Sunday, February 25, 2007

Our Technological Future - Mixed Bag #15

Here's another collection of technology links that I've collected in the past week.

I can't believe there's 43 of'em!!!

I'll do anything to please my readers. ;)

Robot Fish (very cool video)

Renewable fuels will revolutionize agriculture, says U.S. official

Trials for 'bionic' eye implants

Real game characters 'next year'

Robot-driven cars on roads by 2030: scientist

Science Finding Ways to Regrow Fingers

Grid computes 420 years worth of data in four months

Artificial lung a surgical first in North America

Dominican prostitutes, facing AIDS crisis, test experimental vaccine

Google to rule the Earth

Google's Page urges scientists to market themselves
(also talks about AI)

Labgrown Replacement Teeth Fill the Gap

Liposuctioned fat stem cells to repair bodies

Scientists Create Super-Heavy Element

Steven Kosslyn on increasing human intelligence

Cheap solar power poised to undercut oil and gas by half

Pet prosthesis - Dolphin recovers swimming ability with artificial fin

Robotic jacket has power up its sleeve (great picture)

Science finds new ways to regrow fingers

Tangled nanowires morph water droplets

Monkey Controls Robotic Arm with Mind (video)

A Tool Worthy of Batman's Utility Belt

Biologically Inspired Vision Systems

The Open Source Singularity

Vivid on-line videos demonstrate Superbot progress

Solar powered car

Intel Pulls 45nm Xeon Launch Into 2007

Selling Homeowners a Solar Dream

Korean researchers aiming for 100 GB flash memory cards

Virgin-birth method promises ethical stem cells

Solar Foil Technology to Cut Cost of Solar Power

Scientists Produce Neurons From Human Skin

Super Robots Gear Up for Space

The Promise of Personal Supercomputers

Darpa Chief Speaks (talks about AI)

Software That Will This Sentence Fix

Sharpest Manmade Thing

Einstein + bacteria DNA = organic computer breakthrough

Air Car Tantalisingly Close

PG&E eyes power grid plan to boost electric cars

Emotion robots learn from people

Scientists working out bugs for use in biofuel production

Making torn tendons tough

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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Optical Chips Coming in 5 Years

MIT Says Optical Chips Coming in 5 Years

It's a problem chip manufacturers have known about for some time: As electronic components continue to grow more and more diminutive in size, the metal interconnects between them will soon cease to meet the needed performance criteria that devices demand.

This is where optical interconnections—or using light instead of an electrical current as a transmission medium—come into play. Engineers and physicists at MIT have devised a new method for integrating this photonic circuitry onto a silicon chip, a discovery that could soon add the power and speed of light waves to traditional electronics.

In fact, consumers could start to see entirely new devices, systems, and applications in computing and telecommunications that use "optics on a chip" within the next five years, MIT researchers said in a new study published in the Journal of Nature Photonics.

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Monday, February 05, 2007

Virtual Model of Human Metabolism

Human metabolism recreated in lab

US researchers say they have created a "virtual" model of all the biochemical reactions that occur in human cells.

They hope the computer model will allow scientists to tinker with metabolic processes to find new treatments for conditions such as high cholesterol.

It could also be used to individually tailor diet for weight control, the University of California team claimed.


A team of six bioengineering researchers at the University of California analysed the human genome to see what genes corresponded to metabolic processes, such as those responsible for the production of enzymes.

They spent a year manually going through 1,500 books, review papers and scientific reports from the past 50 years before constructing a database of 3,300 metabolic reactions.

The information was then used to create a network of metabolic processes in the cell, similar to a traffic network.

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Sunday, February 04, 2007

Are Flying Cars Close to Reality?

Are we on the brink of the flying car?

For 50 years, science fiction has been tantalizing us with visions of airborne roadways and quickly maneuvering, sports-car-like flying cars. And for 50 years, companies have been chasing the dream, releasing the occasional prototype to keep their investors investing. Now, an Israeli company names Urban Aeronautics has made a bold projection: A flying car on the market by 2012.

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Nanotech Breakthroughs

Breakthrough in nanodevice synthesis revolutionizes biological sensors

A novel approach to synthesizing nanowires (NWs) allows their direct integration with microelectronic systems for the first time, as well as their ability to act as highly sensitive biomolecule detectors that could revolutionize biological diagnostic applications, according to a report in Nature.

"We electronically plugged into the biochemical system of cells," said senior author Mark Reed, Harold Hodgkinson Professor of Engineering & Applied Science. "These developments have profound implications both for application of nanoscience technologies and for the speed and sensitivity they bring to the future of diagnostics."

In other words, we can turn our reactive healthcare system into a preventive healthcare system. That means we'll catch diseases in early developing stages and undertake measures to prevent them from happening. We'll be healthier and greatly curbing our healthcare costs.

This is one of the reasons why I'm optimistic for the future.

Scientists build nanomachine envisioned 150 yrs ago
"We have a new motor mechanism for a nanomachine," said David Leigh, a professor of chemistry at the University.

Scientists are trying to unravel the secrets of nanomachines and nanotechnology, which works on a tiny scale. One nanometer is a billionth of a meter, or about 80,000 times smaller than the thickness of a human hair.

"Molecular machines allow life itself to occur at a molecular level. Our new motor mechanism is a small step toward doing that sort of thing with artificial molecular machines," Leigh told Reuters.

"It is a machine mechanism that is going to take molecular machines a step forward to the realization of the future world of nanotechnology. Things that seem like a Harry Potter film now are going to be a reality."
Not sure what the Harry Potter remark is all about. I guess Leigh is just trying to get the world to brace itself for vast change...

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