Posts

December 11, 2014

+
4:45 PM | Baby steps toward molecular robots
A walking molecule, so small that it cannot be observed directly with a microscope, has been recorded taking its first nanometer-sized steps. It's the first time that anyone has shown in real time that such a tiny object – termed a "small molecule walker" – has taken a series of steps. The breakthrough, made by Oxford University chemists, is a significant milestone on the long road towards developing "nanorobots." Subject:  Robotics
+
4:36 PM | Researchers detect possible signal from dark matter
Could there finally be tangible evidence for the existence of dark matter in the Universe? After sifting through reams of X-ray data, scientists in EPFL's Laboratory of Particle Physics and Cosmology (LPPC) and Leiden University believe they could have identified the signal of a particle of dark matter. This substance, which up to now has been purely hypothetical, is run by none of the standard models of physics other than through the gravitational force. Their research will be […]
+
4:31 PM | How fast you age depends on your parents
In the hunt for better knowledge on the aging process, researchers from Lund University have now enlisted the help of small birds. A new study investigates various factors which affect whether chicks are born with long or short chromosome ends, called telomeres. Subject:  Genetics
+
3:32 PM | 'Trojan horse' proteins used to target hard-to-reach cancers
Scientists at Brunel University London have found a way of targeting hard-to-reach cancers and degenerative diseases using nanoparticles, but without causing the damaging side effects the treatment normally brings. In a huge step forward in the use of nanomedicine, the research helped discover proteins in the blood that disguise nanoparticles so they are absorbed into cells without causing inflammation and destroying healthy cells. Subject:  Health & Medicine […]
+
4:35 AM | The Machine: the Future of Computing
The world is facing a data explosion. Soon, we’re going to hit a technology inflection point where we can’t effectively store, process, and secure all the information coming at us. By 2020, 30 billion connected devices will generate unprecedented amounts of data. The infrastructure required to collect, process, store, and analyze this data requires transformational changes in the foundations of computing. Bottom line: current systems can’t handle where we are headed […]
+
4:22 AM | Scientists create food ingredient that will make you feel fuller
Scientists have developed an ingredient that can be added to foods to make them more filling. In its first tests in humans, researchers at Imperial College London and the University of Glasgow found that the ingredient is effective at preventing weight gain in overweight volunteers. Subject:  Health & Medicine
+
12:31 AM | New theories suggest the big bang was not the beginning
Physicists have a problem with time. Whether through Newton’s gravitation, Maxwell’s electrodynamics, Einstein’s special and general relativity or quantum mechanics, all the equations that best describe our universe work perfectly if time flows forward or backward. Subject:  Astronomy/Cosmology
+
12:27 AM | Now you can have your dog cloned
We’ve come a long way since scientists cloned the first adult mammal, a sheep named Dolly, in 1996. Now, you can pay to have your own dog duplicated using the same technique scientists used to make Dolly. But there’s a catch (aside, of course, from the whole ethical dilemma of incubating your recently deceased pet’s cells inside a random pup): It costs around $US100,000, and there’s only one lab in the world that does it. In South Korea. Subject:  […]
+
12:19 AM | Aquilops, the little dinosaur that could
Today, several colleagues and I named a really cute little dinosaur–Aquilops americanus. At around 106 million years old, Aquilops turns out to be the oldest “horned” dinosaur (the lineage including Triceratops) named from North America, besting the previous record by nearly 20 million years. Subject:  Animal Research
+
12:06 AM | Knowing something that you think is probably false
I know where my car is parked. It's in the student lot on the other side of the freeway, Lot 30. How confident am I that my car is parked there? Well, bracketing radically skeptical doubts, I'd say about 99.9% confident. I seem to have a specific memory of parking this morning, but maybe that specific memory is wrong; or maybe the car has been stolen or towed or borrowed by my wife due to some weird emergency. Subject:  Brain & Behavior

December 10, 2014

+
11:56 PM | Fathering offspring is more than just a race to the egg
The chance of a male fathering offspring may not be a simple race to the egg, but is influenced by the length of the male's sperm, say scientists from the University of Sheffield. Subject:  Biology & Aging
+
10:50 PM | Forced negotiations and industry codes won’t stop illegal downloads
Attorney-General George Brandis and Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced yesterday that they expect internet service providers (ISPs) to work with copyright owners to help police infringement. ISPs will have to agree to a new industry code that passes on warning notices to their customers when copyright owners make allegations of infringement against them. They will also have to start handing over the personal details of subscribers who have several allegations against […]
+
8:18 PM | New way to turn genes on
Technique allows rapid, large-scale studies of gene function. Using a gene-editing system originally developed to delete specific genes, MIT researchers have now shown that they can reliably turn on any gene of their choosing in living cells. Subject:  Genetics
+
5:09 PM | Numerous jobs threatened by rise of robots, artificial intelligence
As many as half a million accountants, supermarket cashiers, secretaries, typists and bank tellers in what are largely white-collar jobs are threatened by automation, Department of Industry modelling shows. However, growing fears that robots and artificial intelligence could cast millions from the middle-class into unemployment and poverty are overblown, the department’s chief economist, Mark Cully, said. Subject:  Artificial Intelligence

December 07, 2014

+
12:39 AM | Get your next eye exam on a smartphone
Thirty-nine million people in the world are blind, and the majority lost their sight due to curable and preventable diseases. But how do you test and treat people who live in remote areas, where expensive, bulky eye equipment is hard to come by? TED Fellow Andrew Bastawrous demos a smartphone app and cheap hardware that might help.

