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News on Human Progress:
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A small but growing coterie of evolutionary biologists argues that the selfish-gene concept leaves us blind to crucial evolutionary processes at higher scales -- among groups, species and even the whole ecosystem. (Source: http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20126981.800-the-selfless-gene-rethinking-dawkinss-doctrine.html)
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on March 09 2009 by Thoughtbot
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NASA Ames and Cisco Systems Inc. are developing "Planetary Skin" -- a marriage of satellites, land sensors and the Internet -- to capture, analyze and interpret global environmental data, using a comprehensive sensor network in rainforests around the world. The goal: translate the data into information that governments and businesses can use to mitigate and adapt to climate change and manage energy and natural resources more effectively. (Source... More
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on March 09 2009 by Thoughtbot
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A new generation of exciting new interfaces with the digital world is in the pipeline, including Siftables (computerized blocks you can stack and shuffle in your hands), Reactables (new way of creating and interacting with music), and mixed-reality interfaces. (Source: http://singularityhub.com/2009/03/04/the-next-generation-in-human-computer-interfaces-awesome-videos/)
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on March 09 2009 by Thoughtbot
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Stephen Wolfram's forthcoming Wolfram Alpha online service, a "computational knowledge engine," will compute answers to factual questions, using models of fields of knowledge, complete with data and algorithms, with a natural-language interface.The project involves more than a hundred people working in stealth to create a vast system of reusable, computable knowledge, from terabytes of raw data, statistics, algorithms, data feeds, and expertise. ... More
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on March 09 2009 by Thoughtbot
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An international team of scientists has determined the structure of a protein in its natural environment, the living cell, using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. The method links signals from living cells to specific proteins that have been labeled with the stable nitrogen isotope N-15. But since the cells survive for only 5 to 6 hours without supply of oxygen and nutrients, the scientists used computational reconstruction of the com... More
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on March 09 2009 by Thoughtbot
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(Arizona State University) A $5 million grant from National Science Foundation's Division of Materials Research will enable Arizona State University to acquire the most advanced type of aberration-corrected transmission electron microscope.The new microscope will boost the capabilities of ASU's J.M. Cowley Center for High Resolution Electron Microscopy to aid research in the nanotechnological aspects of a broad range of science and engineering pu... More
Eurekalert.org news made popular on March 09 2009 by Thoughtbot
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(University College London) This week's Nature Materials reveals how an international team of scientists led by researchers at the London Center for Nanotechnology at UCL have discovered a novel one dimensional ice chain structure built from pentagons that may prove to be a step toward the development of new materials which can be used to seed clouds and cause rain.
Eurekalert.org news made popular on March 08 2009 by Thoughtbot
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(University of Washington) In examining how a cell evenly separates its genetic material before dividing, scientists looked closely at a nano-scale apparatus, the kinetochore, located on each chromosome to learn how it makes strong but dynamic attachment to fibers that lengthen and shorten to move chromosomes.
Eurekalert.org news made popular on March 06 2009 by Thoughtbot
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(Wiley-Blackwell) German researchers led by Horst Weller and Stephan Foerster have produced amphiphilic hybrid particles made of a water-insoluble inorganic nanoparticle at the core surrounded by a bristle-like layer of hydrophilic polymer chains. The polymer-coated spheres offer a simple method for the controlled production of superstructures, such as vesicles to be used to encapsulate drugs or as contrast agents.
Eurekalert.org news made popular on March 06 2009 by Thoughtbot
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(University of Southern California) The workshop will provide a forum where issues of uncertainty quantification and model validation in predictive science will be addressed, bringing together leading scientists from physics-based modeling, network science and social networks to explore the fundamental similarities and differences in the challenges facing them.
Eurekalert.org news made popular on March 06 2009 by Thoughtbot
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(University of Connecticut) University of Connecticut chemists have found a way to greatly increase the luminescence efficiency of carbon nanotubes by wrapping them in a chemical "sleeve" to reduce exterior defects caused by chemically absorbed oxygen molecules.
