science + technology news

Tantalizing clues to the chemical origins of life

June 15, 2009

An artificial DNA-like molecule that can change its sequence to bind to a DNA template without the help of enzymes has been created by researchers at the Scripps Research Institute.

The thioester peptide nucleic acid (tPNA) has a peptide (amino acid) backbone on which bases anchor, analogous to the sugar-phosphates backbone on which bases anchor in DNA and RNA. When presented with a DNA template molecule, the… read more

Understanding how complex carbon nanostructures form

Promises better control over carbon nanotube properties, such as stiff (for wires) or soft (for wearables)
April 10, 2015

A numerically simulated CNT forest (credit: Matt Maschmann)

A University of Missouri researcher has developed a way to predict how complicated carbon nanotube (CNT) structures (called “forests”) are formed when “grown” in a high-temperature furnace.

This understanding promises to enable designers and engineers to better incorporate the appropriate form of this highly adaptable material into devices and products such as aerospace wiring, combat body armor, computer logic components, and micro sensors used in biomedical… read more

Tapping into the Cancer-Fighter Collective for Treatment

January 30, 2008

Researchers at The Cancer Institute of New Jersey and their colleagues are developing software that lets doctors and researchers compare cases and treatment outcomes.

The computer system will allow physicians and researchers worldwide to tap into the latest developments in cancer research and treatment, helping doctors tailor the best possible therapies for their patients and let scientists track the success–or failure–of previous research.

It will feature a digital… read more

Deceit of the Raven

September 7, 2005

Science is chipping away at the case for human uniqueness, showing that animals and machines are more like us than we believed.

What happens, as these trends continue, to the familiar guideposts for deciding what is human?

‘Doorways’ discovered in living brain cells

October 24, 2002

Brain cell membranes contain fixed “doorways” that control the entry of molecules into the cell, new research at Duke University shows.

Understanding this process, and how to control it, could one day lead to an entirely new class of treatments for depression, epilepsy, addiction and other neurological disorders; and preventing pathogens, such as viruses, from entering brain cells.

Top Two Slots on Newest TOP500 List of Supercomputers Unchanged, but New Systems in Germany, Saudi Arabia are Shaking Things Up

June 23, 2009

The just-announced new annual TOP500 list of the world’s most powerful supercomputers is still led by IBM’s Roadrunner and Cray’s Jaguar, but in third place, a new contender has emerged: an IBM BlueGene/P system called JUGENE, installed at the Forschungszentrum Juelich (FZJ) in Germany, at 825.5 teraflop/s.

Other notable systems are the Bull-Sun JUROPA at FZJ in Germany, ranked at 274.8 Tflop/s, the IBM BlueGene/P system at… read more

A Memory Breakthrough

February 4, 2008

Intel announced a research advance that doubles the storage capacity of a single phase-change memory cell.

Unlike flash, data can be written to cells much faster, at rates comparable to the dynamic and static random-access memory (DRAM and SRAM) used in all computers and cell phones today.

US plans first face transplant

September 19, 2005

Cleveland Clinic surgeons are to interview a shortlist of patients hoping to be the first to receive a face transplant for a patient whose face is disfigured.

The procedure would involve taking skin and underlying tissues from a dead donor and placing them on the living recipient.

Computer modelling suggests the face should take on more of the characteristics of the skeleton of the recipient than the soft… read more

Fate of Moore’s Law tops ISSCC agenda

November 11, 2002

We have at least another decade of exponential growth of semiconductor integration, Gordon Moore is expected to argue at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference in San Francisco on Feb. 10.

Scientists create first quantum processor

June 29, 2009

A team led by Yale University researchers has created the first rudimentary two-qubit solid-state quantum processor, taking another step toward building a quantum computer.

Plugging up leaky graphene

New technique may enable faster, more durable water filters
May 8, 2015

In a two-step process, engineers have successfully sealed leaks in graphene. First, the team fabricated graphene on a copper surface (top left) — a process that can create intrinsic defects in graphene, shown as cracks on the surface. After lifting the graphene and depositing it on a porous surface (top right), the transfer creates further holes and tears. In a first step (bottom left), the team used atomic layer deposition to deposit hafnium (in gray) to seal intrinsic cracks, then plugged the remaining holes (bottom left) with nylon (in red), via interfacial polymerization.

Graphene’s unique properties make it a potentially ideal membrane for water filtration or desalination. but the process of making it into ultrathin membranes creates leaky defects. So MIT engineers and associates have devised a two-step process to repair these leaks.

As shown in the illustration (top left) graphene is fabricated on a copper surface — a process that can create intrinsic defects in graphene. After lifting the graphene and… read more

Researcher leads international effort to create ‘proteinpedia’

February 8, 2008

A Johns Hopkins Institute of Genetic Medicine researcher is leading an effort to compile to date the largest free resource of experimental information about human proteins.

Their “proteinpedia” currently compiles data provided by more than 71 laboratories with entries for more than 15,230 human proteins.

‘The Singularity Is Near’ now #14 on Amazon

October 2, 2005

Ray Kurzweil’s The Singularity Is Near is now ranked #14 in sales among all books, #5 among all Non-Fiction books, #1 in Science, #1 in Technology, #1 in Evolution, #1 in Science History and Philosophy, and #1 in Computers and Internet, as of Sunday Oct. 2.

New media coverage of the book includes a review, “Here It Comes,” in the Wall Street Journal, and “Rayread more

Radical physicist flatters computer fans

November 22, 2002

The universe is composed not of particles and waves, but of simple tiny programs, physicist Stephen Wolfram said at COMDEX. “Systems out there in nature are already doing computations as complex as the ones that correspond to human intelligence.”

Memristor minds: The future of artificial intelligence

July 8, 2009

Hybrid transitor-memristor chips designed to reproduce some of the brain’s thought processes have been developed by HP and Boston University researchers, and University of California, San Diego researchers have developed a memristive device that they claim behaves like a neural synapse.

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