science + technology news

Nuclear stockpiles could create 300,000 bombs

September 8, 2005

The world has made enough explosives for more than 300,000 nuclear bombs, according to the latest scientific assessment of countries’ nuclear stockpiles.

Experts are worried that terrorists could steal enough to trigger a nuclear catastrophe.

Odd behavior and creativity may go hand-in-hand

September 7, 2005

New research on individuals with schizotypal personalities — people characterized by odd behavior and language but who are not psychotic or schizophrenic — offers the first neurological evidence that they are more creative than either normal or fully schizophrenic individuals, and rely more heavily on the right sides of their brains than the general population to access their creativity.

Deceit of the Raven

September 7, 2005

Science is chipping away at the case for human uniqueness, showing that animals and machines are more like us than we believed.

What happens, as these trends continue, to the familiar guideposts for deciding what is human?

Safecrackers open up the “deep Web”

September 7, 2005

Glenbrook Networks says it has a way to tunnel far into the “deep Web” and extract Web pages that are largely unreachable by most search engines because they are stored in databases that Web crawlers can’t access.

High Doses Of Vitamin E Boost Rat Survival Rate 40%; Brain Function, Neuromuscular Gains

September 7, 2005

Mice given high doses of vitamin E showed a 40% increase in median lifespan and increases in the ability to perform tests measuring neuromuscular performance and cognitive exploratory activity.

The results support the “free radical” theory of aging.

Sonic ‘Lasers’ Head to Flood Zone

September 5, 2005

Prototypes of non-lethal sonic devices have been demonstated to military and law enforcement.

The Magnetic Acoustic Device, or MAD, can beam audible sounds a mile away, to replace conventional public address systems; at closer range, they can be used for crowd control.

Parasites brainwash grasshoppers into death dive

September 5, 2005

A parasitic worm that makes the grasshopper it invades jump into water and commit suicide does so by producing proteins which directly and indirectly affect the grasshopper’s central nervous system.

Some of the proteins were linked to neurotransmitter activities. Others were linked to geotactic behaviour — the oriented movement of an organism in response to gravity.

Diamond-nanotube nanocomposite developed

September 5, 2005

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory have combined the world’s hardest known material — diamond — with the world’s strongest structural form — carbon nanotubes.

The resulting material has potential for use in low-friction, wear-resistant coatings, catalyst supports for fuel cells, high-voltage electronics, low-power/high-bandwidth radio frequency MEMS/NEMS, thermionic energy generation, low-energy-consumption flat panel displays, and hydrogen storage.

The new hybrid material was created using… read more

4G prototypes reach blistering speeds

September 5, 2005

Cellphones capable of transmitting data at a gigabit per second have been demonstrated by NTT DoCoMo in Japan.

In experiments, prototype phones were used to view 32 high definition video streams, while travelling in an automobile at 20 kilometers per hour.

Multiple-input-multiple-output (MIMO) multiplexing was also used to send data via various routes across a network to further increase data capacity.

Dark matter highlights extra dimensions

September 5, 2005

University of Oxford scientists say extra spatial dimensions can be inferred from the perplexing behavior of dark matter, which behaves differently in small galaxies and large clusters of galaxies.

Three extra dimensions are altering the effects of gravity over very short distances of about a nanometer, they speculate, implying that the Universe is only about a nanometer wide in these three “directions.”

New ‘Alien Nanofiber’ Has Potential Anti-Counterfeiting Applications

September 1, 2005

Carlos Rinaldi, assistant professor of chemical engineering at the University of Puerto Rico, has created 150-nanometer fibers that can be placed inside a garment or paper document and serve as a “fingerprint” that proves the garment or document is genuine.

The fibers contain nanoparticles with an electrical, magnetic or optical signature that can prove a product genuine if scanned by a device looking for the particular signature.

‘Miracle mouse’ can grow back lost limbs

September 1, 2005

Wistar Institute scientists have created a “miracle mouse” that can regenerate amputated limbs or badly damaged organs, making it able to recover from injuries that would kill or permanently disable normal animals.

The experimental animal is unique among mammals in its ability to regrow its heart, toes, joints and tail.

The researchers have also found that when cells from the test mouse are injected into ordinary mice, they… read more

Drexler’s Nanofactory Design Animation Now Available as Streaming Media

September 1, 2005

“Productive Nanosystems: From Molecules to Superproducts,” an animated video, is now available in streaming media format on The large 80 MB file previously took a long time to download, so access was limited.

Productive nanosystems are a goal of Dr. K. Eric Drexler’s twenty-year research in nanotechnology. To illustrate the concept, he has worked with engineer-animator John Burch to produce this 3D tour of one potential… read more

Studying the brain’s chemistry, neuron by neuron

September 1, 2005

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign researchers have developed tools for studying the chemistry of the brain, neuron by neuron. The analytical techniques can probe the spatial and temporal distribution of biologically important molecules, such as vitamin E, and explore the chemical messengers behind thought, memory and emotion.

By dismantling a slice of brain tissue into millions of single cell-size pieces, each of which can be interrogated by mass spectrometric… read more

In Chimpanzee DNA, Signs of Y Chromosome’s Evolution

August 31, 2005

Scientists have decoded the chimp genome and compared it with that of humans, a major step toward defining what makes people human and developing a deep insight into the evolution of human sexual behavior.

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