Sci/Tech

Scientific discoveries, technological developments, or gadgets

Playing catch on tiny scale

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Sci/Tech

The neutrino, a seemingly magical, highly elusive particle, may hold clues to the Big Bang. A $55 million particle physics experiment in the abandoned Soudan mines of Duluth, Minn. is part of a worldwide effort to unravel it's secrets.

Activists push to recycle 'e-waste'

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Sci/Tech

When Earth Day dawned in 1970, optimistic environmentalists predicted emerging technologies would help reduce the nation's reliance on coal, oil, insecticides and other pollutants.

But 35 years later, a big part of the problem appears to be technology itself.

Designing a Jetson mobile

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Sci/Tech

Anthony Prozzi, a designer for Ford Motor, is keeping close watch as yet another new generation of technology-smitten youth grows up. It's this group of future customers he has in mind as he tries to anticipate what they'll want out of an automobile in 2020.

Human cells filmed instantly messaging

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Sci/Tech

Researchers at UCSD and UC Irvine have captured on video for the first time chemical signals that traverse human cells in response to tiny mechanical jabs, like waves spreading from pebbles tossed into a pond. Cells tugged in one direction sent biochemical signals in the opposite direction in the form of a signature pattern of fluorescent light.

Space tourism industry to run 'like fast-food franchises'

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Sci/Tech

Space pioneer Burt Rutan foresees space tourism companies running like a fast-food franchises, with his company licensing spacecraft to tour operators. But he says he may have trouble cutting through federal regulations to get there.

Phone-y downloads rack up $9,000 bill

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Sci/Tech

Seattle businessman Don Etsekson has his life wired. A simple cable allows him to synchronize computers at home, at the office and in his pocket every day like clockwork.

But an onslaught of illegal spam and unrequested downloads to his new "smart phone" racked up a $9,000 bill -- for being wireless.

UC Berkeley project to study 'digital kids'

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Sci/Tech

A University of California, Berkeley, professor is spearheading a team just awarded $3.3 million to study "digital kids."

"It will be exciting to investigate kids' innovative knowledge cultures, and how they learn using digital media, in order to think about the consequences for public education as 'digital kids' flow through the school system," said Peter Lyman, a professor at UC Berkeley's School of Information Management & Systems (SIMS) and one of three principal investigators for the project funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

'Minority Report' interface for US military

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Sci/Tech

A computer interface inspired by the futuristic system portrayed in the movie Minority Report, starring Tom Cruise, could soon help real military personnel deal with information overload.

Being too clean could be hazardous to your health

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Sci/Tech

Researchers at Virginia Tech have discovered that the use of antimicrobial soaps and other products may unnecessarily be directly exposing consumers to significant quantities of chloroform. Peter Vikesland, assistant professor in civil and environmental engineering, has shown in his research that when the chemical triclosan, present in many antimicrobial soaps, reacts with chlorine in tap water, chloroform is produced. Chloroform is classified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a probable human carcinogen.

Virtual reality, real ingenuity

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Sci/Tech

The Office of Naval Research recently helped solve a simple, yet serious, problem facing Marines deployed overseas: How do you train on weapons systems when live-fire training opportunities and ammunition are at a premium? With ingenuity, virtual reality, and a blowtorch.

Bionic suit offers wearers super-strength

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Sci/Tech

We can rebuild them, we have the technology... for less than $20000US.

First cell phone was a true 'brick'

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Sci/Tech

On this slow news day, Dave Carpenter looks back to 1983 when the ground breaking Motorola DynaTAC, $3,995 2-pound brick hit the market.

Krolopp, now 74 and retired, still gets a "warm fuzzy feeling" thinking about the DynaTAC and knowing that "a handful of us did something that was really significant."

Earth's oldest object on display

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Sci/Tech

A tiny grain of crystal thought to the oldest object on Earth has gone on public display for one day only in the US state of Wisconsin. The zircon, found in Australia in 2001, led to a reappraisal of early Earth. It suggests the early Earth was much cooler than previously thought, meaning life-forming elements such as oceans were formed earlier too.

Sony patent takes first step towards real-life Matrix

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Sci/Tech

IMAGINE movies and computer games in which you get to smell, taste and perhaps even feel things. That's the tantalising prospect raised by a patent on a device for transmitting sensory data directly into the human brain - granted to none other than the entertainment giant Sony.

First responders to get biometric IDs

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About 200,000 first responders in the Washington region will be issued biometric smart card IDs under a new program to be deployed by the Homeland Security Department. The new cards will be requiring computerized data images of two index fingers, among other specifications.

Engineers turn to 'soft offices'

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Sci/Tech

Offices of the future could become havens of peace and tranquillity instead of hotbeds of slamming drawers and rattling filing cabinets.

Google feature incorporates satellite maps

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Web
Sci/Tech

Online search engine leader Google has unveiled a new feature that will enable its users to zoom in on homes and businesses using satellite images, an advance that may raise privacy concerns as well as intensify the competitive pressures on its rivals.

the world's only blue rose

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Sci/Tech

Australian and Japanese researchers have demonstrated the application of RNAi technology for gene replacement in plants, developing the world's only blue rose.

Breeders have attempted to make true blue roses over many years, but none have successfully bred roses with blue pigment. In its first commercial application in plants, the CSIRO-developed RNAi technology was used to remove the gene encoding the enzyme dihydroflavonol reductase (DFR) in roses.

Pope's influence includes technology firsts

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Sci/Tech
Misc

While Pope John Paul II will largely be remembered for his influence on social issues ranging from euthanasia to AIDS, he also earned a place in history as the first pontiff to embrace computer technology.

Metallic glass: a drop of the hard stuff

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IN THE movie Terminator 2, the villain is a robot made of liquid metal. He morphs from human form to helicopter and back again with ease, moulds himself into any shape without breaking, and can even flow under doorways.

Now a similar-sounding futuristic material is about to turn up everywhere. It is called metallic glass.

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