science + technology news

Mind Over Matter, With a Machine’s Help

August 27, 2007

A number of new companies are commercializing real-time functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

Omneuron uses fMRI to treat chronic pain. The patient watches a computer-generated flame projected on the screen of virtual-reality goggles; the flame’s intensity reflects the neural activity of regions of the brain involved in the perception of pain. Using a variety of mental techniques — for instance, imagining that a painful area is being flooded with… read more

Mobile-phone radiation damages lab DNA

December 23, 2004

Radiation from cellular phones harms the DNA in human cells, according to an extensive, pan-European laboratory study.

The researchers found that levels of radiation equivalent to those from a phone prompted breaks in individual strands of DNA in a variety of human cells. These types of damage have been linked with cancer. The level of injury increased with the intensity of radiation and the length of exposure.

The… read more

Streaming video could strain Internet’s capacity

December 3, 2010

A report by Internet network management firm Sandvine estimates that as much as 43 percent of peak Internet traffic is eaten up by real time entertainment, mostly streaming video. As that grows rapidly, it imperils the ability to pipe entertainment to neighborhoods.

Netflix traffic alone makes up more than 17 percent of the data on the Web.

NASA JPL webcast timed for A.I. movie release

June 22, 2001

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory scientists will discuss AI research in a live webcast on June 29 at 11 a.m. Pacific Time.

The webcast will focus on rover autonomy, machines with human vision capability, and AI software.

NASA scientists envision a future colony of robots exploring a planet’s surface. A whole fleet of ground rovers, aerovers with flying ability and burrowing, worm-like probes may make up a… read more

California Utility Looks to Mojave Desert Project for Solar Power

February 12, 2009

Southern California Edison, the largest utility in California, has signed a deal to buy 1,300 megawatts of electricity (enough to power about 845,000 homes) starting in 2013, using solar power from seven immense arrays of mirrors, towers and turbines to be installed in the Mojave Desert.

Muscular films promise bodyparts and biomachines

September 7, 2007

Thin sheets of polymer coated with living muscle could be used to test new drugs, repair damaged body parts, or even create life-like bio-machines, Harvard University researchers say.

Magnetic resonance imaging deconstructs brain’s complex network

January 5, 2005

A team headed by scientists at Northwestern University, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), has shown how to visualize the human brain as a massive, interacting, complex network governed by a few underlying dynamic principles.

The research opens fascinating possibilities for future basic and applied studies to investigate the dynamics of brain states, particularly in cases of dysfunction — such as schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease and chronic pain — without… read more

Astronomers Find Evidence Of Other Universes In Cosmic Microwave Background

December 13, 2010

Signatures of bubble collision in CMB

Stephen Feeney at University College London and colleagues say they’ve found tentative evidence of four collisions with other universes in the form of circular patterns in the cosmic microwave background.

In their model of the universe, called “eternal inflation,”  the universe we see is merely a bubble in a much larger cosmos. This cosmos is filled with other bubbles, all of which are other universes where the laws of… read more

Clever Wiring Harnesses Tiny Switches

July 17, 2001

Hewlett-Packard researchers are starting to tackle how to wire the tiny molecular switches together into useful devices.

Two years ago, scientists at Hewlett-Packard and U.C.L.A. announced that they had created a custom-designed, carbon-based molecule called rotaxane that could act as a switch. A ring-shape structure slides up or down along the rest of the molecule, changing its electrical resistance. The switch mechanism consisted of rotaxane molecules between two crossed… read more

Sony Pushes Better Cinema Through Digital

February 20, 2009

Sony expects to increase penetration of its 8.8 million pixel 4K SXRD Digital Cinema technology from the current 300 screens to 3,000 within the next two years.

Nanoscale computer memory retrieves data 1,000 times faster

September 18, 2007

Scientists from the University of Pennsylvania have developed nanowires capable of storing computer data for 100,000 years and retrieving that data a thousand times faster than existing portable memory devices such as Flash memory and micro-drives, all using less power and space than current memory technologies.

Tiny magnetic coils may be safer than implanted electrodes for deep-brain stimulation

July 6, 2012

mgh_magnetic_stimulation_neurons

Magnetic fields generated by microscopic devices implanted into the brain may be able to modulate brain-cell activity and reduce symptoms of several neurological disorders.

Micromagnetic stimulation appears to generate the kind of neural activity currently elicited with electrical impulses for deep brain stimulation (DBS) — a therapy that can reduce symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, other movement disorders, multiple sclerosis and chronic pain — and should avoid several… read more

ET Visitors: Scientists See High Likelihood

January 17, 2005

Our world is immersed in a much larger extraterrestrial civilization, recent astrophysical discoveries suggest.

Self-assembling nanotubes

August 13, 2001

The principle that makes DNA strands link together may someday be used to manufacture molecular wires and other components for use in electronic devices, according to Hicham Fenniri, an assistant professor of chemistry at Purdue Univ. To develop the self-assembling structures, Fenniri and his colleagues borrowed chemistry from DNA to create a series of molecules that are “programmed” to link in groups of six to form rosette-shaped rings, which then… read more

Nanotechnology and Technology Acceleration Buzz is Higher Because Actual Developments Are Showing Pessimists Were Wrong

February 26, 2009

The current nano buzz includes four innovations:

1. New research in using conductive nanomaterials for neuroengineering applications proposes carbon nanotubes as ideal probes for bidirectional interfaces in neuroprosthetics and as nanotools to endogenously (re)engineer single-neuron excitability and network connectivity.

2 Recent advance in seeded growth as the ultimate approach to producing metal nanocrystals with precisely controlled sizes, shapes, and compositions the necessary first step toward their use and… read more

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