science + technology news

App Lets You Know When Friends Are Nearby

July 26, 2010


A new location-based application for mobile phones called face2face lets users see if any of their connections on Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, and Twitter are nearby, but for security, does not give out that contact’s exact location.

The application also comes with privacy settings that let users decide if they want to be invisible to others, and who they want to share their information with. Once users know they’re near… read more

Whole Body Muscle Gene Therapy Progress

November 3, 2008

University of Missouri researchers have found a delivery method for gene therapy that can reach every muscle of the body in large animals and could eventually cure human diseases like muscular dystrophy.

Whole body muscle gene therapy could also create the ultimate in human running speed and strength.

‘Junk’ DNA now looks like powerful regulator

April 25, 2007

Large swaths of garbled human DNA once dismissed as junk appear to contain some valuable sections, according to a new study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine and the University of California-Santa Cruz.

The scientists propose that this redeemed DNA plays a role in controlling when genes turn on and off.

It turns out that most of the segments described in the research paper cluster… read more

Body movement to create music

July 13, 2004

Scientists are developing ways of capturing human movement in three dimensions which would allow music to be created or web pages browsed with the gesture of an arm.

The system captures 3D movements using infrared light projected onto tiny reflective balls attached to clothing and monitored by 12 cameras.

The computer tracks the changing positions of the balls and turns different gestures into instructions for music software.

Coronal mass ejection headed toward Earth

August 3, 2010


Early Sunday morning, the Sun’s surface erupted and blasted tons of plasma (ionized atoms) into interplanetary space directly toward us. When this coronal mass ejection arrives early in the day on August 4th, it could create a spectacular light show, the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics has reported.

When a coronal mass ejection reaches Earth, it interacts with our planet’s magnetic field, potentially creating a geomagnetic storm. Solar particles stream down… read more

John Doerr’s Advice for Barack Obama: Hire Bill Joy

November 7, 2008

Venture capitalist John Doerr has recommended that president-elect Barack Obama hire Bill Joy as chief technology officer of the United States (a new position that Obama is planning) to kick-start a huge amount of research and innovation in energy.

His other recommendations: Double the number of engineers who graduate from American universities each year to 60,000, bring more women into the field, encourage foreigners who study engineering here to… read more

The Next Human Genome Project: Our Microbes

May 2, 2007

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is now considering a project, dubbed the human microbiome, to sequence the microorganisms that inhabit our bodies.

The project could reveal whether different organisms are correlated with different health states, and could ultimately become a routine part of medical exams, perhaps used to diagnose different diseases.

Toshiba plans high-res DVD format

July 27, 2004

Toshiba and its partners yesterday raised the tempo in the battle to determine the next-generation DVD format, saying they were on track to launch next year a DVD recorder capable of storing more than eight hours of high-resolution content on one disc (around 27GB for single-layer and 54GB for dual-layer discs).

Microsoft’s Japanese unit, meanwhile, said the company’s next Windows-based operating system, called Longhorn, would be compatible with HD-DVD.… read more

Delivering a knockout

August 12, 2010

For the first time, scientists have succeeded in genetically engineering a rat by specifically removing a single gene,  reported online August 11 in Nature. The process is known to geneticists as “knocking out” a gene; in this case, the gene encodes a powerful anticancer protein known as p53.

Rats lacking the gene p53, which are likely to be used to study cancer and its treatment, will be available to researchers through… read more

Scientists fabricate first plasma transistor

November 13, 2008

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign developed a rugged microplasma transistor by integrating a conventional microcavity plasma device with an electron emitter.

The microplasma transistor could be used as an improved transistor in high-resolution displays for cell phones, portable DVD players, environmental sensors (producing plasmas in air samples and detecting light produced by pollutants) and biomedical diagnostics.

Scientists look high in the sky for power

May 10, 2007

Scientists are eyeing the jet stream, an energy source that rages night and day, 365 days a year, just a few miles above our heads. If they can tap into its fierce winds, the world’s entire electrical needs could be met, they say.

Dozens of researchers in California and around the world believe huge kite-like wind-power generators could be the solution.

Here Kitty, Kitty, Kitty, Kitty

August 6, 2004

Two kittens have been born using a new cloning method that may be safer and more efficient than traditional methods, according to Genetic Savings & Clone.

The company used a new method called chromatin transfer that tries to produce a cloned embryo that more closely resembles a normal embryo.

It involves dissolving the outside of the nucleus of the cell to be cloned and removing certain regulatory proteins… read more

Mining Mood Swings on the Real-Time Web

August 24, 2010

This widget shows current sentiment toward competing Web browsers (Viralheat)

Social-media analytics startup Viralheat is now offering free, real-time access to the data it is collecting on attitudes toward particular topics or products. One of the first customers for this new service — called Social Trends — is ESPN, which plans to use Social Trends to show live popularity rankings for different NFL teams.

Viralheat uses natural-language processing and machine learning to sift through Twitter, Facebookread more

Microsoft Releases New Robot-Building Software

November 19, 2008

Microsoft has released Robotics Developer Studio 2008, a software program that enables users to create applications for robots.

Nanotube textile could make super-light armour

May 24, 2007

A breakthrough textile made from carbon nanotubes could make lighter bullet-proof clothing, wiring for aircraft and more efficient power transmission lines.

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