science + technology news

Xtreme Defense

August 29, 2005

Lightning guns, heat rays, weapons that can make you hear the voice of God. This is what happens when the war on terror meets the entrepreneurial spirit.

Early Look at Research Project to Re-engineer the Internet

August 29, 2005

The National Science Foundation’s Global Environment for Networking Investigations project is intended to fundamentally re-engineer the Internet and overcome its shortcomings.

The network will focus on security, “pervasive computing” environments populated by mobile, wireless and sensor networks, control of critical infrastructure and the ability to handle new services that can be used by millions of people.

Carbon nanotube technology, closer than you think

August 26, 2005

Scientists are looking at using the highly conductive properties of carbon nanotubes to dissipate heat from computer chips, which would allow them to run faster without overheating.

“Anti-Aging Hormone” Found in Mice; May Help Humans

August 26, 2005

Researchers have dramatically increased the life spans of mice by up to 30 percent by genetically engineering them to overproduce a protein called klotho.

The gene regulates production of klotho protein, which the study team says works like an anti-aging hormone. Kotho is involved in the suppression of insulin-signaling pathways — a process that has been shown to increase the life spans of worms and flies.

A Doll That Can Recognize Voices, Identify Objects and Show Emotion

August 26, 2005

Using an advanced speech-recognition/voice response chip, an electronic memory, and facial motors, Amazing Amanda, scheduled for release next month by Playmates Toys, will “listen, speak and show emotion,” with responses customized to the individual child.

DNA Printer

August 25, 2005

MIT researchers have developed a technique that prints DNA from one substrate — for example glass, gold or silicon — onto another. Using a print template, they can produce mirror-image copies in just a simple few steps, offering the rapid transfer of a large amount of information and allow for low-cost DNA analysis.

The technique, called “supramolecular nano-stamping” (SuNS), could be used to produce many other kinds of nano-devices:… read more

Nano Diamonds Serve as Circuitry-Writing Pens

August 25, 2005

Diamond slivers only nanometers wide could serve as atomic-force microscope tips that help print advanced circuitry, for DNA sequencing devices, or for conductivity measurements of neurons to examine synapses and signal mechanisms.

A common problem atomic-force microscopes face is how their cantilever tips break down as they run over surfaces. Researchers at Northwestern University and Argonne National Laboratory have invented probes made of what they call ultra nanocrystalline diamond.… read more

Cybertroops Keep War Games Real

August 24, 2005

With ever-more-sophisticated simulation and modeling technology, the military today can mix and match real tanks, planes and ships with forces that exist only on computers — and those located in virtual training environments, such as pilots in flight simulators thousands of miles away.

Adding virtual and constructive simulations to live exercises allows the military to create training scenarios that approach the complexity of real warfare at roughly one-tenth of… read more

Hitachi Unveils World’s First Terabyte DVD Recorder

August 24, 2005

Hitachi on Wednesday unveiled the world’s first hard disk drive/DVD recorder that can store one terabyte of data, or enough to record about 128 hours of high-definition digital broadcasting.

Holographic Memory

August 24, 2005

InPhase Technologies is developing one of the first commercial systems to use “holographic storage,” using a disc with more than 60 times the storage capacity of a standard DVD, while the drive writes about 10 times faster than a conventional DVD burner. That means the disc can store up to 128 hours of video content.

The Super Network

August 24, 2005

Every major cable company is making investments to allow TV to be distributed over the Internet, giving you access to 31 million hours pf programming per year. And then there’s this year’s 36-fold explosion in consumer-generated video on the Internet.

Yahoo! is working with SBC and Microsoft on an IPTV/fiber-to-the-curb initiative called Project Lightspeed that uses Yahoo! software to deliver video-on-demand, instant messaging, photo collections, and music.

Intel Says Forget Megahertz And Gigahertz

August 24, 2005

Intel Chief Executive Paul Otellini says megahertz and gigahertz is out, and “performance per watt” is in.

The new combined measurement is more relevant to smaller, flexible devices, like notebook computers, portable media players and smart phones, because heat and power consumption have a direct impact on performance and battery life.

Using Intel’s “dual core” technology, in which computations are done within two “brains” on a single chip,… read more

Google Enhances Desktop Search

August 22, 2005

Google has released a new version of its desktop search tool, offering features such as integration with Outlook, personal Gmail search, and a sidebar that displays customizable data, including photos, headlines, web clips, relevant news, “What’s Hot” on the Web, and weather.

Researchers Devise New Technique for Creating Human Stem Cells

August 22, 2005

Researchers have developed a new technique for creating human embryonic stem cells by fusing adult somatic cells with embryonic stem cells.

The fusion causes the adult cells to undergo genetic reprogramming, which results in cells that have the developmental characteristics of human embryonic stem cells. The new technique may permit scientists to derive new human embryonic stem cell lines without the need to use human embryos.

This approach… read more

Daisy has all the digital answers to life on Earth

August 21, 2005

Scientists have unveiled plans to create a digital library of all life on Earth. They say that the Digital Automated Identification System (Daisy), which harnesses the latest advances in artificial intelligence and computer vision, will have an enormous impact on research into biodiversity and evolution.

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