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News on Human Progress:
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Veratect Inc combines computer algorithms with human analysts to monitor online and off-line sources for hints of disease outbreaks and civil unrest worldwide, using blogs, online chat rooms, Twitter feeds, news media and government Web sites.Veratect says it posted a report to clients on April 6 describing an unusual number of respiratory illnesses in the Mexican state of Veracruz, then sent an e-mail on April 16 to the Centers for Disease Contro... More
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on April 30 2009 by Thoughtbot
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Carnegie Mellon University researchers have developed buttons that pop out from a touch-screen surface to produce tactile buttons for certain functions, such as in-car navigation. (Source: http://www.technologyreview.com/computing/22550/)
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on April 30 2009 by Thoughtbot
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As the World Health Organization raises its pandemic alert to level 5, scientists study the genetic sequence of the virus, using the Influenza Virus Resource databank. (Source: http://www.technologyreview.com/biomedicine/22569/)
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on April 30 2009 by Thoughtbot
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Readybot, a research group that last year released videos of a simple prototype cleaning robot, has revealed that the robot is managed through a combination of cloud-based software and skilled remote teleoperators. (Source: http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/editors/23450/)
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on April 30 2009 by Thoughtbot
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Google researchers Hyunyoung Choi and Hal Varian combined data from Google Trends on the popularity of different search terms with models used by economists to predict trends in areas such as travel and home sales, resulting in better forecasts in almost every case.Google has demonstrated before that search data can predict flu outbreaks, and last week World Bank economist Erik Feyen said he could cut errors in a model that forecasts lending to th... More
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on April 30 2009 by Thoughtbot
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New techniques allow for more precise changes in plant genes, greatly increasing the efficiency of generating genetically engineered plants for use as food or fuel, or for absorbing carbon and cleaning the environment. (Source: http://www.technologyreview.com/biomedicine/22562/)
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on April 30 2009 by Thoughtbot
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The "smart infrastructure" -- more efficient and environmentally friendlier systems for managing, among other things, commuter traffic, food distribution, electric grids and waterways -- will use low-cost wireless sensors and clever software for analytics and visualization, as well as computing firepower.Benefits: big reductions in energy used, greenhouse gases emitted, and natural resources consumed. (Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/30/b... More
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on April 30 2009 by Thoughtbot
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Efficiencies of polymer solar cells have been increasing at a rate of about 1 percent a year. If they can keep this up, say researchers, plastic solar cells will be competing with silicon within a few years.Plastic solar cell layers (Nature Photonics) (Source: http://www.technologyreview.com/energy/22563/)
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on April 30 2009 by Thoughtbot
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Stephen Wolfram's video presentation of Wolfram|Alpha at Harvard Law School is now available. More (Source: )
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on April 30 2009 by Thoughtbot
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(Rice University) In new research appearing this week in Nature, physicists at Rice University and the University of Alicante have found that single-atom contacts made of ferromagnetic metals like iron, cobalt and nickel exhibit behavior consistent with the Kondo effect. The unexpected behavior appears to arise due to the tendency of the electrons on the last atom of material to align their spin in a countervailing direction from that of neighbori... More
Eurekalert.org news made popular on April 29 2009 by Thoughtbot
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We've known that swine flu could cause a human pandemic for more than a decade -- but no one paid attention, says New Scientist in this special issue, which covers global preparedness (patchy), treatments that might be effective (Tamiflu may not work), and expert analysis of how deadly it is (unknown). Follow @newscientist and @CDCemergency Twitter feeds, and search "swine flu" and #swineful for updates. (Source: http://www.newscientist.com/ar... More
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on April 29 2009 by Thoughtbot
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(University of Texas at Austin) With two $15 million grants, scientists and engineers aim to revolutionize solar cells and provide the fundamental science for geological storage of greenhouse gases as part of two Energy Frontier Research Centers established at the University of Texas at Austin by the US Department of Energy.
