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UK moves to ban human sex selection

November 12, 2003

Britain’s fertility regulator tells the government parents should not be able to choose the sex of their children, based on potential health dangers of selecting sperm by the available methods and for social reasons.

First Results From The Allen Telescope Array

August 13, 2009

The Allen Telescope Array, a joint operation between the SETI Institute in Mountain View and the University of California, Berkeley, has imaged the movement of atomic hydrogen clouds in the intergalactic space between nearby galaxies, which could help solve one of the big mysteries of star formation.

DNA speeds up nanoparticle assembly

October 12, 2006

The speed of nanoparticle assembly can be accelerated by using the self-assembling properties of DNA, Brookhaven National Laboratory researchers have found.

Synthetic DNA is capped onto individual gold nanoparticles and customized to recognize and bind to complementary DNA located on other particles. This process forms clusters of gold particles.

Source: Brookhaven National Laboratory news

Turning Glare Into Watts

March 6, 2008
(Isaac Brekke/The New York Times)

As prices rise for fossil fuels and worries grow about their contribution to global warming, solar thermal plants are being viewed as a renewable power source with huge potential.

The technology involves covering acres of desert with mirrors that focus intense sunlight on a fluid, heating it enough to make steam. The steam turns a turbine and generates electricity. Some experts say that solar thermal plants could… read more

How to foster innovation

November 24, 2003

With the pace of innovation doubling every decade, inventors should “target the world when the product is launched, not when the project is launched,” said Ray Kurzweil in a keynote speech at the recent 8th Annual Independent Inventors Conference in Philadelphia, presented by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Kurzweil offered several other tips to inventors. For example:

  • Watch for”false pretenders”: an upstart threatens to
  • read more

    Video appears in paper magazines

    August 21, 2009

    The first video-in-print ads, using chips and thin screens around the size of mobile phone displays, will appear in select copies of Entertainment Weekly magazine in September and hold 40 minutes of video.

    The first clips will be promos for CBS programs and Pepsi.

    Gold mine holds life untouched by the Sun

    October 19, 2006

    The first known organisms that live totally independently of the sun have been discovered deep in a South African gold mine, raising hopes of finding similar creatures on other planets.

    Uranium and other radioactive elements in the rock emit radiation that shatters water molecules, producing high-energy hydrogen gas that is able to cleave chemical bonds.

    The bacteria exploit this hydrogen gas to turn sulphate (SO4) molecules from the… read more

    Testing Over, Hulu.com to Open Its TV and Film Offerings This Week

    March 11, 2008

    Hulu.com will make its catalog of TV shows and video clips available to anyone on the Web starting Wednesday.

    The streaming-video site displays free, ad-supported shows and feature films from NBC, Fox and more than 50 media companies, including Sony Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

    Cal researchers advance goal of artificial muscles

    December 5, 2003

    University of California at Berkeley researchers have taken a significant step in the development of synthetic muscles for patients who experience significant muscle loss due to injury or to diseases such as muscular dystrophy.

    Where Have You Gone, Bell Labs?

    August 31, 2009

    The root of the current lack of new, high-quality job creation is the massive scaling back of science and engineering research, which has in the past made enormous contributions to science, technology, and the economy, including the creation of millions of high-paying jobs, says management consultant Adrian Slywotzky.

    Here’s what’s needed to get that model back on track, he suggests:

    • Clear national goals in two or three… read more

    Nanotube Computing Breakthrough

    November 1, 2006

    A method for sorting nanotubes by electronic properties could help make widespread nanotube-based electronics a reality.

    The new process separates metallic and semiconducting nanotubes. It also segregates them by diameter (another important parameter for reliable computer chips) and eliminates contaminants, such as other forms of carbon.

    An Assistant Who May Need the Occasional Battery

    March 17, 2008

    Georgia Tech researchers have built “El-E,” a laser-pointer guided robot that can fetch objects as varied as towels, wallets, or coffee mugs with no need for elaborate computer modeling.

    The laser pointer gives the robot just enough context and guidance to solve the problem of figuring out which object in a room to pick up.

    This type of dexterous robot may be helpful in assisting people with severely… read more

    Nanowire sensors to allow instant medical tests

    December 17, 2003

    A silicon nanowire sensor has the potential to detect diseases never before possible with conventional tests, according to researcher Charles M. Lieber, a professor of chemistry at Harvard.

    An array of sensors could ultimately be configured to a handheld PDA-type device or small computer, allowing almost instant test results during a doctor’s visit or possibly even at home by a patient. It could potentially be used to screen for… read more

    College for $99 a Month

    September 7, 2009

    The next generation of online education could be great for students — and catastrophic for universities, as a great deal of money is going to abruptly melt out of the higher education system, just as it has in scores of other industries that traffic in information that is now far cheaper and more easily accessible than it has ever been before, says Kevin Carey, the policy director of Education Sector,… read more

    Artificial nose created with carbon-nanotube transistor and DNA

    July 27, 2011

    Schematic of a carbon nanotube transistor functionalized with mouse oflfactory receptors on nanodiscs (credit: Robert Johnson)

    Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have developed a chemical sensor that combines a carbon nanotube transistor with olfactory receptor proteins, the cell components in the nose that detect odors.

    The sensor comprises a single-walled carbon nanotube field effect transistor (swCN-FET) with a nanoscale layer of single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) adsorbed to the tube’s outerwall. The current through the swCN-FET shows a characteristic response to gaseous… read more

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