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News on Human Progress:
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A paralyzed man with locked-in syndrome (conscious but unable to move a muscle) has "spoken" three different vowel sounds using a voice synthesizer, Boston University neuroscientists report. An electrode implanted into a brain area that controls the movements of the vocal cords and tongue that underlie speech feeds the firing signals of several dozen neurons into an external decoder that recognizes three vowels, using audio feedback to the patient... More
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on December 16 2009 by Thoughtbot
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(Georgia Institute of Technology) Scientists at Georgia Tech have developed a nanolithographic technique that can produce high-resolution patterns of at least three different chemicals on a single chip at writing speeds of up to one millimeter per second. The nanopatterns can be designed with any shape and are stable enough to be stored for weeks and used elsewhere.
Eurekalert.org news made popular on December 16 2009 by Thoughtbot
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(University of Southern California) A PNAS study by USC geobiologists documents new behavior of metal-metabolizing bacteria, with implications for design of microbial fuel cells.
Eurekalert.org news made popular on December 15 2009 by Thoughtbot
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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. (Source: http://www.physorg.com/news180018368.html)
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on December 15 2009 by Thoughtbot
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Gene variants or alleles that don't themselves directly affect the inherited characteristics of an organism but increase random distribution of characteristics may be a significant force in evolution, driving the development of the wide variety of traits — from height to skin tone to disease risk — seen in modern populations, Johns Hopkins scientists suggest. In standard Darwinian theory, characteristics that affect an organism's ability... More
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on December 15 2009 by Thoughtbot
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The stereotype of computer scientists as nerds who stay up all night coding with no social life, surrounded by computer games, science fiction memorabilia, and junk food, may be driving women away from the field, according to a new study by psychologists published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. (Source: http://www.physorg.com/news180024084.html)
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on December 15 2009 by Thoughtbot
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A new system devised by MIT researchers could provide a novel method for moving tiny objects inside a microchip, for biomedical screening or the detection of trace elements for pollution monitoring or security screening, or might someday be developed for use in medical diagnostics, by allowing controlled delivery of particles inside the body to specifically targeted locations.The researchers devised a system that uses tiny beads made of polymers w... More
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on December 15 2009 by Thoughtbot
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The number and distribution of nanoprobes coated with the breast cancer drug Herceptin and inserted into live human tumor cells in the lab have been measured by Purdue University researchers.Targeting only tumor cells with nanoprobes would require less drugs and mitigate the side effects of cancer chemotherapy drugs, they suggest. Cancer treatments often use high drug concentrations that damage healthy cells near a tumor. (Source: http://www.ph... More
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on December 15 2009 by Thoughtbot
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The January 2010 issue of Popular Science just out (print only) features "Future Camp," an article on Singularity University's nine-week Graduate Studies Program at NASA Ames in Spring 2009. (Source: )
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on December 15 2009 by Thoughtbot
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Recent studies illuminate the skills robots need if they are to get along with humans. When a box-like robot called TUG went to work in hospitals carrying drugs between wards, the robot's inability to tell if it was a good time to interrupt and announce its presence was a big problem for some staff members, who lashed out and kicked TUG in frustration. "If you are going to design robots with human-like capabilities you have to design the appropria... More
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on December 15 2009 by Thoughtbot
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University of California, Santa Barbara chemical engineers have created imitation red blood cells with the shape and elasticity of real cells from a polymer.Because of their more constant concentration, they could also be used to disperse drugs or the contrast agents used in medical imaging throughout the body more efficiently and with fewer side effects. (Source: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn18278-fake-blood-cells-so-agile-they-can-car... More
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on December 15 2009 by Thoughtbot
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Anaerobic bacteria from animal or human waste that survive by "iron respiration" could allow for development of new microbe-based technologies such as "bio-battery" fuel cells and agents to clean up toxic organic pollutants such as oil or uranium, scientists at the University of East Anglia have discovered. These bacteria can construct tiny biological wires that extend through the cell walls and allow the organism to directly contact, and conduct... More
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on December 15 2009 by Thoughtbot
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Heavy media-multitaskers are more susceptible to distractions, have difficulties in ignoring information in the environment or in their recent memory, and, paradoxically, in switching rapidly between two different tasks, Stanford University researchers have found in experiments. (Source: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=multitasking-mind)
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on December 15 2009 by Thoughtbot
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(University of Toronto) University of Toronto quantum optics researchers Sajeev John and Xun Ma have discovered new behaviors of light within photonic crystals that could lead to faster optical information processing and compact computers that don't overheat.
