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The Year in Nanotech: Better batteries and supersticky glues are on the horizon

January 3, 2008

Nanowires and nanotubes for generating and storing energy, new classes of materials that could render objects invisible, and non-stick or supersticky materials are a few of the nanotechnology items in Technology Review’s “The Year in Nanotech.”

The Year in Robotics

December 29, 2008

Robotic research marched ahead this year: biomedical robots performed less invasive and more complex experimental surgeries, winged robots copied each other to perform potential military maneuvers, and researchers began work on robots that may even be able to travel through the blood to zap a tumor.

The Year in Robotics

December 29, 2009

In 2009, researchers have developed new robots to tackle a variety of tasks: helping with medical rehabilitation, aiding military maneuvers, mimicking social skills, grabbing new objects quickly and robustly, and achieving superior mobility, such as squeezing under doors or through tiny openings, or navigating a cluttered environment.

The Year in Robots

December 31, 2007

Robots made significant advances in 2007.

In the 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge, autonomous vehicles demonstrated their abilities in changing lanes, merging onto roadways amidst fast-moving traffic, and traversing busy intersections.

Robots also became more humanoid. Toyota and Honda introduced advanced robots capable of playing music, serving tea, pouring beer, and putting out fires, while children treated the new QRIO–programmed to wave, dance, sit, and stand–more like a peer… read more

The Year in Software

January 2, 2008

New search technologies (such as speech recognition), cloud (web-based)computing, virtual worlds, self-expression, new social-networks features, and expanded mobile-phone services were Technology Review’s key software developments of 2007.

The Year in Web

December 29, 2010

Secrets are flying online, both state and personal, and Internet companies are still looking for ways to make money on applications—or with users’ private data.

The Year Online

December 26, 2008

The business of social networking, cloud computing, and a flaw in the fabric of the Internet top the most notable stories of 2008.

The Year Online

December 23, 2009

This year will be remembered for cloud computing, real-time search, and the appearance of Google’s Web-based operating system.

The £400 test that tells you how long you’ll live

May 17, 2011

A new commercial telomere test that is purported to tell whether a person’s “biological age,” as measured by the length of their telomeres, is older or younger than their actual chronological age has been developed by researchers at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre in Madrid.

“What is new about this test is that it is very precise,” says Dr. Maria Blasco. “We can detect very small differences in… read more

Theme-park dummy trick becomes teleconference tool

November 3, 2009

University of North Carolina researchers have developed a system to make teleconferencing more realistic by projecting video images of remote participants onto a 3D dummy model of their head.

The system could also be useful by doctors and patients for remote doctor visits, and as a “prosthetic presence” for patients unable to leave their home.

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Theoretical breakthrough: Generating matter and antimatter from the vacuum

December 9, 2010

Under just the right conditions—which involve an ultra-high-intensity laser beam and a two-mile-long particle accelerator—it could be possible to create something out of nothing, according to University of Michigan researchers.

The scientists and engineers have developed new equations that show how a high-energy electron beam combined with an intense laser pulse could rip apart a vacuum into its fundamental matter and antimatter components, and set off a cascade of… read more

Theorists explain how single-molecule diode works

April 4, 2006

Theorists from the University of South Florida and the Russian Academy of Sciences have explained how a single-molecule diode developed by a University of Chicago research team works.

The researchers showed electron energy levels in a molecule are efficient channels for transferring electrons from one electrode to another. Because the molecule in the diode is asymmetrical, the electronic response is also asymmetrical when voltage is applied. The asymmetry contributes… read more

Theory about long and short-term memory questioned

November 10, 2009

The long-held theory that our brains use different mechanisms for forming long-term and short-term memories has been challenged by new research from University College London.

Their findings identify two distinct short-term memory networks in the brain: one that functions independently of the hippocampus and remains intact in patients with long-term memory deficits, and one that is dependent on the hippocampus and is impaired along with long-term memory.

Theory Challenges Darwin Doctrine Of Common Descent

June 21, 2002

Cellular evolution began in a communal environment in which the loosely organized cells took shape through extensive horizontal gene transfer, according to Carl Woese, a microbiologist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

His theory challenges the longstanding Darwinian assumption known as the Doctrine of Common Descent — that all life on Earth has descended from one original primordial form.
On the evolution of cells, Carl R.… read more

‘Theory of mind’ explains belief in God

March 10, 2009

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke researchers found from fMRI brain scans that religious beliefs “light up” the areas that have evolved most recently, such as those involved in imagination, memory and “theory of mind” — the recognition that other people and living things can have their own thoughts and intentions.

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