science + technology news

Sound waves produce nuclear fusion

July 15, 2005

UPDATE: The bubble bursts

An inexpensive “tabletop” device that uses sound waves to produce nuclear fusion reactions could lead to a new source of clean energy and a host of portable detectors and other applications.

A key component of the experiment was a glass test chamber about the size of two coffee mugs filled with a liquid called deuterated acetone, which contains a form of hydrogen… read more

Neurons fire like shotguns, not rifles

July 15, 2005

The synapse may behave more like a shotgun than a rifle when it comes to firing the neurotransmitters involved in neuronal communication, says a Howard Hughes Medical Institute research team led by investigator Terrence Sejnowski.

They created a detailed 3-D map of the synapse of a chick ciliary ganglion. The new 3-D modeling technique could offer a powerful tool for understanding neurological disease, such as myasthenia gravis, a common… read more

Stem cells may protect brain, nervous system -study

July 15, 2005

Stem cells may protect the brain and nervous system against damage from tumors and conditions such as multiple sclerosis, researchers at Milan’s San Raffaele Scientific Institute found.

Experiments with mice with a disease similar to multiple sclerosis showed that stem cells injected into the blood stream migrated to inflamed areas in the brain and spinal cord, killing inflammatory cells.

Ethicists Offer Advice for Testing Human Brain Cells in Primates

July 15, 2005

If stem cells ever show promise in treating diseases of the human brain, any potential therapy would need to be tested in animals. But putting human brain stem cells into monkeys or apes could raise awkward ethical dilemmas, like the possibility of generating a humanlike mind in a chimpanzee’s body.

Blogging + Video = Vlogging

July 14, 2005

Video blogs, a.k.a. vlogs — blogs that primarily feature video shorts instead of text — have boomed this year.

Clint Sharp, a vlogger who publishes a weekly tech show, said “the potential for everyone to self-publish has the ability to revolutionize the world” by sharing video across cultures and countries. It will also help those interested in exploring niche subjects ignored by traditional media.

Gravity doughnut promises time machine

July 14, 2005

One of the major difficulties of travelling backwards in time has just been solved, according to Amos Ori from Technion, the Israel Institute of Technology.

He says that according to Einstein’s theories, space can be twisted enough to create a local gravity field that looks like a doughnut of some arbitrary size. The gravitational field lines circle around the outside of this doughnut, so that space and time are… read more

The Enlightened Universe

July 13, 2005

The challenging task of keeping pace with the exponential rate of technological change is the subject of two online audio interviews with Ray Kurzweil on WIE Unbound, a streaming media service of What is Englightment? magazine.

A free one-month trial subscription to WIE Unbound is available, providing access to all audio recordings on the site.

Must-See Nanotech Movie

July 12, 2005

A new “must-see” short film has been produced using computer animation to assist in visualizing nanosystems and molecular manufacturing and is downloadable free.

Productive Nanosystems: from Molecules to Superproducts, is a collaborative effort of animator and engineer John Burch and pioneer nanotechnologist Dr. K. Eric Drexler.

The four-minute film depicts an animated view of a nanofactory and demonstrates key steps in a process that converts simple molecules into… read more

Why computers are like the weather

July 12, 2005

The behavior of the complex microchips that drive modern computers is inherently unpredictable and chaotic, researchers at the National Research Institute for Information and Automation in Orsay, France have found.

With robots, you can live forever

July 12, 2005

Futurist Ray Kurzweil believes immortality is ours if we program the human body like a computer.

Will RFID-guided robots rule the world?

July 12, 2005

Scientists envision a myriad of uses for mobile, RFID-guided robots, such as assisting blind people while they shop, helping them navigate stores and find merchandise, and help families tend to elderly or disabled relatives, dispensing medicine and performing household chores.

Teleportation: Express Lane Space Travel

July 12, 2005

In his new book, Teleportation – The Impossible Leap, published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., writer David Darling contends that “”One way or another, teleportation is going to play a major role in all our futures. It will be a fundamental process at the heart of quantum computers, which will themselves radically change the world.”

Darling senses the day may not be far off for routine teleportation of… read more

The Dream of a Lifetime

July 11, 2005

Moore’s law predicts that transistor density will in 10 years be about 100 times what it is now. In thinking about the future of computing, do we understand what another 100-fold increase in computing power will mean? It should enable big new dreams, says Bill Joy.

We should boldly set our sights on Doug Engelbart’s goal of augmentation of the human intellect.

Witnesses to History

July 11, 2005

The London terrorist attack moved the current “citizen journalism” trend to a new level, using text messaging, cameras, and the ability to record and transmit video through the Internet.

It was the first widespread use of that technology in covering a major breaking news story.

New optical disc has 100 gigabytes memory

July 11, 2005

Sharp Corp. says it has developed a technology to manufacture a new optical disc with 100 gigabytes of memory.

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