Eurekalert.org news made popular on March 06 2009 by Thoughtbot
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NASA's Kepler, set for a 10:48 PM ET liftoff on Friday, March 6, is the first mission with the ability to find planets like Earth in the habitable zone of sun-like stars. (Source: http://www.space.com/businesstechnology/090304-tw-kepler-planethunting.html)
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on March 06 2009 by Thoughtbot
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Scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory can now control how cells connect with one another in vitro and self-assemble into three-dimensional, multicellular microtissues that could be used in medicine for a range of applications such as skin grafts, bone marrow transplants, or blood substitutes, as well as in basic medical and biological research. (Source: http://www.physorg.com/news155485366.html)
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on March 06 2009 by Thoughtbot
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The first carbon-nanotube devices that can detect the entire visible spectrum of light (with one-nanometer resolution) have been developed by Sandia National Laboratories researchers.(Xinjian Zhou)The nanotubes are decorated with three kinds of chromophores (wavelength-sensitive molecules) that respond to red, green, and blue light with specific changes in conductivity that can be correlated with the color and intensity of light.They could be used... More
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on March 06 2009 by Thoughtbot
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Filmmaker Rob Spence is developing a camera to be embedded in his eye socket (he lost an eye when young) to become a "bionic reporter."The "eyeborg" camera eye will move in sync with the healthy eye, it will blink, and it will be able to transmit video footage live.EYEBORG-- The Two Week Trial from eyeborg on Vimeo. (Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/technology/2009/03/meet_the_bionic_reporter.html)
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on March 05 2009 by Thoughtbot
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(Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB)) Scientists of the national German metrology institute, the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB), have developed a highly sensitive measuring method with which the efficiency of gene transfer in cases if cardiovascular diseases can be investigated. The researchers determine, accurate to the picogram per cell, the quantity of magnetic particles that are situated on the gene -- and thus also the qu... More
Eurekalert.org news made popular on March 05 2009 by Thoughtbot
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Blogger James Bach was so unimpressed by the contrived and seemingly scripted responses to his typed questions to the Web Greeter site that be became convinced he was talking to an unthinking chatbot rather than a human.We checked out the site. The robotic "welcome" message does give that impression at first, but web greeter Alex assured me that the "Turing test does not apply to humans" and that "if a company was using such a technology, it would... More
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on March 05 2009 by Thoughtbot
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U.K. scientists are creating the "Virtual Cocoon," a new "Real Virtuality" (all senses stimulated to create a fully immersive perceptual experience) device that can stimulate all five senses much more realistically than any other current or prospective device.Concept design of a mobile Virtual Cocoon (Source: Were gravitational waves first detected in 1987?)
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on March 05 2009 by Thoughtbot
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Two German biotech experts are converting the entire human genome to audio and streaming it to the Internet, 24/7. "It will take about 23.5 years until all code has been distributed over the Internet," they say. They're currently on Chromosome 1. (They've also created images of it.) (Source: )
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on March 05 2009 by Thoughtbot
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A man who lost his sight 30 years ago says he can now see flashes of light after being fitted with a "bionic eye."Developed by Second Sight, it uses a camera and video processor mounted on sunglasses to send captured images wirelessly to a tiny receiver on the outside of the eye. (Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7919645.stm)
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on March 05 2009 by Thoughtbot
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The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has created a Surveillance Self-Defense site to educate the American public about the law and technology of U.S. government surveillance and provide technical information on how to protect your privacy. (Source: )
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on March 05 2009 by Thoughtbot
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A team of Twitter users quickly acted to head off tragedy from a bomb threat in St. Louis Tuesday night. (Source: http://www.socialmedia.biz/2009/03/04/social-media-and-a-school-death-threat/)
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on March 05 2009 by Thoughtbot
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A 3D printer ("prints" small objects) has been used for the first time, in the new animated movie Coraline, to give characters in an animated movie a far greater range of facial expressions than has been possible before, replacing painstaking hand-sculpting of every facial expression, (Source: http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20126975.000-3d-printer-brings-animated-movie-stars-to-life.html)
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on March 05 2009 by Thoughtbot
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The Trauma Pod mobile operating theater, being developed by a team led by non-profit lab SRI International, is designed to retrieve someone from the battlefield, diagnose them, and perform lifesaving procedures while transferring them to s hospital.It includes a team of robots led by a robotic surgeon, remotely controlled by an actual surgeon. (Source: http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20126982.600-er-20-robots-team-up-for-surgery.html)
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on March 05 2009 by Thoughtbot
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A technique using 60-nanosecond pulses thought to be a promising cancer treatment is also being investigated by Old Dominion University as the basis for a Taser-like weapon that stuns for longer. (Source: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn16706-shocking-cancer-treatment-may-also-yield-weapon.html?DCMP=OTC-rss&nsref=online-news)
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on March 05 2009 by Thoughtbot
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