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Paralysed Man Sends E-mail By Thought

October 14, 2004

A pill-sized brain chip has allowed a quadriplegic man to check e-mail and play computer games using his thoughts. The device can tap into a hundred neurons at a time, and is the most sophisticated such implant tested in humans so far.

In June 2004, surgeons implanted a device containing 100 electrodes into the motor cortex of a 24-year-old quadriplegic. The device, called the BrainGate, was developed by the… read more

New technique to deliver life-saving drugs to the brain

April 19, 2013


Researchers from Florida International University (FIU)’s Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine have developed a revolutionary technique that can deliver and fully release the anti-HIV drug AZTTP into the brain.

Madhavan Nair, professor and chair, and Sakhrat Khizroev, professor and vice chair of the HWCOM’s Department of Immunology, used magneto-electric nanoparticles (MENs) to cross the blood-brain barrier and send a significantly increased level… read more

Optimism as Artificial Intelligence Pioneers Reunite

December 8, 2009

Four and a half decades after the first research in artificial intelligence, much of the original optimism is back, driven by rapid progress in AI technologies, and that sense was tangible last month when more than 200 of the original Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory scientists assembled at Stanford for a two-day reunion.

NASA’s new supercomputer aims for 10 PFLOPS by 2012

May 9, 2008

SGI and Intel Corp. are teaming up to build a supercomputer for NASA that they expect will hit 10 PFLOPS by 2012. A petaflop is a quadrillion floating-point operations per second.

The system will be used for NASA’s next-generation rocket for getting to the moon and then eventually to Mars, and to model the ocean, study global warming, and build the next-generation engine and aircraft.

All Bio Systems Are Go

October 22, 2004

Systems biologists are pushing the envelope of preventive medicine through research centered on the interactions of the thousands of pieces of DNA, RNA and proteins that network together in each cell of our body.

According to its proponents, systems biology will revolutionize medicine, transforming it from something that is mainly reactive into something that is predictive and will eventually prevent diseases getting hold in the first place.

The… read more

Future Camp

December 15, 2009

The January 2010 issue of Popular Science just out (print only) features “Future Camp,” an article on Singularity University’s nine-week Graduate Studies Program at NASA Ames in Spring 2009.

Family history leads to possible causative gene for Alzheimer’s

May 15, 2008

Medical College of Georgia researchers and their colleagues have identified single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with late-onset Alzheimer’s disease.

They studied two large families with high rates of the disease, and found 90 percent had a distinct pattern of SNPs in the TRPC4AP gene. These SNPs were also found in the DNA of 36 percent of 200 other late-onset patients stored in the Alzheimers’ DNA Bank. This gene is… read more

Organised chaos gets robots going

November 1, 2004

A control system based on chaos has made a simulated, multi-legged robot walk successfully.

In chaotic systems, small effects are amplified so rapidly that the systems’ behavior becomes impossible to predict more than a short time ahead.

The robot was able to learn to walk and negotiate obstacles without any conventional programming. And its behavior emerged far more quickly than it would if it had used genetic algorithms.… read more

Computing, One Atom at a Time

March 27, 2001

Scientists are Los Alamos National Laboratory are pushing the state of the art in quantum computing. Currently, they’ve achieved calculations involving seven atoms. This year they are shooting for 10 atoms, allowing for 1024 calculations at the same time.

2010 preview: Is this the year that we create life?

December 22, 2009

Craig Venter hopes to unveil a living bacterial cell carrying a genome made from scratch in the lab.

George Church of Harvard University expects to get synthetic ribosomes to self-replicate.

A completely synthetic cell remains a distant goal, however.

Telltale DNA Bits Give Away Presence of Secretive Invaders

May 20, 2008

Joseph Fourier University researchers have detected the presence of an invasive species by analyzing its DNA, found in water samples.

They used special DNA primers (single strands of DNA that attach to target DNA so it can be copied) to amplify a part of the DNA chain that is unique to American bullfrogs, a highly invasive species in Europe.

The technique can detect DNA even in very low… read more

Pentagon Starts Work On War Internet

November 15, 2004

The Pentagon is building its own secure Internet, the Global Information Grid, or GIG. The first connections for the system were installed six weeks ago, but it could take two decades and hundreds of billions of dollars to build the network and its components.

The system’s goal is to give American commanders and troops a moving picture of all foreign enemies and threats.

Could tutoring a computer be the way to develop machines that talk back?

April 18, 2001

HAL, a software program designed by Dutch-based firm Artificial Intelligence to learn language, currently passes for a 18 month old child and has a 50 or 60 word vocabulary.

By the end of 2003, AI expects to have a version of HAL capable of talking like a three-year-old and by 2005 hopes it will have the conversational skills of an adult.

HAL uses simple learning algorithms based on… read more

Machine Translates Thoughts into Speech in Real Time

December 28, 2009

(Guenther, et al.)

By implanting an electrode into the brain of a person with locked-in syndrome, researchers led by Boston University and Harvard/MIT scientists have demonstrated the first brain-machine interface to wirelessly transmit neural signals from implanted electrodes to a speech synthesizer for real-time synthetic speech production.

Photovoltaic Moore’s Law Will Make Solar Competitive by 2015

May 23, 2008

In recent years, global photovoltaic (PV) production has been increasing at a rate of 50 percent per year, so that accumulated global capacity doubles about every 18 months. The PV Moore’s law states that with every doubling of capacity, PV costs come down by 20 percent.

Extrapolate those gains out six or seven years, and PV costs will be below $2/W, making photovolatics competitive with 2004 wind.

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