science + technology news

A Sci-Fi Future Awaits the Court

September 22, 2005

At John Roberts’ confirmation hearings last week, there weren’t enough discussions about science fiction. Technologies that are science fiction today will become constitutional questions before Roberts retires from the bench. The same goes for technologies that cannot even be conceived of now. And many of these questions involve privacy.

Intel claims power breakthrough

September 22, 2005

Intel has announced a new chip manufacturing process which it claims could dramatically cut power consumption, and boost battery life by up to 1,000 per cent.

Magnetic Nanocrystals Provide Dual Imaging of Cancer Cells

September 21, 2005

Antibody-labeled magnetic nanocrystals used with MRI can rapidly detect breast cancer cells in a living animal, South Korean researchers have found.

The water-soluble antibody-nanocrystal conjugate binds tightly to the HER2/neu receptor that is overexpressed on certain types of breast cancer and is targeted by the anticancer therapy Herceptin. When injected into mice bearing human breast tumors, it travels quickly to the site of the tumors and renders them visible… read more

Tiny microscope peers into mice brains

September 21, 2005

A microscope the size of a matchbox can image blood vessels lying 1 millimeter below the surface of the brains of mice, with a resolution of 1 micrometer.

A pin-like probe, 1 mm in diameter, protrudes from the bottom of the device and punches a tiny hole in the head of the anesthetized mouse. The probe does not enter the brain, but sits on top of the hippocampus. There… read more

It’s A Whole New Web

September 20, 2005

“Web 2.0″ is shaking up a raft of industries as people individually and collectively program their own Web.

By the millions, they’re gathering and disseminating their own news with blogs and podcasts, creating customized article and photo feeds from their favorite sites and even annotating them with helpful text tags that others can search for. And they’re producing their own entertainment on video, social-networking, game, and photo-sharing sites.

Nature’s Design Workshop

September 19, 2005

A new field called biomimicry, or biologically inspired design, allows engineers to mimic nature’s successful designs and production methods.

A Company Looks to Wean Computers Off the Wires

September 19, 2005

Airgo Networks’ high-speed wireless networking system, True MIMO, operates at as much as 240 megabits a second, surpassing Wi-Fi and Ethenet rates.

It will allow for high-resolution digital video distribution in the home.

Stem Cells Help More Mice Walk

September 19, 2005

Injections of human stem cells in mice seem to directly repair some of the damage caused by spinal cord injury, going beyond previous research by repairing myelin cells, which create the biological insulation that nerve fibers need to communicate.

A number of neurological diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, involve loss of that insulation.

US plans first face transplant

September 19, 2005

Cleveland Clinic surgeons are to interview a shortlist of patients hoping to be the first to receive a face transplant for a patient whose face is disfigured.

The procedure would involve taking skin and underlying tissues from a dead donor and placing them on the living recipient.

Computer modelling suggests the face should take on more of the characteristics of the skeleton of the recipient than the soft… read more

Google to Put Copyright Laws to the Test

September 19, 2005

Pre-Internet copyright laws are about to be tested as Google attempts to scan millions of books and make their text fully searchable on the Internet. TV programs are next.

Intelligence in the Internet age

September 19, 2005

Terabytes of easily accessed data, always-on Internet connectivity, and lightning-fast search engines are profoundly changing the way people gather information.

‘Magic brush’ paints visual world

September 19, 2005

The I/O Brush, developed at the MIT Media Lab, picks up colors and textures from the environment and allows for painting with them on a large digital screen.

At the tip of the brush is a tiny video camera enclosed by a ring-shaped brush. LEDs are used for illumination and pressure sensors trigger image capture of one frame in the normal mode, and a few seconds of video in… read more

Camera phones will be high-precision scanners

September 19, 2005

New cell-phone OCR software allows entire documents to be scanned simply by sweeping the phone across the page.

The software takes dozens of still images of the page and merges them, using the outline of the page as a reference guide.

Computers Make Big Strides in Predicting Protein Structure

September 16, 2005

Computers can predict the detailed structure of small proteins nearly as well as experimental methods, at least some of the time, according to new studies by Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers.

The findings, which were reported in the September 16, 2005, issue of the journal Science, suggest that scientists eventually may be able to determine the structure of proteins from their genomic sequences, a problem that has seemed insurmountable.… read more

Mobile fuel cells set to take off in 2006

September 16, 2005

Sales of long-lasting and renewable fuel cells for powering mobile devices will reach $1.6 billion by 2010, according to market research firm NanoMarkets.

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