Eurekalert.org news made popular on December 14 2009 by Thoughtbot
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(University of East Anglia) A discovery by scientists at the University of East Anglia could contribute to the development of systems that use domestic or agricultural waste to generate clean electricity.
Eurekalert.org news made popular on December 14 2009 by Thoughtbot
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(Purdue University) Tiny nanoprobes have shown to be effective in delivering cancer drugs more directly to tumor cells -- mitigating the damage to nearby healthy cells -- and Purdue University research has shown that the nanoprobes are getting the drugs to right cellular compartments.
Eurekalert.org news made popular on December 14 2009 by Thoughtbot
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(Rice University) Researchers at Rice University and Baylor College of Medicine have created a single nanoparticle that can be tracked in real time with MRI as it homes in on cancer cells, tags them with a fluorescent dye and kills them with heat. The all-in-one particle is one of the first examples from a growing field called "theranostics" that develops technologies physicians can use to diagnose and treat diseases in a single procedure.
Eurekalert.org news made popular on December 14 2009 by Thoughtbot
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(University of Nevada, Reno) "Yes, we're going to make skis. No, it's not really Ski Building 101," said Kam K. Leang, the faculty member and principal investigator for a project to further integrate nanotechnology into the undergraduate curriculum at the University. Leang and his colleagues aim to prepare 21st century mechanical engineers at the University to meet the emerging challenges of nanotechnology using a top-down approach where the first... More
Eurekalert.org news made popular on December 14 2009 by Thoughtbot
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Solar power on steroids, longer lives, the chance to get rid of obesity once and for all, and portable computing devices that start becoming part of your body rather than being held in your hand are among Ray Kurzweil's forecasts for the coming decade. (Source: http://www.nydailynews.com/opinions/2009/12/13/2009-12-13_top_futurist_ray_kurzweil_predicts_how_technology_will_change_humanity_by_2020.html)
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on December 14 2009 by Thoughtbot
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A display that lets users manipulate on-screen images using hand gestures has been developed by the MIT Media Lab. (Matthew Hirsch, Douglas Lanman, Ramesh Raskar, Henry Holtzman) (Source: http://www.physorg.com/news179760349.html)
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on December 14 2009 by Thoughtbot
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A system that learns users' behavior patterns to provide them with an enhanced cellphone service has been developed by Technical University of Delft communications engineers.The system uses telltale sequences and timings from the phone's accelerometer and other devices to create an electronic signature of "mobility events." A neural network software app running on the phone is then trained to predict what happens next and act accordingly. (Sourc... More
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on December 14 2009 by Thoughtbot
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(Yale University) A team led by Yale University researchers has used nanosensors to measure cancer biomarkers in whole blood for the first time. Their findings could dramatically simplify the way physicians test for biomarkers of cancer and other diseases.
Eurekalert.org news made popular on December 13 2009 by Thoughtbot
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Princeton University scientists have produced a systematic listing of the ways a particular cancerous cell has "gone wrong," pinpointing the alterations in cancer pathways to reveal the underlying regulatory code in DNA.The findings give researchers a powerful tool that eventually could make possible new, more targeted therapies for patients.Employing modern methods of systems biology, a computer program sorts through the behavior of each of 20,00... More
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on December 11 2009 by Thoughtbot
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Google has demonstrated the use of quantum algorithms by creating a detector that has learned to spot cars by looking at example pictures. (Source: http://googleresearch.blogspot.com/2009/12/machine-learning-with-quantum.html)
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on December 11 2009 by Thoughtbot
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A new science fiction anthology, When It Changed, coupling stories with a note from the scientist whose input inspired it. (Source: http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/culturelab/2009/12/holiday-books-when-it-changed-science-into-fiction---an-anthology-edited-by-geoff-ryman.php)
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on December 11 2009 by Thoughtbot
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