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Blind students test-drive experimental vehicle

August 3, 2009

Virginia Tech engineers have developed the first vehicle that can be independently operated by a blind driver.

Using data from a laser scan of obstacles, a computer voice signals the driver through headphones how to steer to avoid a collision — one click to the left, for example; three clicks to the right — and the vehicle’s computer communicates speed with vibrations fed through a vest worn by the… read more

Blind patient reads words stimulated directly onto the retina

Neuroprosthetic device uses implant to project visual braille
November 23, 2012


Researchers have projected braille patterns directly into a blind patient’s retina, allowing him to read four-letter words accurately and quickly with an ocular neuroprosthetic device.
The device, Second Sight‘s Argus II, has been implanted in over 50 patients, many of who can now see color, movement and objects.

It uses a small camera mounted on a pair of glasses, a portable processor to… read more

Blind mole rats may hold key to cancer

November 6, 2012


Some 23% of humans die of cancer, but blind mole rats — which can live for 21 years, an impressive age among rodents — seem to be immune to the disease.

Cell cultures from two species of blind mole rat, Spalax judaei and Spalax golani, behave in ways that render them impervious to the growth of tumors, according to work by Vera Gorbunova at the University of Rochester,… read more

Blind Mice Can See, Thanks To Special Retinal Cells

July 15, 2010

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University’s Krieger School of Arts and Sciences have found that mice that didn’t have any rods and cones function could still see — and not just light, but also patterns and images — using intrinsically photosensitive Retinal Ganglion Cells (ipRGCs) — special photosensitive cells in the rodents’ retinas.

“Our study shows that even mice which were blind could form low-acuity yet measurable images, using ipRGCs,”… read more

Blind Man Drives Car on Daytona International Speedway

February 1, 2011


For the first time, a blind person has driven a street vehicle in public without the assistance of a sighted person — and successfully navigated 1.5 miles of the road course section of the Daytona International Speedway on January 29, dodging obstacles, some of them stationary and some thrown into his path at random from a van driving in front of him, according to the National Federationread more

Blazing Speed: The Fastest Stuff in the Universe

January 24, 2005

Astronomers are now measuring matter that moves at 99.9 percent of the speed of light.

The fast-moving material consists of blobs of hot gas embedded in streams of material ejected from hyperactive galaxies known as blazars; and ultra high-energy cosmic rays.

Blank Slate

April 24, 2006

What if you could pick one thing and start over from scratch? What would you change if you didn’t have to accept the status quo, if you could reinvent things without regard for cost, politics or practicality?

That’s the question Forbes posed to contributors to its Blank Slate special report.

Blade Runner sequel

January 29, 2009

A sequel to Blade Runner and an adaptation by Ridley Scott of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World with Leonardo DiCaprio are in the works.


January 18, 2012


“Better the government shut down than Wikipedia go on strike. That would be like part of my mind going on strike. Just give them [Wikipedia] whatever they want — we don’t even need to hear what it is.” — Ray Kurzweil

Black Silicon

October 29, 2008

SiOnyx is making a new type of silicon material, black silicon, that captures nearly all of the sun’s light, generating hundreds of times more current than conventional silicon.

The material makes it possible to use less silicon for light sensors, making the devices cheaper, smaller, and lighter. The company plans to license the manufacturing method to companies that make silicon light detectors and solar cells.

Black holes: The ultimate quantum computers?

March 13, 2006

Nearly all of the information that falls into a black hole escapes back out, a controversial new study argues. The work suggests that black holes could one day be used as incredibly accurate quantum computers — if enormous theoretical and practical hurdles can first be overcome.

Seth Lloyd of MIT has used a controversial quantum model, which holds that under certain extreme circumstances, such as the intense gravitational field… read more

Black holes: a model for superconductors?

March 3, 2011

An artist's rendering, made using data collected by the orbiting Chandra X-ray Observatory, shows a quasar galaxy with a jet of high-energy particles extending more than 100,000 light-years from the supermassive black hole at its center. (Illustration credit: NASA/CXC/M. Weiss)

Physicists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have shown how charged black holes can be used to model the behavior of interacting electrons in unconventional superconductors.

“The context of this problem is high-temperature superconductivity,” said Phillips. “One of the great unsolved problems in physics is the origin of superconductivity (a conducting state with zero resistance) in the copper oxide ceramics discovered in 1986.” The results of research by… read more

Black holes may harbour their own universes

November 1, 2007

When matter gets swallowed by a black hole, it could fall into another universe contained inside the black hole, or get trapped inside a wormhole-like connection to a second black hole, a new study suggests.

Black holes growing faster than expected

February 14, 2013


Black holes are growing faster than previously thought possible, according to new research published Wednesday in the Astrophysical Journal.

Even the black hole in our own Milky Way Galaxy, which otherwise appears very quiet, has probably been consuming the equivalent of one Sun every 3000 years.

Until recently, astronomers thought that black holes grow mostly when galaxies crash into each other, at which time a large… read more

Black holes from the LHC could survive for minutes

January 23, 2009

A new study of Mini-black holes generated by the Large Hadron Collider suggests they could decay over a period of more than one second, according to Roberto Casadio at the Universita di Bologna and associates, raising concerns with some physicists.

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