science + technology news

Converting DVD into HD DVD

June 26, 2007

Researchers at Intel have developed an algorithm, “super resolution,” that, by leveraging the power of multiple microprocessors, can boost the resolution of a video as it plays in real time.

Converting blood stem cells to sensory neural cells to predict and treat pain

Allows for discovering new pain drugs and predicting effects for individual patients
May 25, 2015

stem cell to neuron

Stem-cell scientists at McMaster University have developed a way to directly convert adult human blood cells to sensory neurons, providing the first objective measure of how patients may feel things like pain, temperature, and pressure, the researchers reveal in an open-access paper in the journal Cell Reports.

Currently, scientists and physicians have a limited understanding of the complex issue of pain and how to treat it. “The problem is that… read more

Converting atmospheric carbon dioxide into carbon nanotubes for use in batteries

March 4, 2016

CO2 to CNTs ft

The electric vehicle of the future will be carbon negative (reducing the amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide) not just carbon neutral (not adding CO2 to the atmosphere), say researchers at Vanderbilt University and George Washington University (GWU).

The trick: replace graphite electrodes in lithium-ion batteries (used in electric vehicles) with carbon nanotubes and carbon nanofibers recovered from carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The new technology… read more

Converting algae to crude oil — a million-year natural process — in minutes

December 20, 2013

Algae slurry

Engineers at the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have created a continuous chemical process that produces useful crude oil from harvested algae in minutes, described in the journal Algae Research.

Utah-based Genifuel Corp. has licensed the technology and is working with an industrial partner to build a pilot plant using the technology.

How to create ‘instant oil’

A slurry of… read more

Converters Signal a New Era for TVs

June 7, 2007

At midnight on Feb. 17, 2009, the rabbit ears and the rooftop antennas that still guide television signals into nearly 1 of every 5 American homes will be rendered useless — unless they are tethered to a new device, including two versions unveiled yesterday, that the government will spend as much as $80 a household to help families buy.

Among the advantages of digital television being promoted by the… read more

Conversations from Tech’s Cutting Edge

May 11, 2004

Robotics, nanotech, genomics, and search and information retrieval are featured in a Technology Special Report from BusinessWeek.

Conversations control computers

January 13, 2005

Researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology are aiming to decrease day-to-day data entry and to augment users’ memories with a method that allows handheld computers to harvest keywords from conversations and make use of relevant information without interrupting the personal interactions.

Convergence of P2P and Grid Predicted

March 5, 2003

The two current popular incarnations of distributed computing technology, Peer-to-peer (P2P) and grid computing, will converge. “The complementary nature of the strengths and weaknesses of the two approaches suggests that the interests of the two communities are likely to grow closer over time.”

‘Convergence’ may lead to revolutionary advances in biomedicine, other sciences

January 5, 2011


The United States should capitalize on a new trend, convergence — which involves the merger of life, physical and engineering sciences — to foster the innovation necessary to meet the growing demand for accessible, affordable health care, according to a white paper issued Tuesday by 12 leading MIT researchers.

“Convergence is a broad rethinking of how all scientific research can be conducted, so that we capitalize… read more

Controlling your computer with your eyes

July 13, 2012


Millions of people suffering from Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s, muscular dystrophy, spinal cord injuries or amputees could soon interact with their computers and surroundings using just their eyes, thanks to a new device that costs less than £40.

Composed from off-the-shelf materials, the new device can work out exactly where a person is looking by tracking their eye movements, allowing them to control a cursor on a screen just like… read more

Controlling the TV with a wave of the hand

December 24, 2009

Consumer devices for 3D gesture recognition for controlling TVs, videogames, and personal computers, using a camera in real time to capture motion, are coming in 2010 from a number of companies, including Softkinetic/Texas Instruments and Microsoft.

Controlling the magnetic properties of graphene

April 15, 2011

Graphene Magnet

Researchers at the University of Maryland have discovered a way to control magnetic properties of graphene that could lead to new applications in magnetic storage and magnetic random access memory.

The researchers found that missing atoms in graphene, called vacancies, act as tiny magnets. Vacancies have magnetic moments that interact strongly with the electrons in graphene, which carry electrical currents. This gives rise to a… read more

Controlling specific behavior of monkeys with pulsed light

July 30, 2012

Temporal precise optical activation or silencing of cortical neurons (credit: Xue Han/Progress in Brain Research)

Researchers have discovered that they can control the behavior of monkeys by using pulses of blue light to specifically activate particular brain cells.

The findings represent a key advance for optogenetics, a state-of-the-art method for making causal connections between brain activity and behavior. Based on the discovery, the researchers say that similar light-based mind control could likely also be made to work in humans for therapeutic ends.

“We… read more

Controlling Robots with the Mind

September 19, 2002

People with nerve or limb injuries may one day be able to command wheelchairs, prosthetics and even paralyzed arms and legs by “thinking them through” the motions.

Scientists have developed implantable microchips that will embed the neuronal pattern recognition now done with software, thereby eventually freeing the brain-machine interface devices from a computer. These microchips will send wireless control data to robotic actuators.

Controlling prosthetic limbs with electrode arrays

April 26, 2011

Coiled Conduit

To give amputees better control over prosthetic limbs, researchers at Georgia Tech have designed a tubular support scaffold with tiny channels that fit snugly around bundles of nerve cells.

The scaffold begins as a flat sheet with tiny grooves, similar to corrugated iron or cardboard. It is then rolled to form a porous cylinder with many tiny channels suited for healthy nerve-cell growth.

The floors of the conduits… read more

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