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Project Tuva or Bust: How Microsoft’s Spin on Feynman Could Change the Way We Learn

July 26, 2009

Microsoft Research’s new Project Tuva website puts some of physicist Richard Feynman’s most famous physics lectures online as videos and transcripts, and invites viewers to explore the subject via associated multimedia links.

A note-taking area on the left side of the screen allows you to type your own observations about the lectures, which are then saved locally on your PC.

Tiny ruler to measure macromolecular movement

June 17, 2011


Paul Alivisatos of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and colleagues have designed a first-of-its-kind ruler capable of measuring the configuration and movement of macromolecules, such as DNA.

The researchers constructed an “H”-shaped device out of five gold nanorods, the length and position of each of which could be controlled. They then looked for changes in spectra associated with plasmon coupling — the tendency… read more

Ray Kurzweil wins 2005 Guardian Award from Lifeboat Foundation

September 12, 2005

The Lifeboat Foundation has named Ray Kurzweil the winner of its 2005 Guardian Award.

The foundation, which is “dedicated to providing solutions that will safeguard humanity from the growing threat of terrorism and technological cataclysm,” annually bestows the award upon “a revered scientist or public figure who has heralded the coming of a future fraught with danger and encouraged provision against its perils.”

In making the… read more

Making memories: insight into how learning strengthens the ties between neurons

February 21, 2008
Glutamate receptor protein (green) in neuronal cell bodies (blue)

Scripps Research Institute researchers pinpointed the precise cellular connections that form as a memory is created, by tracing a fluorescently tagged protein making its way to particular synapses.

The tagged glutamate receptor protein was modified so that neurons would only manufacture it when they became active. As the genetically engineered mice learned to fear an electric shock, the protein migrated through individual neurons, from the cell body… read more

Microsoft Tries To Make Vox Popular

November 1, 2002

Microsoft has introduced a new version of its .Net Speech Software development kit intended to get more programmers writing speech apps that use Microsoft tools and servers.

Microsoft wants to encourage them to write apps that allow access to customer-service data by both phone and the Web. The apps would also be able to deliver text and graphics to computer and cell-phone screens, in addition to voice feedback.

Nanoparticles cross blood-brain barrier to enable ‘brain tumor painting’

August 4, 2009

University of Washington researchers have illuminated brain tumors by injecting 33-nanometer fluorescent nanoparticles with an attached fluorescent molecule into the bloodstream, safely crossing the blood-brain barrier.

The nanoparticles improved the contrast in both MRI and optical imaging, which is used during surgery. Nano-imaging could also help with early cancer detection.

Current imaging techniques have a maximum resolution of 1 millimeter. Nanoparticles could improve the resolution by a factor… read more

Nanobot programmable dermal display animation developed

September 23, 2005

Robert A. Freitas and Gina “Nanogirl” Miller have developed an animation of the “programmable dermal display” described in Freitas’ Nanomedicine, Volume I: Basic Capabilities book.

A population of about 3 billion display pixel robots would be permanently implanted a fraction of a mm under the surface of the skin of the back of the hand, presenting to the user data received from the large population… read more

New material able to eliminate organic solvent pollution

February 29, 2008
Monolithic carbon aerogel

University of Granada researchers have produced a reusable material with a high concentration of micropores, able to adsorb organic solvent pollutants such as benzene, toluene and xylene.

University of Granada News Release

Surgical Tags Plan for Sex Offenders

November 15, 2002

Britain is considering a controversial scheme to implant surgically electronic tags in convicted pedophiles amid fears that the extent of the abuse of children has been massively underestimated. The government could then track pedophiles by satellite, with a system similar to that used to locate stolen cars. The tags can be put beneath the skin under local anesthetic and would also be able to monitor the heart rate and blood… read more

Immortality improves cell reprogramming

August 11, 2009

Specialized adult cells made “immortal” through the blockade of an antitumor pathway (p53) can be turned into stem-like cells quickly and efficiently, making it easier to generate patient-specific cells from any tissue type, five research teams have found.

Genetic ‘conductor’ involved with new brain cell production in adults

July 1, 2011

A team of North Carolina State University researchers has discovered more about how the Foxj1 gene — connected to the production of new brain cells in adults — does its job.

The team had previously discovered that the gene was an “off switch” that told neuronal stem cells to stop reproducing and triggered the development of a stem cell “niche” in the olfactory bulbs. However, further experiments… read more

Are You Ready for Web 2.0?

October 7, 2005

The idea of a new, more collaborative internet is creating buzz reminiscent of the go-go days of the late 1990s.

Web 2.0, according to conference sponsor Tim O’Reilly, is an “architecture of participation” — a constellation made up of links between web applications that rival desktop applications, the blog publishing revolution and self-service advertising. This architecture is based on social software where users generate content, rather than simply consume… read more

A Virtual Travel Agent With All the Answers

March 5, 2008

Alaska Airlines and its subsidiary, Horizon Air, have introduced on the Web site a user-friendly virtual assistant named Jenn that orally answers a wide range of questions.

Throwing Einstein for a Loop

November 30, 2002

Physicist Fotini Markopoulou Kalamara has developed a way to connect relativity with quantum theory – while making sure that cause still precedes effect. The unification of Einstein’s general relativity with quantum theory to explain the nature of space and time is probably the single greatest challenge of modern physics. Kalamara’s work suggests networks that do not live in space and are not made of matter. Rather their very architecture gives… read more

DNA-coated Nanotubes Help Kill Tumors Without Harm To Surrounding Tissues

August 20, 2009

Prostate cancer tumors in mice have been selectively destroyed by injecting them with specially coated carbon nanotubes, and then superheating the nanotubes with a brief zap of a laser, researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine report.

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