science + technology news

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).

Scientists create artificial proteins from evolutionary ‘rules’

September 23, 2005

Scientists have created artificial proteins based on a set of simple “rules” that nature appears to use to design proteins. The artificial proteins look and function just like their natural counterparts.

The UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers tested the “rules” gleaned from the evolutionary record by feeding them into a computer program they developed. The program generated sequences of amino acids, which the researchers then “back-translated” to create artificial… read more

Researchers predict infinite genomes

September 22, 2005

Researchers might never fully describe some bacteria and viruses–because their genomes are infinite, according to scientists at The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR), writing in the September 19-23 early online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

With collaborators at Chiron Corporation, Harvard Medical School and Seattle Children’s Hospital, they compared the genomic sequence of eight isolates of the same bacterial species, Streptococcus agalactiae, and… read more

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