science + technology news

New test detects pathogens in minutes

July 19, 2005

A new technique for detecting dangerous pathogens could lead to faster and cheaper diagnosis of disease and prevent food poisoning, say Cornell University researchers.

The team claims their biosensor is accurate enough to identify different strains of disease-causing organisms in a blood sample in just 30 minutes, and at a fraction of the current cost. The researchers hope the test could soon be incorporated into an inexpensive hand-held device… read more

Simulated society may generate virtual culture

July 18, 2005

A society of virtual “agents” – each with a remarkably realistic personality and the ability to learn and communicate – is being crafted by scientists from five European research institutes who hope to gain insights into the way human societies evolve.

Nano valve can trap and release molecules

July 18, 2005

UCLA chemists have created the first nano valve that can be opened and closed at will to trap and release molecules. It can be used as a drug delivery system.

It consists of moving parts — switchable rotaxane molecules that resemble linear motors attached to a tiny piece of glass (porous silica), which measures about 500 nanometers. Tiny pores in the glass are only a few nanometers in size.… read more

Superconducting nanowire devices could run and run

July 18, 2005

Researchers at Delft University of Technology and Philips Research Laboratories have combined semiconductor nanowires with superconducting contacts to make superconducting transistors. At temperatures below 1 K, the contacts induced superconductivity in the nanowires through the proximity effect.

Fujitsu Debuts Bendable Electronic Paper

July 18, 2005

Fujitsu has developed the world’s first film substrate-based bendable color electronic paper with an image memory function.

The new electronic paper features vivid color images that are unaffected even when the screen is bent, and features an image memory function that enables continuous display of the same image without the need for electricity. The thin and flexible electronic paper uses very low power to change screen images, making it… read more

Armed With Right Cellphone, Anyone Can Be a Journalist

July 18, 2005

Got a cellphone camera? You, too, can be a television journalist. The news staff of WABC-TV, the ABC affiliate in New York, started soliciting cellphone pictures and amateur video last week from people who witness a news event.

Fast Development of Nano-Manufactured Products

July 18, 2005

Molecular manufacturing nanofactories will open the door to true rapid prototyping.

This will make the technology transformative but also truly disruptive. If it took decades of research to produce breakthrough products, we would have time to adjust. But if breakthrough products can be developed quickly, their effects can pile up too quickly to allow wise policymaking or adjustment.

Top 5 cosmic threats to life on Earth

July 18, 2005

Killer supernovas, giant clouds of choking dust, and magnetic neutron stars are out to get us.

Sound waves produce nuclear fusion

July 15, 2005

UPDATE: The bubble bursts

An inexpensive “tabletop” device that uses sound waves to produce nuclear fusion reactions could lead to a new source of clean energy and a host of portable detectors and other applications.

A key component of the experiment was a glass test chamber about the size of two coffee mugs filled with a liquid called deuterated acetone, which contains a form of hydrogen… read more

Neurons fire like shotguns, not rifles

July 15, 2005

The synapse may behave more like a shotgun than a rifle when it comes to firing the neurotransmitters involved in neuronal communication, says a Howard Hughes Medical Institute research team led by investigator Terrence Sejnowski.

They created a detailed 3-D map of the synapse of a chick ciliary ganglion. The new 3-D modeling technique could offer a powerful tool for understanding neurological disease, such as myasthenia gravis, a common… read more

Stem cells may protect brain, nervous system -study

July 15, 2005

Stem cells may protect the brain and nervous system against damage from tumors and conditions such as multiple sclerosis, researchers at Milan’s San Raffaele Scientific Institute found.

Experiments with mice with a disease similar to multiple sclerosis showed that stem cells injected into the blood stream migrated to inflamed areas in the brain and spinal cord, killing inflammatory cells.

Ethicists Offer Advice for Testing Human Brain Cells in Primates

July 15, 2005

If stem cells ever show promise in treating diseases of the human brain, any potential therapy would need to be tested in animals. But putting human brain stem cells into monkeys or apes could raise awkward ethical dilemmas, like the possibility of generating a humanlike mind in a chimpanzee’s body.

Blogging + Video = Vlogging

July 14, 2005

Video blogs, a.k.a. vlogs — blogs that primarily feature video shorts instead of text — have boomed this year.

Clint Sharp, a vlogger who publishes a weekly tech show, said “the potential for everyone to self-publish has the ability to revolutionize the world” by sharing video across cultures and countries. It will also help those interested in exploring niche subjects ignored by traditional media.

Gravity doughnut promises time machine

July 14, 2005

One of the major difficulties of travelling backwards in time has just been solved, according to Amos Ori from Technion, the Israel Institute of Technology.

He says that according to Einstein’s theories, space can be twisted enough to create a local gravity field that looks like a doughnut of some arbitrary size. The gravitational field lines circle around the outside of this doughnut, so that space and time are… read more

The Enlightened Universe

July 13, 2005

The challenging task of keeping pace with the exponential rate of technological change is the subject of two online audio interviews with Ray Kurzweil on WIE Unbound, a streaming media service of What is Englightment? magazine.

A free one-month trial subscription to WIE Unbound is available, providing access to all audio recordings on the site.

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