December 06, 2014

+
4:04 PM | Big step toward using light instead of wires inside computers
Stanford Univ. engineers have designed and built a prism-like device that can split a beam of light into different colors and bend the light at right angles, a development that could eventually lead to computers that use optics, rather than electricity, to carry data. They describe what they call an "optical link" in an article in Scientific Reports. Subject:  Computer Science
+
3:52 PM | Wireless brain sensor could unchain neuroscience from cables
In a study in Neuron, scientists describe a new high data-rate, low-power wireless brain sensor. The technology is designed to enable neuroscience research that cannot be accomplished with current sensors that tether subjects with cabled connections. Experiments in the paper confirm that new capability. The results show that the technology transmitted rich, neuroscientifically meaningful signals from animal models as they slept and woke or exercised. Subject:  […]
+
5:40 AM | NASA’s new Orion spacecraft completes first spaceflight test
NASA marked a major milestone Friday on its journey to Mars as the Orion spacecraft completed its first voyage to space, traveling farther than any spacecraft designed for astronauts has been in more than 40 years. “Today’s flight test of Orion is a huge step for NASA and a really critical part of our work to pioneer deep space on our Journey to Mars,” said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. “The teams did a tremendous job putting Orion through its paces in the […]
+
5:05 AM | California's drought is the worst in 1,200 years
As California finally experiences the arrival of a rain-bearing Pineapple Express this week, two climate scientists from the University of Minnesota and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution have shown that the drought of 2012-2014 has been the worst in 1,200 years. Subject:  Earth Science

December 05, 2014

+
8:27 PM | Agent prevents prostate cancer growth and spread in animal studies
Researchers at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center have completed a critical step in the journey from a basic science discovery in the lab to a potential clinical application, showing that an experimental agent prevents tumor growth and spread in mice with prostate cancer harboring a common chromosomal abnormality. Subject:  Health & Medicine
+
6:48 PM | A new path opens to quantum computers
An odd, iridescent material that's puzzled physicists for decades turns out to be an exotic state of matter that could open a new path to quantum computers and other next-generation electronics. Physicists at the University of Michigan have discovered or confirmed several properties of the compound samarium hexaboride that raise hopes for finding the silicon of the quantum era. They say their results also close the case of how to classify the material--a mystery that has been […]
+
6:44 PM | Earlier sleepers are more happy
When you go to bed and how long you sleep at a time might actually make it difficult for you to stop worrying, according to researchers at Binghamton University. The study, led by Binghamton Anxiety Clinic Director Meredith Coles and graduate student Jacob Nota, found that people who sleep for shorter periods of time and go to bed very late at night are often overwhelmed with more negative thoughts than those who keep more regular sleeping hours. The findings appear in Springer's […]
+
4:55 PM | Computers that teach by example
New system enables pattern-recognition systems to convey what they learn to humans. Computers are good at identifying patterns in huge data sets. Humans, by contrast, are good at inferring patterns from just a few examples. In a paper appearing at the Neural Information Processing Society’s conference next week, MIT researchers present a new system that bridges these two ways of processing information, so that humans and computers can collaborate to make better decisions. […]
+
4:10 PM | Wanderers
Wanderers is a vision of humanity's expansion into the Solar System, based on scientific ideas and concepts of what our future in space might look like, if it ever happens. The locations depicted in the film are digital recreations of actual places in the Solar System, built from real photos and map data where available. Narrated by the late, great Carl Sagan. A special thanks to Lisa Nason.
+
12:58 AM | Do atheists reject the “wrong kind of God”? Not likely
Why is it that some people do not believe in God? Some popular religious writers have claimed that atheists reject God because they were presented with the wrong kind of God. Atheists reject a god that is too small, it is claimed, and most have not considered the more sophisticated God that is really worth believing in. If only atheists considered the proper sort of deity, these authors insist, they would have long abandoned their atheism. Subject:  Atheism & […]
+
12:49 AM | Human reasoning attributed to special brain network
When it comes to get­ting out of a tricky situa­t­ion, we hu­mans have an edge over our evo­lu­tion­ary relatives. Take, for ex­am­ple, the Apol­lo 13 voy­age in which en­gi­neers, against all odds, im­pro­vised a chem­i­cal fil­ter on a lu­nar mod­ule to pre­vent car­bon di­ox­ide build­up from kill­ing the crew. Subject:  Brain & Behavior
+
12:30 AM | Pulsars with black holes could hold the 'holy grail' of gravity
The intermittent light emitted by pulsars, the most precise timekeepers in the universe, allows scientists to verify Einstein's theory of relativity, especially when these objects are paired up with another neutron star or white dwarf that interferes with their gravity. However, this theory could be analysed much more effectively if a pulsar with a black hole were found, except in two particular cases, according to researchers from Spain and India. Subject:  […]
+
12:25 AM | Robot control theory improves prosthetic legs
A Univ. of Texas at Dallas professor applied robot control theory to enable powered prosthetics to dynamically respond to the wearer’s environment and help amputees walk. In research available online in IEEE Transactions on Robotics, wearers of the robotic leg could walk on a moving treadmill almost as fast as an able-bodied person. Subject:  Robotics
+
12:20 AM | Remember this: you can still think deeply in the digital age
Two people walk into a seminar: one takes photos, video and an audio recording of the presentation, while the other takes hand-written notes. Which person do you think will better recall the information? The former can use their digital notes to create something new that builds on the topic, the latter – not so easy. Subject:  Technology
+
12:02 AM | Is Stephen Hawking right? Could AI lead to the end of humankind?
The famous theoretical physicist, Stephen Hawking, has revived the debate on whether our search for improved artificial intelligence will one day lead to thinking machines that will take over from us. The British scientist made the claim during a wide-ranging interview with the BBC. Hawking has the motor neurone disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and the interview touched on new technology he is using to help him communicate. Subject:  Artificial […]
123456
157 Results