science + technology news

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.

Nanowires detect cancer

September 26, 2005

Molecular markers indicating the presence of cancer in the body are readily detected in blood scanned by special arrays of silicon nanowires — even when these cancer markers constitute only one hundred-billionth of the protein present in a drop of blood, Harvard University researchers have found.

“This is one of the first applications of nanotechnology to healthcare and offers a clinical technique that is significantly better than what exists… read more

Nanobot programmable dermal display animation developed

September 23, 2005

Robert A. Freitas and Gina “Nanogirl” Miller have developed an animation of the “programmable dermal display” described in Freitas’ Nanomedicine, Volume I: Basic Capabilities book.

A population of about 3 billion display pixel robots would be permanently implanted a fraction of a mm under the surface of the skin of the back of the hand, presenting to the user data received from the large population… read more

University of Denmark Scientists Develop Hydrogen Tablet

September 23, 2005

Scientists at the Technical University of Denmark have invented a technology which may be an important step towards the hydrogen economy: a hydrogen tablet that effectively stores hydrogen in an inexpensive and safe material in solid form: in ammonia absorbed efficiently in sea salt.

Quantum-dot syntheses developed

September 23, 2005

New synthesis methods by University at Buffalo researchers allow for scalable, rapid creation of large quantities of non-toxic, robust, water-dispersible quantum dots for bioimaging.

The quantum dots also emit light in longer wavelengths, in the red region of the spectrum, making them capable of imaging processes deeper in the body, and they exhibit two-photon excitation, which is necessary for high-contrast imaging.

Source: University at Buffalo newsread more

Brain imaging ready to detect terrorists, say neuroscientists

September 23, 2005

Brain-imaging techniques that reveal when a person is lying are now reliable enough to identify criminals, with 99% accuracy, claim University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine researchers.

When someone lies, their brain inhibits them from telling the truth, and this makes the frontal lobes more active, which can be monitored with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

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