink” and “bio-paper” to create tissue to repair a damaged organ.

A new NSF-funded study will try first to print blood vessels and cardiovascular networks. Once they prove it can be done, the scientists will look at more complex organs such as livers and kidneys and simpler but more mechanical… read more

Amazon creates artificial artificial intelligence

November 7, 2005 has launched a new program called Amazon Mechanical Turk, through which a computer can ask humans to perform tasks that it can’t do itself, such as identifying objects in photographs.

Researchers Look to Create a Synthesis of Art and Science for the 21st Century

November 7, 2005

Artists play an equal role with research scientists in the futuristic research “collaboratory” being assembled by astrophysicist Larry Smarr, director of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology, or Calit2, a $400 million research consortium assembled over the last five years.

One current project is to create a pack of “feral” robotic dogs with artificial intelligence capabilities and let them loose in a San Diego neighborhood. The robots… read more

Fab Labs Unshackle Imaginations

November 7, 2005

Advocates of “Fab Labs” think they have the potential to vastly expand the creative powers of tinkerers and usher in a revolution in do-it-yourself design and manufacturing that can empower even the smallest of communities.

MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms began setting up Fab Labs three years ago as free community resources, using part of a $12.5 million National Science Foundation grant and local financing.

Each lab… read more

Just Googling It Is Striking Fear Into Companies

November 7, 2005

Google’s recent moves have stirred concern in industries from book publishing to telecommunications. Businesses already feeling the Google effect include advertising, software and the news media, real estate and auto sales.

Google could extend its economic reach in the next few years as more people get high-speed Internet service and cellphones become full-fledged search tools, according to analysts. And ever-smarter software, they say, will cull and organize larger and… read more

xMax sparks low power wireless revolution

November 7, 2005

xG Technology has demonstrated wireless broadband 1000 times more efficient than WiMax, and claims the technique could also make wireless LANs that will run for years on watch batteries and could allow anyone to set up as a wireless ISP.

The robot that thinks like you…

November 4, 2005

“Scientists built a robot that thinks like we do and set it loose to explore the world. New Scientist discovers what happened next

“The infant crawls across a floor strewn with blocks, grabbing and tasting as it goes, its malleable mind impressionable and hungry to learn. Before my eyes it is already adapting, discovering that the striped blocks are yummy and the spotted ones taste bad.

“Its exploration… read more

Robert Moog (1934-2005)

November 4, 2005

Motivated by a love for invention and for interacting with the musicians who used his technology, the synthesizer whiz had a profound impact on the music world, as Ray Kurzweil notes.

“In the 20th century, musical devices went beyond such natural ones (which were sometimes electrically amplified) to fully embrace high technology in the form of electronic music synthesis. The first synthesizers appeared in the early 1900s, but they… read more

U.S. Patent Office Publishes the First Patent Application to Claim a Fictional Storyline

November 4, 2005

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will publish history’s first “storyline patent” application today. Inventor Andrew Knight will assert publication-based provisional patent rights against the entertainment industry.

Knight will assert publication-based provisional patent rights against anyone whose activities may fall within the scope of his published claims, including all major motion picture manufacturers and distributors, book publishers and distributors, television studios and broadcasters, and movie theaters.

Source:… read more

Google adds library texts to search database

November 4, 2005

Google said Wednesday that it had completed the first major expansion of its Google Print database of searchable books, adding the full text of more than 10,000 works that are no longer under copyright, culled from the collections of four major research libraries.

The entire text of the works can be searched and read online through the Google Print site. Users can also save individual pages and cut and… read more

Scientists Crack Code for Motor Neuron Wiring

November 4, 2005

Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) researchers have deciphered a key part of the regulatory code that governs how motor neurons in the spinal cord connect to specific target muscles in the limbs.

The researchers said that understanding this code may help guide progress in restoring motor neuron function in people whose spinal cords have been damaged by trauma or disease. The studies suggest that the code — which involves… read more

Silicon chip works on the speed of light

November 3, 2005

A silicon chip that can carry light and even slow it down by a factor of 300 has been unveiled by IBM researchers in the US.

The idea is that such a device could synchronise data streams by slowing some streams, allowing others to catch up.

The chip demonstrates some of the essential techniques for creating high-speed photonic memory, which many researchers believe will one day make electronic… read more

Earliest starlight of the universe is revealed

November 3, 2005

NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope may have detected the infrared glow from the very first generation of stars, a new study reports. If confirmed, the work would reveal the structure of the universe a few hundred million years after the big bang, when the galaxies that exist today were just beginning to take shape.

Astronomers zoom in on galaxy’s glittering heart

November 2, 2005

Astronomers have obtained the closest glimpse yet of the supermassive black hole thought to lurk at the center of our galaxy. They focused on radio emissions around the black hole over an area equal in width to the distance between the Earth and the Sun.

If astronomers are able to see up to the edge of the black hole’s event horizon — beyond which no light can… read more

Finding Signals in the Noise

November 2, 2005

A torrent of startups has surfaced recently to help us filter, manage, and control the flood of information on the Web. Some rely on insightful algorithms that understand popularity to filter the news, while others rely on the preferences of readers.

For example, Digg is a San Francisco startup that ranks news items by letting people choose which stories they like.

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