science + technology news

Wolfram Reinvents Mathematica

May 2, 2007

Wolfram Research’s new Mathematica 6, announced on Tuesday, comes with nearly 1,000 new computational and interface features, including an impressive new “instant interactivity” feature — turning models, simulations, computations, or just about any concepts into fully interactive applications, sometimes within seconds.

More than 1,000 amazing examples of these interactive applications have been posted to the Wolfram Demonstrations Project.

This new way of working drastically… read more

Motorola rolls out Wi-Fi phone

July 27, 2004

Motorola has introduced a new phone that it says will switch calls seamlessly between cellular services and wireless WiFi Internet networks, potentially offering big savings for customers.

It is planned to be commercially available by fall or early 2005,

Autism diagnosis by brain scan

August 11, 2010

Scientists from the Institute of Psychiatry (IoP) at King’s College London have developed a 15-minute MRI brain scan that can identify adults with autism with over 90 per cent accuracy. The method could lead to the screening for autism spectrum disorders in children in the future.

An imaging technique was used to reconstruct the scans into 3D images that could be assessed for structure, shape and thickness – all intricate… read more

Better Wind Turbines

November 13, 2008

ExRo Technologies has developed a new kind of generator that could lower the cost of wind turbines while increasing their power output by 50 percent.

Old Rockets Carry Bacteria to the Stars

May 10, 2007

Derelict rocket stages that propelled four spacecraft toward the edges of our solar system and beyond are likely carrying Earthly bacteria out into the galaxy.

Mapping the Physical And Mental Universes

August 5, 2004

If the manual of life is encoded in our DNA, where do we look to find the blueprint of consciousness? This was a subject that fascinated Francis Crick, who, along with James Watson, discovered the double-helix structure of DNA 50 years ago.

Engrossed in the mysterious relationship between mind and body, Crick later felt impelled to turn his attention from matter to mind and from biology to philosophy –… read more

Replacing a Pile of Textbooks With an iPad

August 24, 2010


A new company called Inkling hopes to break the standard textbook model and help textbooks enter the interactive age by letting students share and comment on the texts and interact with fellow students, using an iPad.

Other features include interactive graphics within a book and the ability to search text, change the size of the type, purchase individual chapters of books, highlight text for othersread more

Six ways to build robots that do humans no harm

November 19, 2008

The book Moral Machines: Teaching Robots Right from Wrong offers six strategies that could reduce the danger from our own computers and robots: Keep them in low-risk situations, do not give them weapons, give them rules like Asimov’s “Three Laws of Robotics,” program robots with principles, educate robots like children, and make machines master emotion.

Gene quest

May 24, 2007

“Genome-wide association” research — fast, cheap scanning of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs, large sections of DNA) for anomalies that can make people more susceptible to a disease or even directly trigger illness — has over the past months produced dramatic results linking hitherto unexplored patches of genetic terrain with such common killers as heart disease and diabetes.

Brain artery model simulates cerebral blood vessel function for doctor training

April 25, 2012


The Cybram 001 Cybernetic Brain Artery Model, which simulates cerebral blood vessel functioning to allow doctors to develop brain-operation skills, has been developed by researchers at Fuyo Corporation and the Saitama Medical University International Medical Center in Japan.

The life-size plastic body contains a blood vessel system that runs from the groin to the cerebral artery, and a circulation pump controlled by information from a blood-pressure sensor to… read more

Artificial Retina

August 19, 2004

A retinal prosthesise implanted in the eye could restore the sight of millions.

It would use a digital video camera mounted on a pair of glasses, coupled via a miniature transmitter to a retinal implant array underneath the retina. The array’s electrodes would stimulate surviving nerve cells in response to images from the camera, providing a small patch of vision.

The Boston Retinal Implant Project hopes to test… read more

Nano Switches that Store More Data Head to Market

September 1, 2010


Hewlett-Packard announced today that it has entered an agreement with the Korean electronics manufacturer Hynix Semiconductor to make memristors, starting in 2013. Storage devices made of memristors will allow PCs, cellphones, and servers to store more and switch on instantly.

“The goal is to be at least double whatever flash memory is in three years–we know we’ll beat flash in speed, power, and endurance, and we want to… read more

YouTube goes live

November 24, 2008

YouTube has broadcast its first live event, an extravaganza that was part concert and part variety show.

Food chemical ‘may boost memory’

June 1, 2007

Epicatechin, a chemical found in chocolate, tea, grapes and blueberries, can improve the memory of mice, Salk Institute research suggests.

Mysterious signals from 1000 light years away

September 2, 2004

A radio signal designated “SHGb02+14a” seems to be coming from a point between the constellations Pisces and Aries, where there is no obvious star or planetary system within 1000 light years. And the transmission is very weak.

It has a frequency of about 1420 megahertz (one of the main frequencies at which hydrogen, the most common element in the universe, readily absorbs and emits energy).

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