science + technology news

Cyberattack Drill Shows U.S. Unprepared

February 18, 2010

“Cyber Shockwave,” which simulated a massive cyberattack — mobile phone worm and power grid attack — on Tuesday, found that the U.S. is ill-prepared to handle a large-scale cyberattack.

Why Fly When You Can Float?

July 7, 2008

As the cost of fuel soars and the pressure mounts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, several schemes for a new generation of airship, based on new materials and sophisticated means of propulsion, are being considered by governments and private companies.

Cheap, Transparent, and Flexible Displays

October 24, 2006

By developing a low-cost method for making high-performance transparent transistors, researchers at Northwestern University have taken an important step toward creating sharp, bright displays that could be laminated to windshields, computer monitors, and televisions but would blend into the background when not in use.

They could also be used as transparent processors and memory, incorporated into a thin, flexible sheet, saving manufacturing costs and introducing a new form of… read more

Making science leap from the page

December 19, 2011

An interactive graphic from Wolfram Research lets readers change the display parameters of an oil spill (credit: Wolfram Research)

Textbook publishers are experimenting with interactive digital-only technologies that enliven the static pages of electronic technical textbooks and documents, from dynamic illustrations to short quizzes meant to involve students.


Researchers create nanotube fibers

December 9, 2003

Researchers at Rice University have discovered how to create continuous fibers from single-walled carbon nanotubes.

Scientists estimate nanotubes are about 100 times stronger than steel at one-sixth the weight. By comparison, Kevlar — the fiber used in bulletproof body armor — is about five times stronger than an equal weight of steel.

By dissolving nanotubes in strong sulfuric acid, a team of chemists and chemical engineers was able… read more

Skinput turns your arm into a touchscreen

March 1, 2010

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and Microsoft Research have developed a new skin-based interface called Skinput that allows for using hands and arms as touchscreens.

Skinput works by detecting the various ultralow-frequency sounds produced when tapping different parts of the skin, allowing users to control audio devices, play games, make phone calls, and navigate hierarchical browsing systems.

A keyboard, menu, or other graphics are beamed onto a user’s… read more

New Generation Of Home Robots Have Gentle Touch

July 11, 2008

An advanced household service robot, the “Care-O-bot,” has been developed by scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA in Stuttgart.

Stereo color cameras, laser scanners and a 3-D range camera enable the robot to register its surroundings in three dimensions in real time. It has a highly flexible arm with seven degrees of freedom and a hand with three fingers, allowing it to… read more

Sleep mechanism identified that plays role in emotional memory

UC researchers find that Ambien heightens recollection of and response to bad memories
June 14, 2013

Ambien (zolpidem)

Sleep researchers from University of California campuses in Riverside and San Diego have identified the sleep mechanism that enables the brain to consolidate emotional memory and found that Ambien, a popular prescription sleep aid, heightens the recollection of and response to negative memories.

Their findings have implications for individuals suffering from insomnia related to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other anxiety disorders who are prescribed… read more

Next year’s models

November 6, 2006

A personal iPod theater, bultra-mobile Windows PC, and mobile video telephone are among the gadgets available in Tokyo and that may be available in the U.S. in the future.

Glasses-free 3D conversion to be announced at CES

December 23, 2011

Stream TV Networks‘ new autostereoscopic Ultra-D tech¬† will convert 2D content to 3D and without glasses and will work with various formats, including Blu-ray, DVD, PC games, Internet, cable, and satellite, with conversion done in real time, he company claims in a pre-CES statement.

Stream TV Networks says it has 3D-capable products (under the Ultra-D brand) coming out for TVs, converter boxes, tablets, PCs, smartphones,… read more

The Rise of India

December 17, 2003

India’s technological success is challenging the definitions of globalization and Corporate America is becoming concerned. “There’s just no place left to squeeze” costs in the U.S., says Chris Disher, a Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. outsourcing specialist.

“That’s why every CEO is looking at India, and every board is asking about it.” neoIT, a consultant advising U.S. clients on how to set up shop in India, says it has been… read more

Google Public Data Explorer lets you create dynamic charts and maps

March 9, 2010

us unemployment

Google’s new Public Data Explorer makes large datasets easy to explore, visualize and communicate.

You can create dynamic, interactive mash-up line graphs, bar graphs, maps and bubble charts that can be embedded in Web pages.

The visualizations are dynamic, so you can watch them move over time, change topics, highlight different entries and change the scale.

A Musical Score for Disease

July 18, 2008

Gil Alterovitz, a research fellow at Harvard Medical School, is developing a computer program that translates protein and gene expression into music.

In his acoustic translation, harmony represents good health, and discord indicates disease.

Using data collected from a study of protein expression in colon cancer, Alterovitz analyzed more than three thousand related proteins involved in the disease. He found four key networks, using various genetic databases that… read more

New step towards silicon-based quantum computer

June 21, 2013


Researchers at the University of New South Wales have proposed a new way to distinguish between quantum bits that are placed only a few nanometers apart in a silicon chip, taking them a step closer to the construction of a large-scale quantum computer.

Quantum bits, or qubits, are the basic building blocks of quantum computers — ultra-powerful devices that will offer enormous advantages for solving… read more

PROFILE: Cynthia Breazeal

November 20, 2006

On Nov. 22, MIT researcher Cynthia Breazeal will introduce viewers to some of her seminal inventions: the famous toddler-like robotic head named Kismet; Leonardo, a million-dollar joint project with Stan Winston, legendary in Hollywood for The Terminator robots; and a touch-sensitive teddy bear called the Huggable, which may someday comfort patients and assist caregivers in hospital pediatric wards.

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