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Neuroenhancement

April 27, 2009

“If you’re a company that’s got forty-seven offices worldwide, and all of a sudden your Singapore office is using cognitive enablers, and you’re saying to Congress, ‘I’m moving all my financial operations to Singapore and Taiwan, because it’s legal to use those there,’ you bet that Congress is going to say, ‘Well, O.K.,’” says Zack Lynch of NeuroInsights.

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How neurons choose between encoding and propagating information

March 28, 2011

Olfactory Bulb

Researchers from the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition, a joint program between Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and the University of Pittsburgh, have found two ways that neurons choose between encoding and propagating information, says Nathan Urban, the Dr. Frederick A. Schwertz Distinguished Professor of Life Sciences at CMU.

The researchers looked at mitral cell neurons in the brain’s olfactory… read more

Mini Big Bang Created, Puzzling Results Too Explosive

March 22, 2005

Physicists claim that at a trillion degrees, nuclear material melts into an exotic form of matter called a quark-gluon plasma — thought to have been the state of the universe a microsecond after the Big Bang.

Recreating this primordial soup is the primary purpose of the Relativistic Heavy-Ion Collider (RHIC) at Brookhaven National Laboratory. After five years of data, it appears as if RHIC may have succeeded.

But… read more

Toyota’s new robot can play the violin, help the aged

December 10, 2007
(AFP)

Toyota Motor on Thursday unveiled a robot that can play the violin as part of its efforts to develop futuristic machines capable of assisting humans in Japan’s graying society.

Toyota also unveiled a two-wheeled, single-seat “mobility robot” that could be used to transport an elderly or disabled person over uneven ground and around obstacles. Toyota said it aims to put robots capable of assisting humans into use… read more

Arthur C. Clarke teleports to L.A.

January 2, 2002

Sir Arthur C. Clarke, author of “2001, a Space Odyssey,” was teleported from his home in Sri Lanka to the Arthur C. Clarke 2001 Gala on November 15 in Los Angeles, sponsored by The Space Frontier Foundation.

Travel restrictions prevented Clarke from actually attending but Teleportec’s technology allowed him to join the party and interact with the audience as if he were actually there.… read more

Could the net become self-aware?

May 1, 2009

“The Internet behaves a fair bit like a mind,” says Ben Goertzel, chair of the Artificial General Intelligence Research Institute. “It might already have a degree of consciousness…. The outlook for humanity is probably better in the case that an emergent, coherent and purposeful Internet mind develops.”

If the effort that has gone into developing social networking sites goes into developing Internet consciousness, it could happen within a decade,… read more

‘Gene-editing’ technique cuts out diseased DNA

April 5, 2005

A gene-editing process that corrects mutations without weaving foreign genetic material into the chromosome has been demonstrated in diseased human cells for the first time.

It could provide a less risky and more efficient alternative to gene therapy, which has resulted in leukemia in some patients.

Storing light with sound

December 14, 2007

Duke University researchers have demonstrated a way to store the information in a beam of light by converting it into a sound signal, then reading it back out again as light.

The process could avoid the heat generated when buffering via electronic signals, which limits the top speed of fiber-optic-signals.

‘Functional’ kidneys grown from stem cells

January 30, 2002

US scientists claim to have grown functional kidneys using stem cells taken from cloned cow embryos.Robert Lanza of biotech company Advanced Cell Technology told New Scientist that his team, working in collaboration with a group at Harvard University, coaxed the stem cells into becoming kidney cells, and then “grew” them on a kidney-shaped scaffold.

The two-inch-long mini-kidneys were then transplanted back into genetically identical cows, where they started making… read more

The Rise of the Answerbots

May 6, 2009

IBM’s new DeepQA project, aimed at creating a program that can beat humans at the question-answering game of Jeopardy, and the European Large Knowledge Collider project could mean that these projects are on the path to creating a human-level AI.

‘Minority Report’ interface created for US military

April 18, 2005

A computer interface inspired by the futuristic system portrayed in the movie Minority Report could soon help real military personnel deal with information overload.

The system under development at Raytheon lets users don a pair of reflective gloves and manipulate images projected on a panoramic screen. A mounted camera keeps track of hand movements and a computer interprets gestures.

Raytheon plans to offer the technology as a way… read more

Researchers Train The Immune System To Deliver Virus That Destroys Cancer In Lab Models

December 19, 2007

Researchers led by Mayo Clinic have designed a technique that uses the body’s own cells and a virus to destroy cancer cells that spread from primary tumors to other parts of the body through the lymphatic system.

The technology combines infection-fighting T-cells with the vesicular stomatitis virus that targets and destroys cancer cells while leaving normal cells unharmed. The study, which has not yet been replicated in humans, is… read more

Researchers close to delivering molecular circuits

February 20, 2002

Molecular electronics researchers are converging on viable circuit-fabrication methods. A Hewlett-Packard and UCLA team are tackling one universal problem with molecular circuits: the inherent defects created by any chemical reaction. They’re designing a molecular equivalent of an FPGA (floating point gate array) that can be used to implement a redundant wiring scheme in which defective cells are simply switched out of the network.

The team is also working on… read more

Searching for Value in Ludicrous Ideas

May 12, 2009
(Steven M. Johnson)

Inventor/author/cartoonist/former urban planner Steven M. Johnson’s visionary ideas include a Segway-like golf-cart-meets-treadmill contraption, dashboard toaster oven, skylight solar cooker, and pedaltrain.

Controlling the magnetic properties of graphene

April 15, 2011

Graphene Magnet

Researchers at the University of Maryland have discovered a way to control magnetic properties of graphene that could lead to new applications in magnetic storage and magnetic random access memory.

The researchers found that missing atoms in graphene, called vacancies, act as tiny magnets. Vacancies have magnetic moments that interact strongly with the electrons in graphene, which carry electrical currents. This gives rise to a… read more

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