science + technology news

Darpa Chief Speaks

February 23, 2007

“We’re on the verge of having computers with densities approaching a monkey’s brain, and it won’t be long before we’ll have a computer with … the equivalent to neurons and almost human,” says DARPA director Tony Tether.

UCLA Geophysicist Warns 6.4 Quake To Hit LA By Sept 5

April 16, 2004

A US geophysicist has set the scientific world ablaze by claiming to have cracked a holy grail: accurate earthquake prediction, and warning that a big one will hit southern California by Sept 5.

The UCLA team — made up of US, Japanese, Canadian, European and Russian experts in pattern recognition, geodynamics, seismology, chaos theory, statistical physics and public safety — says it has developed algorithms to detect earthquake patterns… read more

How to manipulate single biomolecules at low cost

June 2, 2010

The Centrifuge Force Microscope (CFM) uses centrifugal force to manipulate molecules, allowing forces to be applied to many molecules at once while simultaneously observing their nano-to-microscale motions (Dr. Wesley Wong)

A new massively parallel approach for manipulating single DNA and protein molecules and studying their interactions under force, called “single molecule centrifugation,” has been developed by researchers from the Rowland Institute at Harvard University.

The “The Centrifuge Force Microscope” (CFM) allows for improvements in throughput and cost in studying biological systems ranging from DNA replication to blood clotting, compared to technologies such as optical and magnetic tweezers and the… read more

Nano-Bio-Info-Cogno Revolutions to be Explored at Convergence08

September 18, 2008

The Convergence08 Unconference on Nano-Bio-Info-Cogno (NBIC) technologies and their interactions will be held November 15-16, 2008, at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California, keynoted by futurist Paul Saffo.

It will feature debates on controversial NBIC topics including synthetic biology, longevity, and AI. The “unconference” format allows participants to customize the event interactively.

* Dr. Bruce Ames, biochemistry professor at UC Berkeley, founder of… read more

How common viruses can turn cells cancerous

March 5, 2007

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory researchers have found evidence for how certain viruses can trigger specific cancers.

During tumor development, the chromosomes of affected cells often become wildly rearranged. They found that cell fusion appears to be the cause.

IBM, Stanford join forces on spintronics

April 27, 2004

IBM’s Almaden Research Center and Stanford University have announced an agreement to work together on spintronics. The goal: usher in a second era of electronics based on manipulating an electron’s spin rather than transfer of charge.

It is proving difficult to achieve ever-higher levels of integration using traditional semiconductor scaling techniques, largely because of higher power consumption.

“Spin current,” which comes from angular momentum of rotating electrons, does… read more

Sequenced microbial genomes could help increase our resistance to disease

June 11, 2010

Phylogenetic analysis of 16S Ribosomal DNA sequences with Human Microbiome Project microbes highlighted in blue shows the distribution of these human symbiants around the microbial tree of life. Phylum are separated by color as follows: yellow, Actinobacteria; dark green, Bacteroidetes; light green, Cyanobacteria; red, Firmicutes; cyan, Fusobacteria; dark red, Planctomycetes; gray, Proteobacteria; magenta, Spirochaetes; light pink, TM7; tan, Tenericutes. (Human Microbiome Project)

The first 178 reference microbial genomes have now been analyzed and catalogued by the he Human Microbiome Project (HMP) by researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

A microbiome is the full complement of microorganisms populating a “supraorganism,” such as a human. These symbiotic microbes outnumber an adult’s own somatic and germ cells by up to a 10:1 ratio; the interactions between our human and… read more

Dark chocolate: Half a bar per week to keep at bay the risk of heart attack

September 24, 2008

A study by the Research Laboratories of the Catholic University in Campobasso, in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute of Milan found that 6.7 grams of (non-milk) chocolate per day is the ideal amount for a protective effect against inflammation and subsequent cardiovascular disease.

Kurzweil issued patent for AI poetry-writing software

March 12, 2007

Ray Kurzweil has been issued the first patent for AI software capable of writing poetry.

United States Patent 7,184,949, “Basic poetry generation,” issued February 27, 2007, covers “a method of analyzing an author’s work, including reading a text file, generating an analysis model from the text file and storing the analysis model…a linked data structure.”

The patent has been assigned to Kurzweil CyberArt Technologies, Inc., which… read more

Micromanipulators for cells and DNA molecules possible

May 5, 2004

Boston College researchers have demonstrated the fabrication of microscopic polymeric structures on top of a human hair, using a technique called multiphoton-absorption photopolymerization (MAP), in which a polymer can be deposited at the focal point of a laser beam.

Scanning of the laser beam in a desired pattern then allows for the formation of intricate, three-dimensional patterns. This technique makes it possible to create features that are 1000 times… read more

The Trilogy of Webs for Machines: Mashing It All Together

June 21, 2010

What happens when we combine the three different webs that are made for machines: the Web of Data (facts), the Web of Identities (for people data), and
the Web of Services?

Counting Cells in Seconds

October 2, 2008
(Aydogan Ozcan)

A lensless imaging system developed by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles uses the imaging chip from a digital camera to record the “shadows,” or diffraction signatures, to find and recognize T cells and bacteria.

Adobe offers early peek at Apollo

March 19, 2007

Apollo, planned for the second half of this year, is designed to bridge the world of Web applications and desktop computers.

The release of the software is highly anticipated among people who develop so-called rich Internet applications, meaning Web applications that have some of the interactivity of traditional desktop applications.

Big Blue says breakthrough means Millipede may crawl out of lab

May 12, 2004

IBM says its MEMS/nanotech combo storage effort, Millipede, is creeping toward reality — this time with its first working quantum storage prototype.

A Millipede device will hold 4,096 miniature read-write heads and is expected to debut in 2006 or 2007 at 5 to 10 gigabytes and go up from there. It will use the same size packaging as SD flash cards, making it compatible with digital cameras, mobile phones… read more

Gliding robot designed for search and rescue

June 29, 2010

A miniature glider robot capable of jumping, gliding and perching for search and rescue or detection of forest fires have been designed by researchers at EPFL’s Laboratory of Intelligent Systems.

The robot is constructed with two spring-loaded arms fitted with pins that dig into the surface, whether it is wood or concrete. The arms snap forward to provide soft deceleration of the glider and avoid mechanical damage. A remotely… read more

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