Eurekalert.org news made popular on April 29 2009 by Thoughtbot
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Duke University engineer Adrian Bejan and Penn State biologist James Marden have unified the biological and geophysical principles of nature's design through the "constructal law," the idea that organic evolution is analogous to the way form evolves in inanimate flow systems.They believe this is a novel concept with the potential to unite perspectives and approaches across disparate disciplines. (Source: http://www.physorg.com/news160153064.html... More
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on April 29 2009 by Thoughtbot
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The Pentagon has commissioned military contractors to develop a highly classified replica of the Internet of the future. The goal is to simulate what it would take for adversaries to shut down the country's power stations, telecommunications and aviation systems, or freeze the financial markets -- in an effort to build better defenses against such attacks, as well as a new generation of online weapons.The most exotic innovations under consideratio... More
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on April 29 2009 by Thoughtbot
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Texas Tech University researchers have developed a way to automatically diagnose epilepsy with an accuracy rate of 94 percent, by training a neural network to recognize the characteristic patterns in EEG data that indicate the patient is epileptic. (Source: http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/arxiv/23465/)
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on April 29 2009 by Thoughtbot
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Cornell University and UC Berkeley scientists have built cloaks that are essentially mirrors with a tiny bump in which an object can hide. The bump is hidden by a pattern of tiny silicon nanopillars on the mirror surface that steers reflected light in a way that makes any bump look flat. So anything can be hidden beneath the bump without an observer realizing it is there. (Source: http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/arxiv/23455/)
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on April 29 2009 by Thoughtbot
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Ugolog allows individuals to quickly set up a powerful surveillance system (for home monitoring, for example), using live video streaming via the Ugolog website, but the service could raise privacy issues for some uses. (Source: http://singularityhub.com/2009/04/28/ugolog-creates-worldwide-surveillance-network-to-watch-anyone-anywhere/)
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on April 29 2009 by Thoughtbot
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TRANSCEND: Nine Steps to Living Well Forever by Ray Kurzweil and Terry Grossman, MD, published today, presents an easy-to-follow, practical, nine-step program to dramatically slow down aging and disease processes "so that you can be in good health when we get dramatic new technologies that will enable us to essentially reprogram the outdated 'software' (our genes) that runs in our bodies," said Kurzweil. "These new methods are only ten to fifteen ... More
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on April 28 2009 by Thoughtbot
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World Health Organization officials have raised the level of alert about a possible swine flu pandemic, increasing their pandemic warning level from 3 to 4, on a six-point scale, since the virus seems to be spreading regularly from person to person.The WHO is also taking measures to produce a vaccine against the new H1N1 virus, which could take between four to six months to produce. (Source: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn17036-health-of... More
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on April 28 2009 by Thoughtbot
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Israel Institute of Technology researchers used a network of 10 sets of chemically modified carbon nanotubes to create a multicomponent sensor capable of discriminating between a healthy breath and one characteristic of lung cancer patients. Using 10 different organic coatings, the investigators created field-effect transistors comprising random networks of each of the different coated nanotubes, and the resulting array produces a characteristic c... More
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on April 28 2009 by Thoughtbot
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University of Lleida researchers have used genetic modification to increase the levels of multiple, rather than single, nutrients in a crop for the first time. (Source: http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/04/supercor/)
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on April 28 2009 by Thoughtbot
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Scientists at the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease have discovered that three proteins -- a pair of transcription factors and a protein that helps loosen tightly wound DNA -- could direct certain embryonic cells to form cardiac-muscle cells, called cardiomyocytes. These cells not only produced proteins characteristic of early heart cells, but they eventually started to beat. (Source: http://www.technologyreview.com/biomedicine/22543... More
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on April 28 2009 by Thoughtbot
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(Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies) Existing health and safety agencies are unable to cope with the risk assessment, standard setting and oversight challenges of advancing nanotechnology. The nation needs a new agency to address current forms of pollution and to deal with the health and environmental impacts of the technically complex products promised by rapid 21st century scientific advances.
Eurekalert.org news made popular on April 28 2009 by Thoughtbot
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(Monash University) Monash University scientists have unlocked the physics of the perfect pizza toss and will use it to design the next generation of micro motors thinner that a human hair.
Eurekalert.org news made popular on April 27 2009 by Thoughtbot
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Researchers at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security suggest that piano renditions of an individual's cerebral music can help in dealing with insomnia and fatigue in the aftermath of a stressful experience.The DHS researchers hope to record the brain's natural activity during periods of calm or alertness. Human Bionics will convert the signal into an audible polyphonic melody. Individuals will be asked to listen to the tracks at various times d... More
KurzweilAI.net news made popular on April 27 2009 by Thoughtbot
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