science + technology news

Making Eyeglasses That Let Wearers Change Focus on the Fly

August 7, 2009

Stephen Kurtin has succeeded in creating eyeglasses, called TruFocals, with a mechanically adjustable focus, freeing wearers from the limitations of bifocals, trifocals and progressive lenses.

Got Sleep? CDC says 1 out of 10 Americans are sleep deprived

March 3, 2008

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) research study states that 10 percent of adults — 50 to 70 million adult Americans — are not getting sufficient rest or sleep every night.

Chronic sleep loss and sleep disorders also raise the risk for additional health problems. The National Sleep Foundation reports that adults need seven to nine hours of sleep every night to be adequately rested.

Growing Biofuels

November 23, 2005

A new biofuel production method converts biomass (organic leftovers) into a fuel called “syngas” that outperforms both petroleum and plant oil-based biodiesel.

It also produces 85 to 90 percent less climate-changing carbon dioxide than motoring on fossil diesel, and generates less soot and smog because the fuel contains none of the sulfur found in conventional diesel and few aromatic hydrocarbons such as benzene.

Early light refines the brain’s circuitry for vision

June 6, 2011

Researchers at Brown University have provided new evidence of a role for exposure to light in organizing and refining the circuitry of vision systems.

To assess the effect of light on spike bursts, the researchers used electrodes to record the activity of cells in the inner retinas of newborn mice, first recording in the dark, then in the light, and then again in the dark.… read more

From Nanotechnology’s Sidelines, One More Warning

February 3, 2003

Capping Two-faced ‘Janus’ Nanoparticle Gives Engineers Complete Control

August 14, 2009

Duke University engineers have for the first time achieved optical and magnetic control over all the degrees of an nanoparticle’s motion, opening up broad possibilities for using “dot-Janus” particles as building blocks for applications such as electronic paper, self-propelling micromachines, assembly of nanostructures, and controlling the behavior of cells by manipulating dot-Janus particles attached to cell surfaces.

3-D Modeling Advance: single photo reconstructed into a 3-D scene

March 7, 2008

Stanford University researchers have developed a Web service that lets users turn a single two-dimensional image of an outdoor scene into an immersive 3-D model.

This had been a mathematically complicated problem. To solve it, the researchers developed a machine-learning algorithm that associates visual cues, such as color, texture, and size, with certain depth values, based on what they have learned from studying two-dimensional photos paired with 3-D data.

Ethical Concerns on Face Transplant Grow

December 8, 2005

American scientists are expressing increasing concerns that the world’s first partial face transplant, performed in northern France on Nov. 27, may have been undertaken without adequate medical and ethical preparation.

Speedier cell-phone circuitry

June 10, 2011

Graphene circuit (credit: Science/AAAS)

Researchers at IBM have made the best integrated circuits yet from graphene, a material that promises much faster components than silicon allows, but has proven difficult to work with.

The team made the circuits using existing manufacturing methods, showing that graphene could be used to make faster, more power-efficient radio communications circuitry for cell phones, and other wireless devices.

The researchers made a frequency mixer, combining one graphene… read more

Long distance quantum teleportation draws closer

February 13, 2003

Researchers in Austria have solved a problem plaguing long distance quantum teleportation: verifying that information has been transmitted has required the quantum link itself to be destroyed, preventing any further use.

The solution was to reduce the intensity of the source used to fire photons at the entangled pair, lowering the total number of photons in the system and hence also the number of false positives. Now, if the… read more

Mining the Web for Feelings, Not Facts

August 24, 2009

An emerging field known as sentiment analysis, fueled by social networking, is taking shape around one of the computer world’s unexplored frontiers: translating human emotions into hard data, which could eventually transform the experience of searching for information online.

Short-term stress can affect learning and memory

March 12, 2008

University of California at Irvine researchers have found that short-term stress lasting as little as a few hours can impair brain-cell communication in areas associated with learning and memory.

The acute-stress-activated selective corticotropin molecules released hormones (CRH), which disrupted the process the brain uses to collect and stores memories.

In rat and mouse studies, the researchers found that the release of CRH in the hippocampus led to rapid… read more

The Singularity Is Near ranks in top-selling science and tech books in 2005

December 17, 2005

After an extended run as #1 on the Amazon.com science, technology, and philosophy lists since its publication, Ray Kurzweil’s The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology ends 2005 as the fourth best-selling science book in 2005, even though published late in the year (September 26).

The book was also selected by the Amazon editors as #6 on their “Best Books of 2005: Science” list.… read more

Exclusive Intel Product Roadmap Details

February 28, 2003

Intel’s entire roadmap for the next few years will be revealed on Ziff Davis’ ExtremeTech site.

Tumors Feel The Deadly Sting Of Nanobees

September 1, 2009

Washington University School of Medicine researchers have attached the peptide Melittin, a major component of bee venom, to nano-sized spheres they call “nanobees”
for injection into tumors.

Melittin is strongly attracted to cell membranes, where it can form pores that break up cells and kill them. The results suggest that nanobees could lessen the growth and size of established cancerous tumors and also act at early stages to prevent… read more

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