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When Human Rights Extend to Nonhumans

July 14, 2008

The environment committee of the Spanish Parliament last month voted to grant limited rights to our closest biological relatives, the great apes –chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas and orangutans.

The committee would bind Spain to the principles of the Great Ape Project, which points to apes’ human qualities, including the ability to feel fear and happiness, create tools, use languages, remember the past and plan the future.

New Techniques Pave Way for Carbon Nanotubes in Electronic Devices

November 8, 2006

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute reports two new techniques, each following a different approach, for placing carbon nanotube patterns on metal surfaces of just about any shape and size.

Apple investigating fuel-cell-powered MacBooks

December 27, 2011

Apple patent application

Apple could build new notebooks that are even smaller and lighter than current battery-powered devices by switching to fuel cells for power, Apple Insider reports.

Two patent applications published this week support that: “Fuel Cell System to Power a Portable Computing Device” and “Fuel Cell System Coupled to a Portable Computing Device.”

Instant stem cells — just add water

December 19, 2003

Researchers are honing a technique to create dried stem cells that can be revived just by adding water. The “instant” cells might provide mobile therapies for remote regions or the battlefield.

Because some stem cells can make fresh bone, muscle or blood, doctors hope to use them to repair tissues. But, like transplant organs kept on ice, their shelf life will be limited without an easy way to store… read more

Need a translation? Google awaits your call

March 10, 2010

Google Translate can now “listen” to speech and provide translations in a computerized voice for English, Mandarin and Japanese on phones that run Google’s Android operating system.

It can also translate text to and from more than 50 languages.

Invisible nanotube cable could support a human

July 20, 2008

A nanotube cable one centimeter in diameter with nanotubes separated by 5 microns (more than one wavelength of light) could hold a human while remaining invisible, Nicola Pugno of the Polytechnic of Turin in Italy has calculated.

So what’s with all the dinosaurs?

November 22, 2006

The Creation Museum – motto: “Prepare to Believe!” – will be the first institution in the world whose contents, with the exception of a few turtles swimming in an artificial pond, are entirely fake.

It is dedicated to the proposition that the account of the creation of the world in the Book of Genesis is completely correct, and its mission is to convince visitors through a mixture of animatronic… read more

Radio Ready to Go Digital

January 7, 2004

Digital radio receivers finally go on sale nationwide Wednesday, pairing CD-quality audio in over-the-air broadcasts with text information such as song titles, weather and news alerts.

Low-power laser makes fullerenes light up

March 18, 2010

A low-power laser can initiate the uncoiling of biocompatible fullerenes (special forms of carbon molecules), rapidly releasing the stored energy as light, heat or burning under different conditions, University of Florida researchers have discovered.

This could allow doctors to dose patients with fullerenes, identify the location of cancers, then treat them using low-power lasers, leaving other tissues unharmed. Another application would be to image the locations of tumors or… read more

MIT: Optical lithography good to 12 nanometers

July 25, 2008

Optical lithography can be extended to 12 nanometers, according to Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers who have so far demonstrated 25-nm lines using a new technique called scanning beam interference lithography.

Interference lithography uses two lasers of different frequencies that interfere with each other to create a grating image with much higher resolution than is possible with either laser alone. Nevertheless, non-optical limits to interference lithography have limited its… read more

A telescope for your eye

New contact lens design may improve sight of patients with macular degeneration, switches between magnified and normal vision
July 1, 2013

telescopic contact lens

An international team of researchers led by University of California San Diego Professor Joseph Ford has created a slim, telescopic contact lens that can switch between normal and magnified vision. With refinements, the system could offer age-related macular degeneration (AMD) patients a relatively unobtrusive way to enhance their vision.

Visual aids that magnify incoming light help AMD patients see by spreading light around to undamaged parts of… read more

Living view in animals shows how cells decide to make proteins

December 4, 2006

Scientists at Duke University Medical Center have visualized in a living animal how cells use a critical biological process to create unique and varied proteins.

The findings also may offer insight into a number of diseases, including cancer, in which the genetic process — called alternative splicing — goes awry and produces the wrong proteins.

The man who wants to translate the Web

January 9, 2012

Most of the Web is inaccessible to most people in the world. This problem is pressing, now more than ever, with millions of people from China, Russia, Latin America and other quickly developing regions entering the Web.

In this TED talk, Luis von Ahn introduces his new collaborative project, called Duolingo, which aims at breaking the language barrier and making the Web truly “world wide.”

Ultimate virtual grand piano developed

January 16, 2004

The quest to produce the ultimate realistic virtual grand piano took a big leap today with “Ivory,” announced by Synthogy and distributor ILIO at Winter NAMM 2004 in Anaheim.

The secret: Synthogy’s proprietary 32-bit sample-playback and digital signal processing (DSP) engine, which was specifically built from the ground up to bring out the resonance, response and character of three of the world’s finest concert grands:… read more

Moral judgments can be altered by pulsed magnetic fields

March 30, 2010

Disrupting the right temporoparietal junction (TPJ) of the brain by using 1 Hz transcranial magnetic stimulation made people less likely to condemn others for attempting but failing to inflict harm, neuroscientists led by Rebecca Saxe of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found in an experiment.

The study offers “striking evidence” that the right TPJ, located at the brain’s surface above and behind the right ear, is critical for making… read more

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