science + technology news

It Gasps, It Yawns, It Even Listens: Furby Is Back, Kilobytes to Spare

July 25, 2005

A new version of Furby, the best-selling electronic toy of 1998, has 500 KB of memory (six times more), 14-megahertz processor, wider range of expressions, and ability to respond to vocal commands.

‘Stealth’: A.I. out of control

July 25, 2005

An AI-based unmanned stealth fighter jet, after being hit by lightning, decides to execute a top-secret mission that could result in global thermonuclear war. That’s the theme of the movie “Stealth,” opening this week.

Mind May Affect Machines

July 22, 2005

Using random event generators — computers that spew random output — researchers have detected small but “statistically significant” signs that minds may be able to interact with machines.

“Harmless” Bacterium Found to Cause 10 Percent of COPD Flare-Ups

July 21, 2005

University of Buffalo researchers have found that a ubiquitous bacteria strain previously thought to be harmless causes 10% of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) flare-ups or exacerbations.

COPD affects 20 million Americans and is the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. Many of these deaths occur during times of COPD flare-ups. The new findings could lead to vaccines or other methods of preventing 2-4 million flare-ups each… read more

Super-fast broadband coming via cable?

July 21, 2005

By using Ethernet within cable TV networks, in 2006 the speed of broadband internet over cable TV could reach 100 megabits per second, claims a Finnish technology company.

The new technique for increasing transmission speeds over cable is undergoing field trials in the Netherlands.

Human Bone Contains Shock Absorbing ‘Glue’

July 21, 2005

Human bone has a form of ‘glue’ or adhesive that acts as a shock absorber to help bone during stress, University of California Santa Barbara researchers have announced.

This “molecular shock absorber,” studied at a nano-scale molecular level using an atomic force microscope, is similar to that discovered in abalone shell. The discovery of these molecules may lead to better treatment of bone diseases. As Dr. Daniel Morse explains,… read more

Small Matters

July 19, 2005

Nanotechnology could lead to the next arms race. Experts are debating how to prepare.

Designing for New Dimensions

July 19, 2005

Rensselaer researchers are pioneering chip real estate by developing high-rise, 3-D chips to alleviate congestion in integrated circuits.

New test detects pathogens in minutes

July 19, 2005

A new technique for detecting dangerous pathogens could lead to faster and cheaper diagnosis of disease and prevent food poisoning, say Cornell University researchers.

The team claims their biosensor is accurate enough to identify different strains of disease-causing organisms in a blood sample in just 30 minutes, and at a fraction of the current cost. The researchers hope the test could soon be incorporated into an inexpensive hand-held device… read more

Simulated society may generate virtual culture

July 18, 2005

A society of virtual “agents” – each with a remarkably realistic personality and the ability to learn and communicate – is being crafted by scientists from five European research institutes who hope to gain insights into the way human societies evolve.

Nano valve can trap and release molecules

July 18, 2005

UCLA chemists have created the first nano valve that can be opened and closed at will to trap and release molecules. It can be used as a drug delivery system.

It consists of moving parts — switchable rotaxane molecules that resemble linear motors attached to a tiny piece of glass (porous silica), which measures about 500 nanometers. Tiny pores in the glass are only a few nanometers in size.… read more

Superconducting nanowire devices could run and run

July 18, 2005

Researchers at Delft University of Technology and Philips Research Laboratories have combined semiconductor nanowires with superconducting contacts to make superconducting transistors. At temperatures below 1 K, the contacts induced superconductivity in the nanowires through the proximity effect.

Fujitsu Debuts Bendable Electronic Paper

July 18, 2005

Fujitsu has developed the world’s first film substrate-based bendable color electronic paper with an image memory function.

The new electronic paper features vivid color images that are unaffected even when the screen is bent, and features an image memory function that enables continuous display of the same image without the need for electricity. The thin and flexible electronic paper uses very low power to change screen images, making it… read more

Armed With Right Cellphone, Anyone Can Be a Journalist

July 18, 2005

Got a cellphone camera? You, too, can be a television journalist. The news staff of WABC-TV, the ABC affiliate in New York, started soliciting cellphone pictures and amateur video last week from people who witness a news event.

Fast Development of Nano-Manufactured Products

July 18, 2005

Molecular manufacturing nanofactories will open the door to true rapid prototyping.

This will make the technology transformative but also truly disruptive. If it took decades of research to produce breakthrough products, we would have time to adjust. But if breakthrough products can be developed quickly, their effects can pile up too quickly to allow wise policymaking or adjustment.

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