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The Networked Pill

March 20, 2008

Proteus Biomedical has developed a system that monitors pill taking and its effects, using pills that report when they’ve been taken and sensors that monitor the body’s responses, allowing doctors to monitor compliance and side effects.

Each pill contains an “ingestible event marker” (IEM), a sand-grain-size microchip with a thin-film battery activated upon ingestion. Each IEM sends a unique high-frequency electrical current throughout the body’s tissues, logged by a… read more

The Neural Approach to Pattern Recognition

April 14, 2004

Artificial neural networks could surpass the capabilities of conventional computer-based pattern recognition systems.

The neural basis of ‘number sense’ in young infants

February 7, 2008

Research reported in PLoS Biology shows that very young infants are sensitive to both the number and identity of objects, and these pieces of information are processed by distinct neural pathways.

3-months-old infants were watching images of objects where the number or identity of objects occasionally changed. Electrical activity measured on the scalp showed that the infant brain responded to both changes, but in different brain regions, which map… read more

The Neural Correlates of Religious and Nonreligious Belief

October 2, 2009

Religious thinking is more associated with brain regions that govern emotion, self-representation, and cognitive conflict, while thinking about ordinary facts is more reliant upon memory retrieval networks, scientists at UCLA and other universities have found.

They used fMRI to measure signal changes in the brains of committed Christians and nonbelievers as they evaluated the truth and falsity of religious and nonreligious propositions. For both groups, belief (judgments of “true  read more

The neural mechanisms of insight

March 9, 2011

The amygdala plays a key role in the brain during the “ah ha!” moment (“perceptual insight”),  researchers at the Center for Neural Science at New York University have found.

Perceptual insight is where the sudden realization of a solution to a visual puzzle is triggered by an external cue. Specific brain activity that occurs during an “A-ha!” moment may help encode the new information in long-term memory.

Their… read more


January 23, 2007

Neuroscientist V.S. Ramachandran believes that “other awareness” may have evolved first and then, counterintutively, the same ability was exploited to model ones own mind–what one calls self awareness. He also suggests that a specific system of neurons called mirror neurons are involved in this ability.

The ‘new age’ of super materials

March 6, 2007

Levitating high-speed trains, super-efficient power generators and ultra-powerful supercomputers would become commonplace thanks to a new breed of materials known as high temperature superconductors (HTSC).

The new breed of cyber-terrorist

June 2, 2006

Scott Borg, the director and chief economist of the US Cyber Consequences Unit, a Department of Homeland Security advisory group, believes that attacks on computer networks are poised to escalate to full-scale disasters that could bring down companies, destroy power grids, and kill people.

The new breed of soldier: Robots with guns

April 17, 2006

Spurred by the risks from roadside bombs and terrorist ambushes, the military is aggressively seeking to replace troops with battlefield robots, including new versions armed with machine guns.

The New Diamond Age

August 12, 2003

Diamond microchips could handle higher temperatures than today’s microprocessors, allowing them to run at speeds that would liquefy ordinary silicon.

“If Moore’s law is going to be maintained, processors are going to get hotter and hotter,” says Bernhardt Wuensch, an MIT professor of materials science. “Eventually, silicon is just going to turn into a puddle. Diamond is the solution to that problem.”

Two startups are developing multicarat, gem-quality… read more

The ‘New Economy’ re-examined

April 8, 2002

The Internet revolution of the 1990s –and resulting worker productivity increases — created fundamental changes that are at least partly responsible for why the recent downturn was so mild, some economists believe.

The New Face of Autism Therapy

June 3, 2010

Researchers are building robots sympathetic and sensitive enough to serve as both therapists and playmates to kids with autism.

For example, a robot named Bandit is being programmed by University of Southern California researchers to perform simple facial expressions and movements, and researchers are working to give the robot the ability to make complex decisions in response to the child’s behavior. This way, Bandit and robots like it could… read more

The New Face of Emoticons

March 27, 2007

Computer scientists at the University of Pittsburgh have developed a way to make e-mails, instant messaging, and texts just a bit more personalized. Their software will allow people to use images of their own faces instead of the more traditional emoticons to communicate their mood.

By automatically warping their facial features, people can use a photo to depict any one of a range of different animated emotional expressions, such… read more

The New Hearing Aid

June 25, 2002

Adding increased stochatic (random) noise to cochlear implant signals makes the neural pattern more natural, increases the perceived dynamic range, allowing patients to detect subtler sounds, according to Dr. Jay Rubinstein, associate professor of otology at the University of Iowa, speaking at the conference of the American Society for Artificial Internal Organs.

The New Human

June 19, 2006

By 2020, virtual reality will allow for a full-immersion sensual encounter involving all five senses, says Ray Kurzweil in “The New Human,” an interview in the July 2005 issue of Playboy.

“You’ll feel as though you’re really with that person…. The whole idea of what it means to have a sexual relationship will be different.

“Computers used to be remote: now they’re in our pockets,” says Kurzweil. Next,… read more

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