science + technology news

Ultimate virtual reality will trigger five senses

March 19, 2009

Researchers from the University of York and the University of Warwick are working on plans for a device able to manipulate five of a person’s senses, to given them the sensation of being somewhere else.


Children with autism learn imitative behavior from socially assistive robot

August 29, 2014


Humanoid robots could help autistic children practice imitation behavior, according to USC Viterbi School of Engineering researchers, based on a new study.

They examined how children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) react to humanoid robots that provide “graded cueing” — an occupational therapy technique that shapes behavior by providing increasingly specific cues, or prompts, to help a person learn new or lost skills.

An imitation gameread more

Terabyte Thumb Drives Made Possible by Nanotech Memory

October 29, 2007

Arizona State University researchers have developed a low-cost, low-power computer memory–one-tenth the cost of and 1,000 times as energy-efficient as flash memory–that could put terabyte-sized thumb drives in consumers’ pockets within a few years.

The programmable metallization cell (PMC) technology uses nanowires from copper atoms the size of a virus to record binary ones and zeros.

‘Millipede’ small scale MEMS prototype shown at CeBIT

March 14, 2005

IBM for the first time is showing a prototype of their “millipede” nanomechanical storage system, achieving data storage densities of more than one terabit per square inch.

Nanotubes hint at room temperature superconductivity

November 29, 2001

Researchers have noted apparent superconductivity effects when applying magnetic fields to carbon nanotubes at room temperature and above. This could result in faster, lower-power electronics and the ability to carry electricity across long distances with 100 per cent efficiency.
Guo-meng Zhao and Yong Sheng Wang of the University of Houston put a magnetic field across a bundle of carbon nanotubes at temperatures up to 400 kelvin (127°C). The bundle generated… read more

Micromagnetic-microfluidic device could quickly pull pathogens from the bloodstream

March 26, 2009
(Johnson & Yung, CHB)

Researchers at Children’s Hospital Boston have built a microdevice to fight sepsis (blood infection), using magnetism to remove pathogens from blood.

They mixed blood with antibody-coated magnetic beads and sent the mix through microfluidic channels. A magnet pulled 80% of the bound pathogens (for this test the fungus Candida albicans) out in a single pass.

Most current treatments for sepsis are ineffective: each year it kills… read more

New Insights Into How Natural Antioxidants Fight Fat

November 8, 2007

Scientists in Taiwan are reporting new insights into why diets rich in fruits and vegetables reduce the risk of obesity. Their study focuses on healthful natural antioxidant compounds called flavonoids and phenolic acids.

Nano-Probes Allow an Inside Look at Cell Nuclei

March 23, 2005

Scientists have developed a way to sneak nano-sized probes inside cell nuclei where they can track life’s fundamental processes, such as DNA repair, genomic alterations, and cell cycle control.

This may allow researchers to track the effectiveness of disease-fighting drugs that target these processes.

The researchers, at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, transported the fluorescent quantum- dot probes inside cell nuclei by attaching a… read more

Sleep selectively stores useful memories

February 2, 2011

After a good night’s sleep, people remember information better when they know it will be useful in the future, according to a new study in the Feb. 2 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience. The findings suggest that the brain evaluates memories during sleep and preferentially retains the ones that are most relevant.

Humans take in large amounts of information every day. Most is encoded into memories by the brain… read more

Top News of 2001

January 3, 2002

In its first year of operation, has chronicled the notable news stories on accelerating intelligence. And now we’ve selected the most important of these 724 news stories.

These serve to document the key breakthroughs for 2001 in continued exponential growth of computation, communication, and other information-based technologies; comparable acceleration in efforts to reverse-engineer the human brain and other sources of the templates of intelligence; similar growth in… read more

Microbes turn electricity directly to methane

March 31, 2009

Methanogenic microorganisms can take electricity and directly convert carbon dioxide and water to methane, producing a portable energy source with a potentially neutral carbon footprint, according to Penn State engineers.

Scientists Claim to Clone Monkey Embryos

November 14, 2007

Oregon National Primate Research Center scientists say they’ve reached the long-sought goal of cloning monkey embryos and extracting stem cells from them, a potentially major step toward doing the same thing in people.

In cloning to obtain stem cells, DNA from an adult animal is inserted into an unfertilized egg. The egg is grown into an early embryo, from which stem cells are extracted. These stem cells, and the… read more

Black holes ‘do not exist’

April 5, 2005

Black holes are actually dark-energy stars, physicist George Chapline claims.

Shocked into walking

February 4, 2002

A partially paralysed man is walking with the help of tiny electric shocks to his spine. With training, doctors hope to help other paraplegics walk again.
The University of Arkansas team planted electrodes in his lower back and gave low-level electrical stimulation.
After months of training, the patient can now walk up to a kilometer. The stimulation method involves reactivating an innate walking program in the spinal cord that coordinates… read more

Nanoscale changes rise to macro importance in a key electronics material

April 9, 2009

A new National Institute of Standards and Technology study of silver niobate opens the door to improved electronic components for smaller, higher performance wireless devices and shows how subtle nanoscale features of a material can give rise to major changes in its physical properties.

During cooling, oxygen atoms cause the octahedral structure to rotate slightly, generating strain that partially locks the niobium atoms into off-centered positions, giving rise to… read more

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