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Innovation puts next-generation solar cells on the horizon

December 2, 2009

Dye-sensitized solar cells with a three-fold increase in energy conversion, making them a viable and competitive alternative to traditional silicon solar cells, have been developed by scientists at Monash University, in collaboration with colleagues from the universities of Wollongong and Ulm in Germany.

Singularity Summit 2011 videos

October 24, 2011

Most of the videos of Singularity Summit 2011 speakers have been posted to the Singularity Summit YouTube channel. The rest are expected to be posted in the next few days.

Participants have also posted their own videos of the event.

Melting glaciers release toxic chemical cocktail

May 7, 2008

Decades after most countries stopped spraying DDT, frozen stores of the insecticide are now trickling out of melting Antarctic glaciers.

Scientist worry that this could be an indication that other frozen pollutants will be released into the ocean, including PCBs and PBDEs– industrial chemicals that have been linked to health problems in humans.

Lifeboat Foundation announces new existential-risk programs

August 17, 2006

The Lifeboat Foundation said today it has launched four programs to combat existential risks (threats to human survival) — BioShield, InfoShield, NanoShield, and Space Habitats — and has announced 11 other planned programs, ranging from AsteroidShield to AntimatterShield, to “prevent antimatter-based annihilation.” Public participation is invited.

The programs fill a gap left by governments and corporations, which “only think short term, so we felt that… read more

Computer researchers on the prowl for human ‘common sense’

October 15, 2003

Two Carnegie Mellon University researchers using the ESP Game Web site are among a growing number nationwide tapping into human brains for common-sense knowledge to improve AI algorithms.

The game pairs a player with an anonymous Internet partner who are both asked to type in words that describe a series of images. The players win points when they match words and this creates another label researchers can… read more

Breakthrough in ‘Spintronics’ Could Lead to Energy Efficient Chips

December 8, 2009

University of Twente and FOM Foundation researchers have succeeded in transferring magnetic information directly into a semiconductor at room temperature via a layer of aluminum oxide less than one namometer thick, bringing spintronics* within reach.

The main advantage of spintronics technology is reduced heat and power consumption in chips.

* Unlike conventional electronics, which employs the charge of the electron and its transport, spintronics exploits another important property… read more

Plasmon metamaterials promise powerful quantum information systems

November 1, 2011

(Credit: Zubin Jacob and Vladimir M. Shalaev/Science)

Merging  plasmonics  (electrons in silicon) and nanophotonics (light in fiber optics) combined  with metamaterials.will lead to powerful new quantum computing systems, researchers at the University of Alberta and Purdue University’s Birck Nanotechnology Center propose.

Plasmons (coupling light to the free electrons of metals) have emerged as a way to effectively interface photonics (light) and nanoelectronics (chips) and could be used for high-speed switching and routing in… read more

Human aging gene found in flies

May 12, 2008

University of Oxford and Open University researchers have found the fruit-fly equivalent of WRN, the gene that causes the premature aging of Werner syndrome.

Finding this gene means that these flies can now be used to study the effects aging has on DNA.

Patients with Werner syndrome have a damaged WRN gene that causes instability in their genomes. They age rapidly after puberty, rarely living beyond their early… read more

First quantum cryptographic data network demonstrated

August 30, 2006

By integrating quantum noise protected data encryption (quantum data encryption or QDE) with Quantum Key Distribution (QKD), researchers at Northwestern University and BBN Technologies have developed a complete data communication system with extraordinary resilience to eavesdropping.

The research team recently demonstrated a new way of encrypting data that relies on both traditional algorithms and on physical principles. This QDE method, called AlphaEta, makes use of the inherent and irreducible… read more

Alzheimer’s researchers creating ‘designer tracker’ to quantify elusive brain protein, provide earlier diagnosis

April 26, 2013

Dual channel fluoresecence microscopy of Alzheimer’s disease brain reveals presence of extracellular Abeta- (red) and intracellular tau- (green) bearing lesions.  Figure courtesy of Kristen E Funk, PhD.

By using computer-aided drug discovery, an Ohio State University molecular biochemist and molecular imaging chemist are collaborating to create an imaging chemical that attaches predominantly to tau-bearing lesions in living brain.

Their hope is that the “designer” tracer will open the door for earlier diagnosis — and better treatments for Alzheimer’s, frontal temporal dementia and traumatic brain injuries like those suffered by professional athletes, all… read more

Personal nanofactory design raises prepardness concerns

October 27, 2003

Center for Responsible Nanotechnology (CRN) has published a landmark design study for a personal-size nanofactory that could rapidly manufacture a wide array of advanced products, including more nanofactories, while using minimal resources.

Design of a Primitive Nanofactory” by CRN Director of Research Chris Phoenix appeared in the peer-reviewed Journal of Evolution and Technology. The 84-page technical paper is the most comprehensive examination of nanofactory architecture… read more

Japanese Store Selling Custom-Made Robots That Look Like Their Owners

December 15, 2009

Japanese department store Sogo & Seibu plans to offer robots that are custom-made to look just like their owners.

They will be life-size humanoids that can dpeak with a real person’s (recorded) voice.

For a Sharp Brain, Stimulation

May 15, 2008

Researchers are more optimistic than ever about the potential of the aging brain, because recent evidence has challenged long-held beliefs by demonstrating that the brain can grow new nerve cells.

Regular physical activity may improve brain function, both by increasing blood flow to the brain and stimulating the production of hormones and nerve growth factors involved in neurogenesis. Animal studies have found that physically active animals have better memories… read more

Mental Activity Seen in a Brain Gravely Injured

September 11, 2006

A severely brain-damaged woman in an unresponsive, vegetative state showed clear signs on brain imaging tests that she was aware of herself and her surroundings, based on peaks in the premotor cortex and other areas of her brain during functional MRI tests.

The High and Low Notes of the Universe

November 3, 2003

The 10-micron-long Cornell nano-guitar, first built in 1997 but only now played for the first time, twangs at a frequency of 40 megahertz, some 17 octaves (or a factor of 130,000) higher than a normal guitar.

There is no practical microphone available for picking up the guitar sounds, but the reflected laser light could be computer processed to provide an equivalent acoustic trace at a much lower frequency. The… read more

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