science + technology news

Mighty Mice Regrow Organs

September 30, 2005

Genetically altered mice discovered accidentally at the Wistar Institute in Pennsylvania have the seemingly miraculous ability to regenerate like a salamander, and even regrow vital organs.

The results stunned scientists because if such regeneration is possible in this mammal, it might also be possible in humans.

Google confirms Ames plan, Search engine plans offices, partnership with space agency

September 30, 2005

Google Inc. plans to build up to 1 million square feet of offices at NASA Ames Research Center and collaborate with the space agency on research surrounding topics such as supercomputing that could benefit everything from moon launches to online searches.

It will also involve biotechnology, information technology and nanotechnology.

Magnetic Microchips Replace Electronic Semiconductor

September 29, 2005

Researchers have created a computer by using magnetic microchips rather than semiconductor electronics.

Magnetic microchips reduce heat and are simpler and potentially cheaper to produce than electronic chips.

You Can’t Hide Your Lyin’ Brain

September 29, 2005

A scientist at the Medical University of South Carolina has found that magnetic resonance imaging machines also can serve as lie detectors, with more than 90 percent accuracy.

The MRI images show that more blood flows to parts of the brain associated with anxiety and impulse control when people lie. More blood also flows to the part of the brain handling multitasking because it is hard for people to… read more

AI systems may blow weathermen away

September 29, 2005

Weather forecasters could find themselves pushed out of a job by an artificial intelligence system designed to write clearer, less ambiguous reports.

Computer scientists at the University of Aberdeen, UK, were asked to generate an “artificial weatherperson” by operators of offshore oil rigs, who wanted more clarity in their forecasts. The vocabulary used by different forecasters can be vague and highly variable, says Ehud Reiter, who led the Aberdeen… read more

Molecule Walks Like a Human

September 28, 2005
A DTA molecule moves in a straight line on a flat surface, such as a copper sheet shown here, by mimicking a human walking

The “nano-walker,” a molecule that can move in a straight line on a flat surface has been designed by UC Riverside researchers, offering a new approach for storing large amounts of information on a tiny chip.

The molecule — 9,10-dithioanthracene or “DTA” — has two linkers that act as feet. Obtaining its energy from heat supplied to it, the molecule moves such that only one of the… read more

Computer users move themselves with the mind

September 28, 2005

Computer scientists have created a brain-computer interface that can read your thoughts. It allows you to stroll down a virtual street. All you have to do is think about walking.

The technology detects brain waves by using electrodes placed at strategic points on the scalp; they are positioned over brain areas known to be involved in moving specific body parts. The computer can then distinguish between signals corresponding to… read more

Can proteins perform logic?

September 27, 2005

Theoretical physicists in the UK have shown that it should be possible to use clusters of proteins to perform complex logic operations.

Evolution Lawsuit Opens in Pennsylvania

September 27, 2005

Intelligent design is not science, has no support from any major American scientific organization and does not belong in a public school science classroom, a prominent biologist testified on the opening day of the nation’s first legal battle over whether it is permissible to teach the fledgling “design” theory as an alternative to evolution.

NSA granted Net location-tracking patent

September 26, 2005

The National Security Agency has obtained a patent on a method of figuring out an Internet user’s geographic location.

Patent 6,947,978 describes a way to discover someone’s physical location by comparing it to a “map” of Internet addresses with known locations.

The NSA’s patent relies on measuring the latency, meaning the time lag between computers exchanging data, of “numerous” locations on the Internet and building a “network latency… read more

Like High-Def? Here Comes the Next Level

September 26, 2005

Scientists and engineers in the United States and Japan plan to test the world’s highest-resolution videoconferencing system: a state-of-the-art Sony video projector that displays “4K” digital video, with images that are about 4,000 pixels across.

The data will be sent over a 9,000-mile optical network linking the University of California, San Diego, with Keio University in Tokyo, operating at speeds of up to a billion bits per second.

The Fastest Net Yet

September 26, 2005

Ultrafast broadband services from phone and cable companies could speed up your downloads to 15 megabits per second or more by replacing copper cables with fiber-optic lines.

The digital Dark Age

September 26, 2005

A major challenge faces the “digital” generation: how can masses of machine-generated, machine-read material be stored in a form that is safe, secure from degradation.

Computer experts worldwide believe that, far from a panacea that provides increasingly efficient answers to problems of recording, storing and retrieving information, technology is deeply flawed.

They fear that rather than ushering mankind into a techno-utopia of paperless offices and clean, eco-friendly, endlessly… read more

Sun president: PCs are so yesterday

September 26, 2005

Increasingly, the personal computer is a relic, says Sun Microsystems president Jonathan Schwartz. Instead, what has become important are Web services on the Internet and the mobile phones most will use to access them.

Schwartz points to the increasing wealth and power of companies, like eBay, Google, Yahoo and, that profit from free services available over the network.

Bill Would Permit DNA Collection From All Those Arrested

September 26, 2005

Suspects arrested or detained by federal authorities could be forced to provide samples of their DNA that would be recorded in a central database under a provision of a Senate bill to expand government collection of personal data.

This scenario is portrayed in the precautionary film GATTACA. – Ed.

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