science + technology news

Research shows ‘Google Generation’ is a myth

January 18, 2008

A study carried out by the CIBER research team at University College London claims that, although young people demonstrate an apparent ease and familiarity with computers, they rely heavily on search engines, view rather than read and do not possess the critical and analytical skills to assess the information that they find on the web.

The “Information Behaviour of the Researcher of the Future” report also shows that research-behavior… read more

Startup Sees Promise in Virus

August 19, 2005

The concept of applying viruses and proteins to develop electronics is a methodology that’s gaining traction in research labs.

Missing Limb? Salamander May Have Answer

September 23, 2002

Salamanders are the superstars of regeneration. They can grow back not only limbs but also tails, parts of their hearts and the retinas and lenses in their eyes. Humans cannot do any of that. So scientists hope that the salamander’s tricks may one day be applied to people. Natural regeneration, which might be accomplished with drugs or genes, would be easier than transplanting, researchers say. And the tissue would be… read more

U.S. an Innovation Laggard?

June 11, 2009

According to the latest BusinessWeek, innovation in America is on shaky ground, so “where is the next Google going to happen?” asks Peter Diamandis, chairman and CEO of the X Prize Foundation in a video interview.

“AI, robotics, and nanotechnology … will create hundred-billion-dollar industries and reshape our nation in its productivity,” he suggests.

Scientists hit back at Catholic church over ‘cybrids’

January 28, 2008

Scientists are responding angrily to claims by the Catholic church that a new bill currently before the UK Parliament “will allow scientists to create embryos that are half human, half animal.”

Studying the brain’s chemistry, neuron by neuron

September 1, 2005

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign researchers have developed tools for studying the chemistry of the brain, neuron by neuron. The analytical techniques can probe the spatial and temporal distribution of biologically important molecules, such as vitamin E, and explore the chemical messengers behind thought, memory and emotion.

By dismantling a slice of brain tissue into millions of single cell-size pieces, each of which can be interrogated by mass spectrometric… read more

Stable, self-renewing neural stem cells created

April 26, 2011

Stained Neuron

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, the Gladstone Institutes in San Francisco and colleagues have reported the creation of long-term, self-renewing, primitive neural precursor cells from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) that can be directed to become many types of neurons without increased risk of tumor formation.

To produce the neural stem cells, the researchers added small molecules… read more

Step-by-Step Prompts Put the Blind on Track

October 18, 2002

A voice-controlled interactive personal navigation system could someday guide blind people. It communicates wirelessly with databases of detailed geographic information that can quickly be updated to reflect changing conditions.

Developed by University of Florida students, the Drishti (vision in Sanskrit) system can be configured to work in cities, in airports and on other campuses. It uses a wearable computer running I.B.M.’s ViaVoice software, connected to a GPS receiver and… read more

Plan to teach military robots the rules of war

June 19, 2009

An “ethical governor” that aims to ensure that robot attack aircraft behave ethically in combat has been developed by robotics engineer Ron Arkin at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Haptics: New Software Allows User To Reach Out And Touch, Virtually

February 1, 2008

European researchers have developed an interface that allows people to touch, stretch and pull virtual fabrics that feel like the real thing.

The new multi-modal software linked to tactile hardware and haptics devices has potential uses in shopping, design and human-machine interaction.

RNA nanoparticles target cancer cells

September 14, 2005

Purdue University scientists have constructed hybrid nanoparticles assembled from RNA that can deliver anticancer therapeutic agents directly to infected cells.

The triangular structures are between 25 and 40 nanometers wide and able to pass through cell membranes into the cell’s interior.

They were able to interrupt the growth of human breast cancer cells and leukemia model lymphocytes in laboratory experiments.

Source: Purdue University news release

Removable ‘cloak’ for nanoparticles helps them target tumors

May 4, 2011

Acid Particle

A new type of drug-delivery nanoparticle that could target nearly any type of tumor and carry virtually any type of drug has been developed by chemists at MIT.

The new nanoparticles are cloaked in a polymer layer that protects them from being degraded by the bloodstream and can survive in the bloodstream for up to 24 hours.

This outer layer falls off after entering… read more

A New Cryptography Uses the Quirks of Photon Streams

November 4, 2002

MagiQ Technologies plans to offer a cryptogaphy system using quantum key distribution in 2003.

Keys to the code are transmitted as a stream of photons, sent over a fiber optic cable. Security is based on quantum physics: observing the transmission would alter the photons, rendering their information useless to any eavesdroppers.

Waterproof Lithium-Air Batteries

June 26, 2009

Lightweight, high-energy batteries that can use the surrounding air as a cathode are being developed by PolyPlus.

New chip architecture may increase qubits in a future quantum computer

May 5, 2015

Credit: AIP

Researchers at the Georgia Tech Research Institute and Honeywell International have developed a new ion trap architecture (using ions trapped inside a vacuum chamber and manipulated with lasers) that could increase the density of qubits in future quantum computers.

The GTRI/Honeywell approach uses new microfabrication techniques that allow more electrodes to fit onto the chip. The design borrows ideas… read more

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