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Methuselah Worm Remains Energetic for Life

October 27, 2003

Researchers report in the current issue of the journal Science that variants of the simple worm C. elegans can live 124 days–the equivalent of a human reaching his 500th birthday.

The researchers perturbed genes in C. elegans that affect the activity of insulin and removed gonad tissue, which affects endocrine hormone levels. Worms treated this way lived six times longer than normal worms and remained active for most of… read more

New technique offers a more detailed view of brain activity

March 1, 2010

MIT and Caltech researchers have developed a new type of fMRI sensor that can measure a specific neurotransmitter (dopamine) — a more detailed, higher-resolution indicator of neural activity than conventional fMRI, which measures blood flow in the brain.

Dopamine holds particular interest for neuroscientists because of its role in motivation, reward, addiction and several neurodegenerative conditions, including Parkinson’s disease.

CES 2012: 3D printer makers’ rival visions of future

January 12, 2012


In the space of 20 minutes a plastic bottle opener has been constructed by the Replicator — a 3D printing machine capable of making objects up to the size of a loaf of bread. The device is made by the New York startup Makerbot Industries and was launched at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

Objects can be created on a computer using free online… read more

Colleges see the future in technology

September 13, 2006

Cutting-edge videogame and artificial intelligence technology are on the way to provide more individualized instruction.

Some of the most futuristic devices could even monitor students’ brainwaves to keep track of how they’re learning.

Organic dye lets window panes harvest the Sun

July 11, 2008

MIT electrical engineer Marc Baldo had developed a method to turn up to 20% of incident light into electricity at a fraction of the cost of conventional photovoltaic cells.

Exotic organic dyes are coated onto an ordinary sheet of glass, trapping light inside the glass and allowing it to be channelled to photovoltaic cells placed along the edges of the sheet. The dyes can absorb light across the visible… read more

Apocalypse Nano

November 4, 2003

“From the anti-Jewish blood libels of the Old World to the modern mythology of tainted Halloween candy in the New, public hysteria usually begins with the idea that unseen forces are conspiring to poison us or kill our children.

“This article in Resurgence magazine, The Heart of Darkness: Small is not always beautiful, is such a perfect example of how the misrepresentations, distortions and half-truths that I’ve… read more

A Theory Set in Stone: An Asteroid Killed the Dinosaurs, After All

March 8, 2010

Asteroid Killed Dinosaurs

A study by a group of 41 researchers has verified the theory that a massive asteroid some 10 kilometers across that slammed into Earth, creating Chicxulub Crater on Mexico’s Gulf Coast, killed off many of the species on the planet, including the non-avian dinosaurs.

Metamaterials generate gecko-like adhesive force

January 18, 2012


Physicists predict that metamaterials ought to generate an entirely new kind of force that can be turned on and off with the flick of a switch, Technology Review Physics arXiv Blog reports.

John Zhang and colleagues at the University of Southampton predict that a powerful optical force can exist between a metal or dielectric plate and a metamaterial, a substance with optical properties that have been engineered… read more

New Power Suit Amplifies Human Strength

September 29, 2006

Engineers in Japan are perfecting a wearable power suit that amplifies human strength to help lift hospital patients or heavy objects.

Quantum Leap

July 18, 2008

An international team of researchers has shown that it can control the quantum state of a single electron in a silicon transistor–even putting the electron in two places at once. Their discovery could help pave the way toward a practical quantum computer.

The electronc could be in one of three states. At low electric fields, the electron remained bound to an arsenic atom. At high electric fields, the electron… read more

Researcher studies human brain with digital orangutan

November 11, 2003

A robot baby orangutan named Lucy may someday tell us about how the cerebral cortex works and help people develop and build new computational architectures inspired by biological systems, according to Steve Grand, Lucy’s creator and author of Growing Up With Lucy: How to Build an Android in Twenty Easy Steps (Weidenfeld & Nicolson), due out in January.

Rutgers plans online course on the Singularity

March 16, 2010

This summer, Rutgers University plans to offer “Special Topics in Sociology: Singularity Studies, the first accredited college course on the Singularity and associated technologies.

The three-credit summer course will feature online lectures and discussions every Monday and Wednesday evening throughout the summer and is available to students internationally.

The textbook will be The Singularity is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology by Ray Kurzweil, supplemented… read more

Commercial version of MIT Media Lab CityCar unveiled

January 26, 2012

City Car

A full-scale version of the stackable, electric CityCar, created by researchers at the MIT Media Lab and commercialized by a consortium of automotive suppliers in the Basque region of Spain, was unveiled at the European Union Commission headquarters on January 24.

Branded “Hiriko,” the two-passenger EV vehicle incorporates all of the essential concepts of the MIT Media Lab CityCar: a folding chassis to occupy a small footprint… read more

Nanosheets made by mimicking protein formation

October 16, 2006

Unravelling the complex process by which nanoparticles self-assemble into microscopic wafers could lead to new techniques for building nanoscale devices.

Cadmium telluride nanocrystals have been found to spontaneously form sheets 2 microns thick if submerged in water.

The process is similar to one employed by a protein found in bacteria to form sheets known as S-layers, which form the outermost layer of a cell.

Could killer horse virus spread among humans?

July 25, 2008

Australia is suffering the biggest outbreak of the highly virulent Hendra virus since the disease was identified in 1994.

Now a change in its symptoms is raising fears that new strains may have emerged — and even that a strain capable of spreading from human-to-human could appear.

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